About The Group
The Anglin Brothers were one of many brother teams that plied their musical trade on Southern radio outlets and phonograph discs in the 1935-1940 years. In some respects this group was somewhat different in that there were three of them. They had a trio and two duet combinations among them. The threesome was Van known as "Red (1910-1975), Jim (1913-1987), and Jack (1916-1975). The original duet was Jack and Red while the second duet was Jack and Jim. Collectively they adopted the nickname "The South's Favorite Trio."
The boys were all born in Columbia, Tennessee, but in 1917 the entire family migrated to Athens, Alabama. They remained there for a dozen years, becoming friends with a pair of brothers in their age range named Alton and Rabon Delmore. In 1930, the family relocated again, to Nashville, where the musically-interested youths became acquainted with some of the WSM musicians. Jack became a skilled guitarist while Jim took up the bass fiddle. Van may or may not have played rhythm guitar.
As they began to form an act about 1935, they secured a program at Nashville's new and much smaller station, WSIX. When the management at WAPI radio in Birmingham proved unable to lure the now established Delmore Brothers back to their home state they hired the Anglins instead. This is where the brothers had the most success and adopted their nickname.
After two years they decided to move. The boys tried their luck at WMC Memphis and soon discovered they had made a mistake, so when a new opportunity came along at WWL New Orleans they took it and improved their lot. In early 1940 they moved to Charlotte, but after several weeks their career as a trio ended when Red was conscripted into Uncle Sam's army.
Jack, always the one most interested in music, soon found a new partner in the personage of his brother-in-law Johnny Wright, until he too was drafted. Jim also entered the service. He aspired to write short stories and also songs, eventually selling most of them to country star Roy Acuff, the best known being "Beneath that Lonely Mound of Clay."
The Anglin Brothers did two sessions with the American Record Corporation in 1937 and 1938, respectively. Their A & R man Art Satherly concerned about the growing number of "brother" acts released some of duets under the name "Anglin Twins" (which they were not) and the four trio numbers as the "Anglin Twins and Red."
Many of their numbers remain unreleased. Of those that were released, the prison song "They Are All Going Home but One" and the nonsensical "Southern Whoopie Song" probably stand out; the latter of which spotlights Jack's lead guitar work and displays Jack and Jim's ability to sing like a record with stuck places in it.
After World War II, Jack resumed his work with Johnny Wright. By the 1950s they attained considerable success which lasted until Jack's untimely death in a 1963 automobile crash.
Red suffered wounds and shell shock in Brest, France in 1944 and spent his remaining three decades in and out of V. A. Hospitals.
Jim Anglin worked a day job, but also continued to write songs. He did a few more for Roy Acuff, but wrote most of them for Johnny and Jack and also Kitty Wells. The best known was probably "Ashes of Love." The last survivor of "The South's Favorite Trio" died in 1987, but in his last years managed to receive some recognition for his songwriting achievements. The Anglins' recordings were eventually re-issued on a compact disc.
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