Hillbilly-Music.comThe People. The Music. The History.
About The Artist
Around 1945 or so, you may have heard Cliff Japhet's 5 year old son, "Yodelin' Skippy" singing "Hear My Song As I Ride Along; I'm Just A Happy Rovin' Cowboy" and then go right into a triple yodel as he introduced Cliff Japhet and his Western Aces over the air on radio station WENT out of Gloversville, NY.
Cliff and his band were getting national attention back in October 1948. The Sons of the Pioneers had just recorded "Cool Water". Back in those days it wasn't uncommon to see other artists and bands try to capitalize on hit recordings that the public enjoyed. Jamboree magazine reported that Cliff Japhet and the Western Aces were among the groups that had also recorded Cool Water along with Bob Atcher, Foy Willing, Dude Martin, Denver Darling, Red River Dave, Ozie Waters, Smiley Burnette, Dick Reinhart and Tex Ritter.
The Western Aces were quite a popular act in the New England area long about the late 1940s. In 1948, they were headlining over radio station WWSR out of St. Albans, Vermont. Their daily show aired on WWSR from 5:00pm to 5:30pm.
The band was like many acts in those days, playing extensive personal appearances in the areas where they lived and played on the radio. The Western Aces played on Saturday nights at Cherry River in Quebec; Sundays at the folk park in Danemora, NY. As well as other dates in Vermont, too.
Cliff Japhet, Jr. or "Yodelin' Skippy" as they called him was performing with his dad's group when he was just five years old. He also sang on the WENT Youth Revue in Gloversville, New York. Needless to say, he captured the audiences up there as they wrote the mail he got outpulled anything else on the station. He started singing and yodeling on the radio when he was just two years old. He'd hear a tune on the radio then try and see if he could do it on the piano. His parents noted that they were going to start him with some piano lessons as soon as he was able to read and span an octave.
The Western Aces were one of several groups that Cliff Japhet co-founded or was associated with. Be sure to read about Cliff Japhet, The Broncho Busters, the Saddle Pards, Rodeo Kings. Cliff also performed with Polly Jenkins and her Plowboys, too.
Timeline and Trivia Notes
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Credits & Sources
Sound Sample(YouTube Video Format)