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Haskell Wolfenbarger
Born:  December 9, 1908
Died:  February 12, 1996

About The Artist

Herbert Haskell Wolfenbarger was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee who loved to play t he guitar and sing all kinds of songs ranging from pop hits of the time to traditional country and gospel numbers. As a 21-year old when he knew he would be doing a recording session for the Brunswick-Vocalion people, he bought a new Gibson guitar at the local Miles Music Stores for his two songs, one a Tin Pan Alley number from 1908, "My Little Girl" and the other the traditional "Sailing Out on the Ocean."

Research found a bit of a sidebar in a column ("Strolling") by Bert Vincent. It seems that Haskell Wolfenbarger and Verner Hall, both printers for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, were having breakfast at the Bijou Restaurant on South Gay Street in Knoxville. It was raining outside; miserable weather Bert wrote. But he noted that of all tunes to be heard, the radio was actually playing "The End Of A Perfect Day."

Despite the fairly high quality of his recording, Haskell Wolfenbarger chose not to pursue a musical career. Instead, he entered the printing trade and in 1932 went to work for the Knoxville News Sentinel. He and his wife Myrtle soon bought a farm near Maynardville in Union County and they reared their children there while he commuted to his job in Knoxville. Then in 1947, Haskell got a better job in Dayton, Ohio, and worked for either the Dayton Daily News or Journal-Herald and then for McCall's until he retired. He still loved to pick and sing, but mostly for his own and family amusement.

Vocalion 5390 - Haskell Wolfenbarger - Recorded August 28, 1929 - Knoxville, TN

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • Strolling; Bert Vincent; January 14, 1939; Knoxville News-Sentinel; Knoxville, TN

Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  5390 A My Little Girl
  5390 B Sailing Out on the Ocean