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Buddy Starcher (March 16, 1906-November 2, 2001) was born Oby Edgar Starcher near Ripley. He had a long career in country music. His father taught him to play rhythm guitar for square dances. Although his first radio appearances were in Baltimore, he first became popular in 1933 at WCHS Charleston, and later at WMMN Fairmont and WPDX Clarksburg.

Beginning in the early 1950s, Starcher appeared on television in Miami, Florida, and Harrisonburg, Virginia. In January 1960, he returned to Charleston and started an early morning program on WCHS-TV that enjoyed high ratings for six years. Buddy’s wife, Mary Ann, Sleepy Jeffers, and others contributed to the television show’s success. This program added to Starcher’s popularity in West Virginia and gained him a new generation of fans in nearby states.

In 1946, Starcher cut his first recordings on Four Star, including his best-known composition, ‘‘I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand,’’ which became a hit in 1949. Afterward, he recorded for Columbia, Deluxe, Starday, Heart Warming, and Bluebonnet. In 1966, his recitation ‘‘History Repeats Itself ’’ for Boone Records became a country and pop hit, causing Decca to buy the master and rush an entire Starcher album onto the market. Aspiring newcomers appreciated Starcher’s encouragement, including the late star Keith Whitley.

Starcher died in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame on October 24, 2015.

This Article was written by Abby Gail Goodnite

Last Revised on December 14, 2017


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

Cite This Article

Goodnite, Abby Gail "Buddy Starcher." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 14 December 2017. Web. 14 June 2024.


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