Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cottonseed Clark (19??-19??)





COTTONSEED CLARK was the host of several country and Western, musical variety shows on radio in the 1940s, including Hollywood Barn Dance and All Star Western Theater . He appeared in at least one film Smoky River Serenade (1947). I've tried to look for more information on him, like birth date, place of birth, death date, ect. but with no luck. I can't even find his real name. He wrote Texarkana Baby with country/western legend Fred Rose in 1948. Cottonseed Clark recorded an album in 1961 called "Homespun Philosophy" (FOX 3040/SFX 3040). Click here to get a Hollywood Barn Dance broadcast on MP3 and here to get an All Star Western broadcast courtesy of OTRCAT.com


TEXARKANA BABY
(Fred Rose - Cottonseed Clark)
« © '48 Milene Music, ASCAP »
She's my Texarkana baby do I love her Lowdy Law
Her pappy came from Texas and her maw from Arkansaw
I'm twisted round her finger like a little piece of string
And yet I'm satisfied because she's such a precious thing
If she hauled off and slapped me I would never feel the sting
She's my Texarkana baby
She's my Texarkana baby do I love her Lowdy Law
Her pappy came from Texas and her maw from Arkansaw
She's pretty as a picture and you ought to hear her name
It's sweet as sarghum syrup and good ol' blue ribbon cane
She gives me lots of sugar and she never spills a grain
She's my Texarkana baby
She's my Texarkana baby do I love her Lowdy Law
Her pappy came from Texas and her maw from Arkansaw
One night I went a callin' on my pretty little maid
I must admit to you I was a little bit afraid
To offer her a diamond ring with one installment paid
She's my Texarkana baby
She's my Texarkana baby do I love her Lowdy Law
Her pappy came from Texas and her maw from Arkansaw
She's got two eyes that twinkle like a good ol' country star
She's got a perfect figure that'll stop you wherever you are
Why everytime I look at her I think of my guitar
She's my Texarkana baby

26 comments:

  1. I am Cottonseed Clark's granddaughter and I know about his birth and death etc......

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  2. Walt...........hang tight for more info.
    Clark Fulks was my uncle on my Father's side.
    I am not going to post further info as I am busy elsewhere but one of my sisters, Sharon, who discovered this blogspot, plans to continue correspondence.
    Soon.
    I think!
    Regards.
    Andrea

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  3. Hey All,
    Thanks for writing and checking this out. I think people should know more about Cottenseed. I've been so busy with work and my life in general that I haven't had as much time as I did last Summer to work on this blog but the repsonse that I've gotten from you all convinces me that I need to set atleast an hour or two a week for this....

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  4. Right after we moved from Arkansas to the S.F. bay area in 1950 we got a TV. Cottonseed Clark had a country music show (I was in the 7th grade). I'm sure it must have been live back then. He had a lot of local/up-and-coming people on his program (Cal Smith, Blackjack Wayne, Blackjack's brother - Billyjack, I think, and a little girl that sang like Theresa Brewer). Several of them were DJ's on radio station KVSM out of San Mateo. Cottonseed did a live radio broadcast promoting a new supermarket opening in Pleasant Hill in the early 50's. My Daddy was a butcher at that store. Mother took me down to meet Mr. Clark. Those were the good old days.

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  5. What a great site to have found!

    Cottonseed had a show in 1962 on KTVU (Channel 2) in Oakland, and was live on Saturday afternoons. The theme song of the show was "Steel Guitar Rag", which stands out today as one of my favorite songs. The steel player was Chuck Gillette, who was a neighbor of mine, and at the time, as a 12 year old, I rode the bus with a buddy every Saturday to the station and was the audience, usually only the two of us. Anyone with any other info on Chuck Gilette, or Cottonseed please e-mail me. That was a great part of my growing up and the influence of the Country Music I learned and began a love for was all because of my association with the show.

    Gene Fixler
    Cleveland, Ohio
    car7236@aol.com

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  6. The show's theme song:


    http://www.themusicmotel.com/download/songs/Perkins_05_Steel_Guitar_Rag_60.mp3

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  7. just for curiosity, where did you find that soundtrack? I am his grandson and just played that themesong for my mother ( his daughter )...she definitely remembers it...I don't because I was too young...for the record, Cotton passed away quietly in 1991 at age 82....
    David Hilton

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  8. I always enjoyed listening and watching Cottonseed Clark on radio and television. He had a very friendly style, sort of storyteller, social commentator, with country music and novelty numbers. Remember him from various shows like California Hayride, KTVU, radio KEEN.

    B. Chin

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  9. Hi all,

    I just found this blog while googling Cottonseed Clark. How wonderful to discover it! My mother, Carolina Cotton, was a Western entertainer in the 1940s and 50s. She worked with Cottonseed quite a bit. They did the AFRS Ranch House Party, Hollywood Barn Dance and other LA-area radio shows, and both appeared in the B-Western "Smoky River Serenade". Also did personal appearances like the All Western Days in Coronado, rodeos, parades etc. They seemed to have a great time working together and were surely good friends. I have several photos of Mom with Cottonseed. Some are on my website carolinacotton.org I would love to get in touch with the family. It would be great if someone created a website and Myspace for Cottonseed, to share his legacy with others.

