Country, Western & Gospel Music

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people whom they know, like, and trust—which is one of the big reasons why three music publishing houses vir­tually control the Nashville market. Peer International, a subsidiary of Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc., is the oldest. Acuff-Rose, whose professional business is largely taken care of by Fred Rose, was founded in 1943. Hill and Range, an enterprising outfit which has grown the fastest, was founded two years later. Representatives of those three firms do nearly all the talent scouting in the country-music business. They travel, listen to local radio stations, and ferret out talent—from the plains of Texas, the bayous of Louisiana, or the mountains of Tennessee and North Caro­lina.
Once found, the talent is almost invariably turned over to WSM and the Grand Ole Opry. Besides Acuff, the other top artists at WSM include Red Foley of Decca Records, who is the star of the Prince Albert Show (the network half-hour of WSM's Saturday night jamboree), and Hank Wil­liams of MGM Records, who wrote "Cold, Cold Heart," and is the king of the hillbilly composers.
You're supposed to go to the bottom of the class if you leave WSM, but Lefty Frizzell of Columbia and Pee Wee King and Eddy Arnold of RCA Victor have all left home and lived to tell the tale. King co-authored "Tennessee Waltz" and "Slow Poke," and Arnold is still as near the head of the country-music class as a man can get. Besides his record sales, personal appearances, and guest shots on radio and TV, Arnold possesses a fat radio contract from Ralston Purina, which, to the amusement of Nashville, sees one of his shows bucking the Grand Ole Opry from rival station WLAC.
Friendly with all and highest on the hillbilly list of trusted brothers and sisters by adoption are Cousin Minnie Pearl, top comedienne of the field and another of the stars of the Prince Albert Show, and her husband, Henry Can­non, who pilots country musicians in the air when they don't drive their own Cadillacs. Cousin Minnie Pearl was born Sarah Ophelia Colley in Centerville, Tenn. She went to school at Ward-Belmont in Nashville and specialized in dramatics, notably Shakespearean. The depression found her teaching drama, and one day she tried out a skit

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