Happy Wilson




Happy Wilson and the Golden River Boys


Tex Dunn and the Virginia Boys

Happy Wilson Discography:

Matrix/Label #

Serial #

Song

Time

Composer(s)

Happy Wilson and the Golden River Boys on Decca Records:

Recorded in Nashville on February 7, 1949; NA 100 master series was assigned by Four Star label (Thanks to Michel Ruppli)

NA150 W74749/46153A

DLC 0141/1901

Go Down to the Graveyard

3:08

Mary Jean Shurtz/Happy Wilson

NA152 W84851/46153B

DLC 0141/1903

Forty Miles at Sea

3:07

Shorty Long/Duke Jule

NA153 W74752T4A; 46171A

NN 0149/2315; 0141/2085

How Long

2:39

Jimmy Selph

NA151 W74750T4A; 46171B

NN 0149/2313; 0141/2083

Comes a Time

2:46

Dan Robbins/Bill Tucker/Happy Wilson

Happy Wilson on M-G-M Records:

Recorded in Nashville at the Castle Studio (Tulane Hotel) on September 19, 1950 between 2:15 P.M. and 5:45 P.M. (Thanks to Michel Ruppli)

10877A; 50-S-6100

DLC 0178/2272; 0178/2276

The Haunted House Boogie

2:30

Eugene Wilson/Ruth Keener

10877B; 50-S-6101

DLC 0178/2274; 0178/2278

Mister Big

2:24

Bryant/Cherry


Songs Happy Wilson wrote that was performed by other artists.

Label

Catalog #

Artist

Song

Composer(s)

Columbia

C1427A

"Little" Jimmy Dickens

Sleepiní at the Foot of the Bed

Eugene B. Wilson/Luther Patrick

   

Webb Pierce

I Havenít Got the Heart

Webb Pierce/Happy Wilson

   

Hank Thompson

The Mark of a Heel

Neal Merritt/Happy Wilson




This information was obtained by permission from the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and Joyce Farris.

Happy Wilson was born in Haleyville, AL to Asa Eugene Wilson & Ollie Lear. His full name was Eugene Burnett "Happy" Wilson. He was born in Winston Co, June 29, 1919 and died August 24, 1977 in Nashville, TN. The Hall of Fame has his home as Birmingham, and he did live there in the early years.

"Happy" Wilson and his "Golden River Boys" were tops in Alabama for years on WAPI radio. Happy was a mainstay in Birmingham for years, then he and his wife (Marion Worth) moved to WBHP , Huntsville, and worked with the late "Slim" Lay's show. Happy and Slim secured a Columbia recording contract for Marion and she became a great recording artist and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Happy moved to Nashville with her and headed a large music company for years. For a short while he was in charge of the Capitol Record operations in Nashville.

A-Sleepin' At The Foot Of The Bed - Performed by: "Little" Jimmy Dickens - Written by: Eugene B. Wilson and Luther Patrick - © 1949

There is a book entitled "Sing your heart out, country boy, " that goes into the origins of various hits, including the above song. In his section Happy wrote, " I lived that. During the depression I lived in Haleyville, Alabama and when company visited, I had to sleep at the foot of the bed."


Happy Wilson is Winston Native Who Has Finally Hit Big Time

The Advertiser

November 14, 1950

Twenty-one years ago, Eugene B. Wilson was just another student in Haleyville. Though he spent most of his time whistling folk tunes, he was a pretty fair student.

As he joined with the other youngsters in playing the games nine-year olds play, Eugene had his fun just like the rest of them. But when he had a minute to spare he seemed to drift away to another land.

Radio was fairly new then and Eugene was fascinated by this new contraption. He especially enjoyed listening to the hillbilly stars sing the songs he had known since he could talk.

So Eugene didn't stick around very long. Six years later at the tender age of 15, he got his start in radio. Soon thereafter he became known as "Happy" Wilson. Some of his old friends back home in Winston County call him "Happy Tex" Wilson, but few recall his real name.

Since 1936 "Happy" Wilson has been in radio. This Winston County native, whom we honor on this 100th anniversary of the county, has risen to the very top. He is a popular disk jockey, has his own band, and is heard over WAPI, WAFM, and WAFM-TV, in Birmingham. His TV show is one of the most popular on the airways. Even the "city slickers" like the way "Happy" does the hillbilly numbers. He has a style all his own. It comes natural with him. "Happy" is truly a Winston hillbilly, and to his everlasting credit he has never pretended to be anything else.

"Happy" spent four years in the U.S. Army, coming out as a Staff Sergeant and winning the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Good Conduct Ribbon, and Belgian Croix de Guerre.

A goodly portion of his time was spent entertaining the boys and he appeared on a special Army series of broadcasts over WRVA, Richmond, VA.

The Winston native participated in the Army show, "Blackout Laffs," which was composed of 162 soldiers in Special service. He also appeared in "Sons of Fun."

Before the war "Happy" was with the "Happy Valley Gang" over WBRC, Birmingham; with Tex Dunn and his "Virginia Hillbillies" over WBRC and WAPI with the "Bar-X Cowhands" on WSGN; with Red and Raymond and the "Boys from Old Kentuck" on WSB, Atlanta, and with the "Golden River Boys" on WALA, Mobile. Before entering the Army he made a 14-week tour with Roy "Tucson" Corrigan and "The Three Musquiteers."

This famous Winston native is 30 years old, 6 feet tall, weighs 160 lbs., and likes to hunt and fish.

He is fast becoming a composer of note. Many of his songs are already hits. With this new field opening up for him, one can say that "Happy" Wilson has at last hit the big time.

A lot of really scientific musical background is behind those songs he sings; an unorthodox background but a sound one.

When he was eight years old, running barefoot around Haleyville, his father lined up a course of musical training for "Happy" that was to prepare him for his present position as the South's top hillbilly musician, song writer, and disc jockey.

In those days there were traveling musicians, teachers of music who would come into a town and settle down for the summer taking on a few pupils. "Happy" worked with most of the best of these traveling teachers - and there were some really great ones in the old days. He eventually worked into drums and guitar and now sticks mostly to his guitar and singing. Yes, "Happy" Wilson began to sing more than 25 years ago when just a little fellow. And he's been singing ever since.


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