About The Artist
We have found on an often too frequent basis that country music included stars with the same names and at times, performing in the same era. Dusty Walker is one of those names. This Dusty Walker refers to the one that appears to have worked on the west coast in the Hollywood area.
Jamboree Magazine reported that a Dusty and Pammy Walker were hosting a show over radio station KOA in Denver, Colorado in late 1948 and early 1949. We do not know if this is the same Dusty Walker.
Alan Fuchler wrote a review of a show called "Prairie Song Parade" for Billboard Magazine back in November 26, 1949. It aired over KNBH (an NBC network affiliate) on Tuesdays from 9:00pm to 9:15pm. The show was sponsored by the Budget Pack Foods company. The show was produced by Jack Lyman, the music was done by Paul Sells and Joe Enis.
We see in a March 1946 Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder Magazine that Paul Sells did some work with Gene Autry in his western films. Paul was also a part of Johnny Bond's Red River Valley Boys as well, playing the accordion.
But let's get back to June's review of the show. She probably sums it up best when she wrote, "...is high on musical proficiency, low on corn, adding up to palatable telefare."
He notes that his short segment was mostly music, not much talk, which allowed him to do about three songs in the segment and still have time for "tasty commercials" as she described it.
Mr. Fuchler also tells the readers a bit about Dusty's singing style. She described his style as a "mixture of straight Western delivery and plenty of legit voice." She notes that in the show she saw, she saw a variety of vocal styles by Dusty - "San Antonio Rose", "Cool Water" and "Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me". She tells us that Paul Sells was on the accordion and Joe Enis on the organ. Dusty also did the commercials and Mr. Fuchler notes he did well as a pitchman.
Mr. Fuchler notes that the show was very simple, from a photographic sense, simple camera work focusing on close up facial shots along with simple lighting. He thought if they did a few gimmicks like "...shadow lighting, superimposed shots and trick lens effects", the show could reach another level of showmanship. But in closing he notes, the 'bankroller' of the show was getting its money's worth.
Billboard reported in April of 1950 that Uncle Art Satherly had signed Dusty to a Columbia Recording contract. The article mentions that Dusty had been doing television shows at the time.
Billboard gave his 1950 release, "Someday You'll Cry" b/w "My Castle Just Tumbled", mixed reviews. The first side they said was "so-so crooning of so-so material" while the flip side was a "retentive throbber" that they felt Dusty was did a bit more 'convincingly'.
In April 1950, Columbia was promoting a duet by Dusty with Dinah Shore, "Ask Me No Questions" b/w "You've Been Playing Checkers". Billboard noted that it was a "bang up job" by Dinah and a 'strong partner'. They also noted that the delayed resolution was an effective gimmick. As to the flip side, the magazine noted, "...Cute, if contrived idea, provides an entertaining corn side for the team of pop and country stylists."
We have found a few more reviews of Dusty's singles that he released. They read a bit more honest than today's everybody has a press agent marketing them era. In September 1950, Billboard noted this about his Columbia release, "Silver River" b/w "Proud Little Heart". Of the "A" side, they said he did it "sweetly" but it was "gentle stuff". The appeared to like the flip side better, stating it was a "bouncy rural tune" with "contagious appeal".
Along about August 1950, Johnny Sippel noted that Fred Stryker of Fairway Music was reporting that Dusty had an appendectomy.
In October 1952, Dusty got some decent reviews from Billboard on his single, "My Heart Cries For You Like A Baby" b/w "Bird With A Broken Wing". Billboard describes the "A" side as quiet, effective, good job and nicely backed "by strings". On the flip side, his vocals were nice, but the material wasn't as good as the "A" side.
It appears that Dusty changed record labels - in 1953, Billboard reported he was on Imperial records, however, they were not impressed with the sides he did, "I'm So Glad" b/w "Our Vow". The magazine said it was a "...good, but routine effort" and the flip side was "...nothing special happens here either".
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