Ben Lindberg was one of the early country music radio pioneers, enjoying a long career
of entertaining locally in the Spokane, Washington area.
In a Billboard magazine article in 1944, it notes that Ben had been at radio station
KHQ in Spokane for 22 years, which meant his career over the air started around 1922.
That article termed him the "Old Time Party Cowboy" at that time. He was featuring
a tune called "Roses In The Moonlight" on his shows; the tune was written by Homer
Christopher on radio station WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The internet has also opened the door to finding information that history may overlook.
In one such search, a site notes that Ben's fame was quite established in Spokane. The West Valley
Yearbook of 1940 noted in a "Senior Class Prophecy" that one John Panther and his horse TNT would
take Ben Lindberg's place on the radio. Ben had a horse by the name of Dynamite.
One of the pictures we were provided shows Ben performing onstage at the Orpheum Theater in Spokane.
According to a Spokane historical timeline, the Orpheum Theater closed its doors on January 3, 1958
after being in operation for 50 years.
The Deerpark Union newspaper reported in May of 1940 that Ben was one of the headline acts
that was to entertain folks as a contingent of Spokane entertainers was touring for the Chamber
of Commerce. This was to take place at the local school in Deer Park.
In 1941, it seems Ben sparked some interest when the seniors at Kendrick, Idaho high school
were being heard over Ben's 6:30am broadcast in Spokane. It seems that the junior class wanted
to be a part of that, too and found some automobiles to take them to Spokane as well and join
Ben was a World War I veteran. He was a member of the "Last Man" club - membership of
World War I veterans. They would gather each year to toast each other until there
were no more surviving members. The Spokesman-Review published a picture of their 13th reunion
in 1946. An Oscar Lindberg was part of the group of 15 members in the picture, perhaps Ben's brother.
Ben married Claretta Oliver on July 9, 1921. The marriage certificate indicated that Ben's
full name was Bernard Wilhelm Lindberg and had an occupation as electrician. It also indicated that
the birthplace of both his mother and father was Sweden. Ben was 22, his new wife was 18 years old. She
was employed as a hair dresser at the time.
However, things did not work out for Ben and Claretta. They divorced and she married William Wilson
in April of 1936.
Ben married his second wife, Audrey Lee Patterson in 1927. They had a son, Jack and daughter, Patsy.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank the family
of Ben Lindberg, including Carol Sanchez, his daughter-in-law and Dale Lindberg,
his grand son for providing us with information, photos and news clippings
related to Ben's career.
- Billboard Magazine; November 2, 1944; Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
- The Spokesman-Review; November 10, 2009; Spokane, WA
- Deer Park Union; Vol. 40 No. 19; May 6, 1940; Copy courtesy of Dale Lindberg
- Kendrick Gazette; March 13, 1941; Kendrick, Idaho