Lloyd Bell was born to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Bell in Etowah, North Carolina
back in 1929. We first learn of him through an old small folio brochure he published
while performing as an artist. It tells readers he was one of seven children; he had
three brothers and three sisters. One brother served in the U. S. Air Force.
Lloyd and his sister Bonnie Lou began laying guitar and singing when they were kids. Later on,
they were part of a group the "Family Trio" which consisted of Lloyd, his sister Bonnie Lou and
As a performer, fans knew him as Ding Dong Bell.
In 1945, he was working at radio station WROL in Knoxville, Tennessee as part of the group
known as The Dixie Pardners. It consisted of Buster Moore, who had just recently been discharged
from the U. S. Army, Wally Myers, Jimmy Lundsford and Lloyd.
His sister Bonnie was two years older than he was. From what we found in Ivan Tribe's book,
she married Buster Moore in 1945 and they formed a duo known as Bonnie Lou and Buster. The duo
had a television show at WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tennessee starting in 1953. Her brother Lloyd
sang with the group for a time and did what Mr. Tribe termed "newer country". Mr. Moore
also had a comedy character known as Humphammer.
In May 1947, Billboard reported that Buster Moore and His Dixie Partners were at WPTF
in Raleigh, North Carolina. The group then included Buster, Bonnie Lou, Carl Butler, Lloyd and
The group was working at WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1948, where they appeared regularly on the mid-day
show The Merry-Go-Round as well as the Saturday night show, The Tennessee Barn Dance. Billboard said
they had come from WPTF in 1947. The group then consisted of Buster (banjo and mandolin),
Bonnie Lou (guitar), Lloyd (guitar) and Willie G. Brewster (fiddle).
In late 1949, Johnny Sippel was reporting that Lloyd was working with guitar-vocalist Shorty Hickson
and had joined the Smokey Mountaineers group at WGAC in Augusta, Georgia.
Credits & Sources
- Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; December 1945; Mountain Broadcast
Co., Inc.; 45 Astor Place; New York, NY
- The Billboard; May 24, 1947; 2160 Patterson Street; Cincinnati, OH
- The Billboard; May 29, 1948; 2160 Patterson Street; Cincinnati, OH
- The Billboard; December 17, 1949; 2160 Patterson Street; Cincinnati, OH
- Mountaineer Jamboree; Ivan Tribe; 1984; The University Press of Kentucky;