Norville came into the world in Hematite, Missouri, the third of
Robert and Celeste Vinyard Dollar's five children. He was raised in the
Festus, Missouri area, which is just south of St. Louis.
He was an early and enthusiastic fan of country music.
He got his first guitar when he was just fifteen years old.
A friend showed him how to play a few chords; but he learned the rest
on his own and never did have a formal music lesson.
After forming his first band, he soon got the attention of KPLR-TV,
Channel 11, in St. Louis. They signed him up to do a weekly show in the
mid-1960's. The Norville Dollar Show was an immediate hit,
and soon he was playing host to many of the stars from Nashville at that time.
His show gave audiences their first exposures to such stars as
Barbara Fairchild and Helen Cornelius, and to Dave "Lonzo" Hooten.
Mr. Hooten went on to become "Lonzo" of the famed Grand Ole Opry comedy team
Lonzo and Oscar.
He had another run on KPLR-TV, which by this time was being aired over cable
televsion as well as over the air - in the mid-1970's. This gave him a much
wider audience and consequently opened many doors for his music career.
Among these were several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.
Norville has always been a prolific song writer, and his songs have
been produced and recorded by artists on labels such as Nugget Records, Chart Records, and
Saturday Records. All have done well, but one in particular, Lonely Man,
reached the Number 5 spot on the charts at radio station WJJD in Chicago.
The popularity of his songs led to many live appearancest throughout the East.
He later set aside his musical career and founded the Norville Dollar Construction Company in
the Festus area.
He enjoyed those years, spent with his family and raised his children, and
later, enjoying the arrival of the grandchildren. Throughout these years,
he continued to write music - music that was inspired by the events of his life,
by his family and friends.
In December, 2006, he lost his beloved wife of 45 years to
cancer. This left a huge void in his life, but he gradually began to
fill that void and his life, once again, with music.
His children and friends encouraged him to turn to his music again as
well and seemingly has picked up where he left off many years ago.
He released a new CD is titled Through the Years With Norville Dollar,
which features some of his old favorites and much of his newer material.
The album, as its title suggests, shows the growth and maturity of a fine
country musician and recording artist.
Credits & Sources
- Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank Ron Vinyard for providing
us with details of Norville Dollar's career.
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