Starkey Entertainers from Galmish
by Wanda M. Cochran
THE STARKEY ENTERTAINERS
Wanda M. Cochran
My father, Glenn Starkey, had a hobby of collecting old songs and ballads and put them together in book form. Music was a great part of his life. He sang when working around the house or in the field. He organized a string band he called "The Starkey Entertainers", which were made up of members of the family. Dad taught himself to play a guitar and he coached the rest of the family group to play some sort of string instrument before they were five years old. When they began playing in public Donald was 13 and played the fiddle, Arnold was 11 and played the banjo. Von Dean and Louise, who were younger than Donald and Arnold, both played the mandolin. The band played at company picnics, family reunions, business banquets, church socials, lodge and school functions. They got their "big" break in 1931 whenever a group of business men sponsored their appearance on radio station WMMN Fairmont. The family also played on the Wheeling, WV radio station WWVA and became acquainted with Big Slim, the Lone Cowboy, and Doc Williams and Chickie. The family band was forced to disband whenever Donald and Arnold graduated from high school and went off to college. None of the other family members, Wanda Mae, Garnet Ruth nor Patsy, who grew up during this period, ever learned to play any musical instrument. (Note: Most of this information was taken from an article that Donald wrote and had published in the book "We Make Our Own Fun" in 1995.
THE STARKEY ENTERTAINERS
* (These notes were used as a guide for the program that was being broadcast on WWVA, Wheeling, WV in the early 1930’s)
Perhaps you would like to know something about the Starkey Entertainers. They consist of:
Mr. Glenn Starkey and four of their children:
Donald - age 12 -- violin
Arnold - age 11-- tenor banjo
Von Dean – age 9 – mandolin
And little Mary Louise – age 6 – who also plays the mandolin
They play for their opening number:
1. THE STARS AND STRIPS FOREVER
2. THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT WALTZ
Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Miller of PineGrove, W.Va.
And Mr. and Mrs. Thomas G. Starkey of Minnie, W.Va.
Next we have a mandolin duet by Von Dean and little Mary Louise,
GIVE MY LOVE TO NELLIE, JACK
This number is dedicated to their grandparents, Mr. P.H.Stackpole of Pine Grove,
W.Va., Mr. and Mrs. Lafayette Starkey of Smithfield; also their teachers Hazel
Northcraft and Virginia Morris of Friendly, W.Va.
4. THE LONG EARED MULE
By request of Robert Snodgrass of Chester, W.Va. and R. L. Yoho of New
Martinsville, W.Va. It is also played for E. R. Cain of Princetown, W.Va. and
Mr. and Mrs. John M. Priest of Phillipi, W.Va.
We have a mandolin solo by Arnold Starkey THE LITTLE SHIRT MY MOTHER
MADE FOR ME.
This number is dedicated to Rymer and Frankie Starkey at West Liberty, W, Va,
also to James Burlin Bates of Center Point, W.Va.
At West Liberty State Teacher’s College a large crowd has gathered in the Girls Dormitory to hear The Starkey Entertainers. For these good friends they play
OVER THE WAVES..
Mr. Starkey will sing SHE’S THE GIRL I SHOULD HAVE MARRIED LONG AGO.
This number is dedicated to Mr. Earl Wayt and his mother of Kausooth, W. Va.
Also to Mettie Justin of Stewert, Ohio
He also doesn’t want to forget Dr. R. W. Batson of Pine Grove, W. Va.
Next we have a special request for Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Hissam of Friendly, W. Va. THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN HOME
9. Next we offer a duet by sisters Frankie and Fonda Stackpole who have joined us tonight: MOONLIGHT ON THE COLORADO. Dedicated to Rymer and Frankie Starkey at West Liberty, W. Va. and Mr. and Mrs. Truman Trader of Reader. W.Va.
10. SALLY GOODEN Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rustemeyer and Dorothy of
Friendly, W. Va.
11. GOLDEN SLIPPERS Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Bailes and family of
Guthrie, W. Va. And Mr. and Mrs. I. G. Fleming of Syracuse, Ohio
12. CHICKEN REEL dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Stackpole of Sistersville, WVa
GOODNIGHT WALTZ dedicated to (blank)
THE BULLY OF THE TOWN dedicated to (blank)
FIRST LOVE by Glenn and Frankie. Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. G. G. Wadsworth,
Harrisville, W. Va.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN BLUES
FIRST LOVE guitar solo
OVER THE WAVES
MAY I SLEEP IN YOUR BARN TONIGHT, MR?
SIDE WALKS OF NEW YORK
TURKEY IN THE STRAW
25 W & L SWING