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"Jubilee" are not highly paid for their work. But its na­tional showcase gives them a chance to sing the tunes they have recorded, and to make themselves well-known to peo­ple across the country.
Once a singer has a hit record, he cashes in with personal appearances. Foley, who drives an $11,000 white Lincoln Continental, receives $1,500 for a personal appearance; but he accepts only a few engagements because he doesn't want to "take all that money to the graveyard."
Porter Wagoner, who was working in a butcher shop at West Plains, Missouri, for $35 a week in 1950, hit the lim­ousine level last year on the crest of successive smash rec­ords. After working his way through two medium-sized cars, he bought a lavender Cadillac, explaining, "Well, you gotta have a Cadillac some time." Expensive cars are not entirely a luxury for stars on the stage-show circuit, how­ever. Wagoner reports he traveled 126,000 miles by auto­mobile in 1956.
Practically everybody in the Ozark region, it seems, writes country music. Most of the "Jubilee" stars, from Foley on down, are song writers, and the southwest Mis­souri woods are literally full of composers hoping to hit the jukeboxes. Wagoner once recorded two tunes, each written by a different milk-truck driver in Springfield. The milkmen had never met until their songs wound up back to back on the record.
The "Jubilee" offices are besieged not only by aspiring writers but also by singers and musicians trying to hit the big time, yet most of the show's performers are profes­sionals who have worked their way up from home-town radio or television shows.
Red Foley, now 46, has been in show business since he was a youngster picking a guitar in his father's country store in Berea, Kentucky. His parents are still in Berea, watching "Jubilee" every Saturday night. Foley always signs off with, "Good night, Mama; good night, Papa."
Foley's forte is the sacred song, which he combines with get-'em-in-the-heart poetry from his "Keepsake Album." One of his sacred selections, "Peace in the Valley," won him the coveted gold record from Decca last year for sell-
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III