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Bob Eaton
Born:  September 27, 1927
Died:  February 21, 1994
KWKH Louisiana Hayride
WSM Grand Ole Opry
KWKH Shreveport, LA
WSM Nashville, TN

About The Artist

Robert Caldwell Eaton was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His parents were Harwill and Elsie Eaton. His father used to play the harmonica for his own enjoyment. That inspired Bob to get a tuiar and learn to play it. He grew up in the Music City and listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio. His ambition was to sing on the Opry.

World War II delayed that aspiration a bit, but once he was out of the military service, he took up a musical career.

In 1950, he had written a song called, "Storybook of Love" that was recorded by Gene Autry (Columbia 21035) and published by Peer International.

J. L. Frank was his manager and Pee Wee King touted him in his "Pee Wee King's Corn Fab" column in Country Song Roundup; he said, "He has a voice the equal of any of the top-notchers. Give him a listen." Bob had joined WSM in early 1950.

In August of 1950, Bob got to play in a celebrity softball game — The Grand Ole Opry Stars vs The Fallen Stars. Players included Bob Eaton, Duke of Paducah, Cowboy Copas, Rod Brasfield, Red Foley, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Milton Estes, Lonzo and Oscar, Bill Monroe, Hank Snow, Little Jimmie Dickens, George Morgan, Dolores Watson, the Carter Sisters, and Bob Hamp. It was sponsored by the Nashville Banner and the Nashville Kiwanis Club.

Radio Log - WSM - Bob Eaton - January 1950

Bob Eaton - Nashville Softball Game - 1950

Radio Log - KWKH - Bob Eaton - February 1951

Promo Ad - KWKH Louisiana Hayride - Lefty Frizzell - Charlie Monroe - Bob Eaton - Barney Grant - Red Sovine - March 1951
Promo Ad - Grand Opening New Town and Country Drugs and Sporting Goods - Bob Eaton - Uncle Ollie - Joe Allison - June 1951

Johnny Sippel told Billboard readers that in early 1951, Bob Eaton was one of a group of artists that included Oakie Jones, Barney Grant and Clayton (Pappy) McMitchen that were now at KWKH from a report from Frank Page.

In 1952, John Lepley of radio station KHHM in Memphis, TN told Billboard that Bob had left Decca and WSM and had signed with the Tennessee record label.

Billboard reported that Jay Records, had signed Bob Eaton and Tex Williams. Chet Ward was the label's executive vice-president, and A & R Director.

In April 1970, Billboard did an article about the Chart record label. Slim Williamson bought an existing label for a few dollars and began to get hit recordings. Then he established a distribution arrangement with a major company but after a year, went back to being an independent. He sold his company, but remained as president and found one of the best producers right in hiw own family. He discvoered Junior Samples after picking up a tape recording of a fish story told on the air in Atlanta. Connie Eaton was still a college student when she joined the label; Connie's father, Bob, was out of the music business and selling aluminum siding. Connie passed away on September 30, 1999 at the age of 49.

Bob Eaton — Record Reviews From The Billboard and The Cash Box
Date Label Rec No. Review
2/18/1950 (BB) Decca 46216 I'm Saving My Mother's Wedding Ring For You — New warbler shows promise in a strictly-from-formula song. (Rating Overall: 70)

If I Could WRite A Love Song — Eaton registers stronger on a simple, unaffected ballad. (Rating Overall: 73)
3/4/1950 (BB) Decca 46219 Somebody's Steelin' My Baby's Sugar — Catch country tune was first introduced on a strong Tennessee disking. Eaton shows promise tho his backing lacks zest. (Rating Overall: 74)

Second Hand Heart — ANother competent Eaton effort on another promising ditty. Stronger beat would have helped. (Rating Overall: 72)

Bob Eaton passed away on February 21, 1994. Among the Honorary Pallbearers were Ralph Emery and the Morning Show Crew of WSM. Survivors included two sons, Dr. Harvill Eaton and Robert Eaton as well as a daughter Connie (Eaton) Williamson.

Tennessee 779 - Helen Carter - Bob Eaton - If You Will Always Believe In Me, Little Darling - 1951

Credits & Sources

  • New Singing Star - Bob Eaton; August 1950; Issue No. 7; Country Song Roundup; Charlton Pub. Corp.; Derby, CT
  • Pee Wee King's Corn Fab; King, Pee Wee; August 1950; Issue No. 7; Country Song Roundup; Charlton Pub. Corp.; Derby, CT
  • Bob Eaton, WSM; March-April 1950; National Hillbilly News; Mr. and Mrs. Orville Via; Huntington, WV
  • Chart: Emphasis On Youth Today; April 25, 1970; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Folk Talent and Tunes; October 11, 1952; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Folk Talent and Tunes; Johnny Sippel; January 28, 1950; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Folk Talent and Tunes; Johnny Sippel; February 24, 1951; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • Chet Ward Wheel In Jay Records; July 13, 1963; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  46216 A If I Could Write A Love Song
  46216 B I'm Saving My Mother's Wedding Ring For You
  46219 A Somebody's Stealin' My Baby's Sugar
  46219 B Second Hand Heart
  46262 A The Texas Song
  46262 B Oklahoma Hills
  46276 A Virginia On A Saturday Night
  46276 B My Dream Boat Struck A Snag
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  779 A I'm Crying At The Moon Tonight
  779 B If You Will Always Believe In Me, Little Darling (w/Helen Carter)
  838 A Don't You Know Me Anymore
  838 B I Love You

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