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Lee Bonds
and the Shady-Side Playboys
Born:  April 22, 1924
Died:  December 13, 2000
WGWD Midway Jamboree

About The Artist

Lee Bonds came on the hillbilly music scene in 1953 with a couple of Capitol Recordings that were released on June 8 - "Okee-fi-no-kee Gal" and "Undecided Heart". He was a native of Gadsden, Alabama. As a lad, he amused himself by making his own guitar out of a cigar box, wire strings and a wooden neck. Later, he got his own guitar, learned it well enough to where he was in demand at the local square dances and parties.

When he was just 18, he left home to try his luck as an entertainer with his newly formed band. They toured throughout the deep south - Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.

But ironically, after doing this for five years, his first break came when he returned to his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama and the local radio station WGWD made him a member of their staff.

From there, he became the mainstay of the "Midway Jamboree" that had a host of performers and guest stars.

He started his recording career on the Tennesse Record Company label out of Nashville, Tennessee. Some of the recordings he did for that label included:

  • You've Been Crying
  • Uh-Huh, Honey
  • Heart-Breaking Letter
  • How About A Date
  • For Sale, One Broken Heart
  • Wild-Cattin' Woman

The last two of those listed tunes got top ranking on the Alabama charts in 1952. That led to him signing a recording contract with Capitol Records on March 20, 1953.

He also did some personal appearances on the west coast with "Walkin'" Charlie Aldrich and Spade Cooley in the summer of 1952.

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs No.32; March-April 1954, American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  2499 A Okee-Fi-No-Kee
  2499 B Undecided Heart
  2591 A No Hope
  2591 B A Double Life
  2692 A Done Gone Crazy
  2692 B From All Angles

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