RANEY, WAYNE (1921-1993)

Wayne Raney was born in Wolf Bayou, Arkansas, and as a boy became interested in playing the harmonica. In 1938, he teamed up with Lonnie Glosson, another harmonica player, and they worked together off and on for many years. They put together a short transcribed radio show that ran on 200 radio stations around the country, including WCKY in Cincinnati, where they reportedly sold five million harmonicas in the late 1940s. He also recorded for King Records in Cincinnati, where he had a #1 country hit with “Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me.” Raney also worked with the Delmore Brothers; the moody harmonicas of Wayne and Lonnie Glosson and the great guitar riff of Zeke Turner helped make “Blues Stay Away From Me” a big record for the Delmores. He worked also with Lefty Frizzell. In 1956, he started working as a deejay at WCKY in Cincinnati and stayed there for around five years. It was during this time that he became involved in starting a couple of Indiana record companies: Poor Boy and American. On Poor Boy, he cut “We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus (and a Lot Less Rock and Roll),” which also came out on Starday. Charlie Moore and Bill Napier cut a single on American. Wayne apparently also had a record company called New American, based in Oxford, which issued several EPs using leased King masters and were probably sold as a special offer over the radio. He finally moved back to Arkansas and founded Rimrock Records.

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