Wayne Rainey was born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas. He started playing
the harmonica at an early age and never stopped.
He attended high school in Concord, Arkansas. He would wear
the harmonica around his neck as he worked the farm fields, playing
it when he could take a break.
In an article
around 1950 or so, they said he could remember the days when
he would hitchhike from town to town in almost every state in the
union and playing for whatever money he might be able to pick up
at clubs and cafes. And he did this during the depression when
jobs were scarce.
As luck would have it, he was in a small town in Texas around 1934 and
went into the local pool hall and started playing for the people
there. The folks there liked him so much, he collected all of $3.75 for his efforts.
It turns out the local radio station manager was there, too
and immediately hired him to work for the station - XEPN out of Eagle Pass, Texas. And his musical
career was off and running.
He got married to his wife about 1942 or so and they had two kids
when the article appeared in 1950, Wanda and Zyndall.
Wayne was also a prolific songwriter and had already written over sixty
tunes by then. The most popular of them was "Why Don't You Haul Off
And Love Me?". They cite King records as mentioning that it had sold
over a 500,000 copies of it. And was made even more popular when
about a dozen other recording companies had artists covering it.
Credits & Sources
- Country Song Roundup No. 5; April 1950; Charlton Publishing Corp.;