About The Artist
Ray Anderson was born in West Virginia.
Articles in 1949 were reporting that he was entertaining the fans over radio station WHOK in Lancaster, Ohio along with Tommy Steph. Both Ray and Tommy were a part of the Tennessee Mountaineers at the time. During that time, it was also reported that they had been signed by the Donnett Hit Records label.
Now we don't claim to know everything about everyone, but in this case, the same 1949 article contains a tidbit that Ray Anderson had his own group known as the Buckeye Ramblers and doing their own show over WHOK. It reported that "Timmie" Steph, a female singer had joined Ray's band. She was a sister to Mickie Steph LaRue who at one time worked over WTNS in Coshocton, Ohio.
In December of 1950, Norm Silver reported that Ray had joined radio station WHTN in Huntington, West Virginia. Norm reported that Ray did so well, he was named the station's program director. Around that time, he had written a tune called "Secret Weapon" that had been recorded by Shannon Grayson on the RCA Victor label. His songwriting talents would become something he was known for later in his career. Cowboy Songs reported in their Disc Jockey Roundup column that same year that Ray had started his own record label - Mountaineer. His show aired from 6:00am to 9:00am, Monday through Saturday. He also did another show from 7:00pm to 9:00pm known as the "Hillbilly Jamboree".
In 1957, Ray had started doing appearances on the WWVA Jamboree, working with the Osborne Brothers and Red Allen. Dusty Owens, owner of the Admiral label, confirmed Ray would come to town and did record a couple of sides for the label, but did not have the specifics. Ray did record with the Osborne Brothers and Red Allen, a tune called "Ho, Honey Ho".
Dusty also notes that one of the tunes Ray did, "At Last" was the first song Dusty ever wrote, when he was just 16 years old.
Remember when Russia first launched the "Sputnik"? That was during the Cold War era of relations between the east and west. At that time, some songs took on the topical expressions of those events of the time. Ray wrote a tune called "Sputniks and Mutniks" as part of that era, touching on the one launch that included the dog named Laika. One source indicates he recorded it for his Mountaineer label, but it was never released. Instead, he worked a deal with Don Pierce and it was released on the Starday label. He also wrote another cold war type song called "Stalin Kicked The Bucket" that was recorded on the Kentucky record label.
Ray's tune "Sputniks and Mutniks" was released on a CD called "Atomic Platters - Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security".
In 1965, he became an ordained minister, having left the Osborne Brothers in 1961, he formed his own label, GRS (Gospel Recording Service), while still a pastor at a church in Richmond Dale, Ohio. The label also had a subsidiary one, Victory, which he managed as well until 1969.
Ivan Tribe interviewed him for his book, "Mountainner Jamboree"
Credits & Sources
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