Today we mark the centennial birthday of Les York, creator of "Hamtramck Mama," Detroit's first hit C&W record.
Seventy-five years ago, the York Bros cut "Hamtramck Mama" and sparked a country music recording industry in Detroit.
Country-western bandleader Forest Rye entertained in Detroit nightclubs, and on radio from the 1920s through the 1950s. Rye was the first Detroiter (of many) to perform at the "Grand Ole Opry."
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.
The torn, yellowed and undated newspaper clipping, still attached to a piece of vintage scrapbook page, shows Detroit’s Silver Sage Buckaroos. During the late 1930s and 1940s, the group performed cowboy music on WEXL radio Royal Oak and cut "Wayne County Blues," a record for the Mellow Record Company on Detroit's east side.