b. Parlin Kenneth Beaver, 7 March 1919, Newport, Tennessee, USA. Beaver, who initially sang old-time ballads and played guitar and harmonica, became a regular on Cas Walker’s popular WROL Knoxville show in 1940. Small in stature, he acquired the nickname of Gube (short for goober or peanut) from his mother and Walker added the other when he became a father. He later gained his own show on WBIR Knoxville but also drove a taxi to add to the family income. Around 1946, he made some recordings for Capitol Records on which Chet Atkins played fiddle. It is recorded that his singing showed an influence of Roy Acuff and although he was not classed as an imitator, he did record songs associated with Acuff. Some of his recordings such as ‘You Can Be A Millionaire With Me’ (his signature tune) and ‘Cruel Hearted Girl’ proved popular, but he did little to promote himself. He suffered from a drink problem that caused him at times to be unreliable and eventually landed him in jail, when he was convicted for driving his taxi while drunk. This jolted him into turning to religion and on release, he sang only gospel music, and with his wife and children, attended and sang at gospel gatherings. He became a minister at a Knoxville church and presented religious programmes on local radio stations. His eccentric presentation, which at times saw him stand on his head to preach or climb up trees at tent revival shows, plus his use of unlikely words for a preacher, gained the ‘Reverend Beaver’ a reputation in East Tennessee. His Capitol Records recordings have not been re-released.
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