Country, Western & Gospel Music

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radio station WSM in Nashville, one of the greatest dis­pensers of mountain melody through its local and NBC network program, Grand Ole Opry. The letter writers wanted to know if the elements had damaged the station or injured any of its hillbilly stars. Fortunately for culture and the international peace of mind, the station and the stars escaped damage.
Perhaps the greatest foreign hillbilly fan movement is in western Germany and the Germanic countries, long re­nowned as music lovers. In the beamed-and-plastered Teutonic beer gardens and brew houses, which for genera­tions have resounded to Viennese waltzes and the umpah-ing of German bands, the high-pitched, scrappy fiddling of hoedown music now rings out, almost like Arkansas. Na­tive bands, in some cases, have abandoned Strauss, and have taken names for themselves such as "Hank Schmitz and his Goober Growlers" or "Red Schmucker and His Mountain Boys."
Recently, some travelers from Nashville were astonished while visiting a cafe in old Vienna by the following event: A group of musicians, wearing Tyrolean hats and short leather pants, came out. The master of ceremonies an­nounced in heavy, German-coated English: "Ladies and Gentlemen: Eric (Grandpappy) Ritter and his Alpine Hill­billy Briar Hoppers will now perform. Their first selection will be: 'How Many Biscuits Kin You Eat This Mawnin'/ followed by: 'Git Them Cold Feet Over on the Other Side/ "
Early last summer a young man named Bill Carrigan re­turned to his home town of Columbia, Tennessee, after a four-year hitch with the U. S. Army in Germany, where he was in charge of hillbilly music activities of the American Armed Forces (radio) Network, with headquarters at Frankfurt. The network has stations, some of them three times as powerful as any in this country, at Munich, Stutt­gart, Bremerhaven, Nuremberg, Berlin and Frankfurt. Call­ing himself "Uncle Willie," Bill Carrigan, a radio an­nouncer before entering the Army, operated a daily hill­billy disc jockey show, "The Hillbilly Gast Haus." This program drew the startling total of 150,000 letters a year, not only from American personnel, but from European