Buster Jenkins joined KLAK Radio in 1960 as a Disc Jockey and
Show Manager of the Rocky Mountain Jamboree. He worked there from
1960 to 1970 and booked many Grand Ole Opry stars
on the Jamboreestars such as Tom T. Hall, Jimmy C. Newman,
Bobby Lord. He also booked some of the legendary Bluegrass groups
Stanley Brothers, the Dillards, and the Stoneman Family.
In 1964, Buster took a young girl to Nashville and cut a record on her
that turned out to be a hit, nationwide. It was called, "He Was
Almost Persuaded," and went to Number One in Cashbox and Record World
and Number Three in Billboard. That was his first of many trips
to Nashville where he was one of the leading producers through the
mid '60's and '70's.
Buster wrote many songs such as "Heartaches" and "What Will I
Do Without You?."
He formed his own recording and publishing company in
which everything was called "High Country." His radio show was called
the "High Country Hoedown"; the record company he formed was
"High Country Recording Co." and the publishing company was named
"High Country Publishing Co."
In the late 1960's, Billboard Magazine came into the area and
surveyed all the radio disc jockeys. His peers voted Buster "Number One
Disc Jockey" in the Rocky Mountain Empire.
In 1970, Buster shut the Rocky Mountain Jamboree down and went out on the road with
his band, "The High Country Travelers." They toured the four-state
area and were asked to play for President Gerald Ford and
his staff at Vail, Colorado.
In the late 1970's, Buster formed
a Bluegrass Group, which won many awards around Denver and took
first place at the Hugo, Oklahoma Festival.
Buster and Betty Shubert married in 1963 and in 1972, a daughter was
born whom they named Kallie Jo. In 1978, Buster and Betty moved
out of the Denver area to Russellville, Arkansas to raise their
daughter in a more rural atmosphere.
In 1978 Buster was inducted into the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame.
He formed a Bluegrass band and played shows in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
It was in the 1980's that then Governor Bill Clinton's secretary asked
Buster to play for Rosalyn Carter in Pine Buff, Arkansas.
Buster and Betty's daughter grew up and went to college in
Nebraska. They started playing Bluegrass festivals in that area and
it was in 1996, when Buster was inducted into the Mid-America
Fiddlers Hall of Fame.
All in all, Buster won nine fiddling championships, two Kansas State
banjo-picking championships, has four albums out, and has
just written a book about his life and times. It's
called "TOUGH'ERN A BOOT - From the Cornfields of Woodson County to
the Halls of Fame." The book is at the publisher at this writing and
tells of his childhood years down on the farm to the War years and
seven years sailing the seven seas. It also tells about his time in
the Marine Corps and his fight up the musical ladder to
the Halls of Fame.
Buster and Betty still perform at Bluegrass festivals and special
functions. They now make their home in Ottawa, Kansas and
don't tour as much as they did in Colorado but are enjoying
"I've done everything I ever wanted to do in life and then some.
I'm a happy man!"
Credits & Sources