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Cowboy Copas
Born:  July 15, 1913
Died:  March 5, 1963
America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame (2004)
WCHS Old Farm Hour
WSM Grand Ole Opry
WIBC Indianapolis, IN

One of the hitmakers of hillbilly music had a long distinguished career. In fact, he had an interesting record of some sorts at the time that we've not heard of anyone else topping it. By 1948, they said that in the 15 years previous to that, he had appeared on a total of 204 radio stations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. This was on top of his being a member of WSM's Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

How folks got their start is always something worth learning about. For Cowboy Copas, he made his first appearance on stage on a dare. When he first started out, he actually did not sing that much. He depended solely on his tricky guitar playing to entertain folks and friends.

Along the way, he met a little Indian boy by the name of Natchee. Cowboy it turns out is also one-quarter Indian. Cowboy Copas and Natchee became good friends and it was Natchee who dared him to enter an amateur contest with him in Cincinnati. Cowboy Copas didn't have much confidence in either of them, but agreed to go along. He played the guitar, Natchee played the fiddle. And wouldn't you know it, they won first prize in that competition.

From their, they began to play other entertainment gigs at fairs, night clubs or any other venue that came along, a trail of one night stands. While on the road, they began conducting fiddlin' contests of their own. To help increase the attendance at their personal apppearances, Copas would make a point to stop by the local radio stations and plug their engagements. It was how he got exposed to the radio business.

Along about 1940, he and Natchee went their separate ways. Cowboy Copas moved to Knoxville and started entertaining the folks on the radio there. Later on, he returned to Cincinnati and appeared on several shows there, too.

It wasn't until January 1946 that his career began to take off. He appeared on WSM's Grand Ole Opry at that time and in just the first week after that appearance, he got more than 3,000 fan letters! Around October 1948, he signed a recording contract with the King Records label.

Think Hillbilly music didn't draw crowds? Consider this. Cowboy Copas and his group drew over 22,800 folks on August 22, 1948 with their appearance at Buck Lake Ranch in Angola, Indiana.

Credits & Sources

  • Jamboree Magazine; October 1948; Western Song Club; Ventura, CA

Appearance History This Month
 
April 19, 1952
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Grand Ole Opry - Martha White
 
April 19, 1952
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Grand Ole Opry - D Con

