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Luanita McCormick

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.

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