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