About The Artist
Cliff was part of a duo known as Carl and Cliff, the Country Cut-Ups. Their real names were Carl Blankenship and Cliff Waldon.
The Country Cut-Ups started working togther around 1951 after being introduced by a mutual salesman friend. Their first appearance together was in front of the audience at the First Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
In the mid-1950s, Cliff was recording for the Stardale label. The two of them cut their first session with Stardale around 1955 or 1956 at the Jim Beck Studios In Dallas, Texas. Their first record was "Just A Rose For Mother" b/w "It Takes Money".
In 1956, they were a part of the KWHN Saturday Night Radio Center Jamboree that originated from Fort Smith, Arkansas. They also made guest appearances on other shows of that era including the Big 'D' Jamboree in Dallas, Texas and the Barnyard Frolics show that was in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Country Cut-Ups also had shows over radio station KMUS in Muskogee, whee they were living in 1956 as well as radio station KOLS out of Pryor, Oklahoma.
Cliff also did some solo recording for Stardale; his first record was "Indiana Mama" b/w "Daddy, Hurry Home." Country & Western Jamboree commented on Cliff's recording in their September 1956 "Checking the Records" column, calling him a promisting talent. They further noted, "This boy and his band are real h.b. (sic: hillbilly) and you can't hardly find them no more, with all the rock 'n' roll emphasis. There's a real country style here." Another article around that time notes that he accompanied himself on rhythm guitar on that recording.
Cowboy Songs had an interesting comment on country music fans in general their 1957 article. They felt Cliff "...has a great big future ahead of him in the Country and Western music field." And that the fans were the ones that could help him succeed. But they further noted, "That's one thing so great about all you Country music fans — you're willing to give everyone a break." And might we add an editiorial comment here to the effect that sadly, today's recording industry doesn't seem to feel the same.
In 1957, he moved to California. He guested on Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree show that aired over KXLA in Pasadena, California. He was said to have entertained an audience of 2,500 folks at the Marquardt Aircraft's Annual Christmas Party. In fact, when he did his hit record, "Indian Mama", the crowd called for encore after encore of that song.
That record continued to get him personal appearances. Audiences got to see Cliff on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana and on Red Foley's show, the Ozark Jubilee. He worked with Jimmy and Dorothy Blakely in Roswell, New Mexico. In Nashville, he made a guest appearance on the long running Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree.
He was a songwriter as well, and had four songs placed with an unnamed publisher at that time.
Cliff had a fan club that appeared to be headed by an Anne Lee Riccardo in Little Falls, NY.
A 1957 article notes another talent of his - dancing. He was known professionally they noted as a "jig-dancer", which the article notes, he's more than willing to do so when called upon.
Credits and Sources
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