"The Girl with the Lullaby Voice," Chickie Williams was a longtime fixture of country radio's seminal Wheeling Jamboree, scoring a Top Five hit via the 1948 smash "Beyond the Sunset." Born Jessie Wanda Crupe in Bethany, WV, on February 13, 1919, she was a devoted fan of the Jamboree, the live country music barn dance aired each Saturday night via Wheeling station WWVA. In 1935, she wrote to the program's star attraction, Doc Williams and His Border Riders, requesting they make a live appearance at the Reawood Dance Hall in Hickory, PA. Crupe and Williams soon began a romance, finally marrying in 1939. After giving birth to the couple's three daughters, she adopted the stage name Chickie Williams and joined her husband's Jamboree act in August 1946, contributing harmony vocals and later upright bass fiddle. Two years later she notched her biggest hit with an original arrangement of the hymn "Beyond the Sunset," subsequently recorded by country legends including Hank Williams and Red Foley. Chickie was also a regular participant in Doc's pioneering tours throughout the northeast U.S. and Canada, and remained a Jamboree castmember for 52 years, retiring alongside Doc (a 61-year veteran of the series) in 1998. After a long illness, Chickie died in Wheeling on November 18, 2007.
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