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Lois Pierson
America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame (2003)
WIBW Kansas Roundup

Lois Pierson was married to famed singer Willie Pierson. Her maiden name was Northwell. She was featured in an old WIBW Round-Up magazine back in December 1952.

She wrote that she had always enjoyed singing, even when she was a youngster. She tells us that she'd make up programs while gathering eggs, feeding chickens, getting the wood, and other chores that kids on a farm had to do.

Like many back then, she walked to school - in her case, nearly three-quarters of a mile for the first eight grades. She mentioned that when she started high school, her dad bought her an old flivver for her to drive the seven mile trek to Shenandoah, Iowa and high school. She claimed she studied hard and would also enter extra-curricular activities that she could. She was taking part in drama, declamatory(?), glee club, mixed chorus, girls sextet, vocal soloist, french horn, worked on the school paper and was a part of the National Honor Society in her senior year.

She wrote that she was intent on becomeing a secretary after high school, so she went to Des Moines, Iowa and attended the American Institute of Business for several months. While there, she heard a big finance company was hiring girls, so she quit the school and got her first job. She worked there for about a year then moved back to Shenandoah when she was offered a "good secretarial job."

In the fall of 1943, the local radio station and newspaper started a USO group to help raise extra funds for an enlisted men's recreation room at a nearby base. They did all our rehearsing at the radio station and became good friends with all the entertainers and announcers. She wrote that after Christmas she found a new fellow had joined the staff, Willie Pierson. She fell for Willie immediately "...with his dark curly hair and friendly smile, and we were a steady "twosome" until he left for a new job in South Dakota." That new job was at WNAX in Yankton, South Dakota.

But she was getting pressure from another angle, too - the program director at KMA in Shenandoah had asked her to join the cast of entertainers at the station. But by then, her mind was with Willie and when he asked her to join him and the gang in Yankton, she accepted and soon after, they were married. She worked as a secretary to the program director of the radio station in Yankton and at night, sold tickets and sang with the nine-piece western band Willie booked from there. Which would explain why she was said to be known as the "Singing Ticket Lady" in an old Jimmie and Dick song folio and Willie Pierson's writeup in an old WIBW Round-Up magazine.

Willie wrote in a similar feature article in the old WIBW Round-Up magzine that their first daughter Connie Jo was born in 1946. Later they would go to Maine during the Spring, Summer and Fall months, then return to the midwest in the winter. For Lois, that first trip back to Maine was her first to the east coast and she told readers she enjoyed it. Lois mentioned that during their times in Maine, they got to go to such places as Bar Harbor to enjoy such local flairs as the clam bakes and go sight seeing at the summer homes of some more well to do families such as the Fords or Rockefellers. They also got to visit many of the famed historical places in the Boston, Massachusetts area. She related that they made personal appearances six nights a week and would take Connie Jo along every night - keeping her in a basket back stage and later into a play pen.

Lois tells readers that their daughter Connie Jo was only a year and a half when she sang her first song on the stage and from then on became part of their act.

However, they found that after their second daughter Nancy was born, they got tired of landlords turning them down because of their kids and paying high rent or living in rooms and having to dine out out. So, they bought a house trailer. She said it was a bit crowded especially when they had company, but it was home, just as Willie wrote. But they looked forward to the day when they could afford to get a bigger one, with more closet and drawer space.

Two years ago (1950), Willie bought a new sewing machine for Christmas present for his wife. She made Willie's western style trousers and shirts. She told us that they gave up the tailor-made clothes after they found how much it cost to do so as well as having to keep their two daughters clothed. She made most of Connie's school dresses and quite a few things for herself.

Credits & Sources

  • Jimmie and Dick Folio of Original and Favorite Songs; 1947; Peer International Corp.; New York, NY
  • WIBW Round-Up; October 1952; Issue No. 91; Topeka, KS
  • WIBW Round-Up; December 1952; Issue No. 93; Topeka, KS

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