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Remembering the Classics 2

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Here You will find stories on A.P. Carter,Roy Rogers,Jimmy Davis.Johnny Horton and Archie Campbell! I Do hope you enjoy!

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A.P. Carter
AKA born: Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter
Born Apr 15, 1891 in Maces Springs, VA
Died Nov 7, 1960 in Maces Springs, VA
Genres Country


The patriarch of America's first family of country music, A.P. Carter led the Carter Family from 1926 to the group's breakup in 1943. A collector of hundreds of folksongs from Britain as well as the Appalachian Mountains, Carter adapted those songs into his own originals and wrote many country classics, including "Wabash Cannonball," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Keep on the Sunny Side," "Foggy Mountain Top," "Worried Man Blues," "I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes," and "Wildwood Flower." Born in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia in 1891, Carter played fiddle from an early age, learned songs from his parents, and sang with two uncles and a sister in a gospel quartet. At the age of 20, Carter met Sara Dougherty while selling fruit trees and writing songs in his spare time. They married several years later, and began playing around the region. Maybelle Carter, A.P.'s sister-in-law, joined the group as well just before their audition for Victor Records in 1927. The recordings went well, and Victor released three records that quickly became hits. Signed to a long contract, the Carter Family became a popular act by the end of the '20s, though the Depression hurt their fortunes, as fewer Americans bought records. Though A.P. and Sara separated in 1932, the Carter Family continued recording during the '30s, for ARC and Decca as well as Victor. A.P. and Sara finally divorced in 1939, and Sara officially retired from the group four years later. While Maybelle toured with her three daughters, A.P. ran a country store in Virginia until 1952, when he reformed the Carter Family with Sara and several of their grown children. They recorded over the course of the next four years, but disbanded in 1956. Carter died in 1960. John Bush

Similar Artists: E.C. Ball
Worked With: Richard Weize R.A. Andreas Anita Carter Martin Kathan Howard Hausey William Paul Ackerman Gerd Weiler Jerry Glenn Kennedy Ralph Peer Cliff Crofford Jeanette Carter Helen Carter Cecil Brower Mark Wilder Chris Strachwitz Jerry Stembridge Wayne Moss Benny Medina Lillian Hunt
Member Of: The Carter Family




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Roy Rogers
AKA born: Leonard Slye
Born Nov 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, OH
Died Jul 6, 1998
Years Active
Genres Country
Styles Country Gospel, Cowboy, Traditional Country
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Tones Plaintive
Labels Capitol (6), Camden (5), RCA Victor (3), Golden (3), Word (2), MCA (2), EMI-Capitol Special Markets (2)
See Also Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Roy Rogers & The Sons of the Pioneers All Movie Guide Entry
Internet links On-Tour - provided by musictoday.com


When Cincinnati-born Leonard Franklin Slye headed west in the spring of 1931, it was as a would-be musician, working jobs ranging from driving a gravel truck to picking fruit in California's Central Valley. In less than two years, he'd co-founded the greatest western singing group of all time, the Sons of the Pioneers, and barely four years after that, he'd started a career as a movie star under the new name Roy Rogers. Ultimately he found great fame as a movie and TV cowboy, and even founded a very successful chain of restaurants.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Andrew and Mattie Womack Slye. The entire household was musical, and by the time he was a teenager Len could play the guitar and the mandolin. Although he later took on the role of a cowboy before the public, the closest he got to riding the range was working the family farm they had in a small town outside of Cincinnati. By age 19, he'd headed out to California, where chance led him to enter an amateur singing contest on the radio, resulting in an offer to join the Rocky Mountaineers. There he made the acquaintance of Bob Nolan. They developed a harmonious friendship that worked well within the group for several months, until Nolan exited in frustration over their lack of success. His replacement was Tim Spencer, and eventually Slye, Spencer, and another singer named Slumber Nichols quit the Rocky Mountaineers in the spring of 1932 to form a trio of their own, which never quite came off. Slye decided to push on, joining Jack LeFevre and His Texas Outlaws.

In early 1933, he got Spencer and Nolan together to form what was then known as the Pioneer Trio. Their mix of singing and yodeling, coupled with their good spirits, won them a job on radio. Within a few weeks, they were developing a large following of their own on Lefevre's show, with their harmony singing eliciting lots of mail. A fourth member, fiddle-player Hugh Farr, was added to firm up their sound early in 1934. The group's name was altered by accident on one broadcast the station's announcer introduced them as "The Sons of the Pioneers." The group sold large numbers of records from the very beginning, with the classic Nolan original "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" cut at their very first session. Two more new members, Lloyd Perryman and Hugh Farr's guitarist brother Karl, were added, and by the mid-'30s the sextet was one of the top-selling country acts, performing to sell-out audiences and sought by radio stations and sponsors eager to back them on the air.

