Hillbilly-Music.comThe People. The Music. The History.
About the Disc Jockey
About The Disc Jockey / Emcee
Pee Wee Reid, a native Texan who was part Indian, was one the most popular and well temembered disc jockeys and promoters of country music in the Paris, Texas area .Time and again we have heard from those who knew him and worked with him and those who remember him.
He was on KFTV from the 1950s through the 1970s according to B. J. Clayton of the Northeast Texas Radio Group that now owns KFTV's former spot of 1270 on the AM dial and is now known as KZHN. The station's signal covered an 80 mile radius that reached Southern Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas from Paris, Texas.
Mr. Clayton tells us that Pee Wee was a tireless person who gave back to his home. He was instrumental in the annual Christmas Giveaways that provided gifts for underprivileged children, peforming at seasonal civic events in addition to the famed Red River Jamboree show. He connected with his audience; he gave them the feeling that they knew him personally.
Mr. Clayton notes that KZHN is still country and today is playing what we call country classics - the songs that Pee Wee was playing back in his era as 'new' and are now part of country music's heritage.
Around 1955, there was a daily Red River Jamboree show that featured Pee Wee and his partner, Dallas Turner according to Floy Case in one of her columns she wrote for the Ernest Tubb Fan Club magazine, Melody Trails.
Balin' Wire Bob Strack told fans in October of 1955 that Pee Wee was a guest Disc Jockey on Bob's show the Red River Roundup on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana one summer Saturday night as well as a guest announcer on the famed Louisiana Hayride show. This appears to have been July 30, 1955.
One the things that Pee Wee was known for was giving the younger generation of performers a chance to be heard over the air and local audiences. The Red River Jamboree had at one time a two hour live matinee 'prevue' on Saturday afternoons from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Coliseum (which could seat an audience of about 1,000) in Paris, Texas. That Prevue show was billed as the largets free broadcast in the Southwest. Back then, the show featured folks such as Nan Castle, was 16 years old at the time, a veteran comedian by the name of Bob Shelton aka Hopkins County Firecracker, William Harris and the Ramblers, the Musical Keeners, the Hammond Brothers, tommy Holmes and the Cases, which included Jerry Case, a 13-year old who played electric guitar, Johnny Case, nine years old and singing rock and roll and their dad, J. R. Case. Their mom was Floy Case, the well-known country music columnist. Other artists that were said to appear on the show occasionally were Patricia Erwin and Doublas Potts.
The show also got its share of major stars who were touring through the area. On November 20, 1957, Smiley Burnette stopped by and did two 25-minute appearances on the show as well as sitting for an interview at the radio station.
In 1958, we learn other names that were associated with the Red River Jamboree including Pappy Durham, Paul Castleberry (we think this is Nan Castle(berry)'s father), Jack Beard and Billy Avance.
It should be noted that Nan Castle was still coming back to the Red River Jamboree, even after making her third appearance on the Arthur Godfrey CBS radio and television shows in New York. She was recording for the RCA Victor company.
Around 1958, Billboard is mentioning that Roy Glenn was also a part of the Red River Jamboree.
The Red River Jamboree was not the only KFTV show he was a part of. He also hosted the "Cowbell Capers" show that was on every morning at 6:30am.
For a time, he had his own band known as the Sons of Texas; Pee Wee played bass fiddle for the group. In 1954, one article mentions that the band featured a female singer by the name of Sandra Jackson from Roxton, Texas.
Moving along to 1963, Billboard reported that KFTV had tried some format changes. Around that time, it was only doing two or three hours of country and western music, under the direction of Pee Wee Reid. The station manager then, Jim Hendrix, did a one week test of an all country format and its success was such that the station went to full time country and western programming.
Credits & Sources