Hillbilly Music, a generic term to describe Country & Western Music of the nineteen forties and fifties. Feel free to use any of the information contained herein for what ever purpose you deem appropriate; however, please acknowledge The Hillbilly Researcher, and any individual who contributed information used to compile these listings.
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The VON label was based in the Von Theatre in Booneville and appears to have been a spin off from the "Dixieland Jamboree"; a regular Saturday night feature at the Von Theatre. It was a relatively short lived affair, from late 1954 thru to the end of 1955 or perhaps early 1956, during that time the label issued just six records.
The Rocky Mountain Jamboree now operating in it's 3rd year, is the regular Saturday night presentation of radio station KLAK. The show is headlined by Buster Jenkins (the Ole Gravy Sopper) who is a master showman, disk jockey, MC, and manager of the jamboree, being held in highest esteem by all the entertainers as well as the listeners of KLAK. Buster Jenkins has won seven fiddle championships and is also master of the five string banjo and lead guitar.
The top talent from the Rocky Mountain Empire gathers at 4th and Grant Street in downtown Denver, Colorado, every Saturday to pick and grin for two and a half hours where capacity crowds attend. The Jamboree first long play album is being presented to you now by some of the top entertainers of the Rocky Mountain Jamboree.
Born November 22, 1926, Buster Jenkins reportedly came to KLAK in 1960. If this is true, The Jamboree already for one year when Jenkins arrived. However, he became the host of the show then and later also married one of the show's artists, Betty Shubert, in 1963. By 1970, Jenkins closed down the Rocky Mountain Jamboree in order to go on tour with his new band, the High Country Travelers. He also had a record label called High Country as well as a publishing company. In 1978, he settled in Arkansas with his family and died June 29, 2006.
Charlie Waggoner was also a member of the show. Born around 1936 in Fayetteville, Tennessee, he recorded for Linco and then performed in Goosebay, Labrador, before moving to Denver.
Jim & Mike, the Country Boys, were a duo on the show. Jim Moore was possibly one part, he is also on the LP.
Billy Thompson is undoubtedly one of the
finest men and musicians I have ever had the pleasure to know and work with.
As for his life, this I know, he learned to
play the guitar by the time he was nine and entertained the soldiers at Camp
Barkeley during the war. Like all good American boys he finished high school
and then took a job with "The Miller Brothers Band" and recorded with
them on Four Star Records. He was featured vocalist and guitarist on six
numbers which achieved for him much fame.
Billy has worked very hard to become the
vocalist and musician he is today. Leon Gibbs, manager of the Miller Brothers
Band, instructed him in the art of being a successful bandleader. Billy
attributes his success of today, to the training which he received from Leon
and Sam Gibbs during the early years of his career.
Billy left The Miller Brothers Band to
organize his own group, ·"The Melody Cowboy" After organizing this
group he recorded four I numbers for Bo-Kay Records, one of these numbers,
"Waltzing With Sin," which achieved greater recognition for him, is
included in this album.
Billy and "The Melody Cowboys"
appeared on such national shows as the Louisiana Hayride and Red Foley's
"Ozark Jubilee." He and his band have also performed in nightspots
like the Golden Nugget at Las Vegas, Nevada, and throughout the country. Billy
also does a fine job as M.C., having trained as a D.J. on KOYL Radio in Odessa,
Texas, under Ross Kelly and having made many, many personal appearances.
For his good work in the music business he
has been recognized by such great magazines as these: Bill Board, Cash Box,
Country Music Review, Country Music World Year Book, and Who's Who in Country
In 1962, Billy joined the Hank Thompson
Band, which is rated as the Number One Band of the nation. Hank has encouraged Billy to record again
and believes in featuring all of his men on personal appearances. When you see
them work, you can't help feeling the spirit of good musicians and true
showmanship that radiates from this group.
Curtis Potter, a member of the band and top
vocalist in his own right, sings all the harmony in this album.At the printing of this album, Billy is in Europe entertaining our service men. His love for Country Music and entertaining others, has prompted him to do and offer to you this album done in
his own inimitable style. Billy is married to a lovely girl, Sue Thompson, and
they have four wonderful boys: Tommy, Ricky, Charles and Terry. And I
personally would like to say, for all the staff at the Bo-Kay Studios, it was a
pleasure and a great honor to work with Billy Thompson and to have a part in
presenting this great country Music Album to the public.
Above is a selection from the Sleeve Notes of BO-KAY LPM 101 written by JESSE SMITH
Alex adds: The Blue Bonnet Barn Dance was probably Chesser's most popular show on TV. It started in 1953 in the Waco/Temple area and starred him as well as the Texas Village Boys and other local singers, such as the Diamond Twins, Jim DeCap, Wanda Gann, and others. By 1955, the show was so successful that you had to order tickets four weeks before the show aired. The show reached around 140.000 people every Saturday evening through TV. When Chesser moved to Austin in the early 1960s, the show's run ended. In Austin, he hosted the CC Jubilee on KOKE.
COWBOY SONGS (October 1955) noted that the members of The Texas Village Boys were Gaylon Christie, Oakie Davis, Eddie Spradley, Arnold Williams, and Alvin Berry, which is the line up in the undated photograph above.