From his first radio show in Ware, Massachusetts, to his final sessions for Rounder Records, Dick Curless made his mark as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His biggest hit was about a stretch of road up north in Maine -- A Tombstone Every Mile.
Through the years, Dick was referred to as The Tumbleweed Kid, The Rice Paddy Ranger, and The Baron of Country Music. The Fort Fairfield native recorded for numerous labels including Standard, Event, Tiffany, Allagash, Tower, Capitol, Belmont, Rocade and Rounder. He performed on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, toured with Buck Owens' All American Show, and became a regular on the Wheeling Jamboree. He also appeared on the soundtrack of Killer's Three. The former Bangor resident was an inaugural member of the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame (which was founded by the Maine Country Music Association and is now located in Mechanic Falls). Four years later in 1982, he was honoured with the Pioneer Award from the Down East Country Music Association (DECMA).
In addition to being a great performer, Dick was a special person who always took time for his friends and fans. He was there to assist anyone that needed a helping hand even if it meant personal sacrifice. The country music associations in Maine appreciated the support and involvement of the 6'3" entertainer with the amazing range.
Over the years, many Maine artists have been honoured with the Dick Curless Memorial Award from the DECMA.
In 2000, the Dick Curless Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by the Pine Tree State Country Music Association and Pauline Curless to benefit music students at Bangor High School and to encourage Maine's stars of tomorrow.
Every year on the first Sunday in June, many of Maine's top performers donate their time to perform at The Annual Dick Curless Scholarship Show.
If you cannot attend either event, but would like to contribute, please send a cheque or money order in US funds payable to the "Dick Curless Memorial Scholarship Fund" to:
Pine Tree State County Music Association, Inc.
16 Mill Street C48
Springvale, Maine 04083
The 2017 recipient of the Dick Curless Scholarship is Natalie Lismet, a music student at Bangor High School, Natalie is a very talented musician and in the top 10 in Bangor High music program. She is a piano player and will be attending the University of Maine for music performance..