During this period, Slye did occasional work as a movie extra and bit player in B-westerns under the name Dick Weston at Republic Pictures, where the reigning king of western movies was another singer, Gene Autry, whose records outsold even the Pioneers'. In 1938, Autry entered into a contractual dispute with Republic that resulted in his failure to report for his next movie. Republic, anticipating the dispute, had put out the word apparently more as a ploy than a real attempt at replacing their top male star that they were looking for a new leading actor for their westerns. Slye tried sneaking onto the lot with a group of extras and was caught, but a sympathetic director permitted him to take a screen test. He tested extremely well, and got the part. At the time, the Pioneers had just signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to appear in and play musical support to Charles Starrett in a series of B-westerns, and he was forced to leave the group in order to sign his own contract at Republic.

A new name was required and "Roy Rogers" was selected, the Rogers coming from Will Rogers and Roy coming off of a list. He made his debut in Under Western Stars; not only did it introduce Roy Rogers as a new star, but also his horse, Trigger. A longterm contract followed, and for the next 13 years, he was one of the studio's mainstays, rivaling and later surpassing Autry at the box office. By 1940, Roy Rogers was successful enough to approach Republic with a request for a salary increase. The studio was notoriously reticent on such matters, and he was denied any raise. But in lieu of the request, he extracted a much more valuable concession the rights to the name Roy Rogers and all merchandizing that went with it. The early '40s saw Rogers turn into a national institution. His westerns became even more popular and accessible once they were taken out of the "historic" west of the nineteenth century, and moved into the modern west, which allowed for more freedom in plotting and dialogue. With director Joseph Kane helming his movies, Rogers became the undisputed "King of the Cowboys" after Gene Autry joined the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. By 1944, however, the movies and records represented only a small part of the success that Rogers had achieved. The merchandizing of Roy Rogers memorabilia and other items not just toys, but cereals and electric ranges coupled with a syndicated radio show made him one of the most familiar figures in popular culture throughout the war years.

In 1944, with his first teaming with featured actress Dale Evans, the next major element in his screen success was in place. Their relationship was, at first, purely professional, but their chemistry on screen was undeniable, and Republic was soon pairing them up regularly. With the return of master action director William Witney from service in the war during 1945, Rogers' film career was poised for success for years to come, as Witney toughened up the Rogers movies and elevated their action sequences. All of this success, and the whirlwind of activity surrounding it, was negated by the death of Rogers' wife Arline from an embolism following the birth of their son Roy Jr. on November 3, 1946. Rogers continued making movies and recording, along with his personal appearances and radio broadcast. In the course of their work together in pictures, he and Dale Evans (who had already been designated "The Queen of the West" by Republic's publicity office) became ever closer. Finally, on December 31, 1947, the two were married. They made movies together for the remainder of the 1940's, and when the market for B-westerns began to disappear with the advent of television, Rogers followed the lead of western star William ("Hopalong Cassidy") Boyd and devised a television series of his own. The Roy Rogers Show, starring Rogers and Evans and co-starring Roy's Pioneers replacement Pat Brady, went on the air on NBC in December of 1951, beginning a seven-year network run that introduced his work to yet another generation of fans.

His first solo recordings featured backup by Hugh and Karl Farr and Bob Nolan, and the complete Pioneers supported him in most of his recording sessions for the remainder of 1937 and 1938. Later on, however, Rogers was backed by Spade Cooley and his Buckle-Busters as well as various anonymous studio orchestras, although Karl Farr would turn up on his sessions as well into the 1940's. On record as a solo artist, Rogers was never as successful as the Pioneers or Gene Autry, although he did have one promising early hit in 1938 with "Hi-Yo Silver," which reached No. 13 on the charts. Even Rogers' sessions on his own recordings with the Sons of the Pioneers, however, little resembled his earlier work as a member of the Pioneers, for his was now the lead voice. And where Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer (the principal songwriters within the group) never strayed too far from some contact with the reality of the West, Rogers' music quickly took on the aura of more typical Hollywood western songs, pleasant but not generally profound. His covers of songs such as "Don't Fence Me In" are probably the best remembered versions, thanks to his movies, and as songs like "San Fernando Valley" or "Home In Oklahoma" reveal, he had an extremely appealing tenor voice, not as memorable as Gene Autry's voice but very pleasing to the ear nonetheless. Perhaps the most well known of all Rogers' songs was one written by Evans and (originally) recorded by them together, "Happy Trails," which became the theme of the Roy Rogers Show. From the 1950's onward, his repertory included country music as well as western songs and spirituals, the latter often recorded with Evans.

