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Clyde Grubb
and His Tennessee Valley Boys
Born:  March 13, 1916
Died:  July 6, 1976
WIBK Knoxville, TN
WROL Knoxville, TN

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 career.
  • National Hillbilly News; May-June, 1948; Mr. and Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; May-June, 1949; Mr. and Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV

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Recordings
 
RCA Victor
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  20-2485 A I Saw The Light
  20-2485 B When God Comes And Gather His Flock
  20-2596 A Just A Closer Walk With Thee
  20-2596 B He's Building A Mansion
  20-2781 A Blue Memories
  20-2781 B Nothing I Can Do
  20-2929 A One Way Passage
  20-2929 B What Would The Profit Be


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