We found first mention of Clyde Grubb and His Tennessee Valley Boys in a 1949
article that mentioned the group had left their radio program for the summer. During
that time, they would be appearing at various venues such as dinner dances and
other arenas until the fall season when they would return to their radio show. This
bit of tradition seemed to hold true even to modern day country music when the summer
season meant other outdoor personal appearances at the many county and state fair venues
among others as well as the various 'music' parks.
The article mentioned the group was looking for a new record company as they
had left the Victor company where they had enjoyed a small amount of success
with their recording of "I Saw The Light" and "There's Nothing I Can Do".
While we list the band members in another section of this writeup, the article mentions
that Shorty Harrell, the comedian of the group, was a clown at one time with the famed
Ringling Brothers circus show.
The group also included Clyde's son, Carl, who was just 13 years old at the time, occasionally
on the bass fiddle.
In the spring of 1948, Clyde and his guitar player, Leonard Dabney were on a trip and stopped
over to see the famed disc jockey, Nelson King at WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio. We know that
because Nicola and Rose Fantetti wrote about meeting them at the same time at WCKY and enjoying
a nice conversation with the two of them in their 1948 column for National Hillbilly News.
Later on, Clyde met up with Buck Owens during one of Buck's appearances. Buck took
the time later to have a note sent to Clyde to thank him for making him feel welcome
during his appearance at the Fox Hole Record Shop that apparently Clyde and his wife
Marge were running at the time in Garden City, Michigan.
Timeline and Trivia Notes
Group Members included:
- Clyde Grubb, leader
- Jimmie Johnson, vocals
- Albert Morelock, steel guitar, mandolin, bass fiddle (1949)
- Jimmie Sheehan, steel guitar (1948)
- Margaret Grubb, piano
- Leonard Dabney, vocals, guitar
- Clarence (Shorty) Harrell, comedy
- Toady Hill, electric guitar (1948)
- Carl (Soutpaw) Thacker, left-handed guitar player
- Carl Grubb, occasionally bass fiddle
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank Mark Grubb, grandson
of Clyde Grubb for providing photos and information about Clyde Grubb's musical
- National Hillbilly News; May-June, 1948; Mr. and Mrs. Orville Via;
- National Hillbilly News; May-June, 1949; Mr. and Mrs. Orville Via;