Wendell hall

Wendell Woods Hall (August 23, 1896, St. George, Kansas – April 2, 1969, Fairhope, Alabama) was an American country singer, vaudeville artist, songwriter, pioneer radio performer, Victor recording artist and ukulele player.

Biography

Hall was known as the red-haired music maker and the pineapple picador in his recording heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1923, he released the song "It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'", which sold over two million copies in the United States. He also wrote "Underneath the Mellow Moon" and "Carolina Rose". He also wrote songs with Carson Robison and Art Gillham.

He began his career in 1922 Chicago as a song plugger for Forster Music. He traveled around the country and stopped in towns to play in music stores, theaters, and radio. In vaudeville he began singing and playing the xylophone. He found the ukelele to be more portable and quickly became an expert with that instrument. In January, 1924 he signed with the National Carbon Company to host the Eveready Hour a pioneer commercially sponsored variety program on WEAF in New York. On November 4, 1924 the program was on a pre-network 18 station "hook-up" to broadcast election returns with entertainers Will Rogers, Carson Robison, Art Gillham, and the Waldorf Astoria Orchestra. Eveready even painted their batteries with a red top to cash in on Hall's popularity. He was married on the air. In 1929 Wendell Hall hosted the Majestic Music Hour and a few years later Gillette's Community Sing. He made a few musical short films. After his radio days were over Wendell Hall wrote commercials for radio.

He did some collaborations with Carson Robison, recording versions of Stephen Foster tunes such as "Camptown Races" and "Oh! Susanna". He made recordings on Victor Records.

Hall performed on a variety of stringed instruments, including the standard ukelele, the taropatch ukelele, banjo, and the hybrid banjolele, as well as the tiple. Like so many of the other performers during the era, Hall was a big fan of the instruments created by the C.F. Martin & Company, particularly their Taropatch. Like other performers, he was unsuccessful in obtaining an endorsement deal with Martin, but in response to his letter offering to endorse their product, Martin offered a their 20% discount for professional performers and to inlay his name in the head of the instrument.[1]

He published an instruction book, Ukelele Methods, with Forster Music in 1925, and designed a series of custom ukeleles that became collectors' items for several generations afterward.

External links

  • Find a Grave
  • [1] The Library of Congress - National Jukebox - Blue Island Blues. Retrieved 9/27/2011

References

  • Wendell Hall at Allmusic.com
  • Hilmes, Michele. Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States (2d ed.). Thomson Wadsworth, 2007. pp. 49–51.
  • Hilmes, Michelle. Radio Voices - American Broadcasting, 1922-1952. University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
  • Victor Records from the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings (EDVR)

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