Eddie Adams was a country music singer who told his fans in one of his
fan club newsletters that "...as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a
recording artist in the hillbilly field." His mother wrote in one fan club
journal that Eddie was born in 1930 in Mulliken, Michigan in Eaton County
and they named him Edward Vaughn Adams. Mom said she always called him Edward,
but fans and friends knew him as Eddie. Mom (Fannie Adams) didn't make
any pretensions about being musically inclined as she signed off her
note "An unmusical mother".
He went on to tell them that when he was twelve years old, he got his
first guitar as a Christmas present from mom and dad. He notes in a
self-deprecating way whether they regretted giving him that instrument
that he thought must have sounded like a bit of noise when he started out.
During his high school years, he would often play at events such
as PTA meetings and talent shows. In fact, he was still in school
when he got his first 'job' playing at a local supper club.
He was first heard on radio station WMUS out of Muskegon, Michigan
on Cowboy Kelly's program. As he developed his talents and skills,
he moved to radio station WCEN in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan where he
had his own show on a daily basis. That is, until Uncle Sam tapped
him to serve two years in the military service.
While in the service, he would often entertain his fellow troops, doing
two shows a day at times with a band that was known as the MOuntain Rhythm
When Uncle Sam discharged Eddie, he came back to his native Michigan
and found work over WBRN in Big Rapids, Michigan. He did 15 shows over a
television station in Cadillac. The shows over WBRN aired every Saturday
afternoon from 3:00pm to 3:30pm.
The show over in Cadillac on WWTV, Channel 13, appears to be Don Stewart's
Melody Roundup show.
The fan club newsletters contain many details of Eddie's personal appearances
around the Michigan area and who he was working with. Unfortunately, it's
hard to determine the time frame as they don't contain any dates, such
as when they were published, etc.
His first fan club journal was dubbed a 'prelude' by then president
Marilyn Davis as she felt they didn't have all it took to make it a real
journal at that time. She tells the readers that Eddie appeared at
Bill Lyon's Fan Club picnic that was held at the Tamarack Roller Rink
in Howard City. Eddie met other Michigan artists and disc jockeys such
as Sally Massey, Freddie Miller, Pat Boyd (WMAX DJ), Larry Lee; Cowboy Slim;
Ramblin' Ranch Hands; BIlly Boy; Earl Luillen; and, Frank Saunder. This journal
appears to have been published about 1954 as it includes the words and chords
to several of Eddie's tunes. The latest was copyrighted in 1954 ("With ALl Your
Heart"). Other tunes included were I've Been With the Boys (1954);
Have You Been To See Your Mother and Dad (1951); One More Chance
With You (1953)
Judy Sharpe was Eddie's fan club president according to one journal and
noted that Eddie and his band had played at the Shepherd VFW Hall for
over a year, but the desire to play a venue closer to home ended
During one stint, Eddie and his band was playing at Chippawa Lake.
The president of his fan club, Agnes McDonald, mentions she attended
the shows a couple of times one summer. She notes that Eddie and the band
played from 5:00pm until 9:00pm every Sunday. Chippawa Lake is located
about eleven miles north of Remus, Michigan on Michigan Route 66, and she
then notes "...and eight miles west on the blacktop."
Aggie as she was known also tells of what it was like watching television
back then - before cable and satellite tv - she notes that once in a while
she was able to get WKZO-TV in Kalamazoo and pick up Rem Wall and the Green
Valley Jamboree on Saturday night. One show she got to see included
the Beverly Sisters (who were once known as the Gaye Sisters. She also tells
us that Earl Peterson, another Michigan country music artist, was the new
owner of radio station WPLB in Greenville, Michigan, 1380 on the AM dial.
Aggie followed Marilyn Davis in that role; Marilyn had decided that she
would rather work as a club representative and artist. Aggie wrote in
her first journal as president that she had Eddie and his wife, Marilyn,
over for dinner one Sunday. And of course, Eddie brought along his guitar
and entertained the folks at Aggie's home, which included her parents.
In one newsletter, Eddie writes that he went over to Howard City (?) one
Sunday to be a part of the Bill Lyon Jamboree. He then notes that he and
the Mountain Rhythm Boys would be appearing at the ALma High School
to play at a dance on one October 22nd.
We even get some insight into his home life. In one newsletter, he notes
that a lot of his time was going into completing an addition
that had been made to their home. But at the same time in another issue,
he asks fans if they know of any one looking for a home in Mecosta - for
he was putting his home up for sale.
The VFW Hall in Shepherd, Michigan was another venue that Eddie Adams and
the Mountain Rhythm Boys would make personal appearances, though again, we
don't know when, but it is mentioned in his journals. In the Eddie Adams
Fan Club Journal No. 3, he writes in his column that Saturday night,
July 18 was to be there last engagement at the Shepherd VFW Hall. From
looking at calendars for that era, this could be the year 1953. The band
had also stopped playing at the Continental. Eddie notes that he got to play
with folks such as Bill Lyon, Ronnie Williams, Herb Brown and Freddie Miller
at the Continental. He also mentions being on the same bill with Kenny Roberts
at a Marion, Michigan date. Eddie noted that it was getting hectic
for him around this time, managing the Mecosta baseball team and making
the personal appearances.
