“Hoot Hester, along with Dennis Crouch, founded The Time Jumpers in 1999. Hoot was a great and soulful musician who made close friends with everyone he worked with, and he worked with virtually everyone in Nashville. His tenure on Nashville Now, and on the Grand Ole Opry are legendary. It would be fair to say that he had deep relationships with everyone in The Time Jumper family. He will be profoundly missed.
On a more personal note, he frequently told me that I was his favorite guitarist. I’m certain that he told every guitar player the same thing, but it always made me feel great!”
“Ranger Doug” Green:
“Hoot Hester and I began playing music together in about 1971, and this morning I lost a lifelong friend. A master musician, he was also one of the finest, most honorable, and funniest men I have ever known, and The Time Jumpers, Riders In The Sky, and the entire Nashville music community have lost a very special talent and a very special soul. He was one of a kind, and can never be replaced for there will never be another like him. The one bright scenario in this dark time is that he got to know, if all too briefly, his glorious granddaughter Rosie.”
“Besides being a great musician, Hoot was a loving father! He left The Time Jumpers to help his daughter Rachel get her writing and singing career off the ground. By doing that, it opened the door for me to become a Time Jumper ! His musicianship, humor and his unique perspective on the human condition will truly be missed!”
“Hoot was one of the finest friends I have ever had in the musician community. My first time on Ralph’s show, he was one of 2 in the house band to come by and welcome me and shake my hand. It meant the world. He went on to befriend me and believe in me, hiring me on sessions when I barely knew the ropes. He could’ve hired smarter better players, but for some reason he hired me a good bit. That led to our friendship and me being there in the early Jumper days with him. He and I had a shared Christian faith and spent a good many conversations on that. I loved him much and will miss him much but he is one more very good reason for me to long for heaven.”
“Hoot and l met in 1977. We were Statesiders playing fiddles for Mel Tillis. We started a friendship that has lasted 39 years. In the late 80’s we were each doing one of Ralph Emery’s TV shows. He did the night show, I did the morning show. We subbed for each other a lot, during that time we did things together everything from riding horses to building barns and houses, to swatting carpenter bees with tennis rackets, Lol!!! We played twin fiddles together on the Opry for many years. Missed spots because of jamming in the dressing room…When he asked me to come play with this swing band that he and Dennis Crouch had started, I had no idea that the band would become The Time Jumpers and that I would be carrying on his legacy for all these years. I was disappointed when Hoot left The Time Jumpers, but looking back I realize it was the right thing for him to do. He got to spend his last years playing music with his daughter Rachel. What a wonderful way to finish a long and meaningful career! Rest in peace Hoot. I love you …we all love you!”