Country, Western & Gospel Music

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date for personal appearances, and some of their recordings have passed the million-sales mark. And it's not unusual for the Jewell Theater, a former movie house where "Jubi­lee" is staged, to be sold out for a performance four to six weeks in advance.
Country music is as deep-rooted in this region as jazz is in New Orleans. Many an Ozarker (only outsiders say "Ozarkian") times his farm chores by the radio programs of such local favorites as Slim Wilson, a lanky "gee-tar" player who has been singing henhouse arias for 24 years over Springfield's rural radio station KWTO (Keep Watching The Ozarks).
Ralph D. Foster, one of the founders of KWTO and now 64-year-old president of a complex of radio-television en­terprises based on country music, says, "The people around here want to hear local talent."
His formula today is not much different from the one he had in 1932 when he established KWTO in Springfield "to reach every deer lick, rabbit warren, and hawg waller in the Ozarks." He and his partner, Jerry Hall, had been in the tire business at St. Joseph, and used to sing together as "The Radio Rubber Twins." They set up a 15-watt sta­tion in their tire store as a hobby-outlet and one day broad­cast an offer of free ash trays to the first 100 customers to visit the store. The response tied up traffic for two blocks around, and the Rubber Twins decided to go into radio seriously.
At Springfield, Foster concentrated on country-type en­tertainment so successfully that in time he organized Radi-Ozark Enterprises, Inc., to produce, transcribe, and to syn­dicate radio shows; Top Talent, Inc., to take the stars on the road; Earl Barton Music, Inc., to publish songs; and, finally, Crossroads TV Productions, Inc., to move into television.
The radio-based ventures did well enough, but not until 1954 did Springfield hit the big time. That was the year Foster and his associates induced the barnyard Bing Crosby, Clyde Julian (Red) Foley, to migrate from Nashville and become the star of a new 2%-hour stage and radio show, "Ozark Jubilee."
Foley's name was a farm-house-hold word among the

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