Cliffie Stone (as Cliff Stonehead) got a lucky
break in the mid-1930s with Stuart Hamblen's band King Cowboy and His Gang thanks to Stone's father, the
popular and whimsical
banjo player Herman the Hermit.
Photo courtesy of Vivian Sumner, daughter of Mary Warmuth Sathre of the Warmuth family in
Sand Canyon, where Cliffie Stone also lived. Sumner writes: "This picture
is from a song sheet owned by Mary Warmuth Sathre and and was taken in the late '30s. Mary
used ear phones to listen to the radio on a crystal set made by one of her brothers."
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.