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Marty Licklider
and the Missouri Fox Hunters
Born:  May 27, 1912
Died:  May 7, 1994
WICA Ashtabula, OH
WTAM Cleveland, OH

Marty Licklider and his Missouri Fox Hunters were a long running popular act over radio station WICA out of Ashtabula, Ohio. Their run with them began about 1938 and by 1952, they'd been on the air for fourteen years.

Marty himself was born in Jake Prairie, Missouri, a town that's about 100 miles wouthwest of St. Louis. It was an area where country music was the music of taste back then.

His first radio job was said to be with WTAM in Cleveland, Ohio as part of the "Lum and Abner Social" program. From there, he moved on to WICA in Ashtabula, where he organized the band, the Missouri Fox Hunters.

in 1952, they began doing a television show that aired over WICU in Erie, Pennsylvania. The International Harvester company sponsored Marty Licklider and the Missouri Fox Hunters on a 52 show tour through Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania during this time.

Mary Jean Shurtz, of Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder mentioned Marty's doings in a January 1947 issue in her infamous "I've Been Listenin'" column that was a treasure of information. Marty wrote her and told her he had recorded a tune called "I'll Never Believe You Again" for the Blue Ribbon Records label, a tune she mentions that Marty had done the melody for, while she did the words. She also mentioned that WICA was to soon have 5,000 watts of power back in 1947 and as she notes, that put it within her range and "...I'll be listenin'..."

In 1952, Marty had a recording contract with the Coral Records label and had released "I Don't Want My Darling To Cry", that was written by Marty himself, published by American Music Inc. He also recorded "Down By the Mississippi River", another tune he penned that was published by the folks at Peer International Corporation.

By 1956, he was on the Starday label and had released "Our Anniversary Day" which Country & Western Jamboree said was backed by "...organ and strings", a prelude to the lush Nashville sound era? Or that maybe some artists even then were trying different styles. The other side of thsi single was "Cold Hands, Warm Heart."

In a 1954 article, several interesting quotes were attributed to Mr. Licklider that might provide some background to this seemingly random review of his record we found.

"It's really wonderful the progress that Country music has made in the past 5 years (note: the article was in 1954). Today you will find two types of Country music—the down-to-earth Hillbilly, with the five-string banjo included, and the more modern Country music, which includes the electrical steel guitar. There is the instrument that has really made the Country music what it is today."

"Of course, in the past five years, the instrumentation of the Country bands have changed too. In those days, you dind't have a band unless you had an accordion in it, but now there are very few bands that use the accordion."

"All in all, competition is the answer to the progress of Country music, as each musician tries to do better than the other."

Credits & Sources

  • Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder, January 1947; I've Been Listenin' by Mary Jane Shurtz; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co.; New York, NY American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Cowboy Songs No. 22; September 1952; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Cowboy Songs No. 33; July-August 1954; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country & Western Jamboree; July 1956; Maher Publications; Chicago, IL

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Recordings
 
Coral
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  64126 A Down By The Missouri River
  64126 A Down By The Missouri River
  64126 B I Don't Want My Darling To Cry
  64126 B I Don't Want My Darling To Cry
 
Fidelity
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  2000 A Beautiful Moonlight Waltz
  2000 B I'll Say She Do
  2001 A Before You Break My Heart
  2001 B You Couldn't Remember


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