One of Maine's hillbilly music stars was Gene Hooper.
Some singers take a while to determine when they're going
to be a country singer. Gene decided very early in his life
that he was going to be an entertainer - at the tender age
of six years old - after he heard some Jimmie Rodgers records.
Seems like many artists have stories of how they got their
first musical instrument. Gene's is no different. He earned the
money to pay for his first guitar by selling salve.
His radio career started in Bangor, Maine when he was 18 years
old. But like many growing up then,World War II interupted his
entertainment career for about three years.
After Gene got out of the service, he moved up to Canada for a
while around 1947. Then he moved on down to Wheeling, West Virginia
and joined the legendary WWVA World's Original Jamboree show.
Back then he was making personal appearances with Crazy Elmer and
Company and in fact, had a show with Crazy Elmer every weekday
night at midnight.
Gene was said to have written a few songs back then, but hadn't yet
had any of them recorded.
Timeline and Trivia Notes
- Real name, Eugene Merrill Hooper
Credits & Sources
- Country & Western Jamboree Magazine; May 1956; Maher Publications, Inc.;
2001 Calumet, Chicago 16, Ill.