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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Elton Britt born 27 June 1913


Elton Britt (June 27, 1913–June 23, 1972), born James Britt Baker, in Zack, Arizona, was a country music singer, songwriter, bandleader, radio and television performer and author who sang and played guitar since his mid-teens. Elton Britt's voice was a pleasant, easy tenor that could handle cowboy tunes and wistful ballads with equal facility. He embellished some of his songs with a high yodel that often reached a full octave above the melody, which became one of his trademarks

He began playing guitar and singing around his hometown while in his mid-teens. Baker's career was made in 1930 when the Beverly Hill Billies returned from California to their Arkansas home to recruit a new vocalist. He won the talent search, and after being renamed Elton Britt, spent three years performing and recording with the Hill Billies. Britt moved to New York in 1933, initially playing in a quartet named Pappy, Zeke, Ezra & Elton. He recorded later in the '30s, as a solo act and also with the Wenatchee Mountaineers, Zeke Manners' Gang, and the Rustic Rhythm Trio.


 
Britt began his period of fame in 1939, thanks to two circumstances: his signature on a contract for the discount label RCA Bluebird and — most importantly — his friendship with songwriter/producer Bob Miller. Miller wrote all of Elton Britt's greatest early hits, including "Chime Bells," "Rocky Mountain Lullaby," "Buddy Boy," "Driftwood on the River," and in 1942, "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere." The latter was adopted as a symbol of the war effort by patriotic audiences — much as "Over There" had served World War I sympathizers. President Franklin Roosevelt even invited Britt — billed as "the World's Highest Yodeler" — to the White House in 1942 to perform the hit.

Britt appeared in at least two movies. His performances in The Last Dogie (1933) and in the Charles Starrett western Laramie (1949) did nothing to advance his career. He may also have appeared in Universal’s The Prodigal Son (1949), but there is no evidence it was ever released.


By the time the charts came into existence in 1944, though, Britt had peaked. He did hit the Country Top Ten 11 times during the last half of the '40s, but never topped the charts. "Someday" reached number two in 1946, and six other songs peaked in the Top Five, including the double-sided "Wave to Me, My Lady"/"Blueberry Lane," "Detour," "Gotta Get Together With My Gal," "Candy Kisses," and "Quicksilver." A re-recording of his early hit "Chime Bells" hit number six. Britt continued recording with RCA, eventually releasing over 50 albums until 1957, when he moved to ABC/Paramount. He recorded over 600 sides and 60 albums for RCA and other labels in more than a 30-year span.

During the 1950s, Britt made a habit of retiring and coming out of retirement. When he retired in 1960, it was to wage an unsuccessful campaign for president of the United States on the Democratic
ticket. This was generally viewed as a publicity stunt dreamed up by Aubrey Mayhew, his sometime manager. Shortly afterwards, he returned to entertaining, and he had his last major hit with a seven-minute yodeling song, “The Jimmie Rodgers Blues,” in 1968.

During his stay with the Hill Billies, Britt entered into the first of his four marriages. In February 1934, he wed Margaret Scott, a fifteen-year-old relative of his brother Vernon’s wife. Seven months later, in September 1934, Margaret was killed in an automobile accident in Cleveland, Oklahoma. In l935, Britt married Jeannie Russell, a Canadian citizen who died two days after the birth of their second child on June 9, 1937. In 1942, he wed his third wife, Penny, a long-time Britt fan; this marriage lasted until 1958, when the couple divorced. Finally, he married Janet Counts, a woman
twenty-five years his junior, staying with her until 1970. Britt had children by each wife except the first, but none followed him into the world of music.

On June 22, 1972, Britt suffered a heart attack while driving his car and died in a McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, hospital the next day. He was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Broad Top, Pennsylvania. Later, a monument listing many of his hit songs was erected over his grave. (Info edited from AMG; Wikipedia & Encyclopedia of Arkansas)

2 comments:

boppinbob said...

For Elton britt CD Ridin' With Elton go here:

http://dfiles.eu/files/yhb6ct0dy

1. Pinto Pal (Opening)
2. I Love To Be A Soldier
3. Goodbye, May God Take Care Of You
4. Chime Bells
5. Little Silver Bells
6. Talk To The Boss In The Sky
7. Why Didn't You Take That, Too?
8. I Can't tell That Lie To My Heart
9. They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven
10. Some Time Sue
11. I'll Be Crying Over You
12. Wartime Lullaby
13. Little Pal
14. These Memories Of You
15. Mamaracho (Scarecrow)
16. Ain't You A Little Bit Sorry?
17. Put Me In Your Pocket
18. Remember And Be True, Dear
19. Trip To The Moon
20. We'll Be Back
21. Hello, Dear Mother And Dad
22. There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere
23. Pinto Pal (Closing)

Password: nich

zephyr said...

Thanks Bob he was a great pioneer of music and so good to listen to :)