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Ray Overholt
and his Grand River Boys
Born:  July 24, 1924
Died:  September 14, 2008
WOOD Grand Rapids, MI

Ray Overholt spent his young years living on a farm near Middleville, Michigan, a town southeast of Grand Rapids. He caught the musical itch at an early age when he took two dollars and got a guitar and taught himself to play. By the time he was ten years old, he had written a tune called "The Lonesome Cowboy".

He continued to write songs after growing up and beginning to entertain the folks in the Grand Rapids area. Two tunes they mentioned were "Desert Sand" and "Believe in Me Or I'll Be Leaving You".

Ray was said to have given the youngsters in Grand Rapids, Michigan quite a treat each evening at 6:00pm, Monday through Friday over WOOD-TV. He had a television show called "Ray's Roundup" and it included a partner that they said was "...old codger named 'Shorty'..." Ray would play his guitar and sing, while Shorty would spin some tall tales.

His guest list on the show was impressive - stars such as Hank Williams, Red Saunders and Delores Hawkins had appeared on the show.

Ray also began to do a bit of songwriting and had one tune published by the Country Music publishing company called "Will The Lord Look down And Frown At Me" that was recorded on a Diamond label. Another tune, "Finance Company Blues" was published by the Venice Music and recorded for Specialty Records.

Timeline & Trivia Notes Group Members Golden River Boys (circa 1951):

  • Ray Overholt
  • Phil Parsons, fiddle
  • Lodie Hall, clarinet
  • Bill Kalkman, guitar
  • Herm Hoogewind, bass
  • Marlette Brothers, vocals

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup No. 14; October 1951; Charlton Pub. Corp.; Derby, CT
  • Country Song Roundup No. 23; April 1953; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT

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