Molly o day

Molly O'Day - 2011 Inductee

Molly O’Day was born on July 9, 1923 as Lois Laverne Williamson. She was raised by a coal mining family in rural Pike County Kentucky. O’Day began singing and playing guitar in a band with her brother Cecil, better known as “Skeets” on fiddle, and her brother Joe, better known as “Duke” on banjo. O’Day’s brother Skeets began playing in a radio band called Ervin Staggs and His Radio Ramblers in Charleston, West Virginia in 1939. O’Day soon followed and joined the band under the stage name “Mountain Fern.”

A year later she adopted the stage name “Dixie Lee Williamson” and began touring with the band, the Forty Niners. In 1941 she married Forty Niner’s guitarist Lynn Davis. Also that year through 1943 she made several appearances on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance in Renfro Valley. Although the Forty Niners were very successful, Davis changed the name of the band in 1945 to Cumberland Mountain Folks. In 1946, the band
became a mainstay in Louisville, Kentucky. She then took the name “Molly O’Day” due to the fact that there was already a Dixie Lee. The duets O’Day performed with her husband Lynn were a hit, but it was her
powerful solo performances that won over audiences.

In the mid-1940s, O’Day began performing songs written by Hank Williams Sr. whom she had known from her radio circuit days. It was Williams who introduced O’Day to her most beloved song, “Tramp on the Street,” which was originally written by Grady and Hazel Cole. When Fred Rose of Acuff-Rose record publishing house heard her sing “tramp”, he immediately signed her to Columbia Records. “Tramp on the Street” was among the many songs she recorded in her first studio session in 1946.

These recordings further propelled O’Day’s popularity but her success began to take a toll. O’Day and Davis stayed out of the spotlight for much of the following year, but in late 1947 she returned to the studio where
she recorded her hit “Matthew Twenty-Four.” In 1949 she returned to the studio where she recorded “Teardrops Falling in the Snow,” “Poor Ellen Smith,” and “On the Evening Train,” written by Hank Williams.
The album that resulted was chosen for the Smithsonian collection. “Teardrops Falling in the Snow” was billed in the Smithsonian Manual as “a recording which unites one of the greatest pure country singers with one of the most compelling songs about the tragedy of war.” By 1951 O’Day and the Cumberland Mountain Folks had made their last recording with Columbia Records.

O’Day recorded some more over the next couple years but began turning away from show business to perform in churches instead. In 1954, her husband Lynn became an ordained minister and in the years to follow, the
couple began preaching in the coal mining communities throughout West Virginia. Throughout the 1960’s O’Day recorded for a few small gospel labels including REM, a small studio in Lexington, Kentucky, and GRS
records. REM was operated solely by Robert Mooney, a former employee of King Records, and he was determined to record “real country”. So Mooney sought to find Molly O’Day. Her only commercial record after
leaving Columbia was recorded for Starday in the mid 60’s.
In 1973, she and Davis began hosting a daily gospel radio program on WMMN-FM Huntington. Molly O’Day passed away from cancer in 1987, but her legacy lives on as the pioneering female vocalist who helped
redefine the role of the female country solo artist.

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum
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  2. Billy Ray Cyrus - 2018 Inductee
  3. Jason Crabb - 2018 Inductee
  4. Jackie DeShannon - 2018 Inductee
  5. David "Stringbean" Akeman - 2018 Inductee
  6. Bobby Lewis - 2018 Inductee
  7. Exile - 2011 Inductees
  8. The Kentucky Headhunters - 2013 Inductees
  9. Jerry Chestnut - 2004 Inductee
  10. John Lee Lair - 2002 Inductee
  11. Red Foley - 2002 Inductee
  12. Coon Creek Girls - 2004 Inductees
  13. Ulys R "Red" Turner - Renfro Valley Performer
  14. Old Joe Clark - 2013 Inductee
  15. Merle Travis - 2002 Inductee
  16. Loretta Lynn - 2002 Inductee
  17. JD Crowe - 2004 Inductee
  18. Bradley Kincaid - 2002 Inductee
  19. Jean Ritchie - 2002 Inductee
  20. Tom T Hall - 2002 Inductee
  21. Pete Stamper - 2015 Inductee
  22. Steve Wariner - 2011 Inductee
  23. Bradley Kincaid - 2002 Inductee
  24. Bill Monroe - 2002 Inductee
  25. Dwight Yoakam - 2008 Inductee
  26. John Conlee - 2006 Inductee
  27. Louis Marshall "Grandpa Jones" - 2002 Inductee
  28. Keith Whitley - 2011 Inductee
  29. Ricky Skaggs - 2004 Inductee
  30. Brian Littrell & Kevin Richardson of The Backstreet Boys - 2015 Inductees
  31. Patty Loveless - 2011 Inductee
  32. Montgomery Genrty - 2015 Inductees
  33. John Michael Montgomery - 2011 Inductee
  34. The Judds - 2006 Inductees
  35. The Everly Brothers - 2002 Inductees
  36. Boots Randolph - 2004 Inductee
  37. Sam Bush - 2006 Inductee
  38. The Goins Brothers
  39. Crystal Gayle - 2008 Inductee
  40. Dottie Rambo - 2006 Inductee
  41. Florence Henderson - 2008 Inductee
  42. Steven Curtis Chapman - 2013 Inductee
  43. Doc Hopkins - 2015 Inductee
  44. The Osborne Brothers - 2002 Inductees
  45. Howard and Vestal Goodman - 2004 Inductees
  46. The Coon Creek Girls - 2004 Inductees
  47. Billy Vaughn - 2004 Inductee
  48. Todd Duncan - 2006 Inductee
  49. Mary Travers - 2006 Inductee
  50. John Jacob Niles - 2006 Inductee
  51. Norro Wilson - 2008 Inductee
  52. Les McCann - 2008 Inductee
  53. Molly O'Day - 2011 Inductee