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Sims, Benton "Benny" Murphy



  • Existence: 1924-1995


Benton “Benny” Murphy Sims was born in Sevierville, Tennessee on August 4, 1924 to Guy and Dixie Sims. He began playing violin at age five under the guidance of his father and uncle.

In 1942, Sims was drafted into the Air Force to serve in World War II and was stationed in Foggia, Italy. His first professional work as a violinist was with the U.S. Air Force Orchestra (1943-1946).

Benny met and married Eula Evans Sims in 1947. Eula was born in Burnsville, North Carolina to Calvin and Annie Evans on February 21, 1928 and had a twin sister, Beulah. In the late 1940s, the Sims lived in Asheville, North Carolina where Benny played with the Shelton Brothers for WWNC Radio.

By 1948, Benny had joined Earl Scuggs, Lester Flatt, Curly Seckler, and Cedric Rainwater on various radio programs and in concerts. That year, they cut 12 sides for Mercury Records. In 1949, Sims, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys, recorded the famous Bonnie and Clyde movie theme, “Foggy Mt. Breakdown,” and a session for Columbia Records. In 1951, the Sims moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where Benny worked with Flatt & Scruggs and with Lowell Blanchard on the Mid-Day Merry Go Round. After a brief return to Asheville, the Sims moved to Johnson City, Tennessee in 1954 to work with Bonnie Lou and Buster Moore on their television show. He also worked on the movie “Walk in the Spring Rain.”

When the Bonnie Lou & Buster Moore Show moved to Knoxville, the Sims stayed in Johnson City. Benny worked as an insurance agent at the Life & Casualty Insurance Company until his retirement. During this time, he also provided private fiddle lessons.

Benton Sims died in December 1995.

"Ready Set Play" book by Benny Sims; interview with Eula Sims (2004)

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Benny and Eula Sims Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0676
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Benny and Eula's collection of 91 bluegrass and country music sound recordings (unprocessed), songbooks, photographs, awards, sheet music, and handwritten and typed lyrics.

This collection reflects Benny Sims' interest in bluegrass and country music memorabilia during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Dates: 1936-1991