March 24, 1990 — Entertainer and music publisher Cliffie Stone upon his induction into the Downtown Newhall Walk of Western Stars.
Pictured with him are his protege, Molly Bee, at left; and then-Mayor Pro Tem Jo Anne Darcy at right. Darcy had been in charge of the event for a number of years.
About Cliffie Stone:
Country-Western recording artist, producer, talent scout and promoter Cliffie Stone lived in the Sand Canyon area of Canyon Country
(Rolling Stone Ranch, 27731 Sand Canyon Road) and was inducted in 1990 into the downtown Newhall Walk of Western Stars, which he helped organize.
He died Jan. 17, 1998, at home.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH from Viacom Inc.:
Clifford Gilpin Snyder (Gilpen?), born in Stockton, Calif., on March 1, 1917, and raised in Burbank,
was for many years almost a one-man country music industry on the West Coast. Son of the banjo player
and comedian known as Herman The Hermit, Stone began his career in the late 1930s as bass player for
big bands such as Anson Weeks and Freddie Slack, before playing bass for Stuart Hamblen.
By the early 1940s he was bandleader and featured comedian on "The Hollywood Barn Dance" on the
CBS radio network. In 1946 Stone joined Capitol Records as an A&R man, but also did at least four major daily
radio shows ("Dinner Bell Round Up," "Rhythm Ranch," "Cliffie Stone's Western Party" and "Western Stars")
on local stations as a disc jockey or performer.
His "Hometown Jamboree," originally a radio show, became a pioneering TV show in Los Angeles
and was nationally syndicated. Stone guided the career of Tennessee Ernie Ford, and wrote or co-wrote
many hit songs, including "Anticipation Blues," "Smokey Mountain Boogie" and "The Shot Gun Boogie" for
Ford, and "Divorce Me C.O.D.," "No Vacancy" and "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed" for Merle Travis.
As an artist, Stone had several chart hits, including two Top-5 hits in the late 1940s: "Silver Stars, Purple Sage,
Eyes Of Blue" and "Peepin' Thru The Keyhole (Watching Jole Blon)" on Capitol and later started his own Granite label.
Stone received the Academy Of Country Music's Pioneer Award in early 1973. In 1989 Stone received a star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
About the Walk of Western Stars:
The Downtown Newhall Walk of Western Stars began in 1981 as the "Western Walk of Fame" as a means of honoring
Western film, stage, television and radio personalities who performed in the Santa Clarita Valley. The Walk grew out of a Western Celebrities Luncheon (1975-1979) / Dinner (1980)
put together by Jo Anne Darcy after she became manager of the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia (SCV) Chamber of Commerce in 1974. Darcy and the chamber eventually transformed
it into the Western Walk of Fame — which name was changed to "Walk of Western Stars" after the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sued over the use of the trademarked "Walk
of Fame" name.
Stars were immortalized along San Fernando Road and Newhall Avenue, and later Market Street,
with bronze plaques and terrazzo tile set into the sidewalks. The induction on the street was accompanied by a gala dinner
at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. The event continued annually through 1993 and was suspended in 1994 because of leadership and copyright issues, and
because of the earthquake on Jan. 17 of that year.
Installations resumed in 2000 when Darcy was mayor of the city of Santa Clarita. The Walk was incorporated
into the city's annual Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival (later called Cowboy Festival) — with the blessing of the Santa Clarita Valley
Chamber of Commerce, which claimed ownership of the event (even though a separate nonprofit corporation, the Santa Clarita Valley
Walk of Western Stars Foundation, ran the event prior to 1994).
The gala dinner was moved to the posh new Hyatt Valencia Hotel and Conference Center and, starting in
2002, to the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Placerita Canyon. Various types of celebratory events (not usually including dinner) have been
organized since the Cowboy Festival moved to William S. Hart Park in 2015.