About The Artist
He was born Charles Edward Sizemore on December 6, 1929 in Catlettsburg in Boyd County, Kentucky. His parents were Asher and Odessa Sizemore. His father, Asher, was an entertainer who found that having his youngest son, Little Jimmie, join him on the radio to be quite an attraction to the listening audience. When Charles was born and had grown a few years, his dad put him in front the microphone as well. He would become known to radio listeners as "Buddy Boy."
As he grew older, he played bass fiddle as part of the family act and got to be known as the comedian of the troupe.
Promotional ads for Asher and his family started listing Buddy Boy as he was called in March of 1937. An article in February 1938 stated that Buddy Boy, "...has won the love of thousands of radio listeners even though this is his first year on the radio."
When he graducated from high school in 1948, it was reported that he wanted to join the U. S. Navy, but was not old enough to enlist. He would later join the U. S. Army. He became part of the 8th Cavalry Regiment in the war in Korea. News reports indicated that on October 31, 1950, his regiment took up positions in Unsan, North Korea.
1950 — The Korean Conflict
In the early evening of November 1 around sunset, a surprise attack was made on the regiment by thousands of Chinese infantry according to Army accounts of the battle. The soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Battalions fell back into disarray into Unsan during this surprise attack, abandoning their artillery and tried to hide in the hills in small groups.
But it was not over. The next morning, another wave of attacks were made by the Chinese infantry. The 8th Calvary soldiers were ordered to get out any way they could.
More than 800 soldiers were lost, one third of the members of the regiment in those attacks by the Chinese.
On November 24, 1950, the local Rushville Republican newspaper reported that James (Little Jimmie) Sizemore received a telegram from the War Department that his brother, Charles E. (Buddy) Sizemore was missing in action. Newspaper accounts at the time indicate that Buddy had been in the Pacific area for nearly 18 months and had been in the military service for about two years. He was a part of the Eighth Calvary Regiment, First Calvary Division.
He had visited his family in the summer of 1950 while on leave, then reported back to the war zone.
NOTE: Buddy Boy was reported missing in action the same day this letter was written and no further word has been received from him. (From "Asher Sizemore and Little Jimmie's Ballads and Hymns of the Hill 1951 Memory Edition.")
1960: Discovery of Remains
In early 2000, news came from officials in North Korea that "hundreds of sets of human remains that may be American servicemen killed in the Korean War." As part of the North Koreans claim for credibility was the release of a name on a soldier's identification tag: Cpl. Charles E. Sizemore.
Relatives and friends of Buddy were feeling a sense of relief that Buddy's story now had an ending. Patty Springman, a Rushville resident said, "For them to read his dog tag out of all those it just gets to you. She was a distant cousin of Buddy. She went on, "We always thought all these yers that he would come walking back in the door, so it really gives closure to the whole thing."
The North Koreans claimed they had more than 400 sets of human remains found at a 'land reclamation project.' U. S. government officials were "very cautious" about the information provided.
Walter (Little Cowboy Joe) Sizemore, Buddy's brother then living in New Caney, TX, told a reporter, "Some people up in Washington said he got killed in a jeep, or that he ran over a land mine or something." Over the years, Walter would skim phone books when he travelled to other towns, looking for his brothers name. On Walter's desk, he had a scrapbook filled with pictures of his brother in Korea.
The Sizemore family moved to Rushville in 1934 and Buddy graduated from Rushville High School in 1948.
A friend, Dee Monroe, said he and Buddy would drive around town and go to movies together to "girl watch." They would also take time to go fishing. Mr. Monroe said "This guy had absolutely no fear." He would get his line hooked on a rock and rather than check to see how deep the water was, he would simply get in the water and unhook his line.
The story went on to state that about 8,200 U. S. Servicemen were listed as "missing" from the 1950 to 1953 Korean conflict.
Another brother, Jim Sizemore, then living in Muskogee, Oklahoma told reporters that if the remains were Buddy, he thought the most appropriate place for Buddy to be buried would be in Rushville.
Walter laughed in rememembering his brother always trying to crack jokes during the family performances on stage or the radio.
This wire service story was carried in newspapers across the country.
2006 — Remains Identified; Buddy Laid To Rest in Rushville
But it would not be until 2006 that the Buddy's remains were positively identified. His remains were uncovered on July 24, 2000 along with seven other servicemen in North Korea. Little Jimmie, as he was known, Buddy's brother, contributed a sample of his DNA to help identify the remains. It was in late summer of 2006 they were notified of the match.
Buddy played the bass fiddle in the family band that performed on the radio. He was also known as the group's comedian.
On October 15, 2006, Army Cpl. Charles (Buddy) Sizemore, finally came home to Rushville. His hometown turned out to welcome him home. A memorial service was held at the First Baptist Church in Rushville. His brother, (Little) Jimmie Sizemore played his guitar and sang during the service accompanied by guitarist Gary Shaw. A motorcade led by the local police traveled from the church to East Hill Cemetery. People stood in their doorways on the road to the cemetery. Reporter Rob Schneider told readers that small American flags hung from telephone poles. In the center of the town, firetrucks had pulled out of their stations and parked with their lights flashing.
Mr. Schneider's account tells readers he observed a gigantic U. S. flag was hung from a firetruck by the Rushville and Connersville fire departments and saluted when the hearse carrying Buddy's remains passed.
Buddy's remains came home to Indiana accompanied by an Army honor gutard. Todd Funeral Home of Rushville picked up the remains at the Indianapolis International Airport. Rushville police accompanied the hearse from the airport to the funeral home.
Jimmie told of his brother starting to play the stand-up bass. "He could play the strings off that dude."
A friend named Dee recalled that he and Buddy would take their dates to an ice cream shop and then told their dates to sip their drinks slow as they could not afford refills. He also recalled that he tried to get Buddy to join the Navy with him. But Buddy resisted. He told his friend, "I can walk a lot farther than I can swim."
Jimmie went on with his memories of going to baseball games in Cincinnati or basketball games in Indianapolis. He said when they would go to Indianapolis, they would make a stop at a White Castle restaurant. Jimmie said he would get four or five hamburgers. But his brother would buy 24 of them and eat them at the game. When they made the drive back home, they stopped at a White Castle again and Buddy would order another 24. Jimmie said, "He had a hollow leg or something. That boy could eat."
Berea College has in its Special Collections and Archives several of the Asher Sizemore and Little Jimmie transcription programs. On one of them, the listener gets to hear a young Buddy Boy doing a bit of a comedy routine and a tune called "Fire of 68" where he sings the first couple verses, then Asher and Little Jimmie join in with some trio harmony singing. Little Buddy's comedy routine was something like this:
Asher: You ought to have a big smile on your face.
Credits & Sources
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