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  10. Cottonseed Clark and Cal Smith were a big part in my teenage years. I had a big crush on Cal and for my Jr. High graduation my folks took me to Trader Lew's in San Jose where they were performing. I still have his pix 53 years later. I wrote Cottonseed and requested special songs to be played on my birthday. Radio station KEEN was what we listened to in the 50s. It was good to go down memory lane.

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  11. I remember listening to Cottonseed Clark on Radio KEEN 1370 when the station went back to C&W music in Jan 1976. He did the morning show for a few months - later he moved to Saturday mornings and was on the air from 6am - 9am. He had his own board engineer to play the music and take calls. I used to go down to KEEN on weekends and visit with the DJ's. I had a chance to meet Cottonseed Clark - what a thrill to meet a legend! Mr. George Snell (owner of KEEN) was a good man and he brought Cotton back to radio KEEN in 1976. He also made sure Cotton received a pension check from the station for the rest of his days.

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  12. What a joy to run across this Cottonseed Clark site. He was on KVSM for several years when the station broadcast out of its transmitter building at the foot of the old San Mateo Bridge. Cottonseed was sort of the unofficial "bridge greeter." Drivers would be tuned into the station and honk their horn and Cottonseed would "wave them on through." There was a constant parade of horn honkers going by the station. "Steel Guitar Rag" was his theme song. Around 1952-54 he had a nightclub in either Belmont or San Carlos. Of course, I was too young to frequent the place but my parents took me by one day to meet Cottonseed. I think it was called "Cotton's Club." Of course, country music was its mainstay. What great memories when radio was strictly AM and fun. The DJs played whatever they wanted. There were no play lists. Most DJs carted around a box of 45s from their own collection. How nice of the former Radio KEEN owner to provide Cottonseed with a pension.

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  13. I sure do remember listening to his show in the 1953-55 time frame while going to College of San Mateo and assume it was on KVSM. He had a great accent and played what I considered the better CW music. Time marches on!

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  14. I loved his country aphorisims. Once, when I made a stupid mistake he said to me, "Son, you ain't got sense enough to dust a bull fiddle through mud that'd bog a snake!"

    I replied, "I don't quite follow you, Cotton."

    "Well," he explained, "dusting a bull fiddle is when you put rosin on it so it'll sound."

    "I'm with you there," I agreed.

    "And mud that'd bog a snake would have to be pretty deep!" he continued.

    I looked at him expectantly.

    "So there you are," he concluded.

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  15. It's great to find out more about Cottonseed Clark. I remember attending a show in Richmond, CA around 1953-54 and seeing Cottonseed. If I remember correctly, the Cochran brothers (Eddie and Hank), and a young girl, Marilyn Orlando were performing that night.
    Cottonseed deserves to be in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. I hope more info is available and his name is added in the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

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  16. My stepfather, Max Wilson (1929-2009), was the lead guitarist in Cottonseed Clark's band on Channel 2, Oakland, in the early 60's. My brother and I were in that very small studio audience, along with kids that I assumed belonged to other musicians.

    The band featured Max on guitar, Mabel Beasely on piano, Chuck Gillette on pedal steel, John McCurley, and later, Donn Moon on drums, Howard (I am sorry I do not remember his last name) on Fender bass. There was another singer-rhythm guitarist whose name escapes me, too. From time to time the KTVU receptionist would sing. She had a guitar with the name "Myrna Jay" inlaid in the fretboard, so that was her name, maybe.

    We heard and met George Hamilton IV, Freddie Hart, Little Jimmie Dickens, Tommy Duncan, Rose Maddox and Brother Cal, and many others. Cottonseed, of course hosted the program and always had his featured moment.

    After the TV show, the band and artist of the week would drive down to Napredak Hall on Stevens Creek Rd. in San Jose for a dance and show. Cottonseed would perform his famous cigarette trick and introduce the guest and do a couple numbers himself. I helped the musicians carry their stuff in and out of the place.

    The live shows I remember best were Rose Maddox (stomping the crap out of the stage) and George Hamilton IV (I kept his broken D string for years). And Freddie Hart riding in our backseat with his huge arm around my little brother, telling him truly bloody war stories.

    Max Wilson went on to play for years in the Nevada casinos. Mable Beasley was seen doing a piano-bar gig in the Bay Area the early 80's. It was a thrill to be there on those occasions and stays with me to this day.

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  17. The writer of butchersfloor.blogspot.com has written a superior article. I got your point and there is nothing to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not disagree with: What you look for is always in the last place you look for it... Unless you mangle your control loops. I will be back.

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  20. Hi need pictures of Cottonseed Clark from the California Hayride show from 1955-1956 on stage or backstage!
    Thanks have some that i can share!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, share 'em, Ekko!

      D.J. a/k/a The Cottonmouth Kid

      www.CowpokeRadio.com

      Delete
  21. Hi lookin for pictures of The California Hayride show from around 1955-1956 and also Black Jack Wayne pictures / On stage or backstage? have some for trade!

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  22. Need Jess Willard pictures from 1955-1956 when he was recording on the Ekko label in Hollywood?
    Thanks

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