Cap, Andy & Flip

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Old time country group were a highly popular West Virginia radio act during the 1930s.
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A very popular West Virginia radio act of the 30s, it comprised Cap (b. Samuel Warren Caplinger, 16 June 1889, Kanawha Station near Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia, USA, d. 7 July 1957; guitar), Andy (b. Andrew Patterson, 28 August 1893, Petros, Tennessee, USA, d. 19 November 1950; fiddle, guitar, vocals) and Flip (b. William Austin Strickland, 28 November 1908, Blount County, Alabama, USA, d. 21 July 1988; banjo, mandolin, tenor vocals). Cap worked as a miner before relocating to Tennessee, where he met Andy. In 1928, after forming a string band with George Rainey and his two sons, they went to Ashland, Kentucky, where, as Warren Caplinger’s Cumberland Mountain Entertainers, they recorded nine sides for Brunswick Records and Vocalion Records. Soon afterwards, Cap relocated to Akron, Ohio. Andy made further recordings for Columbia Records, with the McCartt Brothers, before rejoining Cap in Akron, where they formed the Dixie Harmonizers. They became regulars on radio in Akron and Cleveland and made further recordings, this time for Gennett. They also, as the Pine Ridge String Band, worked with Lum And Abner on a network show in Cleveland, during which time, Grandpa Jones, then a youngster just starting his career, was a member of their band. In 1930, the trio commenced its very successful radio career when Flip, who had already worked on radio, joined Cap and Andy. During the 30s, the trio became very popular, not only at Akron and Columbus, Ohio, but also on stations in West Virginia and Kentucky, including WWVA Wheeling, WMMN Fairmont, and WCHS Charleston. During this very successful time, they published several songbooks but had little interest in making records, although in 1939/40, they had recorded nine sides for the Fireside Melodies label that are still awaiting reissue. They made further recordings in the mid-40s for a local label, but they appear to have been lost. They hold the distinction of being the first act to popularize ‘Roane County Prison’. By 1940, when Flip left, the act was based at Charleston and their repertoire consisted mainly of gospel numbers. Milt Strickland (Flip’s 16-year-old son) joined Cap and Andy and the act continued until Andy’s poor health resulted in them finally disbanding in 1949. Patterson relocated to Harriman, Tennessee, while Cap worked for a time as a disc jockey on local Charleston radio stations. Andy died in 1950 and was buried at St. Albans, West Virginia. When Cap died in 1957, he was buried near his old partner. In the early 40s, Flip worked with Curly Fox And Texas Ruby on the Grand Ole Opry, but he eventually relocated to Indiana, where he continued to play with various groups in the 70s. In 1979, he retired to his native Alabama, where he died in 1988; he is buried in Gallipolis, Ohio, his wife’s home.