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Gene Hooper
Born:  November 22, 1923
Died:  August 17, 2010
Maine CMA Hall of Fame (1980)
WWVA Original Jamboree
WLAM Lewiston, ME

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.

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