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Smiley and Sue, the Wilmington Hillbillies
WJW Barndance Jamboree
WGAN Portland, ME
WJW Cleveland, OH
WLAW Lawrence, MA

About The Group

Smiley and Sue were an act that were heard in Bangor, Maine and Cleveland, Ohio at various times as well as other venues. They appeared to be a bit nomadic like many artists and groups of that World War II era.

Around 1943, Smiley and Sue were a part of an entertainment troupe for the USO that took a 5,000 mile air trip to Labrador, Baffin Land and Canada to entertain military service members. While at WGAN, the "Harmony Mountaineers" were working with them; an act tha tincluded the violin, guitar and bass.

In one article, it was mentioned that Smiley and Sue worked at radio station WGAN in Bangor, Maine for a time prior to their stint at WJW. It appears their work at WJW and with Pappy Howard's Barndance Jamboree show, they were not going to return to Maine as the artists of that era sometimes did.

Cowboy Music World listed Smiley and Sue's program over WGAN in a 1945 issue indicating that they were on at 7:00am six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

Mary Jean Shurtz reported in 1948 that Smiley and Sue were a great comedy team and had done a tour with Big Slim, the Lone Cowboy in 1948 on the east coast.

Smiley wrote a letter to the editor of the Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder back in December 1941 that gives a bit of an insight as to how they entertained the audiences. He noted that they were a musical comedy team, doing both solo numbers and duets. They played the washtub bass, jews-harp, harmonica and guitar. In that time, he tells readers they were doing personal appearances in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. He signed the letter "Smiley Clain" which is as close as we've come to identifying his real name.

Credits and Sources

  • The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; December 1941; Rialto Music Publishing Corpo., 1674 Broadway, New York, NY
  • The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; December 1944; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co., Inc.; 45 Astor Place, New York, NY
  • Cowboy Music World; Vol. 1 No. 5; January/February 1945; Frank Karpinski; Beechurts, Long Island, NY
  • The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; June 1945; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co., Inc.; 45 Astor Place, New York, NY
  • The Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder; September 1945; Mountain Broadcast Pub. Co., Inc.; 45 Astor Place, New York, NY
  • Jamboree Magazine; December 1948; Drawer 1731; Ventura, CA
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 2 No. 7; April 1947; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • National Hillbilly News; Vol. 2 No. 8; May/June 1947; Poster Show Print Co.; Huntington, WV
  • Cowboy Music World; Vol. 2 No. 1; July/August 1945; Frank Karpinski; 154-40 10th Avenue; Beechurts, Long Island, NY, NY
  • The Billboard; April 14, 1945; Billboard; Cincinnati, OH
  • The Billboard; June 2, 1945; Billboard; Cincinnati, OH

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