Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday music, Red Foley

Clyde Julian "Red" Foley was born in 1910 in Blue Lick, Kentucky, and grew up in nearby Berea. He was a singer and songwriter and a radio and TV personality. An early country music performer to record in Nashville, he was long associated with the Grand Ole Opry. 

In 1950, the novelty song "Cincinnati Dancing Pig" followed more than 15 years of his recordings, in a career that extended to his death in 1968. His 1951 hit, "Peace in the Valley," was among the first million-selling gospel records.

Coming up: Old west glossary, no. 59


  1. This guy ain't that well known in the UK. I had him confused with Red Sovine who had a chart hit over here in the 70's, during the CB Radio craze, with that corny and actually terrible song, Teddy Bear. I used to like that song - breaker one nine, good buddy!

    Will be checking out more of Red Foley

    1. Red Foley was one of the top country acts from the 1940s through the 1950s and for a few years, no one was bigger. Foley was the host of the first U.S. network television programs showcasing country/hillbilly music with the Ozark Jubilee broadcast live on ABC-TV from Springfield, Missouri beginning early in 1955. It was also a national radio program. It was must viewing in our household.

      One of several major careers Foley launched was 11-year-old "Little Brenda Lee" who later dropped the little as she reached her teens. Carl Perkins debuted his "Blue Suede Shoes" on Foley's program and Wanda Jackson, Faron Young, Johnny Cash and scores of other top stars appeared.

      Foley had many hits including the "Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy" and Sugarfoot Rag and sold over 25 million records. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1967.

      At the height of his fame, one of Foley's daughters married a young singer named Pat Boone. Red had one other fling on television playing the homespun Uncle Cooter of Fess Partner on "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

      Richard Moore

    2. Auto correct caught my Fess Parker and changed it to Fess Partner...sigh. The Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was broadcast during the 1962-63 television season. My memory is that it didn't deserve a longer life.

  2. Thanks, Richard for the extra info. Thanks for the reminder of Brenda Lee. Need to find a vid of hers for an upcoming Saturday.

    Gary, I enjoyed the CB songs from that period, too. They really capture the long-distance trucker mystique, which hasn't changed since then.