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.
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 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.
Credits & Sources
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