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Little Shoe
Born:  January 26, 1910
Arkansas Jamboree Barndance
WWVA Original Jamboree
KLRA Little Rock, AR
KMBC Kansas City, MO
KMOX St. Louis, MO
WJBC Bloomington, IL
WWVA Wheeling, WV

About The Artist

The fans of hillbilly music in the 1940s knew her as "Little Shoe", but her real name was Alma Crosby who later married singer, Charlie Dial.

Country singer Nita Lynn, who worked with Paul Howard's band for a time, tells us that she was a regular on the "Kiddies Show" that Little Shoe and Charlie Dial anchored over KRLA out of Little Rock, Arkansas in the mid-1940s.

In April 1946, she was the one directing the Arkansas Jamboree Barndance over KLRA in Little Rock that aired at 10:30pm on Saturday nights.

It seems Little Shoe was a bit head strong and had some ideas when she was at KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri that she could put together a barn dance type of show. She had a concept she believed in and wrote that she visited several radio stations at her own expense pitching her idea and nearly went broke doing so. But finally, KRLA saw fit to allow her to achieve that vision.

She went to Fort Wayne, Indiana for a time with a group known as the Cowboy Sweethearts. A tune of that same name was one she said she got the most requests for.

She notes in an article that she got 'dissatisfied' with the northern states, so, she and the group she was with flipped a nickel so to speak and tried their luck in the south. They auditioned at KLRA and got the job. THen, it was her, Charlie Dial, known as the "Talking Blues" boy and Bill Brantley.

They started their show and she bragged that she had the best 25 entertainers in that area at the time. The Cowboy Sweethearts appeared to include herself, Charlie Dial, Fiddlin' Bill, Little Boy Blue, and Hank, the wizard of the piano. The Armstrong Twins, The Stamps Baxter Rainbow Quartette, Frank Dudgeon, The Union County Boys, The Crystal Valley Boys and others.

The show aired at 6:00pm, 12:30pm and 3:30pm each day except Sundays in addition to its "live" show at 10:30pm on Saturday nights.

The Armstrong Twins wrote in a letter to a magazine in June of 1946 that they were a part of the "Cowboy Sweethearts" troupe that entertained the audiences over KLRA. Other members besides Little Shoe and Charlie Dial included Roy Hodge, Bill Brantley, Vic the accordion player, and a character by the name of Ezzie Nickerbocker. In January 1947, the group included Sam Barnhart as well.

Ivan Tribe mentions in his book, "Mountaineer Jamboree" that Little Shoe (Alma Crosby) was the niece of Cousin Emmy.

Credits & Sources

  • National Hillbilly News; No. 10; April 1946; Poster Show Print Company; Huntington, West Virginia
  • Mountain Broadcast and Praire Recorder; June 1946; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co. Inc., New York, NY
  • Mountain Broadcast and Praire Recorder; January 1947; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co. Inc., New York, NY

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