RED WING - the performers 

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FRANK C. STANLEY   (William Stanley Grinstead, 1868—1910)

 the nom-de-disque of one of the founders of the “Peerless Quartet” a prolific early recording vocal ensemble of what has come to be known as “barbershop quartet” singing. 

Stanley’s earliest records under his real name were fingerstyle 5 string banjo solos, and later (under yet another pseudonym “George S. Williams”) he sang harmony and provided banjo accompaniment on minstrel songs and later dialect“rube” skits.  Upon returning home from a concert at the New York Waldorf Astoria, he caught a chill and died. Newspapers recounted that in the delirium of death, he sang. 

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HENRY BURR (Harry Haley McClaskey, 1882-1941) the Canadian tenor, like Stanley was an early member of “The Peerless Quartet”  and issued a stunning number of recordings in a variety of styles under a slew of pseudonyms. 

Burr was a longtime partner of banjo great Fred Van Eps partnering in a record label (Par-O-Ket) and banjo manufacturing. Burr’s recording career declined in the mid-1920s and transitioned into radio.  He ended his career at WLS (“The Prairie Farmer Station”) in the cast of its popular “WLS Barn Dance” from 1936 until his death. 

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DOC WILLIAMS (Andrew John Smik, Jr. 1914-2011)

The Ohio-born entertainer made a long career in country music helming "Doc Williams’ Border Riders" playing gentle songs of home and hearth.  

The band headlined the cast on WWVA’s “Wheeling Jamboree” in 1937 through the 1990s. Their Wheeling label featured their own music exclusively and he never recorded for anyone else. Williams re-introduced “Red Wing,” to live audiences and listeners on WWVA’s nightly DJ shows heard throughout the eastern US and Canada. 

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© 2020 by Henry Sapoznik

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