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C. L. Barfield
Born:  June 17, 1931
Died:  March 6, 2001
WAGF Dothan, AL

About The Artist

The history of hillbilly music has many tales of those who started young and strived for that bit of stardom. They all have many tales to tell. One such person was C. L. Barfield who was born in Houston County, Alabama near Ashford. He was fifteen years old when he tried his own hand at getting himself a name and publicity by writing to a magazine, The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder, in 1946. He was four foot six he said and about 87 pounds then. At that time, he was performing on WAGF out of Dothan, Alabama.

He related that when he was about two, his family moved to Dothan, Alabama. He started playing the guitar when he was five years old. But his fingers were too short to chord the guitar, so his dad would tune it in the Hawaiian tuning. From there, he would chord the guitar with a spoon or knife handle. By the time he was fifteen, he could play a guitar, violin, steel guitar and bass fiddle he wrote.

C. L. mentioned also that they had one performance on WAGF that was on Saturday evenings. He was on the Saturday Nite Jamboree. He said the Slocum Playboys, Green Hinson and his Florida Rhythm Boys, Uncle Oscar and his Florida Ridge Runners, Bobby and Bascom, the Harmony Twins, Betty and Chris, Norman Deal and others were part of this cast.

He closed his letter by stating that one of his ambitions was to someday be in pictures, or movies.

How far did he go with his musical career? We'll keep pouring through the old magazines and newspapers as we find them and see.

Credits & Sources

  • The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; October 1946; Mountain Broadcast Publishing Co., Inc.; 45 Astor Place; New York, NY

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