Country, Western & Gospel Music

A History And Encyclopedia Of Composers, Artists & Songs

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Tubb wandered wide-eyed onto the stage of New York's traditional center of fine music and remarked admiringly to himself: "My, this place could sure hold a lot of hay."
The backwoods pattern runs through the entire cast. Said Director Stapp candidly: "We wouldn't dare hire a faker. If the audience didn't spot him, the cast certainly would. They'd run him out of town." Even the advertisers learn new tricks from associating with Opryites. A manufacturer of foodstuffs had long used a commercial describing how to make a certain dish in a casserole. Once, when he asked his singing star to read the commercial, and asked whether he knew what it meant. "No suh," said the Star, "I purley don't." So now you are advised to use, not a casserole, but a baking dish.
This is plain talk that folks in Bolt, W. Va., for example, cannot mistake, and they like it. Bolt is where Little Jimmy Dickens, a rising star, originated as the oldest of thirteen children of a coal miner. Not five feet tall in his cowboy boots, Little Jimmy started singing at the Brackenridge Baptist Church, graduated to small-town radio, rose to starĀ­dom with a song called "Old Cold Tater," and now earns about $100,000 a year.
George Morgan, whose song, "Candy Kisses," zoomed him from $40 to $1000 a week almost overnight, came from a farm near Waverly, Tenn., where his dad taught him the guitar chords to "Little Brown Jug" and started him to fame. His baby daughter, by the way, is named Candy Kay.
Carl Smith, another young star trapped by Director Stapp's talent screen, left his farm birthplace near Maynard-ville, Tenn., to work as a grocery boy in Knoxville, sang for free on the grocer's radio program, served eleven months on a troop transport in the Pacific, and suddenly discovered that his head was full of music. He wrote some of it. Now he sings his songs on the Opry and on his own two network programs, and has rocketed into the $100,000-a-year bracket. That's how it goes.
As I look back at this hillbilly heaven two memories dominate all the rest. The first was late on a Saturday-night show when, all at once, the horseplay on the stage slowed down and stopped and young George Morgan