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About The Artist
Ray Schacht, The Lonesome Troubadour, was one name he used, but later on in his career, he was known as Carl Stuart. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas and was raised on a farm until he was about eleven years old. A 1955 feature article on Carl indicated he started his musical journey when he was just six. He started off in the classical music field, playing the piano.
His father passed away when he was a teen-ager. And the family began to think of moving to Connecticut where they had relatives. His mom realized he had musical aspirations and encouraged him to pursue his interests. His first appearance was on a Kansas radio station, but no mention of which one it was.
Carl eventually settled in New England had radio shows on stations in Springfield, Cambridge and Waltham, Massachusetts. He did as you might expect numerous personal appearances in the area. He led an eleven piece group and wrote much of the music he played an sang.
In June/July 1949, an ad appeared in an early publication called Jamboree Magazine published out of Ventura, California announcing that Laraine McDonald ob Boston Massachusetts was starting the Ray Schacht Friendship Club. Dues were to be one dollar a year and a membership card and autographed photo would be included. Members would also get three issues of "Ray's Roundup Friendship Journal". Mrs. McDonald also wrote a letter to editors of National Hillbilly News that appeared in the May-June 1949 issue announcing the formation of Ray's fan club.
In the 1950's, Carl formed a troupe of entertainers that became known as the Cowboy Caravan. In 1954, the Caravan had added Eddie Dyer, a comic who was also a part of the WCOP Hayloft Jamboree and Jack LeClair with his sister Tootsie also performers on the Jamboree.
Billboard reported in June 1954 that Carl led the 'annual' Hayloft Jamboree show in Boston that included such stars as Hank Thompson and Elton Britt. The article also told readers that Carl had a daily show over WCOP.
When the Korean War started, Carl was assigned to Special Services and entertained the troops. He was inducted into military service the same day with his manager, Herbert L. Schucher.
Pickin' and Singin' News' feature article noted that not only was he known as "The Singing Disc Jockey", but he was also given credit for bringing country music to New England.
In another tidbit, Carl was also the agricultural director for WCOP and was on the air each morning with a transcription of his farm and garden show.
The performers with his troupe in 1955 included a comedian named Eddie Dyer, Miss Jackie LeClair.
Billboard reported that Carl Stuart along with Herbert L. Schucher, his manager and Joseph Dragun, WCOP's research director left Boston to attend the Hank Williams memorial. Her personal appearances were cancelled that week. In the next issue, Billboard provided some details about this two day celebration that was held in Montgomery, Alabama on September 20 and 21, 1954. Alcazar Temple of the Shrine was the sponsor of the show. Three dances were held on Monday night at the Dixie Bibb Graves Armory, the City AUditorium and the Alcazar Shrine Temple. A combined total of 2,800 people paid one dollar each at those dances. Late Monday, a group of performers entertained some 200 GI's at the Maxwell Air Force Base hospital. Following that, 8,500 people at the newly opened Normandale shopping center heard some free musical entertainment. At that appearance, Hank's mother, Mrs. W. W. Stone and Hank's sister, Mrs. Irene Smith and Audrey Williams were given special honors.
On Tuesday, a wreath was placed on Hank's grave. Then the biggest event of the two day event was the parade, said to be the biggest in Montgomery's history, taking an hour to pass a given point. It was witnessed by an estimated crowd of 60,000 people.
The two-day ceremonies ended with a crowd of 8,500 people paying $1.50 per person to attend concert at the Cramton Bowl. Carl was among many country music stars of the day to perform for the audiences. The article concludes that while the crowd for the evening performance did not meet earlier predictions, the sponsors indicated they wanted to make it an annual event.
On September 17, 1954, Carl was the headline act for the Hayloft Jamboree as WCOP kicked off its fall season. There were going to be two shows for audiences to enjoy and included Slim Whitman and Mac Wiseman as guests. On October 29, the show hosted Johnny and Jack and Kitty Wells. Little Jimmie Dickens appeared on the show on January 18, 1955.
Carl was one very busy entertainer in 1954 on WCOP. Cowboy Songs provides some insight in one of its columns devoted to the disc jockeys of the day. He had three daily shows. There was the "Mid-Morning Hayloft Jamboree" from 10:00am to 12:00pm. There was the "Hayloft Jamboree Matinee", which was a live talent show from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. And finally, he hosted the "Evening Hayloft Jamboree" from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. He was said to be recording for the Sheraton record label, but we have not found any information about those recordings at this time.
Hillbilly and Western Hoedown magazine reported in early 1954 that Carl had cut his first recordings on the Sheraton label.
The WCOP Hayloft Jamboree was held at the John Hancock Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. The show was led by Roy Whisnand, Ellie Dierdorg and Aubrey Mayhew.
Billboard reported that Carl had closed the Hayloft Jamboree after the March 19, 1955 broadcast over WCOP. He was to announce what his future plans were after consulting with his manager Mr. Schucher.
On January 1, 1955, Carl did a special four radio show, dedicating two hours of the show to the late Hank Williams.
In addition to his duties at WCOP, on February 12, 1955, Carl started a 30-minute television show that aired over WJAR-TV in Providence, Rhode Island.
Carl returned to the Boston airwaves over radio station WVOM, a 5,000 watt station that had previously only played pop music. His manager, Mr. Schucher, arranged a deal with the station that had Carl on the air six days a week. He was also going to host the WVOM New England Hometown Jamboree. The plan was to do a record show in the summer, then combine it with live segments in the fall.
By mid-1956, Carl had moved out of the New England area and was working at radio station WAMO in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He had a new show called "Hometown Jamboree". Earlier in the year, his manager Herbert L. Schucher had closed down his Boston base of operations and moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he became the manager for the legendary Jim Reeves.
Around that time, WAMO was making big changes to its on the air programming. In addition to Carl, Abbie Neal, formerly with WWVA, was also spinning records there. Slim and Loppy Bryant joined the staff as well. Carl was to do the 3:00pm to 6:00pm time slot each day as well as the sign-on in the morning from 6:00am to 7:00am.
Later in the year, Carl Stuart wrote Bill Sachs of Billboard magazine that even though he had only been on the air in Pittsburgh for eleven weeks, he placed seventh in a poll by the local Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph of favorite area disc jockey.
In 1958, Country Song Roundup magazine featured Carl's photo on its September 1958 issue.
By October 1959 however, WAMO had changed their format and country music was no longer aired over the station. Carl remained with them, but he told Billboard magazine that he '...felt like a fish out of water.'
In May of 1960, Ray had moved to Charleroi, Pennsylvania (a town about 21 miles south of Pittsburgh) and was handling the programming of both country and pop music for radio station WESA. He started a "Country Jamboree" show that aired from 6:30am to 7:00am Monday through Friday and 6:30am to 8:00am and again from 7:30pm to 8:30pm using Norman Loop and his band.
Carl also opened Radio Park in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania and was to feature country music shows every Sunday starting June 12, 1960.
Country Music Review noted in one of its columns that Carl Stuart and Jim Herbert, owners of radio station WHOL in Allentown, Pennsylvania had changed the music format to country on February 8, 1965.
Some of the venues Carl appeared at were Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut and Buck Lake Ranch in Indiana, Lone Star Ranch in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Credits & Sources