A Detroit discography of the York Brothers

1953 York Brothers promotional portrait Perhaps the most popular country singers in Detroit during the 1940s and 1950s, the York Brothers, George and Les, also created the most important (and perhaps first) country music records in Detroit during the early 1940s. Here is a fresh list, along with labels, personnel, and approximate dates.

He Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven: Hal Clark

Picture sleeve for Sage 373 45rpm record: "I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven" A sometime member of the Roy Hall, Eddie Jackson, and Chief Redbird bands in Detroit, Hal Clark made a name for himself – literally and historically – as Hal Southern, author of the song “I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven” after moving to Southern California in 1951.

Detroit country-western handbills

1956 handbill for Eddie Jackson, Lucky Lee and Jimmy Franklin gig at Conner Show Bar Handbills, circulars, or fliers have been around for a long time. Here we survey several rare examples of handbills advertising Detroit-based country music entertainers from the 1930s to 1950s.

Eddie Jackson and Don Rader, early inspirations

Craig Maki, Eddie Jackson, and Marv Weyer It took a community to help write the forthcoming book. I've always been crazy about records, and record collectors got me started on this project by sharing vintage Detroit music. Some of my earliest boosters who played music (not records) included the gentlemen in these photos.

He Played Country With Dynamite: Skeet Ring

Les Bonine and Skeet Ring 1949 was a banner year for the three-year-old Fortune Records company in Detroit. Billboard magazine reviewed several country platters that Fortune issued by Detroit artists, including the only one ever made by Skeet Ring. Ring’s disk was also the last commercial record made by a country music pioneer.

Ford Nix: Detroit bluegrass pioneer

Ford Nix and Bob Mason On Sunday, October 14, before dawn, musician Ford Nix passed away in his sleep. A popular, yet humble man, Nix played an important role in Detroit's 20th century country music scene.