Lunita (Ocelia) McCormick was only eleven years old when she debuted
on stage in a talent show in Defuniak Springs, Florida where she and
her brother, "Little Wilmer" won the first prize of ten dollars. By the
time she was 14, she was heading up her own band.
After that early contest win, she won prizes at other contests and was
making stage appearances with her brother and a band called the "Hillbilly
Ramblers". The band included her dad, who was a pretty decent fiddle player;
her uncle, her sister, who could play the steel guitar.
Later on, she began to do daily radio shows in cities in the area such
as Enterprise, Alabama; Crestview, Florida; and Defuniak Springs, Florida.
By 1953, she had her own band, which included two local boys, her agent, who
was Raleigh L. Wall of Darlington, Florida. The band was called the "Long Haired
Ramblers" (one might wonder if this group was actually wearing long hair which might
mean they beat the Beatles to that 'look' back then.)
Lunita and her group would often fill in for her brother on his show that
he had over WGEA in Geneva, Alabama. In fact, they got more fan mail
than any other entertainers on the station according to the station manager
then, Bob Sidwell.
Later on Lunita got to make a trip to Nashville and met many of the Opry stars.
She and her brother got invited to sing on the WLAC "Big Jeff Jamboree" show.
Then she got invited to do several shows with Lonzo and Oscar and Stringbean
when they appeared in Alabama and Florida.
Lunita was often called by Tennessee Walt to appear on his television
show that aired in Pensacola, Florida.
Lunita even wrote a few songs back then, such as "Thoughts Of Times" and
"Pray to Heaven".
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Songs No. 39 (February 1955); American Folk Publications,
Inc.; Derby, CT.