Wilburn Brothers – 1963 – Show Opening, Song…

Yay…You Tube is finally working right. 

I had the priviledge of knowing these guys, Teddy & Doyle Wilburn, and I’m saying right here and now they belong in the Country Music Hall of Fame.  They started their careers as little boys, singing on a street corner with their family in Missouri.  Roy Acuff discovered them and brought them to the Opry, but, because of child labor laws, they weren’t able to stay on. 

Besides being great singers, they were pioneers in the bidness in so many other ways: music publishing, artist management, country music on television….had it not been for these two, you probably would’ve never known Loretta Lynn or Patty Loveless.  They discovered them both, in fact, they taught Loretta the ins and outs of being a performer and a songwriter.  Teddy helped her with lots of her songs and didn’t take any songwriter credit on them.  He even bought her her first high heeled shoes.  They put so much into Loretta, they pretty much ignored the career of Doyle’s then -wife, (and one of my mother’s closest friends) Margie Bowes, who was, and still is, a phenomenal singer.  They weren’t included in Coal Miner’s Daughter because there was a long going lawsuit between them and Loretta and I don’t think Doyle cared for how they would be portrayed.

After Doyle died in 1982, Teddy lost interest in the music business and concentrated on his antique interests.  Remember the Art Deco shop on Music Row? That was his.  Teddy could’ve remained an important figure in the industry had he wanted to.  It’s a shame he didn’t.  He was very wise.

The brothers were both rather complex characters, both with their own demons, rather on the hot-headed side, but, both great characters and good guys.  I’m proud to have been able to be around them both and have some great memories of being with them and the whole Wilburn clan.

It wasn’t until Teddy died in 2003, at his funeral service, that I realized that he and Doyle had played a big part in my life, on into adulthood in an indirect way.  See, Mr. Smiff worked for the Osborne Brothers for 13 years.  The Osbornes were also discovered by the Wilburns and credit them for every success they had.  So indirectly, Teddy and Doyle were responsible for us eating the first 13 years me and Mr. Smiff were together.  That sorta got all over me that day. 

This is a great clip.