Music industry executive. Born July 18, 1919. Full name: Walter David Kilpatrick. AKA: W. D. Kilpatrick. Career most active 1940s-1960s. Nashville-based country producer for Capitol Records, 1950-1951. Country producer for Mercury Records, 1951-1956. Manager, WSM’s Grand Ole Opry, 1956-1959. Helped launch Acuff-Rose Artists Corporation, 1959. Later served with Warner Bros. Records and Philips Records. One of the founders of the Country Music Association (CMA).
1974 June 17
(1 hour, 50 minutes)
Music industry executive D Kilpatrick talks about his experiences as one of the first A&R directors in Nashville. Discussion includes his career start; his early interest in country music; his interest as a record collector; his start with Capitol Records as a salesman; his move to Atlanta as branch manager for Capitol; his early experiences as a promoter; his transfer to Nashville and experiences establishing Capitol’s presence in country music; comments on the growth of country music and changes within the industry; memories from his work with Tex Ritter; recording the Carlisle’s hit “No Help Wanted”; memories of Fred Rose; comments on the work of early country promoters J. L. Frank and Oscar Davis; the impact of rock & roll on country music; his move to Mercury Records; his artist roster at Mercury; Acuff-Rose Publications employee Mel Foree as an effective song promoter; the payola issue; and memories from Kilpatrick’s work with the Grand Ole Opry.