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Lew Childre (Children's)

One of the holdovers from the early days of vaudeville shows and one-man bands, Lew Childre managed a successful career during the 1930s and '40s playing radio broadcasts and doing his own advertising transcriptions. Born in Opp, AL, in 1901, he played trombone, trumpet, and drums in high school before being persuaded to attend the University of Alabama by his parents. Childre finished school, but in 1923 joined a tent show as a singer/performer.

He then formed a jazz band called the Alabama Cotton Pickers -- which also included Lawrence Welk -- and recorded several sides before becoming fascinated with country music, then in its commercial infancy. Childre learned to play guitar and then returned to the tent shows until joining broadcast radio in Texas in 1930. After recording several sides for Gannett Records during September 1930, he toured the state with Wiley Walker (later of Wiley & Gene fame) as the Alabama Boys.

Lew Childre moved to New Orleans in 1934, broadcasting over WWL and recording for ARC. He spent the late '30s working the Texas border station XERA with the Carter Family, but moved to West Virginia's Wheeling Jamboree by the early '40s. Childre's talent for ad-libbing comedy and songs made him a natural for advertising, and after he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1945, he began producing transcriptions for General Foods and Pepsi, among other companies. He recorded an LP for Starday in the mid-'50s, but retired from music in 1959 and died two years later. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Story The Crow Told Me: Early American Rural Children's Songs

1. I Am Just What I Am

2. Poor Little Thing

3. Barnyard Tumble

4. Old Molly Hare

5. Animals Coming In

6. Johnny Booker

7. The Old Grey Goose Is Dead

8. Pretty Little Pink

9. Free Little Bird

10. King Kong Kitchie Kitchie

11. Hop Along Peter

12. Horsie Keep Your Tail Up

13. The Nick Nack Song

14. The Story That The Crow Told Me

15. Sue Cow

16. Skip To Ma Lou, My Darling

17. Cindy

18. Say Darling Say

19. Liza Up In The Simmon Tree

20. The Old Bell Cow

21. George Washington

22. Sourwood Mountain

23. Angels Watching Over Me

Comments

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This album reminded me how much I loved to listen to Lew Childre when I was a teenager. I am looking for the album we had.

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