b. Thomas Clinton Cutrer, 29 June 1924, Osyka, Mississippi, USA, d. 11 October 1998, Gallatin, Tennessee, USA. Cutrer’s hoped-for career as a footballer was ended during his high school days by osteomyelitis. He spent months convalescing, during which time he decided to pursue a career in radio. He did menial tasks at stations in New Orleans and Jackson before gaining an announcer’s post with KARK Little Rock in 1943. He relocated to Memphis around 1945, where he worked on both WMC and WREC. He had some experience as a singer and in the late 40s, he formed his first band, the Rhythm Boys. In the early 50s, he worked on stations in Houston, before moving to KCIJ Shreveport in 1952. In 1954, while on his way to Nashville to work for WSM, he was involved in a serious accident that led to him having a leg amputated. He quickly recovered and worked on WSM as a disc jockey and also as an announcer on the Grand Ole Opry. Cutrer held the distinction of being the first disc jockey ever to play a record of Johnny Cash on air and during his career, he once worked as the announcer for Cash’s networked television show. In 1957, he was voted America’s top disc jockey and he appeared in the 1965 filmMusic City USA. He made recordings for several labels in the 50s, including Capitol Records, RCA Records, Victor Records, Mercury Records and Dot Records. He gained no chart entries but his material varied from honky tonk to gospel. He may be heard on the 1975 Starday releaseOpry Time In Tennessee and he also recorded an amusing version of ‘Temptation’ with June Carter and a pleasant cut of ‘Wonderful World’ with Ginny Wright. In 1976, he turned his attentions to politics and stood for Congress, being beaten by Al Gore. He then successfully gained election to the State Senate, where he served until 1982.
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