Hillbilly-Music.com Salutes The
Willie Mae (Little Nehi) Thomas
|"Just give me something to remember you by... |
A scribbled note; a bit of verse; a faded flow'r...
Some little keepsake of a friendship true, that I
May cherish up against some lonely hour."
|From Opening quotation of Renfro Valley Keepsake souvenir program / book; published by Renfro Valley Enterprises, Inc. 1940.|
What's New - Featured Articles
Cy Coben - Once in a while we feature someone who is not a 'performer' but has an impact on country music's history. This time, we feature a prolific songwriter who had hit tunes recorded from the likes of Eddy Arnold to the Beatles. The man wrote dozens of hit songs and yet is still waiting for recognition from the music community.
Colonel Combs - It's time to reach back and feature one of the real old-timers in country music history. Someone born in the 1880s. We have a certain fondness for the folks that performed on WIBW in Topeka, Kansas. We thought we would feature one of its legendary performers - a farmer, military veteran of two World Wars, an auctioneer and fiddler. He also holds a couple of "firsts" with the station as well. He was quite a character.
Bob Flannery - Bob's mother was Violet (Billie) of the Flannery Sisters duo. Bob's musican journey took him to Laredo, Texas where he worked for XENT and then moved on to KPAB. His first break came when Randy Blake, DJ for WJJD heard him sing and recommended him to Lee Gillette of Capitol Records. He also did a duet record with WLS's Phyllis Brown singing a Floyd Tillman tune. Bob also played the steel guitar.
Durwood Haddock - A songwriter, performer in the classic sound. He appeared on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas several times. He is known for the monster hit he wrote, "There She Goes" in 1955 with Eddie Miller. He later recorded a tribute CD to accompany a biography written by his friend Arnold Rodgers along with Jerry Langley on the life and times of Jenny Lou Carson. He also had one of his tunes featured in the 2003 Bruce Willis movie "The Whole Ten Yards".
Roy Lee Harmon - Poet laureate. Sports editor and columnist. Fishing columnist. Elected to House of Delegates with Robert Byrd in West Virginia. Moved to Beckley after experiencing one flood too many. Wrote the local high school official song. Published several books of poems, including "Hillbilly Ballads."
Henry Hornsbuckle - Was this his real name or the character he developed that stayed with him? We'll leave it to you to read and find out. He along with "Widder Green" were part of the characters on "The Fireside Party" over WLS in the 1930s. He went on to publish a household hints monthly newsletter called "Henry's Exchange Hint Monthly."
Merle Housh - We reach back for another WIBW alumni who's career took him also to Chicago and WLS as well as a stint in Iowa under the name of Red Ellis. He was part of the Hiram and Henry team, a musician, talented writer. And took on the part of many characters.
Hugh X. Lewis - One of Nashville's prolific songwriters. He wrote "B.J. the D.J." for Stonewall Jackson. He wrote "Take My Ring Off Your Finger" for Carl Smith. And has had tunes recorded by Charley Pride, Del Reeves, Little Jimmie Dickens, Lynn Anderson Jim Ed Brown and more. He also hosted a syndicated television show - "Hugh X. Lewis Country Club". He has appeared in several movies as well.
Tex Morton - An early country music pioneer is featured ... from down under in Australia. Step back once again into early country music history and read about its roots in Australia. He visited the USA during his career. He was one of the first inductees into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Reknown.
Red Perkins - We continue to learn about artists of those bygone eras and are able to tap into many more resources on the internet. Red recorded for the King and DeLuxe labels. He had his own televsion show over WLW-D in Dayton, Ohio for a time and was the first to have recorded "Big Blue Diamonds".
The Sternards - We do run across some unusual acts associated with the history of hillbilly / country music. They were known for "Syncopating the Classics". They toured with various WLS acts in the mid 1930s. Just imagine the type of entertainment a 'hillbilly music' or 'country music' audience was being exposed to in those days. We have yet to find a picture of this duo. But at least we identified who they were.
Dusty Owens -
tells us about his career in his own words. He contacted us out of the blue years ago and became a good friend over the years.
Early Michigan & Iowa years
WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic
Keep clicking around - there's always something new spopping up on Hillbilly-Music.com.
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