Saturday, April 06, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Zeke Clements & His Western Swing Gang

Artist:Zeke Clements & His Western Swing Gang
Song:Oklahoma Blues
Album:Swinging Hollywood Hillbilly Cowboys

Marion "Zeke" Clements is mainly known as a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry and a radio personality. But he also had some success in Western Swing in the 40s including Oklahoma Blues. He was born Sept. 6, 1911 in Empire, AL. He started out in 1928 with Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys. Then he worked for National Barn Dance on WLS radio in Chicago. He first performed on the Grand Ole Opry radio show in 1930. He would become an Opry regular as a member and later leader of the Bronco Busters. Clements was known for his yodeling and was nicknamed The Dixie Yodeler. This got the attention of Hollywood. He appeared as a singing cowboy in several Charles Starrett B-Westerns. And he was the voice of Bashful the yodeling dwarf in the 1937 landmark Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. in 1939, he returned to Nashville and formed the Western Swing Gang. He had several hits in the mid-40s including Oklahoma Blues in 1944. You can get it on this 4CD various artists box set from the British label Proper Records. Western Swing fans should check it out. Clements moved back to Los Angeles in 1945 and founded Liberty Records. He was also part of the beginnings of the Louisiana Hayride radio show. He continued to be a radio personality until his death on June 4, 1994 at age 82. Zeke Clements is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. A lot of his songs were hits for other artists. But he is primarily known as a country music radio personality. Here's a video for Oklahoma Blues by Zeke Clements & His Western Swing Gang.

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