Slim Andrews, of Auburn, Maine — Co-Founder of the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Maine country music icon, father, husband, friend. Submitted photo

AUBURN — The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame bids farewell to Slim Andrews, Hall of Fame co-founder and country music legend. He was born Leonard “Slim” Andrews Huntington, Jr. in Boston, Massachusetts. On January 15, 2022, the Maine country music icon went to “sing and strum with the angels” at the age of 90.

Most recently Slim Andrews resided in Auburn, Maine with his wife, Carole Ann. Slim was a lifelong country music singer, songwriter, guitarist and recording artist. He co-founded the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978 and in 2008 was instrumental in establishing the Hall of Fame Museum in Mechanic Falls, the only museum of its kind east of Nashville.

He was inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. Until very shortly before his death, Slim was very active in the day-to-day business of the Hall of Fame serving as Chairperson of the Induction Committee and museum tour guide, par excellence. He made several recent appearances on local television including Maine Public and WMTW Channel 8.

I cherish sweet memories of Slim — a kind, warm, gentle man with a sharp wit and bright sense of humor. He had a way of making those he met feel like an old friend. He puts people at ease and valued, respected, and appreciated them. His infinite knowledge of Maine country music history was astounding.

Slim was forever dedicated to family, work, and music. He was a man who faced many life challenges and losses but who bravely soldiered on, giving it his all, no matter the circumstances. “I’ve been blessed,” he would say through it all, as one door closed, and another opened.

Jim Flynn of Lewiston, a good friend of Slim Andrews’ who himself passed away in 2019, was a notable Maine country music songwriter and educator. The excerpt below is from a tribute Jim wrote in 2018, highlighting Slim’s life and legacy:

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“Slim Andrews will be remembered by the Maine Country Music Community as a dedicated country music artist and as a leader and catalyst for growth in Maine country music during the

70s and 80s and in the first two decades of the 21st century. Slim Andrews’ influence on Maine country music has made it one of the most popular of the performing arts in the State of Maine.

“As a dedicated country music artist, which was always Slim’s first love, he spent seven decades on stage performing. It all started in 1942 when Slim gave his first public performance at age 11 when he won a talent contest at the Community Theater in New Auburn, Maine. Seventy years later Slim is still actively engaged in Maine country music.

“Slim was born on June 14, 1931 in the Roxbury area of Boston, Massachusetts. After spending the first six months of his life in Boston, Slim and his family moved to Auburn, Maine, and remained there until the death of his beloved mother in 1944.

In 1946 he moved back to Dorchester, Massachusetts, and that’s when Slim got his life into second gear. After his high school graduation, and later subsequently his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army where Slim entertained fellow troops on special assignments occasionally while stationed in Germany, he returned home and married his high school sweetheart and fathered five sons and one daughter.

From 1952 to 1954 he played mostly in churches with an accordion player on Sunday evenings. In 1958 he put together a group called The Berkshire Mountain Boys based in Brockton and for the next 13 years Slim and The Berkshire Mountain Boys played a whole lot of country music.

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“Slim returned to Maine in 1971 and began to influence the direction that Maine country music would take. He and Gini Eaton, who later became his second wife, ran a country music establishment in Windham, Maine named The Silver Spur offering live country music and dancing.

Soon Slim and Gini formed the Slim Andrews Enterprises Booking Agency, which brought many well-known acts from Nashville into the State of Maine, other New England states, and upstate New York. Slim and Gini introduced the first State of Maine Country Music All Star-Review of Top Maine Talent that included other New England award-winning acts.

In 1977, along with Barry Deane, they founded the Maine Country Music Association, the first of its kind in Maine. Slim became its first acting president. In 1980, Slim was recognized by the Maine Sunday Telegram as one of Maine’s most influential drivers of country music.

“With the leadership Slim continued to provide, the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978, followed by the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in 2008, now located at The Silver Spur in Mechanic Falls. If you have never seen it, you’re missing out on an outstanding display of the history of country music in Maine.

“In addition to Slim lending his strong administrative skills to the advancement of country music in Maine, he was still performing as many as 70 plus live appearances a year. He was also recording albums of songs he had written and others he had written with his son, Jamie Huntington.

“Slim Andrews is one of the most popular independent country music artists on the International Independent Country Music Radio Network and the Joyce Ramgatie International Mainstream Top 200 Artists Chart and Top 40 Single Chart. In 2017, Slim’s songs were played 85,139 times on Indie Radio, he appeared on 95% of the Top 200 Artists posted that year, and he also appeared on 45% of the Top 40 Single Charts.

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He recorded a new song called, “In My Old Pickup Truck”, a tribute to Johnny Cash, which was released to radio in early January 2018. What’s so special about this recording is that it was Slim’s first new recording in seven years, that it was recorded at the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and that because of Slim’s loss of vocal power resulting from his throat cancer battles, he decided to recite the lyrics of the song instead of singing them. That took courage because he had never done a full recitation before on any of his recordings.

“Each of Slim’s songs averages 14,000 plays a year. The fact that Slim, at the age of 86 is generating more air play than ever before in his life and reaching millions of listeners in the process, is absolutely astounding. It’s an achievement never before equaled by any 86-year-old Maine country music artist in the history of Maine country music. Before 2018 is over, it is predicted that Slim will have a three-year record of having his songs played 200,000 times on Indie radio.

“Slim Andrews is one-of-a-kind. His courage and perseverance over the years is extremely admirable. He has had several bouts with cancer, including throat cancer. He has lost two wives and three sons to various illnesses, and yet somewhere along the way he found the strength to write a song called “Born to Win”.

He also wrote an award-winning song called “The Autumn of Our Lives”, a tribute to his present wife, Carole Ann, who is loved not only by Slim but by everyone who knows her. Where God finds these inimitable men like Slim, I can’t say. I can say that Slim Andrews is in a class all by himself.” Jim Flynn, Lewiston, 2018.

For more information search Wikipedia for an in-depth summary of Slim Andrews’ early life, military service, music career, and awards, including a complete discography; or visit the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Mechanic Falls, Maine.

The Museum is open seven days a week by appointment. To book a visit please call Ken at 207-654-2227 or email [email protected] Donations in Slim’s memory may be made to the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 62, Athens, ME 04912.

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