About The Artist
Karen McKenzie (born Karen Dolores Smik) is the youngest daughter of the WWVA Jamboree legendary couple, Doc and Chickie Williams and the only one to opt for a full-time musical career. The two older daughters, Barbara "Peeper" and Madeline "Poochie," were significant part-time vocalists discussed elsewhere.
Karen or "Punkin" attended Shepherd State College for two years majoring in physical education. But then she joined her parents show as a featured vocalist under the name Karen McKenzie (the surname comes from her first husband). She not only toured with the Border Riders show, but appeared elsewhere as a solo act and held Jamboree membership on her own. In addition to Wheeling Records, Karen also recorded for the ABC label.
Her first record was released on Wheeling Records in 1968. One side, "What's a Few Tears Between Friends" was written by Country Music Hall of Famer, Bobby Braddock. Her recordings on ABC Records in 1969 were produced by Paul Cohen. Joe Poovey wrote "Worst of Luck To You". while the flip side "Give It All You've Got" was written by a young songwriter-artist Larry Kingston. Another ABC release was "No Not Tonight" written by Melvin Endsley.
In later years Karen continued to work the Jamboree and tour on a part-time basis. She also worked an operations manager for a parcel delivery service. Some of her Wheeling recordings appeared on albums titled The Three of Us and The Three of Us Again in addition to the single listed below. She also recorded a compact disc of sacred songs with her sisters.
Her oldest son Andy later served as a member of the West Virginia State Senate and as Mayor of Wheeling. Karen is currently living in retirement in Wheeling.
Credits & Sources
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