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Pete Stamper
Born:  July 25, 1930
Died:  June 8, 2020
Kentucky Music Hall of Fame (2015)
KWTO Ozark Jubilee
Renfro Valley Barn Dance
WRVK Renfro Valley, KY

About The Artist

Wallace Logan Stamper, better known by his nickname "Pete," is primarily a humorist with a long association with the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. He also spent three years with the Ozark Jubilee when it was on ABC-TV. Pete sometimes left Renfro Valley for extended tours as a comedian with such more noted figures as Red Foley, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. In fact, early in Dolly's career, Pete was her manager for a time.

A native of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, when Stamper was fourteen he and a friend named Clarence Williams formed a duet and auditioned for a program at WHOP Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They had a friend who was to do comedy, but he got "cold feet" and Pete had to fill in for him. After that Pete got more oriented toward humor. After a hitch in the army, he and Clarence auditioned for Renfro Valley where they became "Clarence and Waldo," a duo based on Homer and Jethro in 1952.

Ozark Jubilee

A couple of years later when Red Foley planned to leave WSM and go to the Ozark Jubilee, he urged Pete to audition. Red was so impressed that he took Pete on a two-week tour. Then he moved to Springfield and became a regular on the new program through 1957.

Pete Stamper - Ozark Jubilee Pete Stamper and Smiley Burnette - Ozark Jubilee Pete Stamper - Ozark Jubille TV Show

Promo Ad - Coliseum - Cedar Rapids Iowa - Red Foley - Pete Stamper - April 1955 Promo Ad - Missouri Theatre - St. Louis, MO - Red Foley - Pete Stamper - November 1955

Renfro Valley

Pete came back to Renfro Valley and remained there-except for occasional tours with other country stars. In addition to his humorous monologues, Stamper served in other roles as well. He has been a disc jockey at WRVK and sometimes a station manager. At times he also edited the Renfro Valley Bugle and wrote a column for it. Pete also did a song now and then, notably one about an automobile made from different car parts, "Cheva-Kaiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stude-War-Linco-Baker." He wrote a history of Renfro Valley titled It All Happened in Renfro Valley (University Press of Kentucky, 1999).

Research shows he also wrote or co-wrote several other tunes:

  • Seeing Her Only Reminded Me Of You (1975) - co-writer: Bobby Lord
  • Hey Maw! (1955)
  • How I'v Tried (1956)
  • I Should Be With You (1957) - co-writer: Werth Becker

Pete's humor was highlighted by a 1972 column by Elmer Hinton who gave readers some examples. Around this time, Pete had released a new comedy album on the Renfro Valley label.

Pete said they don't have any posted speed limit in Dawson Springs (KY). The way they handle it is the sheriff has a dog that lays out at the edge of town and runs the cars that pass. If the car comes in ahead of the dog, they arrest the driver for speeding.

Their only stop light he relates, has one of the familiar signs that says: "stop — turn right on red." Only troube is they don't have a road there that turns right. Lots of people run into the front of the feed store which is located where the road would be.

Pete relates some good stories about a mythical neighbor, Shorty Hewitt. Shorty had the only television in the neighborhood but all he could get on it was "snow."

A TV repairman told Shorty he'd never get a picture on his screen until he hooked the up to an antenna. Hewitt was too stingy, or so Pete says, to buy an antenna, so he hooked onto a lightning rod on the barn.

Pete said, "He still couldn't get a picture but the snow came in plainer."

Pete Stamper - Dot Records - 45-16183 Pete Stamper - Rockcastle Records - RC-1001

In 2017, Stamper celebrated sixty-five years in show business and was inducted into the Kentucky Country Hall of Fame.

His most popular monologues included giving directions on how to get to his house, giving his wife driving lessons, and taking his grandkids on a Florida vacation. Activities at Renfro Valley were cancelled for 2020, during which time lapse Renfro Valley's favorite comedian passed away, three months prior to his 90th birthday.

On July 25, 2020, what would have been his 90th birthday,a ceremony to celebrate Pete's life was held at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Renfro Valley.

Pete Stamper - Ozark Jubilee Book - It All Happened in Renfro Valley - Pete Stamper

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • Down To Earth; Elmer Hinton; April 9, 1972; The Tennessean: Nashville, TN
  • Life of Country Music Comedian Stamper Celebrated; Jessica Blankenship; August 6, 2020; The Dawson Springs Progress; Dawson Springs, KY
  • Cross Country Jamboree - Jubilee News; November 1956; Country & Western Jamboree; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Folk Talent and Tunes; August 18, 1956; The Billboard; Cincinnati, OH

Sound Sample—(YouTube Video Format)


Cheva-Kaiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stude-War-Linco-Baker

Appearance History This Month

September 15, 1954


Jonesboro, AR
Pete Stamper

September 16, 1954


Jonesboro, AR
Pete Stamper

September 21, 1954


Springdale, AR
Pete Stamper

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

 
Rockcastle Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  RC-1001 A Cheva-Kiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stude-Uar-Linco-Baker
  RC-1001 B Recorded Live


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