Monday, June 14, 2010

Old Dominion Barn Dance, pt 2

The continuing saga of discovering who these people are in these old pictures on the wall... again, click on the pics to enlarge.

"The Saddle Sweethearts, Rose and Mary, two lovely young ladies, who pick and sing just as pretty as they look. On the left is Rose Schetrompf, who was born in Baltimore, Md. Started in radio at the age of 15. Plays guitar and does very nice solo work as well as harmony. on the right is Mary Klick, born in Hagerstown, Md. Started in radio in 1939, plays guitar and bass fiddle. The girls are nationally famous in radio, and joined the Old Dominion Barn Dance family in July, 1948."

Rose, in particular, had a career of note beyond the Saddle Sweethearts, which was her "good girl" WWII-era band. She was born Doris Schetrompf, and went on to marry Joe Maphis and become his duet partner as Rose Lee Maphis. I learned some of that through a Google-preview of this book: Lonesome cowgirls and honky-tonk angels: the women of barn dance radio by Kristine M. McCusker

Now Joe Maphis was a legend as a guitar pioneer and inspired Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and many others. He was a big deal. Here he is doing his comedy Barn Dance schtick as "Crazy Joe."

"Cousin Crazy Joe Maphis has been a radio entertainer since the age of 12. A native of Suffolk, Va., later moving to West Virginia. Has picked and sung with Sue, John and Sam Workman since 1940. Took time out for 3 years overseas duty for Uncle Sam. One of the original members of the old Dominion Barn Dance cast. Has been featured on most of the larger Barn Dance shows in this country. He is pictured here with his latest--Cindy the 1923 Ford, which he brings right out on the stage on Saturday nights."

Joe played in plenty of the Barn Dance bands. Here he is again with the "Korn Krackers," this time as Cousin Joe Maphis.

"The Krackers consist of Cousin Joe Maphis, Jackie Osborne, Buck Ryan and Ray Edenton. Ray was born in Richmond, Va. Started in radio in 1946, plays guitar and bass fiddle. Buck Ryan was born in Mt. Jackson, Va. Started his fine brand of fiddlin' in radio at the age of 15. Jackie hails from Grafton, W. Va. Made his radio debut at the age of 8 in Akron, Ohio. He plays guitar and bass fiddle. Cousin Joe Maphis, who plays most any instrument with strings, is a well-known radio artist to folks all over the country."

He might have been a legend among musicians, but his claim to fame is probably the song "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music)" which has been covered by the Flying Burrito Brothers, Porter Wagoner, Flatt & Scruggs, and lots more. This video with Rose and Joe was recorded in 1959, several years after the Barn Dance era featured in the pics here - but definitely old-timey classic honky-tonk. Enjoy!

Old Dominion Barn Dance, more info Joe Maphis wiki Still more to come in part 3. Don't touch that dial.


Lemmy Caution said...

Awesome. Love, love, love this stuff. And Dim Lights, Thick Smoke is a fantastic tune. Actually stumbled across a version of it by Coway Twitty last night that was damn good.

Blueberry said...


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Love the guitar solo!

Anonymous said...

Yee haw!! LOL

Looking forward to more research results of old pictures!:)