Hillbilly-Music.comThe People. The Music. The History.
About The Artist
Hamilton Fincher was the younger brother of Shorty Fincher and worked mostly with him in his pre-war Cotton Pickers and post-war Prairie Pals. His specialty was comedy, done initially under the name "Rawhide" and later "Cowhide." He was also the first regular comedian hired by Doc Williams in his Border Rider band.
Fincher was born in Alabama and became part of the Cotton Pickers when Shorty organized them in 1932. In January 1934, as part of the re-named group to fit their sponsor Crazy Water Crystals, the Crazy Hillbillies, he helped make a set of transcription radio programs and record six numbers, two of which featured vocals by "Rawhide and Sue." The latter's identity is uncertain, but her surname was presumably Fincher.
Somewhat later, the Cotton Pickers came to KQV radio in Pittsburgh where Rawhide left Shorty's group to become a Border Rider, who were also part of Miss Billie Walker's Texas Longhorns.
In May 1937 they came to WWVA Wheeling. That December, Fincher suffered injuries in the process of escaping from a burning apartment building. After several weeks recuperating, he rejoined the Border Riders, but soon left for Shorty Fincher's Cotton Pickers.
At some point in time he also worked at WORK in York, Pennsylvania, but the time is uncertain.
After the war, he was back at WWVA with Shorty Fincher and his new band the Prairie Pals. By that time he was known as Cowhide, but still did comedy. Whether he worked with Shorty in his Golden Oaks Country Music Park is uncertain.
By the late 1940s, Rawhide was working as a solo act. For a time, he was a part of the Red Rose Jamboree show that aired over WKLN out of Lancaster, PA. The show was only on about 15-18 months. It aired out of a couple of locations.
Doc Williams, who liked to keep track of his former band members, somehow had lost track of him by the early 1980s, but Hamilton Fincher lived on until the age of seventy-four.
Credits & Sources