One issue provides some details about his band. Tom Hoffman was the youngest, only
18 years old and a graduate of Shepherd High School; he was said to have
did some of the rock and roll numbers of the day and played the bass fiddle.
Warren Leiter, played fiddle and did some vocals. He lived with his wife, Thelma, and
five children in a home near Weidman, Michigan at the time. His day time job was
at Farro Stamping Company. Warren had been in the music business for nearly 16 years
at the time. Wally Hanely was the steel guitar player and had been playing since
1947. He and his wife lived on a 240 acre farm near FOrrest Hills, Michigan. He
also did the calls for the square dances. Chum Schafer played the Spanish guitar and lived
with his wife and son near Boal City, Michigan back then.
Aggie wrote that the Eddie Adams Fan Club had their picnic one August 31 at the VFW
Hall in Mecosta, Michigan. One of Eddie's old band members, Ronnie Williams showed up.
Eddie's parents attended as well.
Aggie wrote in 1953 in the Eddie Adams Fan Club Journal No. 3 that the fan club
picnic was going to be on Sunday, August 23 at the VFW Hall in Mecosta. The Hall was
located on M20 just about when you entered the town and was newly built back then.
She also advised, as we have always learned over the years, if they had trouble
finding it - stop and ask at the gas station. The fans were told to bring their
own sandwiches and a dish to pass along with their own table service. The drinks
and ice cream were to be provided. And members were encouraged to bring their
friends and enjoy an afternoon of fun and dancing. We are guessing that Eddie
and the band probably played some at these events.
One Halloween, it appears that Eddie and the band made an appearance at the Remus
Town Hall on October 31st. Again, no year was mentioned.
Eddie notes in one of his columns that his first break came with the help
of a good friend, Jimmie Skinner in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jimmie introduced
Eddie to Estel Lee, who owned the Excellent Record Company label at the time.
It may help date that newsletter by mentioning that Eddie notes that Jimmie's
new release at the time was "I Met My Girl In THe Good Old USA".
In July of 2008, Music Unlimited in Mecosta, Michigan announced the release of
a CD of all of Eddie's recordings that were remastered by PBP Music. The CD
is available from:
The Eddie Adams Collection
P.O. Box 305
Mecosta, Mi 49332-0305
The cost of the CD is $15.00+ $5.00 shipping. For more information,
please call 1-231-972-4787.
The Liner Notes were written by Mark Ray:
The 1950's through the 1970's is known as the "Honky Tonk Heyday" for Michigan's
country music lovers. Virtually every bar in the state big enough to have
a dance floor featured live country music from a four or five piece band
every Friday and Saturday night. One of the most noteworthy and sought
after bands of the day was Eddie Adams and His Mountain Rhythm Boys. They
could often be seen and heard throughout the state from Detroit to Grand Rapids
to the U(pper). P(enninsula). and everywhere in between. Their brand of country music,
a mix of all time country hit cover and original songs went straight to
the hearts of their fans that were guaranteed to forget all their troubles
for a few hours.
During the 50's and 60's Eddie recorded several songs and even formed his
own label, V and V Records based in Mecosta, his home town.
Eddie and the band also performed on numerous radio stations around
the state, and some of his records received national air play on 50,000 watt
giants around the country like WSM in Nashville Tennessee and WCKY in
Eddie passed away on December 23, 2001 and for a time it looked like all
the great original music he and his band used to play would live only in
the memories of his family, friends and fans but in spring of 2006, I began
playing some of Eddie's old recordings as Michigan Flashbacks on
The Local Talent Roundup radio show heard Sunday mornings
from eight to ten AM on True Country 106.3 based in Lakeview Michigan.
The response was overwhelming! A lot of the folks remembered the songs and
wanted to hear more, and a lot of other folks had never heard Eddie and
they wanted to hear more too. I only had one of his records in my personal
collection so I mentioned on the air that I'd like to get my hands on
some more Eddie Adams songs to play and with the help of Eddie's
wife Marylyn, a record collector and some fans we came up with what
we believe were all ten songs Eddie recorded Between 1954 and 1964. Many of
these songs have become among the most requested on the show and can
be heard regularly.
Now for the first time anywhere are all ten of Eddie Adams recordings compiled
on this CD, lovingly digitally remastered. As there were no master tapes
available, all we had to work from was those five old well worn but
treasured 45 RPM records. Many hours were spent removing pops, clicks and
hiss. Although they are not perfect, we think they are quite listenable
and far superior to the recordings we started with. It's my hope that
you will enjoy the recordings of Eddie Adams and his band for many
years to come.
Timeline & Trivia Notes
- Eddie Adams
- Tom Hoffman, bass fiddle, vocals
- Warren Leiter, fiddle
- Wally Hanley, steel guitar
- Chum Schafer, spanish guitar
Other Group Members:
- Eddie Adams
- Shirley Kaiser (Bashful), steel guitar
- George (Smiley) Elliott, rhythm guitar, stgeel guitar and bass
- Windy Tugboat Roe, bass, vocals
Credits & Sources
- Country & Western Jamboree; May 1957;
Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank the family
of Eddie Adams for providing copies of Eddie's old fan club newsletters
and other information.
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank Music Unlimited
for providing us with information about the CD and the liner notes for
"The Eddie Adams Collection."