The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University

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The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University


The Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University recently acquired the personal papers, music business documents, and memorabilia of Charlie Walker, a long-time member of the Grand Ole Opry. Walker, who passed away on 12 September 2008, was a Texas native who rose to fame in the early 1940s through his performances with Bill Boyd's Cowboy Ramblers. Following service in Japan after World War II, he returned to Texas and built a big following on Radio KMAC in San Antonio in the 1950s. He also ran a club in that city, The Barn, where he booked many big-name country acts, including Hank Williams. Walker pursued a career as a solo performer and made his first records for the Imperial label in 1952. He moved to Decca in 1954 where he recorded "Tell Her Lies and Feed Her Candy," that was to become one of his signature songs. His biggest hit was "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down," which he recorded for Columbia in 1958. This was also the first hit song written by legendary songwriter Harlan Howard. After a move to Nashville in 1967, Walker became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He continued to enjoy a career in music up until the time of his death.

Walker's personal papers were donated to the Center for Popular Music by his widow, Connie Walker. Mrs. Walker sought a home for her late husband's materials where they would be preserved and made available to students and other researchers interested in the history of country music, radio broadcasting, and the workings of the music industry.

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