Miss Marge Engler was a trailblazer of sorts in hillbilly music. Back
in Toledo, Ohio around 1950 or so, she was the first and only woman
radio barn dance producer. She was hosting the "Maumee Valley Jamboree"
program over WTOL and it had quite a following with fans and listeners
in Ohio and Michigan. Her gang gave her the name of "Miss Marge"; she
was selected as hillbilly queen in 1948. Another radio show she did
was the WTOD Hit Parade. She had shows on both WTOL and WTOD.
The "Queen of the hillbillies", Marge Engler was
producing ten radio shows each week, including the "Maumee Valley Jamboree",
which debuted on August 9, 1947. They said it had got a Hooper rating of 9.1.
Marge got her taste for hillbilly music when she first tuned in
the Grand Ole Opry back in 1932 and it stayed with her. She said "...there's
nothing like having your own show, your own band, writing your own songs
and recording them."
As if producing radio shows and songwriting weren't enough, she was also
took over the distributorship of Bullet Records in the Toledo area.
Marge was a bit of a songwriter and had written over 160 tunes by 1948 and collaborated
on other tunes with other songwriters.
They mention some of her tunes as "My Silver Haired Daddy In Heaven", "Beautiful
Rose Bud", "Mexico Bells", "Cherokee Hills", "Tennessee Baby", "The Old Crawdad Hole".
They asked her back then if she ever planned on getting married and retiring
from her busy career of producing and writing. Her response? "I'll never retire ...
And I'll never marry any man unless he understands folk music."
Credits & Sources
- Country Song Roundup No. 5; April 1950; Charlton Publishing Corp.;
- Jamboree Magazine; October 1948; Western Song Club; Ventura, CA