Frankie McWhorter

In 2004, the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest held its Hall of Fame Showcase in Yukon, Oklahoma, a little west of Oklahoma City. The event featured three days of dancing and performances by bands of the genre. On its final day, the group honored twenty-five people by inducting them into its hall of fame. They were Hank Thompson, Sid Barnes, Clyde Brewer, Troy Burgin, Gene Carter, Bud Duncan, Bill Garner, Red Gillian, Keith Holter, Dick Heil, Gary Howe, Frankie McWhorter, Bill Mitchell, Ray Poe, Charlie Mudford, Sam Necochea, Russell O’Neal, Billy Parker, Stan Peters, Bill Philley, Duane Pollard, Rod Rodriquez, Don Tolle, Harold Whacker and Lynn Ward.

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Charley Pride

Charley Frank Pride was born on March 18, 1934 to Fowler McArthur “Mack” Pride and Tessie B. Stewart Pride in Sledge, Mississippi. His family survived by being sharecropping cotton farmers. Charley told of wanting to have a career in baseball and initially set out to do so. He left home at sixteen to pursue a baseball career and was a pitcher in the old Negro Leagues following his older brother Mack, Jr.

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Johnny Horton

John Gale Horton was a country and western singer. He was the son of John Loly Horton (1890-1959) and Ella Claudia Robinson Horton (1892-1966) in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in East Texas. In the 1930 census, Johnny was the youngest of five children (three sons and two daughters) and his father John listed his occupation as farmer, probably a sharecropper. In the census form, Johnny is called “Gayle.” By 1940, the family was living in Cherokee County, Texas, Johnny’s father’s occupation was listed as farmer and by that time, the family consisted of the parents, Johnny’s older sister and himself. His name was spelled “Gale” in this census form.

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Gordon “Tex” Beneke

Gordon Lee Beneke was born February 12, 1914 in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas to Frank Snyder Beneke (1890-1966) and Dixie L. Delmage Beneke (1895-1988). Dixie’s parents were Edgar and Ella Delmage. Her parents had been born in France and Germany, respectively, and in the 1900 census, Edgar’s profession was listed as cigar maker and their small family was living in Huntsville, Walker County, Texas. Sometimes very interesting comes out in the census reports. In the 1910 census, Edgar Delmage’s birthplace was shown to be “Atlantic Ocean” as though he were born at sea, perhaps when his family was en route to the United States. Frank’s family tree indicates that his family had been in the United States a bit longer. His own grandfather Beneke had been born in Germany (Prussia). Frank’s profession was listed as pressman, which is to say that he worked in the printing department around the time that Tex was born. He eventually ran the press for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Harry James

Trumpeter Harry Haag James was born on March 15, 1916 to Everett Robert James and Maybelle Myrtle James in Albany, Georgia. His father played trumpet and was working as a conductor for traveling circus bands. His mother also had a circus background, but as a performer. She had been an acrobat and horseback rider.

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