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Kenny Roberts
Born:  October 14, 1927
Died:  April 29, 2012
WCOP Hayloft Jamboree
WLW Midwestern Hayride
WOWO Hoosier Hop
KMOX St. Louis, MO

Kenny Roberts career took a road that we will find as we go along here. He was born in Lenox City, Tennessee. In mid-1949, Kenny signed a recording contract with Coral Records, a division of the Decca record label. His first release was an immediate smash, a tune called "I Never See Maggie Alone". The song was actually written in published back in 1926 and Kenny did a modern rendition of it that obviously got the listeners attention. And he followed that hit recording up with tunes such as "River of Tears", "I've Got The Blues", "Yodel Polka" and "Hillbilly Style".

Kenny Roberts

He started in music at an early age. When he was just eleven years old, he organized a band that was made up entirely of young harmonica players. Around that time, he started to take up guitar playing. Later on, he learned the bass fiddle and violin, too.

From Tennessee, his childhood took him to the New England area where we have few details. But, when he was just 16, he broke in to the radio business. About a year later, he left home to work in a lumber mill and then moving to a New Hampshire radio station. No sooner had he gotten there did he win out over 38 other contestants for the title of "Easter States Yodeling Champion". And yodeling would become one of his trademarks.

Kenny was not only a good singer, who made good records, but he was a good entertainer when he got in front of the audiences. He was booked at shows at such venues as the amusement parks in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania, the New England area, Illinois, Missouri and many southern states. And from those appearances, he would get many return engagements.

Kenny Roberts

He not only yodeled but was a bit of a jumper while doing his tunes, too. He was quite a hit with the younger kids with his yodeling, jumping cowboy tunes. By 1953, he had returned to the Cincinnati area, and had a television show that was on from 5:00 to 5:45pm over WKRC-TV, but the show originated from WHIO-TV in Dayton. He first caught media attention when he was at WLW-T.

As time went by after he left WLW-T, he kept on going and improving as time went by. Folks who turned in to Arthur Godfrey's CBS network programs would be able to hear that talent for themselves. He was known as an 'exceedingly wholesome chap both on and off tv" and had an easy going nature with children, perhaps as a result of being a father to his three young sons back then.

Kenny Roberts

The new Cincinnati show he was doing over WKRC had a mixture of entertainment. There was a hayseed comedian, 'a singing, instrumental trio of clean-cut lads in cowboy outfits', and a puppet named "Windy", who was a lovable character that wore a Mexican sombrero.

Now they say that "Windy" was known to tell a little fib now and again. But it seems everytime he did that, his nose would give him away as it would "balloon" in size. Kenny would keep a tab on Windy's fibs and if it got to be about ten fibs, why, wouldn't you think the nose would 'balloon' to such a size it would explode?

Kenny's career saw him make stops at such places as the Hoosier Hop that was out of Fort Wayne, Indiana as well the WCOP Hayloft Jamboree. We'll be updating this story as we go along.

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs Magazine No. 25; March 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.
  • Country Song Roundup No. 5; April 1950; Charlton Publishing Corp.; Derby, CT.

Appearance History This Month

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Recordings
 
Coral
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  60025 A The Christmas Cannonball
  60025 B Christmas Roses
  60932 A Hush Puppies
  60932 B Sweet Little Cherokee
  64012 A I Never See Maggie Alone
  64012 B Wedding Bells
  64015 A I've Got The Blues
  64015 B River Of Tears
  64021 A Jealous Heart
  64021 B There's a Bluebird on Your Windowsill
  64025 A The Christmas Cannon Ball
  64025 B Christmas Roses
  64027 A Slide Them Jugs Down The Mountain
  64027 B When I'd Yoo-Hoo In The Valley
  64032 A Hillbilly Fever
  64032 B Choc'late Ice Cream Cone
  64045 A Boogie Woogie Yodel Song
  64045 B Billy and Nanny Goat
  64053 A Our Lady Of Fatima
  64053 B Mother Dear, O Pray For Me
  64059 A Choo Choo Ch' Boogie
  64059 B I Finally Got Maggie Alone
  64064 A If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time
  64064 B Molasses, Molasses
  64070 A Cry Baby Blues
  64070 B One Way Ticket
  64073 A May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You
  64073 B Wide Is The Gate
  64078 A If You've Got The Money
  64078 B When I'd Yoo Hoo In The Valley
  64079 A Mickey The Chickey
  64079 B Casper, The Candy Cowboy
  64089 A I Believe I'm Entitled To You
  64089 B Just Yodel For Me
  64105 A Grandfather Kringle
  64105 B He'll Be Coming Down The Chimney
  64108 A The Sissy Song (w/Tommy Sosebee)
  64108 B She Said (w/Tommy Sosebee)
  64112 A It's Great To Be A Christian (w/Tommy Sosebee)
  64112 B Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart (w/Tommy Sosebee)
  64115 A F.O.B. Tennessee
  64115 B Good Old Mountain Dew
  64142 A Hillbilly Style
  64142 B The Yodel Polka
  64151 A Call Of The Wild
  64151 B Love Makes A New Fool Every Day
  69004 A Casper The Candy Cowboy
  69004 B Mickey The Chickey
 
Dot
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1246 A Tennessee Spelling Bee
  1246 B I'm Unwanted
 
King
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  5543 A Two Steps Forward
  5543 B Goodbye For Him
  5773 A Choc'late Ice Cream Cone
  5773 B Twenty-Four Hours With The Blues
  5911 A Never See Maggie Alone
  5911 B I'm Crying On The Inside
 
Starday
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  716 A Guitar Ringing
  716 B Tavern Town
  736 A Fly Away Mockingbird
  736 B If I'm A Man
  769 A Anytime
  769 B Tying The Leaves
  788 A Sioux City Sue
  788 a Blue
  788 b Sioux City Sue
  805 A Just Look, Don't Touch
  805 B Singing River
  851 A Country Music Singing Sensation
  851 B Fugitive Of Love
  869 A Gonna Whistle Me A Tune
  869 B Artificial Flowers
  890 A The Bottle Holds The Man
  890 B You Left Too Much
  908 A Best Part Of My Years Wondering
  908 B Green River


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