b. 17 March 1913, Mangum, Oklahoma, USA, d. 1977. Little is known of Parker’s childhood but he began a 12-year spell on local radio in the Midwest in 1926. Then, in 1938, after relocating to San Francisco, he began to appear as the Singing Cowboy inDeath Valley Days on NBC radio. He also sang on KGO onDude Martin’s Roundup, before moving to Los Angeles. Here in 1944, Parker, Charlie Morgan and Hank Caldwell became the Plainsmen, a vocal and swing instrumentalist trio. They made their film debut inCowboy Blues with Ken Curtis and by 1946, they had record releases on the Coast label. They appeared regularly on theHollywood Barn Dance on CBS radio andSunrise Salute on KNX Los Angeles. When Caldwell departed, he was replaced by Paul ‘Clem’ Smith and the act then became Andy Parker And The Plainsmen. They recorded for Capitol Records, including more than 200 radio transcription discs and appeared in eight Eddie Dean B-westerns and many television shows.
Other artists who became band members over the years include George Bamby, Earl ‘Joaquin’ Murphey, Deuce Spriggens (who later became a member of the Sons Of The Pioneers) and Noel Boggs. When Morgan decided to leave in 1956, Parker broke up the group. Parker wrote many songs, including the popular ‘Trail Dust’ and he and Morgan sang the theme song with Marilyn Monroe for the 1954 filmRiver Of No Return. They were inducted into the Western Music Association Hall of Fame in 1991.