About The Artist
Millie Wayne, who was born Mildred Evangeline Espey in McKeesport, Pennsylvania to parents Clarence G and Elda B (Miller) Espey, seems to have almost always gone by the surname Miller.
At any rate, her radio and musical career appears to have begun at WWVA in 1939, probably as a featured vocalist with her brother (or half-brother) Curley Miller's Plowboys (he always referred to Millie as his sister). Between 1939 and 1942, Millie may have worked briefly at other stations, probably with Curley.
Millie was back at WWVA by 1942 where she soon teamed up as a duet with young Bonnie Baldwin as the Radio Rangerettes, a mainstay on daily programs and the Jamboree during the war years. Millie also had her own programs as well as the duets, and learned how to be a disc jockey. By mid-1945, she went on the air at 4:30 AM, although it is unclear whether it was to sing or spin records.
At some point Millie married Joe McQuay, a WVVA announcer and Farm Director, but the union apparently was of short duration. (Note: National Hillbilly News reported that Millie had "...tied the knot with the owner of the voice you hear on the early morning Hillbilly Revue, News Of The Day, and Hymn Time Poetry, Mr. J. Arthur McQuay" in its September/October 1947 issue.
Her only known solo recording was a single on the Cozy label in the early 1950s; it is quite scarce today.
In mid-1952, Millie left WWVA and returned to her home town where she did deejay work at a local station on weekdays and sang live on a Saturday program. After a few years she left radio and went to a work in a local bank where she worked until retirement.
She did record a long play album on Norman Kelly's Country Star label with old friend and partner Bonnie Baldwin about 1963.
Somewhere along the line, she must have married again as her name on Social Security records from 1964, and the Death Index, is listed as Millie Barazda.
Credits & Sources
|Printer Friendly Version
Yes, Hillbilly Music. You may perhaps wonder why. You may even snicker. But trust us, soon your feet will start tappin' and before you know it, you'll be comin' back for more...Hillbilly Music.
It's about the people, the music, the history.
Copyright © 2000—2023 Hillbilly-Music.com