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  • Oral History

Mel Foree

April 30, 1974 OH57 101 min.


Songwriter and song promoter. Born July 25, 1911. Died October 28, 1990. Worked for Acuff-Rose Publications 1940s-early 1980s. Nashville’s first full-time songplugger.

Interview Summary

1974 April 30
(1 hour, 41 minutes)
Nashville song promoter Mel Foree talks about the start and early years of his career. Discussion includes his childhood and early musical interests; start as a songwriter; comments on unsung pioneers of country music, including Knoxville musical figures Lowell Blanchard, and Arthur Q. Smith; his association with Fred Rose and Acuff-Rose Publications as a songwriter; his start as a song promoter and experiences as the one of the first promoters in country music; Knoxville as a great source of country musicians; signing Don Gibson to Acuff-Rose; Don Gibson’s early recording career; the start of Hank Williams’s career; Chet Atkins’s fiddle audition; and comments on changes in country music.

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