This popular husband-and-wife duo, whose professional career started in 1946 and lasted for over four decades, comprised Bonnie Lou (b. Margaret Bell, 4 June 1927, Asheville, North Carolina, USA; guitar, vocals) and Buster (b. Hubert R. Moore, 28 October 1920, Bybee, Tennessee, USA; guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle). In the early 40s, Buster first played on WNOX Knoxville in a group that he formed with Eddie Hill. He then played with Carl Story’s Rambling Mountaineers at WWNC Asheville, where he met Margaret and Lloyd Bell. Army service interrupted his career but after it, he returned to Asheville, where he married Margaret Bell and resumed playing with Story. He relocated to WROL Knoxville, where he led the Dixie Partners and worked with Ray Atkins and the Morris Brothers. It was here that Bell first began singing with the band as Bonnie Lou (she should not be confused with the Bonnie Lou who was a regular on the Midwestern Hayride). In 1946, Bonnie Lou And Buster began to establish themselves as a popular radio act. Over the next few years, as well as at WROL, they had popular programmes on several stations including Greenville, Raleigh, Memphis, Harrisburg and Bristol. Between 1953 and 1963, with their own show that included Lloyd Bell and Homer Harris (the Seven Foot Cowboy), they played on television on WJHL-TV Johnson City. In 1963, they were regulars on the syndicatedJim Walter Jubilee, which saw them eliminate much of their travelling, since most of the shows were recorded at WATE-TV Knoxville. In 1972, they began theSmoky Mountain Hayride, a nightly live show that played during the tourist season at the Coliseum at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and was still running in the mid-90s. Apart from themselves the show has featured Lloyd Bell, steel guitarist Little Roy Wiggins, Don McHan and many other traditional acts with whom Bonnie Lou And Buster have worked during their many years in the music. They recorded two singles for Mercury Records in 1949, gospel sides for Waterfall in the 60s and, later, old-time, gospel and bluegrass for their own labels for sales at theHayride venue.
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