Dick Flood – Looking back over my 19 years
as a Nashville based professional singer / songwriter / entertainer
“Early on the powers at CBS hired Mr. Elton Britt as our music director. Mr. Elton was recognized as the world’s highest yodeler. He recorded for RCA Victor Records in the 40s & 50s. His biggest RCA Victor hit was “There’s a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere” in 1942.
The song was written by Mr. Paul Roberand Mr. Bob Miller, and Mr. Elton’s recording of it was the first crossover hit in the history of American music. The recording had sold well over a million copies, and Mr. Elton received one of the first gold records ever awarded.
Another of his biggest hits was a song written by Mr. Stan Jones entitled “Cowpoke”. Although I had never been a cowboy I loved that song and I had learned to sing it. I sang it in every night spot in DC, and always got a big hand for it.
I was thrilled to meet Mr. Elton Britt in person, and get to know him quite well. I told him how much I liked the song “Cowpoke” and that I’d been singing it myself for quite a while. Mr. Elton then surprised me by asking me to sing a little of it for him. He said he just wanted to hear what I sounded like. Can you imagine how thrilled I was to even be in his presence let alone sing one of his songs for him? But I did not get to sing the whole song. Right after the first verse and chorus he interrupted me by saying, “That’s enough Dick. You’ve given me an idea. How would you like to sing “Cowpoke” with me on the show sometime, and let me harmonize with you?” Stunned is not the word for what I was feeling about what he had just suggested.
Here was one of my favorite show biz idols asking me if I wanted to sing one of his hit songs with him on nationwide television. Things like that just do not happen. Or do they? So after a few hours of rehearsal one morning on the Dean show world famous yodeler Mr. Elton Britt and I sang a duet of “Cowpoke”. The song covers almost two octaves and not many country singers can do that.
But get this; He sang a third above me. I mean he was way up there in what I called ‘nose bleeding range’. What a voice that man had. Over the next several weeks Mr. Elton and I received hundreds of letters from all across the country begging us to do it again but as it turned out we never did do it again.
Not long after that Mr. Elton Britt left the employ of the Dean show and a new music director was hired. This new fellow was from New York City and knew all but nothing about country music. The format for the show was changed slightly and maybe it was my imagination but the atmosphere around the studio was not as friendly as before”.
There is a whole lot more to that story. And a whole lot more all through my book about my adventures with some of the most influential people both behind the scenes and many of the greatest stars in country music at the time. More than 50 of the folks I wrote about in my book were in later years inducted into the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame. Among them; Homer and Jethro, Jimmy Dean, Chet Atkins, Patsy Cline, Fred Foster, Jim Foglesong, Dottie West, Ernest Tubb, Gentleman Jim Reeves, Red Foley,Willie Nelson, Bill Anderson, Hank Cochran, Carl Smith just to name a few.
You can find this book and all my other books and my CDs at my website; Okefenokee Joe | Dick Flood | Buy & Download Music Online