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Casey, Claude

Claude Casey
Claude Casey


This native of Enoree claimed to have “been born with music in my blood.” He formed his first band at the age of 18 - “Claude Casey and The Pine State Playboys.” By 1938 they had recorded 10 songs for RCA Victor’s Bluebird label.

After having a regular spot on WBT, one of the largest radio stations with a CBS affiliate in the South, Casey became a script writer and host for CBS and soon garnered the attention of Hollywood. Casey made his movie debut with Dale Evans in "Swing Your Partner." He appeared in numerous country and western films and went on to have an illustrious music career with such prestigious labels as MGM and RCA Victor, playing with the likes of Chet Atkins, Arthur Smith and others. In 1958, Casey opened his own radio station in Johnston, South Carolina. WJES is still owned and operated by the Casey family.

On many days Casey could be found in his studio creating a new song for his audiences to enjoy. Casey received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 1996.

Audio   (View Transcript)

bullet icon "The Installment Song" (01:44)

Recorded in the late 1930s, this traditional country tune is also known as "A Dollar Down and A Dollar a Week" and provides apt social commentary on buying with credit.

bullet icon "Down With Gin" (02:21)

A Claude Casey original that paints a vivid image of a rowdy young man, much in the style of later country musicians like Hank Williams,Jr. Also recorded in the late 1930s.

bullet icon "Little Girl, Go Ask Your Mama" (01:51)

One of the popular instrumentals performed by the Pine State Playboys, spotlighting the musical talent of band members like Jimmie Colvard on steel guitar.

bullet icon "Hottest Little Baby in Town" (02:40)

A tune that reflects the popularity of juke boxes in the 1930s. Songs like this would have been mainstays at clubs featuring juke boxes and a crowd willing to dance.