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Legends come and go ... like shooting stars ... but country music legend Cliffie Stone continues to be a shining star who just keeps "happening."
On March 1, 1989, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and many celebrities honored this country music legend with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was the first country music personality to ever be awarded this star.
But the honor that he treasures the most was presented to him on October 9, 1989, when he stepped on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville and received the Country Music Association's Country Hall of Fame award. As Cliffie told the press that evening, "to receive this award is equivalent to receiving an Oscar in the movie industry." And to add to his joy — his son, Curtis (Highway 101) won CMA's Group of the Year for the third consecutive time. It was the first time that the Country Music Association presented such distinguished awards to "father and son" on the CBS television network.
Over the years, special honors have been presented to him, such as being selected as a national judge by the American Song Festival; being inducted into the Disc Jockey Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville; he was chosen Shriners' Man of the Times in 1982; and in 1981-1982, he was selected to be Honorary Mayor of Little Santa Clarita Valley.
He takes great pride in helping and giving of himself to his community. In November 1989, he received the Silver Spur humanitarian award from College of the Canyons in the Santa Clarita County [sic; valley] area. He has served as president of the Sulphur Springs School Board and served on the board of directors of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
On March 24, 1990, he was inducted into the Walk of Western Stars in the Valencia/Newhall area in California — joining Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter and many other country western stars. He has lived in the Santa Clarita County [sic] area for over 30 years — raising his family and helping to serve the community — and this was a very special evening for him as family and friends paid tribute to him.
His accomplishments to warrant him these honors include:
ENTERTAINER: Performing "live" on a concert stage as master of ceremonies ... singing, playing his bass, talking and joking with the audience — is his first love. He started as a boy, playing bass in his father's band and doing comedy routines. In the early years of his career, he became a studio musician and a Big Band player; because of his speaking abilities and his love for people, he branched out and soon became a celebrity disc jockey on KLAC and KFOX. Over the years, he was heard and seen by millions when he produced and emceed the legendary country/western show, "Hometown Jamboree," on radio and television. It was this show that started and helped the careers of such entertainers as Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton, Wesley and Marilyn Tuttle, Merle Travis, Tex Ritter, Freddie Hart, Liberace, Molly Bee, Lefty Frizzell, Eddie Dean, Johnny Bond and many others. Cliffie also appeared on many television shows ("Tennessee Ernie Ford Show," "Lawrence Welk Show," Merv Griffin," "Two On the Town" and "Dick Clark's Academy of Country Music Award Show on NBC") and numerous radio programs and live concerts. To this day, he loves appearing "live" on a concert stage whenever he has the opportunity — Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, The Shrine Auditorium, Alpine Village* — to name a few.
PRODUCER: He produced over 14,000 television and radio shows in his 50-year career in the entertainment industry. He was the producer of "Hometown Jamboree" (both radio and television); "Molly Bee Show" on TV; he was Tennessee Ernie Ford's manager and was the executive producer for the "Tennessee Ernie Ford Show" for 5 years on NBC television and on CBS radio; for a year, he produced "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch." Over the years, he worked with Normal Lear, Bud Yorkin, Jim Hobson, Milt Hoffman, Joe Landis, Selwyn Tauber and Danny Arnold. Other producer credits include being one of the executive producers on numerous musical specials for television such as "Christmas Songs" with Mel Torme; "Songs for a Lysty Land," "Cross Country," and two "Great American Gospel" shows.
COUNTRY MUSIC ORGANIZATIONS: He was one of the charter members of the Country Music Association in Nashville and served for years on their board of directors as vice president. For two years, he was president of the Academy of Country Music here on the West Coast. He feels that the years that he spent with both of these organizations were among his lifetime achievements — for he was part of a wonderful and dedicated group of people who gave of their time and themselves in order to establish and organize the basic foundational principles that gave direction for the improvement and perseverance of country music which would continue the traditional values that is the legacy of "Mother Country Music."
OTHER MUSIC ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE: Being an executive producer in the Country Music Division for Capitol Records; president of Central Songs ; president of Cliffie Stone Productions; vice president of Two Feather Productions; general manager of Granite Records' Country Division; and director of Country Music for ATV Publishing. He has served for 8 years on the board of directors of the Musicians Union of Los Angeles, Local 47, as trustee, and continues to serve in this capacity.
SONG CREDITS: "Here's a Happy Hello, Hometown Jamboree," "Steel Guitar Rag," "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed," "John and Marsha," "Divorce Me C.O.D.," "Shotgun Boogie," "Anticipation Blues," "Sunday Morning Tears," "The Lord's Lariat." He created and packaged 27 square dance albums for Capitol Records. No one loves good songs more than Cliffie, and he continues writing original songs today, and they include: "Vulner'ble," "Deja Vu (All Over Again)," "The Magic of You," "That's When My Life Began," "I'm Here, Darlin'," "Lord, I Thank You."
One of his proudest and biggest joys are his three sons who all have successful careers in music and who are carrying on the traditional values that encompass country music. Steve is an executive with Warner Brothers Publishing; Jonathan, formerly an executive with Quincy Jones, is now an executive with Windswept Pacific Publishing; and, as previously mentioned, Curtis, who plays bass with the CMA award-winning Highway 101 band.
Today, he is proud to be affiliated with the great country legend and humanitarian, Mr. Gene Autry. He is the executive consultant and director of the Gene Autry Music Group. He feels that his previous music "know-how" and business experiences have all been a preparation for this unique and prestigious position.
* Alpine Village is a Bavarian-style marketplace and entertainment venue in Torrance with an annual Oktoberfest.
LW2934: 9600 dpi jpeg from original press kit purchased 2017 by Leon Worden.