George Adams was born in 1936 in the town of Washington, Pennsylvania. Like many
youngsters of that era, George was greatly influenced by the Saturday singing
cowboys at the local theatre, Gene Autry in particular.
George came from a musical family. His mother played the piano to entertain
the family and friends, but did they know she never had a lesson?
When George was just six years old (circa 1942), he got up the courage
to sing the classic, "You Are My Sunshine" at a friend's house who was
using a home disc recorder.
His early school years were in a one room schoolhouse. When he was in the second
grade, he again found the courage to get up and sing. This time it was in
front of three grades / classes and they heard a stirring rendition of
"Don't Fence Me In."
In the late 1930s, radio was the major form of entertainment for many a home.
For George, he made sure he got to listen to the stars he heard every
Saturday night over WSM and the Grand Ole Opry or WWVA and the World's Original
Jamboree. At that time, he had no inkling that one day in the future
he might share the stage and spotlight with the very people that mesmirized
him in front of that old "Farnsworth" radio.
He got his first guitar when he was five years old. But it was one of those
cheap cowboy models. George recalls it was always a challenge to keep it in
tune long enough to learn some chords.
His early teen years were consumed with the usual boyhood ambitions and dreams of
being a professional sports star and music took a back seat to such sports
as football, basketball and baseball.
When he was a senior in high school, a group of guitar playing friends got
together and entered a talent show that was sponsored by the school. George
recalls fondly that the group was well received for they got an encore. That
appearance seemed to give George the ambition to make an effort towards
a career that included music.
When he had graduated from high school, George auditioned for a spot on a small
Jamboree show that was airing over radio station WEIR in Weirton, West Virginia.
He impressed the station management and was given a spot on the show
and stayed at the station for the better part of a year while he gained
valuable experience and exposure to the radio business.
During that time, he was a student of the industry. He took note of the fact
that many of the successful artists wrote their own songs and had recordings
that the stations could play for their audiences to listen to. George then
set out to hone his songwriting skills and also contacting recording companies
to try and land a contract.
Those efforts paid off in the form of a contract with Blackcrest Records in
1956 that resulted in the release of a record that included two of his
own self-penned tunes, "Reckless Heart" and "I Gave My Love To Someone New".
The regional success of this effort paid off in the form
of a radio show for George and his band over radio station WANB in Waynesburg,
In 1958, George was asked by long-time star of the WWVA Jamboree, Ramblin' Roy Scott
to join his Country Harmony Boys band and become a part of that legendary
Saturday night show.
Roy and his band also did a daily show that was broadcast over radio
station WCNG in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. However, the band was very popular
at that time and was doing numerous personal appearances. To ensure
that their show would be aired, the band would sometimes record as many
as five 30-minutes shows in one night so the station would have something
to use in case the band was not able to make it back the next day.
George played the bass guitar in Roy's band. He formed a bit of a duet
team with another menber of the band, the lead guitarist, Skinney Clark. That
gave some variety to the show. The two of them worked so well together
that eventually the Jamboree gave them their own spot on the show
From 1963 to 1971, George and Skinney developed into one of the most
popular acts on the famed WWVA Jamboree. Their appearances took them
across the Eastern United States and into Canada, going as far north as
The two of them recorded for several labels and would record songs
that George had written. In 1967, they recorded a tune
in Columbia's Nashville studios called "The Hurtin' Game" that
was released on the Great Records label. It got them national airplay and
appeared on many Top 40 charts.
During his tenure with WWVA, George was often asked to work with the Jamboree
staff band. That allowed him to appear on the show with many major stars
that were based in Nashville, Tennessee.
George left WWVA in 1971, but did not leave the music industry. He formed
a new band and found work on the night club circuit for many years. Occasionally,
George would appear on the various reunion shows on the WWVA Jamboree. George
made his last appearance on what was by then called "Jamboree U.S.A." on
February 27, 1993.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation
to George Adams for providing biographical information, recording information
and photos related to his musical career.
- Cowboy Songs; Issue No. 54; December 1957;
American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT