Wer war/ist Lonnie Barron ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD und mehr

Lonnie Barron

This is a bizarre story, even by rock 'n' roll standards. Lonnie Barron always dreamed of being Number One with a Bullet, but the bullet hit him in the head…and another got him in the arm. Born in Forest, Louisiana on July 1 in a year variously cited as 1931, '32, or '33, Lonnie Clanceal Barron grew up in Richton, Mississippi, where his father was a sharecropper. He quit school at 14 to help out on the family farm. His years in Mississippi led him to dub himself 'The Mississippi Farm Boy' after he settled up north. There were four years in the U.S. Air Force that reportedly ended in September 1952 (if true, he was inducted in 1948, making 1931, if not 1930, his likeliest year of birth). "The year 1949 found me at the Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan,"  he wrote to 'Country Song Roundup'in 1954. "I entered a TV talent show, and won three weeks straight. I then got a sustaining show on WDOG in Marine City." After discharge, Barron stayed in Marine City, flitting between WDOG and WDSC. While on WSDC, he appeared on Casey Clark's Big Barn Dance Frolic on WJR, Detroit. After the Frolic ended, Clark launched the Lazy Ranch Boys Barn Dance show.

Again, Barron was on it. Working with Jim Minor in Flint, Michigan, Barron made his first record for Minor's Western Chuck Wagon label (it was reviewed in 'Billboard'after his death, but was assuredly an earlier recording). Woodie Fleener's local contact man, Pat Nelson, brought Barron to California for his first Sage & Sand session in February 1955 ('Billboard' noted that he was back on WDSC by February 26). The first Sage record, You're Not The First Girl/Sentimental Me, presumably stemmed from that session. The second and probably last Sage & Sand session was held in Nashville on February 21-22, 1956. When Teenage Queen was reviewed in November 1956, 'Billboard'drew the parallel to Boyd Bennett's Seventeen for fairly obvious reasons. On aural evidence, it appears that we're hearing Nashville session guys rather than Barron's band (the guitarist, again on aural evidence, might be Grady Martin). After reporting on the session, 'Billboard' noted that Barron was returning to work 13 shows a week on WDOG, six shows a week on WABJ in Adrian, Michigan, while commuting most weekends to the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, West Virginia. He'd bought a house in Muttonville, Michigan, adjoining his own White Eagle dance hall. According to the manager of WDOG, Barron was dickering with a larger record label, reportedly Columbia. His fiancée, Edna Gunter, lived in Detroit and was pregnant with his child.

So Lonnie Barron was a busy man but found time to have an affair with two married women, his fan club president, Mrs. Girvan Kerr, and her sister, Bettie Fetting. Mrs. Fetting's husband, Roger, found a letter that Bettie had written to the self-styled Elvis Presley of Muttonville, and on Elvis's 22nd birthday, January 8, 1957, Roger Fetting went to confront Barron. According to Fetting's testimony, Barron boasted to him that he'd had sex with both Fetting's wife and sister. Fetting shot Barron while he was trying to escape through the bathroom. A February 14, 1957 article in the 'Anchor Bay Beacon' indicated that charges were reduced to manslaughter when Fetting was arraigned in the St. Clair County Building in Port Huron.

Over 300 spectators were present at the hearing, and they heard Mrs. Fetting admit to "illicit relations" with the singer. Justice Nelson determined that it was a "crime committed in the heat of passion" which allowed for reduced charges. Delbert J. McNally, a member of Barron's band expressed surprise: "Lonnie worshipped people and I don't know that he had an enemy in the world. He didn't smoke, drink or use foul language and I personally know he read his Bible every night." According to McNally, Lonnie Barron was putting two younger siblings through tech school and had purchased a farm for his parents back in Richton. Casey Clark, who booked Barron, said, "Lonnie was the cleanest living fellow I've ever met. He left a wonderful impression on everyone and he had a marvelous future ahead of him." Barron's body was taken to Richton, Mississippi, near his father's home, for burial. In June the following year, 'Billboard' announced that fans were trying to raise money to place a marker upon his grave. In 1963, RPM-Crown released five of Barron's recordings, together with some more by Casey Clark and Evelyn Harlene, on an LP.

9. - Lonnie Barron (The Mississippi Farm Boy) - Teenage Queen - (Lonnie Barron) - Sage 230

Various That'll Flat Git It Vol.27 (Sage & Sand)
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