Molly O'Day With Lynn Davis and the Cumberland Mountain Folks
Old Homestead - Brighton, Michigan
From the back cover: Molly O'Day was born Lois LaVerne Williamson in 1923 at McVeigh, Kentucky. At an early age she began to take interest in music together with her older brother Joe (Duke) and Cecil (Skeets). This threesome of LaVerne, guitarist; Skeets, fiddle; and Duke, banjo were soon entertaining for local dances or for any neighbors they could persuade to listen. LaVerne also began to sing in the manner of the popular girl vocalists of the middle and late thirties with her favorites being Lulubelle Wiseman, Patsy Montana, Texas Ruby Ownes and Lilly Mae Ledford of the Coon Creek Girls. She especially admired Lulubelle as a singer-entertainer and Lilly Mae's old-time playing. In her early years as a singer she tended to imitate these pioneer vocalists but as time went by, she developed her own style which was more influence by her own mountain background.
In 1939, LaVerne Williamson began her radio career as "Mountain Fern" and then as "Dixie Lee" at WCHS, Charleston, W. Va. The next year she and Skeets played with a group which included such other country music greats as Johnnie Bailes and Jimmie Dickens. In the fall of 1940 she and Skeets joined the band of Lynn Davis and his Forty-Niners where she worked as a girl vocalist. The following April she became Mrs. Davis.
Davis was an eight year veteran of country music on radio stations in West Virginia, North Carolina and Oklahoma. In his early years he had done semi-western material not unlike that of the Sons of the Pioneers. From the advent of Dixie Lee's joining the group, however, the Forty-Niners began to adapt more to the style of their talented girl vocalist. In the fall of 1942 she adopted the stage name of Molly O'Day and continued to use it for the remainder of her professional career.
The forties were busy years for the Davies. From Bluefield they played on a succession of stations including WJLS, Beckley, WAPI, Birmingham (1942), WHAS, Louisville (1943-1944) (and the Benfro Valley Barn Dance on CBS), KRLD, Dallas (1945), WNOX (1945) and WROL (1949), Knoxville and WBIG, Greensboro (1949). During this time they worked with or has as part of their group such important country music personalities as the Bailes Brothers, Hank Williams, The Lilly Brothers, Mac Wiseman, Carl Smith, Bill Callahan, and Lonnie Glossop. Between 1945 and 1951, they put over a hundred songs on transcription and thirty-six on record.
Fall of 1949 found them in Versailles, Kentucky, however, country music was becoming more of a laborious chore that the fun it had been in a earlier era. In 1950 both she and Lynn joined the church and began to devote their time to the service of God. A serious illness in 1952 and 1953 removed her even farther from commercial country and gospel music, but sustained by her faith she eventually recovered and Lynn returned to his evangelistic duties with Molly assisting. For the last several years they have resided in the Huntington, West Virginia area and continue to do church work as time and health permits.
Also see: Molly O'Day 12 Sacred Songs - REM LP-1001
The Tramp On The Street
I Heard My Mother Weeping
At The First Fall Of Snow
Mother's Gone But Not Forgotten
Coming Down From God
Teardrops Falling On The Snow
If You See My Saviour
When My Time Comes To Go
Don't Sell Daddy Anymore Whiskey
Higher In My Prayers
Traveling The Highway Home
When We See Our Redeemer's Face
Something Got Hold Of Me
Waiting For The Boys
A Hero's Death