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Clyde Julian Foley (June 17, 1910 – September 19, 1968), better known as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II.

For more than two decades, Foley was one of the biggest stars of the genre, selling more than 25 million records. His 1951 hit, "Peace in the Valley", was among the first million-selling gospel records. A Grand Ole Opry veteran until his death, Foley also hosted the first popular country music series on network television, Ozark Jubilee, from 1955 to 1960.

He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which called him "one of the most versatile and moving performers of all time" and "a giant influence during the formative years of contemporary Country music."
In 1930, as a freshman at Georgetown College, Foley was chosen by a talent scout from Chicago's WLS-AM to sing with producer John Lair's Cumberland Ridge Runners, the house band on National Barn Dance. His first single, "Life is Good Enough for Me/Lonesome Cowboy", was released in June 1933 on the Melotone label. In 1937 he returned to Kentucky with Lair to help establish the Renfro Valley Barn Dance stage and radio show near Mt. Vernon in 1939, performing everything from ballads to boogie-woogie to blues.In April 1946, Foley signed on to emcee and perform on The Prince Albert Show, the segment of the Grand Ole Opry carried on NBC Radio. During the next eight years he established himself as one of the most respected and versatile performers in country music. He acted as master of ceremonies, the straight man for Opry comedians Rod Brasfield and Minnie Pearl, and proved himself a vocalist who could handle all types of material. His popularity was credited with establishing the Opry as America's top country music radio show. In 1949, Foley was part of the Opry's first European tour, visiting U.S. military bases in England, West Germany and the Azores, with Brasfield, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Little Jimmy Dickens, Hank Williams and others.

Foley began recording with his backing group, the Cumberland Valley Boys, in 1947. He recorded seven top five hits with the group between 1947 and 1949, including a No. 1 single, "New Jolie Blonde (New Pretty Blonde)" (a cover of a 1946 Moon Mullican hit), and the country boogie anthem "Tennessee Saturday Night", a chart-topper in 1948. In 1950, he had three million-sellers: "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", "Steal Away" (recorded by Hank Williams as "The Funeral"), and a solo version of the song that became his trademark, "Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy". Featuring guitarist Grady Martin, it stayed at No. 1 on Billboard's country chart for 13weeks and hit the pop chart as well.

In April, 1951, Foley was pleased when the immensely popular Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) flew from Hollywood to Nashville to join him for a two day recording session, both acts hoping to repeat the previous successes that the sisters enjoyed when they teamed with Burl Ives in 1947 and Ernest Tubb in 1949, producing both folk and country hits. While the results proved to be less popular, the ten tunes recorded were vocally well executed and received a good deal of play on the country radio stations. The songs included the rhythmic "Satins and Lace," the rockabilly-flavored novelty "Where Is Your Wandering Mother Tonight?," a very slow rendering of the forlorn hillbilly classic "Bury Me Beneath the Willow," two duets by Red and Patty Andrews, and two country gospel favorites: "It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)" and "He Bought My Soul at Calvary."

In 1951, Foley's second wife, Judy Martin, took her own life. To devote more time to his family in Nashville, he cut back on performing but continued to release hits in a variety of styles, including rockabilly and rhythm and blues. His 1951 hit, "(There'll Be) Peace in the Valley (for Me)" backed by the Sunshine Boys quartet, was one of the first gospel music records to sell one million copies. He also released his first LP that year, Souvenir Album.

Foley's manager was Jim McConnell and "Dub" Albritton was his personal appearances manager. Starting in 1951, he hosted The Red Foley Show on Saturday afternoons on NBC Radio from Nashville (moving to ABC Radio and Springfield, Missouri from 1956 to 1961) sponsored by Dow Chemical. On November 21, 1953, he was one of the first eight singers named to Billboard magazine's Honor Roll of Country and Western artists, "named by the disk jockeys of America as an all-time great of country & western music."

Foley never lost his love for country music and, unlike Eddy Arnold, never sought success as a pop artist, even though many of his recordings made the pop charts. Other hits included "Sugarfoot Rag", "Cincinnati Dancing Pig" and "Birmingham Bounce", which stayed at No. 1 for 14 weeks. Foley's success with the song prompted 21 cover versions. "One By One", a duet with Kitty Wells, hit No. 1 in 1954 and stayed on the charts for 41 weeks. He also recorded with Ernest Tubb (with whom he maintained a fictitious on-air "feud"), the Dixie Dons, the Andrews Sisters, the Anita Kerr Singers, Rosetta Tharpe, Evelyn Knight and the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. Known by then as Mr. Country Music and America's Favorite Country Gentleman, critics dubbed him the "barnyard Bing Crosby."

In late 1939, Foley became the first country artist to host a network radio program, NBC's Avalon Time (co-hosted by Red Skelton), and he performed extensively at theaters, clubs and fairs. He then returned for another seven-year stint with National Barn Dance.

In 1941, the same year he made his only film appearance (portraying himself) with Tex Ritter in the Western, The Pioneers, Foley signed a lifetime contract with Decca Records. He also released "Old Shep" in 1941, a song he wrote with Arthur Willis in 1933 about a dog he owned as a boy (in reality, his German shepherd, poisoned by a neighbor, was named Hoover). The song, later recorded by many artists including Hank Snow and Elvis Presley, became a country classic. His controversial patriotic 1944 single, "Smoke on the Water", topped the folk records chart for 13 consecutive weeks, and on January 17, 1945, Foley was the first country performer to record in Nashville, Tennessee. During the session at WSM-AM's Studio B, he recorded "Tennessee Saturday Night", "Blues in the Heart" and "Tennessee Border". He soon became known for such songs as "The Death of Floyd Collins" and "The Sinking of the Titanic". He moved to Nashville in 1946 and was briefly a member of the Brown's Ferry Four, recording "Jesus Hold My Hand" and "I'll Meet You in the Morning".




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Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (00) Promo to Sponsors
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (07) Guest - Luke Warmwater
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (10) Guest - Foggy River Boys
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (14) Guest - Ferlin Huskey
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (16) Guest - Hawkshaw Hawkins
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (26) Guest - Tommy Sosebee
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (27) Guest - Jean Shepard
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx (28) Guest - Jimmy Self
Red Foley Show xx-xx-xx Guest - Pete Stafford

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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 08 September, 2012.

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