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Recordings
 
King
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1139 A Purple Robe
  1139 B Some Fine Morning
  1306 A The Man Upstairs
  1306 B He Stands By His Window
  1359 A Return To Sender
  1359 B I Will Waltz With You Tonight
  1407 A When I Lost You
  1407 B Why Should I Want Her
  1424 A The Talking Mule
  1424 B Hello Darling
  1444 A The Silver That Nailed Him To The Cross
  1444 B The Stone Was Rolled Away
  1456 A Pledging My Love
  1456 B Ashamed Of Myself
  1464 A The Party's Over
  1464 B Summer Kisses
  1486 A Tragic Romance
  1486 B Listen To My Heart
  1507 A Blue Yesterday
  1507 B Tell Me More
  4865 A Don't Shake Hands With The Devil
  4865 B Any Old Time
  505 A Filipino Baby
  505 B I Don't Blame You
  511 A There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me
  511 B You Live In A World All Your Own
  516 A Gun Totin' Mama
  516 B Please Answer My Letter
  5270 A Tennessee Waltz
  5270 B Signed, Sealed And Delivered
  537 A Tragic Romance
  537 B You Will Find Me Here
  5392 A Carolina Sunshine Girl
  5392 B Rose Of Tennessee
  5437 A A Stranger In My Home
  5437 B Old Faithful And True Love
  5479 A It's A Shame
  5479 B You Walked Right Out Of My Dreams
  5515 A It's A Lonely World
  5515 B Don't Let Them Change Our Mind
  553 A Sundown And Sorrow
  553 B You're Living A Lie
  5544 A It's A Lonely World
  5544 B Don't Let Them Change Your Mind
  5571 A Sweet Thing
  5571 B Signed, Sealed, Then Forgotten
  5638 A I Built A Fence Around My Heart
  5638 B My Blues Are Gone
  566 A Juke Box Blues
  566 B No More Roamin'
  5676 A I Saw The Light
  5676 A When Jesus Beckons Me Home
  5676 B I Saw The Light
  5676 B When Jesus Beckons Me Home
  5733 A Signed, Sealed And Delivered
  5733 B The Hopes Of A Broken Heart
  5734 A Breeze
  5734 B The Road Of Broken Hearts
  591 A Breeze
  591 B In My Merry Oldsmobile
  598 A Kentucky Waltz
  598 B Heartaches
  605 A Three Strikes And You're Out
  605 B Things Are Gonna Be Different
  618 A Breeze
  618 B Dolly Dear
  630 A Sweet Thing
  630 B Texas Red
  647 A Honky Tonkin'
  647 B Roly Poly
  657 A Honky Tonkin'
  657 B Are You Honest
  658 A Signed Sealed And Delivered
  658 B Opportunity Is Knocking At Your Door
  665 B Reverse By Fairly Holden
  665 B Move It On Over (w/Grandpa Jones)
  666 A As Advertised
  666 B Would Be Better For Us Both
  675 A White Christmas
  675 B Jingle Bells
  696 A How Much Do I Love You
  696 B Tennessee Waltz
  714 A Tennessee Moon
  714 B The Hope Of A Broken Heart
  737 A Believe It Or Not
  737 B Rose Of Oklahoma
  743 A Too Many Teardrops
  743 B Peaches And Cream
  755 A An Old Farm For Sale
  755 B Where You Goin'
  767 A I Love You So Much It Hurts
  767 B Down In Nashville Tennessee
  775 A Down In Nashville Tennessee
  775 B I'm Waltzing With Tears In My Eyes
  777 A Candy Kisses
  777 B Forever
  787 A Package Of Lies Tied In Blue
  787 B It's Wrong To Love You Like I Do
  802 A Oceans Of Love
  802 B Waltz With Me
  811 A Blue Pacific Waltz
  811 B Hangman's Boogie
  825 A Crazy Over You
  825 B The Gypsy Told Me
  844 A The Feudin' Boogie (w/Grandpa Jones)
  846 A More Precious Than Silver Or Gold
  846 B Open Door - Open Arms
  855 A Blues In The Moonlight
  855 B Heart Broken
  870 A The Road Of Broken Hearts
  870 B The Postman Just Passes Me By
  885 A My True Confession
  885 B Steppin' Out
  895 A My Hula Baby
  895 B Signed, Sealed Then Forwarded
  904 A From The Manger To The Cross
  904 B King Of Kings
  919 A Tennessee Waltz (w/Ruby Wright)
  919 B I'll Never More Be Shackled In A Fool's Paradise
  928 A Why Do The Stormy Winds Blow
  928 B Goodbye Sweetheart Goodbye
  951 B The Strange Little Girl
  964 B Tennesee Flat Guitar
  980 A I'm Glad I'm On The Inside Lookin' Out
  980 B Four Books In The Bible
 
Starday
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  476 A Mom And Dad's Affair
  476 B Black Cloud Risin'
  493 A South Pacific Shore
  493 B That's All I Can Remember
  501 A Alabam
  501 B I Can
  524 A I Have A Friend
  524 B The Hem Of His Garment
  528 A Sittin' Flat On Ready
  528 B Midnight In Heaven
  542 A True Love (Is The Greatest Thing)
  542 B Flat Top
  552 A Sunny Tennessee
  552 B Dreaming
  559 A Signed, Sealed And Delivered
  559 B New Filipino Baby
  573 A Sal
  573 B A Thousand Miles Of Ocean
  585 A There'll Come A Time Someday
  585 B Seven Seas From You
  595 A Sold The Farm
  595 B Table In the Corner
  606 A Bury Me Face Down
  606 B Heart On The Run
  612 A Family Reunion
  612 B Smoke On The Water
  621 A Goodbye Kisses
  621 B The Gypsy Girl
  641 A Louisian
  641 B Break Away, Break Away
  658 A Autobiography
  658 B The Rainbow And The Rose
  685 A Old Man's Story
  685 B Pretty Diamonds
  708 A Ride In My Little Red Wagon
  708 B Black Eyed Susie
  729 A Waltzing With Sin
  729 B Blue Kimona
  750 A Cowboy's Deck Of Cards
  750 B Beyond The Sunset
 
Sparton
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  855 A Black Cloud Risin'
  855 B Mom And Dad's Affair
  883 A South Pacific Shore
  883 B That's All I Can Remember
  915 A Alabam
  915 B I Can
  961 A Settin' Flat On Ready
  961 B Midnight In Heaven
  983 A I Have A Friend
  983 B Remember Man Thou Art Dust
  999 A Flat Top
  999 B True Love (Is The Greatest Thing)


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