About The Group
The Mayse Brothers (Budge and Fudge) were a duet from Braxton County, West Virginia who performed on radio for some twenty years. Their style closely resembled that of the Delmore Brothers, except for the fact that Fudge played fiddle instead of tenor guitar.
"Bashful Budge and Fiddlin' Fudge" began their career in early 1937 at WCHS on their Friday night program The Old Farm Hour under the tutelage of Buddy Starcher who remained a long-time friend teaching the boys how to make radio entertainment an occupation. He also gave Fudge the nickname that would last through life.
When Starcher's Mountaineers broke up early in 1939, it took the brothers most of the year to find a proper niche, appearing briefly at four stations in matter of months. By the year's end they found it at WMMN Fairmont where Buddy Starcher also earlier had found a spot.
This provided two years of stable work until World War II caused them to find an even steadier job in the U. S. Army. Out of service by the end of 1945, they went back to Bluefield where they did better than before.
Buddy Starcher also helped them get a record deal with new label Dixie, cutting four songs one of them being their original "Bluefield Blues."
The company failed and their records are quite scarce today, but their existence provided them with a promotion to 50,000 watt WWVA and the well known World's Original Jamboree where they spent about eighteen months.
During that period they often worked in units led by new star Hawkshaw Hawkins, Curley Miller, or Red Belcher. Only one more move would complete their musical travels.
New station WPDX went on the air in August 1947 with a talent list headed by Buddy Starcher, but also included Fairmont veterans Cherokee Sue, Little John Graham, Cindy Coy and more recent talent such as Dusty Shaver and Jackie Osborne.
Starcher, after a year, won a promotion to 50,000 watt WCAU in Philadelphia. Much of this talent roster, jointly known as the West Virginia Hill Folks, remained there until 1957, making them some of the last active daytime country musicians on a smaller station.
Knowing that the end of "old time radio" was near both Mayse boys took college classes in business and moved into new occupations with relative ease. Budge worked in auto sales and Fudge as an insurance agent. Both died in middle age, but their widows lived for many years telling their husband's story to historians.
Credits & Sources
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