HOLDEN, FAIRLEY (1916-1987)

Fairley Holden was part of Smokey Ward’s Barrelhead Gang at WPFB in Middletown. He was a dynamic performer and probably had as much to do with popularizing Jimmie Skinner’s “Doin’ My Time” as Jimmie did; it was on one side of the Barrelhead Gang record, and he sang it at most of his personal appearances. He also recorded for King and some of the Renfro Valley labels, but was one of those performers who came across much better in person. He was a part of the Corny Four Quartet, a gospel group with a sound similar to Shannon Grayson’s Golden Valley Boys. The other members were Smokey Ward and the Osborne Brothers, when Smokey was running the WPFB Jamboree at the National Guard Armory in Middletown. When the Osborne Brothers moved to Detroit, Fairley went along as part of their band. He eventually left the music business and went home to Georgia.

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