Red Foley

Date of Birth - June 17, 1910 - Blue Lick, Kentucky, USA 
Date of Death - September 19, 1968 - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA  (Heart Attack) 
Birth Name - Clyde Julian Foley

Red Foley made his professional debut as a singer in Chicago. He was later discovered by a talent scout at Kentucky's Georgetown College. His mother and father operated a little store at the crossroads in Blue Lick, Kentucky. His father took an old guitar as part payment on an account and gave it to Red. By the time he was seven he was playing with the best of them. Later his family moved Berea, Kentucky while Red continued his "musical education'.

In high school he played basketball and ran track. At this time he entered an Atwater-Kent amateur contest and reached the state finals in Louisville. Red was on his way. In the 1930's Red shared the stage on "National Barndance", with Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, and a pint-size yodeling cowboy named George Goebel. He left there in 1937 and moved to Cincinnati, and joined the cast of a cross-the-board network show on which he starred with Red Skelton and singer Jeannette Davis.

Red signed with Decca records in 1939 and had only ordinary success for several years. Red thought he needed greater exposure and in 1944, he headline R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Saturday night portion n Nashville "Grand Ole Opry. " From that time he was one of America's best loved country singers. Some of his all-time great hits included "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy", "Peace In The Valley", "Just A Closer Walk With Thee", and "Steal Away".

After the death of his first wife, Eva, in 1952, he departed the "Grand Ole Opry", to care for his remaining three unmarried daughters. He remained in virtual retirement until 1954 when Razorback Productions of Springfield, Mo., then the nation's largest producers of country music shows, persuaded Red to star in a new quarter hour series. Sparking Red's interest, he wanted to produce an "Opry" type show. The result was "The Ozark Jubilee", which opened in Springfield's Jewell Theater on July 17, 1954. Only three weeks after the show debuted, the ABC radio network began carrying a 25 minute portion every Saturday night. It's immediate popularity led to the new ABC TV show "Ozark Jubilee".

Red remarried to Sally Sweet and made his home in Springfield, Mo. Red sang in the Inaugural Ball for President Truman in 1949 and also in a federal court(as a witness to the ownership rights to "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy".

(Courtesy:  Bill Hafker

  • Facebook
  • YouTube

©2021 by Billy Rae Stewart. Proudly created by Ambridge Media