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Wade Ray

October 4, 1974 OH152 90 min.


Western swing fiddler. Born April 6, 1918. Died 1998. Full name: Lyman Wade Ray. Western swing fiddler and vocalist. Started his career as a child performer and during his long career worked with numerous artists, including Pappy Cheshire’s National Champion Hillbillies, the Prairie Ramblers, Sons of the Pioneers, Ray Price, and Willie Nelson. He also had a brief solo career during the 1950s and managed the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, 1967-1970.

Interview Summary

1974 October 4
(1 hour, 30 minutes)
Fiddler Wade Ray recalls experiences from his long career. Discussion includes playing with the Prairie Ramblers; experiences working on the WLS National Barn Dance; the demise of country music in Chicago; leaving Chicago to work with Rex Allen in Hollywood; the demise in popularity of the singing cowboy; memories of Rex Allen; memories of his recording career; his experiences as a traveling performer, including work in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada; and comments on changes in country music.

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