Little Joe Isbell
|"Country My Eye, It's Hillbilly Where I Come From...Hillbilly music was played back years ago more for enjoyment than anything else. It expressed feelings, thoughts, told stories of happenings, religious beliefs. You might say it is a history of people which was almost forgotten."|
|Ola Belle Reed - Pickin Magazine November 1974|
What's New - Featured Articles
Town Hall Party - This show is no stranger to country music fans. It did start as a radio show from the Town Hall in Compton, California. Its popularity grew and it turned into one of the longest running weekly "live" broadcasts of country music in the Los Angeles area. The stars that appeared on the show are numerous. The history of the show is a fascinating story from its start, through its hey day to its eventual decline.
Dianne Leigh - A trail blazing female country singer from Canada who at first did not seem to like country music. But the crowd's reaction one night during an appearance with the Sons of the Saddle at a night spot changed her path. She played cocktail drums behind Patsy Cline during a tour of Ontario. She won Country Female Vocalist five years in a row in Canada. She was a regular on such television shows as Carl Smith's Country Music Hall and Ronnie Prophet's show. She was voted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015. Her career saw changes not only in television, but also seeing Canadian artists getting more exposure in their own country.
Chisholm Brothers - The Chisholm Brothers were rooted in the Brockton, MA area and were lccal favorites. They helped get the Massachusetts Country Music Hall of Fame started. They backed many stars that came through the area such as Tex Ritter, Dick Curless and others. They were Korean War veterans. Charlie and his brother were one of the first honorees when Bridgewater began the "Hometown Heroes" project.
Cotton Carrier - We reached back into our older biographies to pull one up that started author Wayne W. Daniel on his path to becoming a country music author, researcher and historian. Cotton was one of the mainstays on WSB in Atlanta, Georgia. His career encountered many of country music's stars. The reader will learn a bit out the history of the WSB Barn Dance and the stars that graced the stage.
Georgia Ramblers - While their name may suggest they were from Georgia, their musical career was mainly in the Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. They played over several radio stations and would get fan mail as well, often requesting tunes. The leader appears to have been Wrangler Joe Kirkland.
Dixie Harper - A native of Arkansas, her musical journey took her to Texas where her band won a state wide contest thus providing a name for her band at the time, "Texas Champion Fiddle Band." She was part of early television in the Fort Worth area, as she was part of the Hoffman Round-Up program over WBAP-TV.
Pappy Howard - He started his career in Hartford, CT, moved on to Cleveland, OH and then back to Worcester, MA. His bands had several names - New England Hillbilly Champs, Tumbleweed Gang, Kentucky Colonels, but the name most will recognize is the Connecticut Kernels. He created a successful Barn Dance Jamboree over WJW following his successful barn dance in Hartford.
Curley Myers - Curley started off with guys that eventually made up the Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers. He saw an opportunity and started the Shady Acres Ranch in Mulberry, IN 1949. He was part of the Indiana Hoedown on WFBM in Indianapolis. He was cast as host of a children's show called "Cowboy Theater". Then three guys (Curley, Harlow Hickenlooper (aka Hal Fryar) and Cap'n Star (aka Jerry Vance) who had never worked together before were tapped to do an afternoon children's show called "All Hands on Deck". Yes, it's time for all you Buckaroo Buddies to read Curley's story.
Marilyn Orlando - She was born and raised in what is now known as Silicon Valley of California. She got her start at a very young age and was one of the early stars of Dude Martin's Hoffman Hayride show. She was part of the Ina Ray Hutton Las Vegas show for a time. She turned away from Hollywood and music and devoted her time to her family. Later in life, she created a design concept that was something unique for her husband's business — car washes. There's more to her story - read on.
Hank Rivers - Hank LaRiviere was a native of Ontario, Canada. He was signed to the RCA Victor label in Canada in 1939 by Hugh Joseph. He was the featured vocalist on the CBC Dominion radio network show - The Western Five. He was a part of the Calgary Stampede show as well.
The Great Speckled Bird
Hoffman Hayride - KGO-TV - Sometimes research on one of these early shows takes you on an unexpected tour of history. Such was the case here. Read of how the paths of Dude Martin and electronics and television pioneer H. Leslie Hoffman crossed paths to make not only history of broadcasting country music over television but how it spurred the growth of electronics manufacturing on the west coast after World War II.
Curley Roberts - Curley's career started in St. Louis. He shared with many of the early St. Louis area stars. He later moved to Fresno, CA where he had his own place, and was there when the roots of the Bakersfield sound began with such stars as Buck Owens, Ferlin Husky. His travels included a stint in Hawaii as part of a carnival of sorts.
Ray Schacht - He was known as the Lonesome Troubadour. But was also known as Carl Stuart. He settled in the New England area. He later formed his own troupe of performers - the Cowboy Caravan. He was one of the stars of the WCOP Hayloft Jamboree. He opened Radio Park in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania and featured country acts every Sunday afternoon starting in 1960.
Hoyt Scoggins - Another native of Georgia, who's early influence were his father and Roy Acuff. One of Hoyt's memories was the day he was invited to spend the day with Hank Williams at his home in Nashville, Tennessee with Audrey. He recorded several sides for the Starday label. He, too, played a Martin guitar.
Merv Shiner - Merv's biography has been updated on the site. The original one was written over a decade ago. Merv recently turned 99 years old and it seems appropriate to provide fans with more details of one of the nicest guys in the music business. A career that has spanned over 70 years. He is still performing today with his wife, Marilyn. Enjoy the video of him doing his Easter classic, "Peter Cottontail."
Billie Walker - She was born in Graves County, KY as Grace Alexander. But fans would get to know her as Billie Walker. During her career, she helped Doc Williams kick off his career when he was in Pittsburgh, PA. She had her own show on the local radio station in Jackson, TN. Her career took her to several other cities. She also did trancscription programs for various sponsors such as flour mills in the 1950's. She was also a minister, having helped form a church at one time.
Woody Wooddell - Born in Greenbank, West Virginia, Woody would lead a group called the Ridin' Rangers. The band played at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1946, they appeared in a movie with Jimmy Wakely. One of the band members was a fellow that was the comedic part of the band - Cabbage Head. Woody also orgnized the Pine Hollow Jamboree.
Dusty Owens -
tells us about his career in his own words. He contacted us out of the blue years ago and became a good friend over the years. Work
has begun on Chapter 3 of his biography, where he often said "that's when it all halppened."
Chapter 1: Early Michigan & Iowa years
Chapter 2: WHO Iowa Barn Dance Frolic
Keep clicking around - there's always something new spopping up on Hillbilly-Music.com.
Driftwood on the River
Read More About The History
Who Is That?
We have quite a few pictures in our collection and most we have identified. But there are a few that we just have not been able to identify yet. Click on the picture above to get a better view and let us know if you can help us put a name to the picture.
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