Rogers continued to record into the 1970's, and he scored a hit in 1972 with "Candy Kisses." Roy and Dale continued making personal appearances, often in the context of religious broadcasts and gatherings, as well as television broadcasts, into the early 1990's. Rogers' main influence was in keeping the image of the singing cowboy alive. Along with Autry, who retired from personal appearances at the end of the 1950's, he was one of the most popular western stars ever to record, and was an influence on an entire generation of country-and-western singers that followed. In 1988, Roy Rogers was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, giving him a second spot (the first having come as a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, who had been elected some years earlier). Two years later, the next generation of country musicians, incuding Emmylou Harris and Randy Travis, participated in a most unusual record, The Roy Rogers Tribute, covering Rogers' best known songs with him, including an all-star rendition of "Happy Trails." Two years later, Rogers, his wife, and eldest son recorded a new album of spiritual songs.

Rogers died at his home in Victorville, California, on July 6, 1998. Bruce Eder



Similar Artists: The Sons of the Pioneers Tex Ritter Gene Autry Ron Thompson
Followers: Hawkshaw Hawkins Johnny Tillotson The Statler Brothers
Formal Connections: Dale Evans
Performed Songs By: Norman Luboff Traditional Dale Evans Bob Nolan Tim Spencer Cole Porter Gene Autry Fred Rose John Lange Johnny Marvin Eliot Daniel Dan Kelly Jimmy Kennedy Milton Brown Snuff Garrett Roy Rogers Jay Livingston Ray Evans Steve Dorff
Worked With: The Whippoorwills Roy Rogers Hugh & Karl Farr David Burgin Rex Allen, Jr. Bing Crosby
Member Of: The Sons of the Pioneers




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Jimmie Davis
AKA James Houston Davis
Born Sep 11, 1902 in Quitman, LA
Died in Baton Rouge, LA
Years Active
Genres Country
Styles Traditional Country
Instruments Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar
Labels Decca (7), Bear Family (4), MCA (3), Plantation (2)
See Also All Movie Guide Entry


In a performing career spanning eight decades of the 20th century, Jimmie Davis embraced both risqu country-blues and later traditional gospel, meanwhile maintaining a concurrent public-service career that saw him twice elected governor of Louisiana. In fact, his greatest musical successes came during his two terms as governor, once in the mid-'40s and again in the early '60s.
Born James Houston Davis in Beech Springs, LA, on September 11, 1902, Jimmie Davis was the son of a poor sharecropper, but nevertheless he earned a Bachelors Degree from Louisiana College Pineville and in 1927 a Masters Degree from Louisiana State University. The following year, he began teaching history at a small college in Shreveport. Davis began singing occasionally for a local radio station and first recorded in 1928. One year later, he signed with Victor and began recording; these initial releases reflect a style devoted to Jimmie Rodgers, emphasizing Rodgers' penchant for double entendre. Over five years he recorded almost 70 sides for the label, and though none of the singles sold well, Davis was probably less to blame than the Depression-era economy. He moved to Decca in 1934 and gained his first major hit, "Nobody's Darlin' but Mine." Another hit, "It Makes No Difference Now," was bought from Floyd Tillman, but Davis' biggest success came from his own composition, "You Are My Sunshine." First recorded by Davis in 1940, the song quickly entered the first rank of popular and country music standards, covered many times over by artists from both genres.

Meanwhile, Davis had quit teaching and accepted a position at the Criminal Court in Shreveport. He became the chief of police in 1938, and moved to state government four years later by being elected Louisiana Public Service Commissioner. He even found time to add another career to his resum: Davis appeared in three Western films from 1942-44, and in 1947 starred in the somewhat autobiographical Louisiana. Elected governor of Louisiana in 1944, he continued to record and scored five Top Five singles during his first term, including the double-sided hit "Is It Too Late Now"/"There's a Chill on the Hill Tonight" in 1944 and the number one "There's a New Moon over My Shoulder" the following year.

