John Tisdell


Patty McCarty, Rob Lindsay, Bill Stellmach



Download Audio Interview (61.4 MB)

Download Transcript of John Tisdell Interview (317 KB)


John “Catfish John” Tisdell talks about his involvement with folk music in Montana and across the United States, and discusses his current projects and views on the music industry. Tisdell recalls growing up in Great Falls, Montana, and his first performance at the Oxford Bar in Denver, Colorado, with a friend. He recounts his stint as a student at the University of Montana, living in a commune in North Carolina, and his early work in various bands and groups. Tisdell discusses his musical influences, instruments he plays, songwriting, and producing his own tapes and music. He analyzes the music industry and record labels, and his own musical philosophies, including his outreach to Montana musicians through his radio show, “Radio Jamboree” on KUFM. He recalls touring in the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and Europe, and discusses the benefits of touring and playing both officially and unofficially.


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Document Type

Oral History


Armstrong, Howard; Goodman, Steve; Martin, Carl; KUFM Missoula; University of Montana; Great Northern Bluegrass Band; The Beatles; Crosby, Stills & Nash; McTell, Blind Willie; Seattle Folk Festival; Northwest Folk Festival; San Francisco Free Folk Festival; “Radio Jamboree”; Second Story Cinema; “You Better Get It While You Can”; Martin, Bogan and Armstrong; Musicians, Montana; Folk music

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Missoula Musicians Oral History Project, OH 253, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 253-006

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:30:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (13 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:49:55 minutes

Local Filename

OH_253_006.mp3; OH_253_006.pdf