Francis Heath was born way back in 1928 in Holderness, New Hampshire.
He would later be known to country music fans as Rodeo Red.
Aroun 1944, he wrote a small biography of his career for the Cowboy Music
World publication that was published by "Texas Frank" Karpinski.
He told the readers that he started to sing about the time he learned to talk.
Then later got interested in playing the guitar.
He grew up in Holderness and said his parents operated the local post office
and a general store.
Rodeo Red tells fans his first 'job' was helping his grandfather on his farm.
He'd help bring in the doggies, then help feed the rest of the 'stock'.
He notes that he'd play often at various meetings and gatherings. He hooked
up with a female singer and they'd do appearances together for a time. But
he doesn't tell readers who she was.
He says he began to write his own songs and sort of self-depracatingly notes
that some were pretty corny, but one of them was to be published soon.
He got his first radio job by auditioning at WLNH in Laconia, New Hampshire.
Richard H. Keeler notes in a 1945 column that WLNH station manager Hy Greenlaw
had given Rodeo Red the 9:15am time slot on Saturday mornings. He was
also the only western act on the station at that time.
He told the fans that he had worked shows with such acts as Doc Snow's
Bar X Cowboys, The Down Homers and Georgia Mae among others.
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Music World; November-December 1946; Vol. 1 No. 4;
Frank Karpinksi; Whitesone, New York
- Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; September 1945;
Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co. Inc.; New York, NY