Jimmie Davis moved back to full-time recording in 1948, and after a stint with Capitol, he returned to Decca. Some of his country singles such as "Suppertime" began to please gospel listeners as well, and Davis gradually moved to a more sacred style. He returned to the governorship in 1960 on a segregationist platform, but to his credit prevented much of the unrest apparent in the South through his moderate position. Though he hadn't recorded a hit since his first term, Davis reached the Top 20 in 1962 with "Where the Old Red River Flows." By 1964, he was back to gospel music, and he recorded heavily throughout the late '60s and early '70s. Decca ended his contract in the 1975, but Davis continued to perform and record even into the 1990s. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1971 and managed to live for nearly 30 years after his election, dying at the age of 101 on November 5, 2000. John Bush


Similar Artists: Chuck Wagon Gang Gene Autry Roy Acuff
Roots and Influences: Jimmie Rodgers
Followers: Johnny Gimble Patsy Montana
Performed Songs By: Charles Mitchell Buddy Jones Ekko Whelan Floyd Tillman Lou Wayne Fred Rose Dick Sanford Wiley Walker Rex Griffin George McConnell Dick Robertson Gene Sullivan Hank Williams Clayton McMichen Cliff Bruner Traditional Lloyd Ellis Bonnie Dodd Nelson Cogane
Worked With: L.T.D. Carle Vickers Jake Riley Lorenzo Carnegie Arthur Shapiro Oscar Woods Lloyd Perryman Jeffrey Osborne Dave Kapp Henry Davis Perry Botkin Johnny Bond Wilson "Lefty" Perkins Johnny Borowski Al McIntire Leon Chappelear Rudy Sooter Jack Rollins Vic McAlpin





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Johnny Horton
Born Apr 30, 1925 in Los Angeles, CA
Died Nov 5, 1960 in Milano, TX
Years Active
Genres Country
Styles Country Boogie, Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Traditional Country
Instruments Vocals
Tones Earthy
Labels Columbia (11), Bear Family (6), Hilltop (3), Columbia/Legacy (2)


Although he is better-remembered for his historical songs, Johnny Horton was one of the best and most popular honky tonk singers of the late '50s. Horton managed to infuse honky tonk with an urgent rockabilly underpinning. His career may have been cut short by a fatal car crash in 1960, but his music reverberated throughout the next three decades.
Horton was born in Los Angeles in 1925, the son of sharecropping parents. During his childhood, his family continually moved between California and Texas, in an attempt to find work. His mother taught him how to play guitar at the age of 11. Horton graduated from high school in 1944 and attended a Methodist seminary with the intent of joining a ministry. After a short while, he left the seminary and began traveling across the country, eventually moving to Alaska in 1949 to become a fisherman. While he was in Alaska, he began writing songs in earnest.

The following year, Johnny moved back to east Texas, where he entered a talent contest hosted by Jim Reeves, who was then an unknown vocalist. He won the contest, which encouraged him to pursue a career as a performer. Horton started out by playing talent contests throughout Texas, which is where he gained the attention of Fabor Robison, a music manager that was notorious for his incompetence and his scams. In early 1951, Robison became Horton's manager and managed to secure him a recording contract with Corman Records. However, shortly after his signing, the label folded. Robison then founded his own label, Abbott Records, with the specific intent of recording Johnny. None of these records had any chart success. During 1951, Johnny began performing on various Los Angeles TV shows and hosted a radio show in Pasadena, where he performed under the name "the Singing Fisherman." By early 1952, Robison had moved Horton to Mercury Records.

At the end of 1951, Horton relocated from California to Shreveport, LA, where he became a regular on the Louisiana Hayride. However, Lousiana was filled with pitfalls his first wife left him shortly after the move and Robison severed all ties with Johnny when he became Jim Reeves' manager. During 1952, Hank Williams rejoined the cast of the Hayride and became a kind of mentor for Horton. After Hank died on New Year's eve of 1952, Johnny became close with his widow, Billie Jean; the couple married in September of 1953.

Although he had a regular job on the Hayride, Horton's recording career was going nowhere none of his Mercury records were selling and rock & roll was beginning to overtake country's share of the market place. Johnny's fortunes changed in the latter half of 1955, when he hired Webb Pierce's manager Tillman Franks as his own manager and quit Mercury Records. Tillman had Pierce help him secure a contract for Horton with Columbia Records by the end of 1955. The change in record labels breathed life into Johnny's career. At his first Columbia session, he cut "Honky Tonk Man," his first single for the label which would eventually become a honky tonk classic. By the spring of 1956, the song had reached the country Top Ten and Horton was well on his way to becoming a star.

"Honky Tonk Man" was edgy enough to have Horton grouped in on the more country-oriented side of rockabilly. Wearing a large cowboy hat to hide his receding hairline, he became a popular concert attraction and racked up three more hit singles "I'm a One-Woman Man" (number seven), "I'm Coming Home" (number 11), "The Woman I Need" (number nine) in the next year. However, the hits dried up just as quickly as they arrived; for the latter half of 1957 and 1958, he didn't hit the charts at all. Horton responded by cutting some rockabilly, which was beginning to fall out of favor by the time his singles were released.

