A preacher, performer, and talented songwriter, Reverend Andrew Jenkins is perhaps best known as the author of "The Death of Floyd Collins," a smash hit for Vernon Dalhart. Though much of Jenkins' early life remains a mystery, it is known that he began performing with his family on Atlanta's WSB radio when it opened in 1922. Instead of covering country standards, Jenkins wrote much of the material that the family performed such as the story-song "Billy the Kid." His best-known composition, "The Death of Floyd Collins," was inspired by another true story, this time about a young man who died while spelunking in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave. Recorded by Dalhart, the song became one of the all-time best-selling country 78s and cemented Jenkins' reputation as a gifted songwriter. Jenkins then continued to perform with his family on WSB radio, and they are widely regarded as the first family band to record, setting the precedent for thousands of others in the coming years.
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