Date News Posted: January 6, 2001
It was January the third in the new year of two thousand and one, most of the U.S was either covered in a blanket of snow or a blizzard was coming in, in southern California it was a balmy day, around eighty and a little after ten in the morning at the Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California another one of our cowboy western singing legends was about to make his last ride on this earth.
Doye O'Dell was loved by many in those great years of the fifties, he had his own T.V. show on KTLA in Los Angles called "Western Varieties" his guest on that show read like a who's who in Country music, Eddie Dean, Hal Southern, The Frontiersmen, Hank Penny and just about every one else that may be passing through from Nashville. Doye was born around Plainview, Texas in 1912, , by the early thirties he was learning to play the fiddle and was good enough at it that he won a few contest and decided he would like to move on to the guitar, his Dad thinking it would be a good idea also traded a bale of cotton for Doye's first guitar.
After High School Doye and a couple of buddies lit out for Amarillo where they nailed a job on a local radio station, playing for room rent and in the evenings played some dances for tips that put the beans on the table .And.. it kept getting better, from Amarillo to New York where the N.B.C. Radio Network signed Doye to a two year contract making him the first cowboy band to ever appear over the N.B.C. Network six days a week, his show was called "Doye O'Dell's Radio Rangers". The next three or four years kept Doye busy with Radio shows and personal appearances all through the eastern states and New England and then it was on the road west where Allied Pictures signed Doye to a Motion picture contract for two major releases.
Other then some great lunches over the years which his beautiful wife Liz would fix while Doye and I would tell stories and drink coffee, I would take some notes and try to get the dates right when Doye was doing what, but sometimes (most times) that is not an easy thing to do. Doye would say, well, I know I lived here when I was doing that and I lived there when I was doing this and like most of us it really didn't matter as long as he was doing what he liked to do. most times I can't even remember what I did last week let alone August the 6th. 1958.
Maybe some one will sit down though and put all the dates, times and places together because it does matter now. Doye was no small part of the great shows, and western music and country music that lived big time in Southern California during those great years of the 50's. Born Allen Doye O'Dell he decided one day to shed his first name (Allen) and just call himself Doye, BUT>>most times that didn't work, people would call him Doyle like a pineapple, but Doye just smiled, "well, at least they called me"
When you watch some of the interviews on T.V you ask your self how that reporter could ask such stupid questions, one night a reporter ask a ladies son "well how do you feel about what has just happened" I wanted to crawl under the couch, the kid's Mother had just been run over by a train, the point is I thought this was a stupid question to ask Doye one day knowing full well that as a young man getting started that every thing was important and new and exciting but I ask him anyway. What is the number one thing you are proudest of ? knowing he had been in a movie with a man to become president, Ronald Reagan, to have went from a little town in Texas, to a bigger town in Texas to the bright lights of New York to meeting thousands of fans from coast to coast to other motion pictures and of course other then our love for country music, we both were Marines and proud of that. But it didn't take Doye but a second to answer my question and that was the show Doye hosted for the kids called "Cowboy Thrills" and it seems like all those who watched it felt the same because it won Doye O'Dell an "Emmy" two years in a row. My friend Doye O'Dell loved kids.
"The Pioneers" with Tex Ritter, "Fugitive Valley" with the Range Busters,"Whirlwind Raider" with Charles Starrett (The Durango Kid), "Home In Oklahoma"with Roy Rogers, "Under California Skies" with Roy Rogers, "Along The Navajo Trail" with Roy Rogers , Doye was in the Columbia Picture "Home In San Antoine" and "Man From Rainbow Valley" with Monte Hale are just some of the motion pictures that Doye appeared in.
Doye recorded for several record labels over the years, the list would be longer then here to Ft.Worth if we listed all the songs he recorded but a couple of them you may remember right off is, "Diesel Smoke" (dangerous curves), "Shut Up And Drink Your Beer", "Old Shep", "Dear Oakie""Mosey On", "If You Want Some Lovin" and what could have been one of his most requested songs even in the heat of summer because of the great way he sang it, "Blue Christmas". Doye appeared on several T.V. shows like "I Love Lucy" and "Maverick" he was on "Sugarfoot" the "G.E. Theater", "Shotgun Slade","Laramie" and "Cheyenne" and more.
Doye took his show to Nevada many times over the years appearing at the "Showboat, the "Golden Nugget" and the list goes on covering most all of the great places a country artist could work in those great old days. Yep, Looking back up the page and at many more pages of things Doye did over the years, through the good years and the bad, Doye O'Dell was one of the kindest human beings we have ever met, and I don't have to ask myself what is one of the proudest things of my life, that one's easy, it was knowing and being a friend to Doye O'Dell.
Now, there will be people that write and ask for some of Doye's recordings and all we have are a few of his 45's, but I can almost promise you this, like my good friend Eddie Dean when he died the bootleggers over seas and else where have put out three already, maybe four of Eddie's material on CD, some Eddie might be proud of, others I am sure he would not have liked, so we can pretty much look forward to the bootleggers mentioned above once they find out Doye is gone to do the same thing, they figure no one will follow up on it and try to collect the royalties owed the estate of the artist, and most times they are right because if it is done overseas and you went there and you got an attorney and you spent a month (or more) there and not even sure you were going to get any thing, well, how many people would do that ? probably none, so they are scott free.
