The Cass County Boys originated from the time, in the early 40s, when Fred Martin (b. Texas, USA; accordion/vocals), a staff musician at WFAA Dallas, was told to fill in 10 minutes of airtime between programmes. With no proper schedule, he filled in with some chat and a few songs. Fellow staff musician and Texan Jerry Scoggins (b. 1911, Mount Pleasant, Texas, USA, d. 7 December 2004, Los Angeles, California, USA; guitar/baritone vocals) joined him one day for a joke and their singing attracted the attention of friend Bert Dodson (b. 1916, USA, d. 2 October 1995, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; bass/tenor vocals). They took their name from the fact that Martin was born in Cass County, Texas. The listeners liked their harmony singing and they were soon playing radio spots and making local appearances. One day, during his Air Force service, Gene Autry saw them and promised to hire them as his backing group as soon as he gained his service discharge. He kept his word and they remained with him for years, during which time they appeared in many of his B-movie Westerns and also on radio, television and live appearances, being especially popular on hisMelody Ranch programmes. They also appeared in theDurango Kid series which starred Charles Starrett. The Cass County Boys recorded for ARA, Columbia Records and Decca Records, as well as recording many radio transcription discs. In 1949, Dodson actually sang on Autry’s second version of ‘That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine’ and the following year on ‘Mississippi Valley Blues’. (Jimmy Long sang on both 1931 originals.) The trio also sang on Autry’s popular 1956 EPChildren’s Christmas. Scoggins later found fame as the vocalist on the theme tune to the popular US television show The Beverly Hillbillies (although Lester Flatt did the singing on the Columbia Records release). The Cass County Boys were inducted into the Western Music Hall Of Fame in 1996.
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