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parte's Retreat," "Tennessee Waltz," "Cold, Cold Heart," and "Half as Much."
Politically, Acuff has also established himself in the Volunteer State. Unlike Jimmie Davis, who was elected governor of Louisiana in 1944 after a musical composition, "You Are My Sunshine," Roy Acuff was not elected governor of Tennessee when he musically ran for that office in 1948. But he feels that he lost no stateman's stature; he was a Republican in a Democratic year.
AT DUNBAR CAVE: As a businessman, Acuff has numerous security investments. But the plum in his fiscal pudding is Dunbar Cave, an amusement center near Clarks-ville, Tenn., for which he paid $140,000 five years ago. Complete with cave, lake, swimming pool, and hotel, Roy Acuff's Dunbar Cave is valued at $170,000 and grosses more than $50,000 in the six months it is open each year.
Roy says that he bought Dunbar Cave "for the boys," his troupe. Unlike almost every other country-music star, he keeps his performers (six men and three girls) under yearly salaries. No written contract is needed, but the gang all know that the paychecks will be regular and that Roy will look after them. "We live together and play together," he says. When the company is not performing, its members work at Dunbar Cave and help with any kind of chore, from painting equipment to feeding Roy's prize collection of fancy fowl.
Last week found Roy and his troupe right in the middle of their busiest summertime. On Tuesdays and Fridays he and the boys and girls played for square dancing at the Cave. But on Fridays, over WSM in Nashville, about an hour and fifteen minutes' driving time away, they also performed a half-hour sponsored show from 8 to 8:30 p.m. After it, they drove back to the Cave, and thence, from 11:30 to 12, WSM aired their square-dancing music. Saturday night is sacred to WSM and the Grand Old Opry, and for an hour and fifteen minutes (spotted throughout the evening), Acuff is sponsored variously by a soft-drink concern, a paint company, a coffee company, and a rat exterminator. On Sundays at Dunbar Cave, Roy Acuff and His Smoky Mountain Boys and Girls, plus guest stars, give two performances —one at 2 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.