But I guess there is another way to look at it, even though it is not right and I hate those turkeys, that when they do steal the material and put it on CD's, people will remember Eddie and Doye and all the others they have boot legged over the years. They take the old 45's, the old albums any old tapes they can find old transcriptions anything with the artist sound on them, some so bad they hurt your ears to listen to, and re-master them but a collector will buy them and like I said, maybe in that respect it is a good thing, but I still don't like it.
Made contact this past week with Stan Hitchcock, one of the great country music artist of years back, he has been doing mostly TV shows the past few years and has some "Great" things on video which some are on the way to us now and will let you know about in a week or so, from the way Stan described them it's my kinda country, just a couple of good old boys sitting on the front porch talking about a song and then singing it.
I think that is one of the things I miss about country radio in this day in time, I loved the stories about the artist, what they were doing, where they were playing, most of all the DJ giving the name of the artist and song, they think the big deal is how many songs can we play in an hour, I don't listen to the crap they play now days anyway so it really don't bother me that much but the times I have tuned in and heard one I liked, it took me a month to figure out who was singing it so I could buy it so most times I didn't.
I really have tried to listen to what they call country now days, but it's a screamin' mess, you can not understand half what they are singing (?) about, and another thing I hate while I am at it is a singer that is singing what should be a sad song with a smile on his face, that just frost my buns. If Red Sovine would have sang Teddy Bear laughing they would have shot him and they would have hung Cal Smith if he was smiling while singing "Country Bumpkin". I might as well keep going while I am at it, if an artist would have come to work dressed like these people are dressed now days to do a show for Ernest Tubb or Porter Wagenor they would have been hung at the door and most of them should rent out their head for a bird nest. Boobs with out a doubt have their place, stickin' out at me or laying naked on the bed singing a sad song ain't no place for boobies. can I hear an "Amen"
Roy Harper on the other hand is country from his shorts out, he probably knows every Jimmie Rodgers song ever recorded, and if it has the word train in the title he more then likely knows that song also, he sings songs of life and the way it really is and....he is one heck of an artist also, so if you have a hankerin' to buy an original oil on canvas painting of a train, then Roy is your man. I don't have his house address right here in front of me but bet your boots that every one knows Roy Harper in the little town he lives in, so write Roy Harper, Manchester, TN. you can look up the zip code, but old Roy will get your letter. if you have a problem finding his zip or address, drop us an email and we'll get it for you.
Janet McBride has had a busy past year, she goes out and works and says time for a break and the next week she has got two more gigs to play, well that's a good deal, living proof that if no one likes country music the old fashion way, then why do people go see her, fact is, they like it, they just can't find it and they sure ain't a gonna hear it on the radio, so dag-nab-it, when you see or hear one of these artist are going to be any where near you, go see um. Most all the artist now days have email address and if not they live in a house with an address and 98% of them love to hear from their fans so if you want to get in touch with one of um, holler.
Jim Gorichanaz has just started a site for Marvin Rainwater and this has got to be the longest web site address I have ever eye-balled so here goes http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/joolsholllllland/1180/index.htm Man am I glad I gave up J.D. we would have never got that close to being right, maybe when he gets a goin' he can shorten that address a little, at least enough to get it all on one page. But just remembering Marvin Rainwater and that he is alive and well and according to Cal Smith who did a show with him down south a while back said Ole Marvin was a tearin' them up with "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird" I am sure Jim would appreciate passing along to Marvin anything you wanted to know, recordings, appearances or what ever it might be.
A writer mentioned Donna Fargo the other day and I guess we told the story about her and Steve Stebbins before (Americana Agency) Steve booked Donna a lot back in the good old days, he just thought the world of her, her attitude, the way she treated people and of course the way she sang. What she is doing today, well we don't know but what ever it is it should be recording the good songs she used to write and sing and we hope she still is "The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A."
Went up to visit Walter's statue last week, we parked at a little cafe just down the street aways and walked up to where the statue is, there is a nice little bush just this side of the statue and behind the bush we could see a guy doing something to Mr. Brennan that from that distance didn't look nice, but as we got closer it looked better, the guy said the city had given him the job that every week he was suppose to polish Mr. Brennan and Joel McCrea who is across the street, now I am sure beyond doubt that Walter Brennan never dreamed that one day some body would be putting polish on him where this guy was shinning him up, but a job's a job and I can just see Mr. Brennan now looking down sayin' "well doggies Luke, how you like them apples"?
We put a lot of new good things in the catalog this week, if you got a hankerin' take a look, if not we appreciate you reading the news this week but very sorry we had to tell you the news about our friend Doye. Rest in Piece old buddy.
That should about do it for this week, we really appreciate all the nice Christmas cards, must have been pert near a hundred of um and we hope this year of twenty o-one will be the best year you have had in a long time, we were beginning to think the White House would be empty for the next four years, at least we learned some new words from Florida about what your hole is if it don't get all the way punched, just keep that in mind at the next election: No matter how you voted, no one can say that they both didn't give it a run for their money and by George we hope he does good by our country.
We will see you next time, but just in case we don't, Take care of yourself