In the fall of 1958, he bounced back with the Top Ten "All Grown Up," but it wasn't until the ballad "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" hit the charts in early 1959 that he achieved a comeback. The song fit neatly into the folk-based story songs that were becoming popular in the late '50s, and it climbed all the way to number one. Its success inspired his next single, "The Battle of New Orleans." Taken from a 1958 Jimmie Driftwood album, the song was a historical saga song like "When It's Springtime in Alaska," but it was far more humorous. It was also far more successful, topping the country charts for ten weeks and crossing over into the pop charts, where it was number one for six weeks. After the back-to-back number one successes of "When It's Spring Time in Alaska" and "The Battle of New Orleans," Horton concentrated solely on folky saga songs. "Johnny Reb" became a Top Ten hit in the fall of 1959 and "Sink the Bismarck" was a Top Ten hit in the spring of 1960, followed by the number one hit "North to Alaska" in the fall of 1960.

Around the time of "North to Alaska"'s November release, Horton claimed that he was getting premonitions of an early death. Sadly, his premonitions came true. On November 4, 1960, he suffered a car crash driving home to Shreveport after a concert in Austin, Texas. Horton was still alive after the wreck, but he died on the way to the hospital; the other passengers in his car had severe injuries, but they survived.

Although he died early in his career, Johnny Horton left behind a recorded legacy that proved to be quite influential. Artists like George Jones and Dwight Yoakam have covered his songs, and echoes of Horton's music can still be heard in honky tonk and country-rock music well into the '90s. Stephen Thomas Erlewine



Similar Artists: Marty Robbins Dwight Yoakam Claude King Jimmie Driftwood Sid King Charline Arthur Rusty Draper Al Dexter Terry Noland The Collins Kids Buddy Holly Bill Haley Ronnie Dawson Johnny Burnette Buddy Knox Eddie Cochran Sonny Burgess Faron Young
Roots and Influences: Johnny Cash Hank Williams
Followers: Claude King Dwight Yoakam
Performed Songs By: Tillman Franks Howard Hausey Jimmie Driftwood Traditional Merle Kilgore Fred Horton Tex Atchison Vernon Claud Scotty Harrell Billy Jones Mike Phillips Fabor Robison Autry Inman Bruce Phillips Driftwood Hank Snow Moon Mullican Claude King Tommy Blake
Worked With: Joe Zinkan Harold Bradley Grady Martin Gerald Tomlinson Jesse Sparks William Patton Black Don Law Murray Harman, Jr. Ray Edenton Cyrus Faryar Floyd Cramer Marvin Hughes Allen Harris Reggie Young George Richey Hank Garland "Sonny" Harville Buddy Sepaug Bob L. Moore




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Archie Campbell
Born Nov 7, 1914 in Bulls Gap, Greene County, TN
Died Aug 29, 1987 in Knoxville, TN
Years Active
Genres Country
Styles Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Country Comedy
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Labels RCA Victor (8), Starday (3)


Archie Campbell, a star and chief writer for Hee Haw beginning in 1968, also recorded several hits for RCA during the '60s. Born on November 7, 1914, in Bulls Gap, TN, Campbell studied art at Mars Hill College, North Carolina, and in 1936 went to work for WNOX-Knoxville's Mid-Day Merry Go Round. He moved to WDOD-Chattanooga in 1937 and stayed until 1941, when he joined the Navy. Campbell returned to WNOX after World War II, and added a Knoxville TV show called Country Playhouse in 1952. The show ran for six years, after which he moved to Nashville to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Archie Campbell signed to RCA Victor in 1959, just after his Opry debut. He reached the Country Top 25 in 1960 with "Trouble in the Amen Corner," but later singles flopped. He moved to Starday in 1962, but found no success there either. Another stint with RCA beginning in 1966 brought the Top 20 entry "The Men in My Little Girl's Life." Two other singles "The Dark End of the Street" and "Tell It like It Is" hit the Top 30 in 1968, but Campbell's chart activity declined after he joined Hee Haw in 1968. He has recorded several comedy/music albums, including Bull Session at Bull's Creek (with Junior Samples) and a self-titled album for Elektra in 1976. He also hosted the TNN interview show Yesteryear during 1984. John Bush


Similar Artists: Junior Samples
Worked With: Porter Wagoner William Paul Ackerman Velma E. Williams Smith John W. Greubel William Guilford Wright, Jr. Bob L. Moore Henry Strzelecki Roy M. "Junior" Husky Murray Harman, Jr. Ray Edenton Brenton Banks B. Chester Chet Atkins Grady Martin Jimmy Day Pete Drake Willie Nelson Floyd Cramer Chet Atkins Buddy Emmons




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