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Cliff Goddard's Reno Racketeers
KOH Reno, NV

About The Group

Aptly named the 'Racketeers' because someone coined their entertainment a musical 'racket' while they were in Reno on station KOH. Like some names, they stick around and the band kept that name.

Cliff Goddard was said to be a 'guitar maestro and a vocal charmer'. Perhaps one of the show stoppers of the group was Cliff's own daughter, Velma also known as Buttermilk Bess, who was quite versatile. She could play the banjo, piano, guitar, bass ukelele and mandolin. When she sang, she did a variety of types of hillbilly tunes, serious, comedy, popular, western and even did some yodeling. Rex Carr added his baritone voice to the trio or quartet numbers in addition to being their lead guitarist. He also took up the tenor parts, too. And finally there was Ab Franklin, who they wrote was the 'master of the bass fiddle' and '...when it came to singing hillbilly style, Ab (was) the right man to do the job.'

Timeline and Trivia Notes

Group Members included:

  • Cliff Goddard, vocals, guitar
  • Velma Goddard, (Cliff's daughter) aka Buttermilk Bess
  • Rex Carr, lead guitar
  • Ab Franklin, bass fiddle

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs Magazine No. 25; March 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Charlton Building, Derby, CT

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