Hillbilly-Music.comThe People. The Music. The History.
About The Artist
His real name was Henry Warren and he was born in Taylor County, Kentucky back in 1903. His dad was a blacksmith and Henry was the oldest of a family that included five brothers and three sisters.
He was said to often talk of being his dad's right hand man when he was just fourteen, helping to shoe mules and horses in the shop all day. Afterwards, he'd walk miles across the hills and hollows of Kentucky just to hear a fiddler play a tune like "Patty In the Turn Pike" or someone sing a song like "Barbara Allen".
Before he became an entertainer, Henry worked a variety of jobs - blacksmith, farmer, soldier, boxer, dairyman. But somewhere, he took a liking to music and created and directed a group called "Uncle Henry's Original Kentucky Mountaineers".
Ironically, that group got its start not in Kentucky, but in Rockford, Illinois (a town west of Chicago by about 90 miles) over radio station KFLV in 1928. They said because of his ability to direct a "hill-billy group", he had almost immediate success and the group was playing personal appearances with his "Modern and Old time Dance Band" through out the midwest.
But, in 1933, Uncle Henry decided it was time to take the group back to his native state of Kentucky for what was supposed to just be a two week trip. But that turned into about seven years.
The group worked for about two years on radio station WLAP out of Lexington, Kansas. They also stopped at WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee, WHIS in Bluefield, West Virginia and four years with WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky. On WHAS, in addition to making personal appearances, he also appeared on the "WHAS Morning Jamboree Program".
In 1940, the group moved back up to Chicago, Illinois and started appearing on the "Suppertime Frolic Program".
Timeline and Trivia Notes
Group Members included:
Credits & Sources