Red Sovine

Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine (July 17, 1918 -- April 4, 1980) was a country music singer. He was associated with truck driving songs, particularly those recited as narratives, but set to music. The most famous example of this is his 1976 number one hit "Teddy Bear". Born in 1918 in Charleston, West Virginia, he was taught how to play guitar by his mother. ...show more

Woodrow Wilson "Red" Sovine (July 17, 1918 -- April 4, 1980) was a country music singer. He was associated with truck driving songs, particularly those recited as narratives, but set to music. The most famous example of this is his 1976 number one hit "Teddy Bear". Born in 1918 in Charleston, West Virginia, he was taught how to play guitar by his mother.

His first venture into music was with his childhood friend Johnnie Bailes, with whom he performed as "Smiley and Red, the Singing Sailors" in the country music revue Jim Pike's Carolina Tar Heels on WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia[citation needed]. Faced with limited success, Bailes left to perform as part of The Bailes Brothers. Sovine got married, and continued to sing on Charleston radio, while holding down a job as a supervisor of a hosiery factory.[citation needed] With the encouragement of Bailes, Sovine formed The Echo Valley Boys.[citation needed] After a year of performing in West Virginia, Sovine moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where the Bailes Brothers were performing on KWKH. Sovine's own early morning show wasn't very popular, but he gained greater exposure performing on the famed KWKH radio program, "The Louisiana Hayride".

One of his co-stars was Hank Williams, who steered Sovine toward a better time slot at WSFA in Montgomery, Alabama, and toward a contract with MGM Records in 1949. In that same year, Red replaced Williams on Louisiana Hayride when Williams jumped to the Grand Ole Opry. Over the next four years he recorded 28 singles, mostly following in Williams' honky tonk footsteps, that didn't make much of a dent on the charts but did establish him as a solid performer.. ...show less