Fans knew him as "The Georgia Cracker". "Cousin Paul" Crutchfield was
born in Columbia, South Carolina, but grew up in Georgia.
During World War II, he was Assistant to the Adjutant General and Draft
Executive of Georgia.
An old song folio of Cousin Paul's gives us an idea of what he was like
or at least his approach to entertainment. He indicated he had
played many of the different movie theater chains, including the
Keith Vaudeville and Publix DeLuxe Theatres.
He told fans he liked "...clean, wholesome programs". At one time, he was
an evangelistic singer in the South, and was a soloist and music director
at several churches in Florida and Georgia.
He is said to be the originator of the "Old District or Country School" show
that aired over radio staions. In fact, while he was at radio station KMA
in Shenandoah, Iowa, he was the writer for the KMA Country School
program from January to August 1, 1930. The booklet points out that when he left
KMA, the program was the "...most entertaining, clean and wholesome
program ever broadcast from any station."
On December 18, 1930, Cousin Paul did an unusual performance over radio. He sang
160 songs in sucession without stopping, never losing a beat, and all without
having the words or music to guide him. Backing him up on this feat were
Bernard Ruby and Earl King. Cousin Paul only took one hour and fifty-five
minutes to sing all 160 songs.
His song folio indicates he spent three years at WSB in Atlanta, Georgia, but
does not tell us what years those were. However, we can narrow that down a bit as
the monthly KMA Guides carry mentions of him after his departure from Shenandoah.
In the August 1944 issue, Doris Murphy told listeners that Cousin Paul and his
wife Gretta had stopped by for a visit and appeared on one of the noon time programs,
talking of the old times when he sang over KMA as part of the Earl May's Country
School program. She mentions they were living in Atlanta, Georgia and Paul was a practicing attorney.
She mentions him again in the February 1945 issue answering a listener inquiry.
On November 1, 1930, he accepted a call
from Dick Savage of the Georgie Porgie Breakfast Food Company in Council Bluffs,
Iowa to appear exclusively on their programs.
Credits & Sources
- Cousin Paul's Book of Old Songs That Mother And Dad
Used To Sing Around the Old Piano Also Cowboy and Yodel Songs; Date Unknown;
Cousin Paul Crutchfield (Copy courtesy of Dick Hill)
- KMA Guide; August 1944; Shenandoah, Iowa
- KMA Guide; February 1945; Shenandoah, Iowa