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Zeke Clements

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Zeke Clements

Zeke Clements (born September 6, 1911 - died June 4, 1994) was an American country musician often dressed in a Western outfit. He was known as "The Dixie Yodeler."

Biography

Clements was born near Empire, Alabama. In 1928, his career began when he joined Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys touring show and was signed to the National Barn Dance at WLS in Chicago.[1] In 1930, he performed on WSM Grand Ole Opry for the first time.[2] In 1933, he became a member of the Bronco Busters, led by Texas Ruby.[1] Zeke Clements And The Bronco Busters became members of the Opry in the 1930s.[3] In the 1930 and 1940s, Clements appeared as a singing cowboy in several of Charles Starrett's B-Westerns.[4] During this time, he also provided the voice of Bashful, the yodeling dwarf, in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film).[1]

Clements formed the Western Swing Gang[2] and returned to the Opry in 1939. He had his first major country hit with Smoke On the Water. The song was recorded by Red Foley in 1944 and became the No.1 Country Recording of 1945.[5][6] Also in 1945, he started Liberty Records in Southern California. It was later renamed Blazon Records.[7] After a short stint on the Louisiana Hayride in the later 1940s, he appeared on several radio stations in the South. In the 1960s, he moved to Florida and joined a Dixieland band as banjo player. He died in Nashville, Tennessee in 1994.[5]

Footnotes

References

  • Carlin, Richard (2003) Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary, Taylor & Francis
  • Haslam, Gerald W. - Russell, Alexandra Haslam - Chon, Richard (2005) Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California, Heyday Books
  • Kavanaugh, Barbara (2000) Devotions from the World of Music, David C. Cook
  • Noles, Randy (2002) Orange Blossom Boys: The Untold Story of Ervin T. Rouse, Chubby Wise..., Hal Leonard Corp.
  • Plantenga, Bart (2004) Yodel-ay-ee-oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World, Routledge
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