Skip Navigation

Sign In or Register

West-virginia-encyclopedia-text

SharePrint Red Sovine

Red_sovinep_medium

Musician Red Sovine (July 17, 1918-April 4, 1980) gained country music fame for his recitations, especially those incorporating sentimental truck driver themes. Born Woodrow Wilson Sovine in Charleston, he was influenced by Frank Welling and Buddy Starcher, two local radio musicians who also delivered sentimental monologues. Sovine’s earlier musical efforts brought little success at either WCHS Charleston or WWVA Wheeling. He took a factory job in the Putnam County town of Eleanor, but still did programs on local radio. After World War II, he opted for a full-time musical career in Montgomery, Alabama, Shreveport, Louisiana, and finally Nashville.

In 1949, he began recording with MGM, Decca, and eventually Starday. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1954. Although the majority of his repertoire consisted of straight country singing, his biggest hits were recitations, especially ‘‘Giddyup Go’’ (1965), ‘‘Phantom 309’’ (1967), and ‘‘Teddy Bear’’ (1976). Red Sovine remained active until his death in Nashville. He was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fam in 2008.

This Article was written by Abby Gail Goodnite

Last Revised on December 14, 2017


Sources

Tribe, Ivan M. Mountaineer Jamboree: Country Music in West Virginia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1984.

Cite This Article

Goodnite, Abby Gail "Red Sovine." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 14 December 2017. Web. 16 January 2018.

Comments?

There aren't any comments for this article yet.

West Virginia Humanities Council | 1310 Kanawha Blvd E | Charleston, WV 25301 Ph. 304-346-8500 | © 2018 All Rights Reserved

About e-WV | Our Sponsors | Help & Support | Contact Us The essential guide to the Mountain State can be yours today! Click here to order.