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Akeman, Stringbean (1914-1973), banjo player and comedian  

Colin Escott

Akeman, Stringbean (17 June 1914–10 November 1973), banjo player and comedian, was born David Akeman in Annville, Kentucky, the son of James Akeman and Alice (maiden name unknown). Situated halfway between Corbin and Richmond, Annville was part of a region that produced several other notable banjoists, such as ...


Ford, Whitey (1901-1986), vaudeville and country musician and comedian  

Patrick Joseph O’Connor

Ford, Whitey (12 May 1901–20 June 1986), vaudeville and country musician and comedian, also known as the Duke of Paducah, was born in DeSoto, Missouri, fifty miles from St. Louis. The names and occupations of his parents are unknown. When he was one year old his mother died, and he was sent to Little Rock, Arkansas, to be reared by a grandmother. Ford attended Peabody Grammar School, acting in school plays and performing in talent shows. He ran away at age seventeen to join the navy during World War I and served four years. During this time he practiced on the tenor banjo, at that time a competitor with the guitar, until he became an accomplished performer. ...


Jones, Grandpa (20 Oct. 1913–19 Feb. 1998), country musician, gospel singer, and comic performer  

Corey J. Murray

Jones, Grandpa (20 Oct. 1913–19 Feb. 1998), country musician, gospel singer, and comic performer, was born Louis Marshall Jones in Niagara, Kentucky, the youngest of ten children of David C. Jones and Arcadia Wise, tobacco sharecroppers. His father was an old-time fiddler, who played tunes like “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” and his mother sang old ballads and played the concertina. Jones spent his early childhood moving with his family from one farm to another in the hills of northwestern Kentucky. A crystal radio set provided entertainment, and on Saturday nights the family listened to WLS’s ...