Cliffie Stone Family Photos
Country Music Hall of Fame Plaques: Lower left - Patsy Cline. Middle - Cliffie Stone. Upper right - Lefty Frizzell. In mid-2000, the Country Music Hall of Fame moved their museum (which was near Music Row) to their new location in downtown Nashville. Cliffie would have been so proud to have his plaque placed between these two great country stars. He met Patsy through his friend, Owen Bradley, when he went to Nashville; he admired her very much because she broke the glass ceiling for female singers and did a lot of ‘firsts’ at a time when it was dominated by male singers. She became a role model which would influence other female country singers for years to come. Excerpts from a Cliffie interview: “My Hometown Jamboree TV show was on Saturday night from 7 pm to 8 pm on Channel 5 – KTLA. Spade Cooley followed us with his hour long show. I would have featured guests such as Ernie Ford, Tommy Sands and the Oakridge Boys. During this time frame, I was also a deejay and was playing the current hit country songs. One day, I got a call from a guy in Bakersfield who said his name was Lefty Frizzell; he said that he had a record out and that he’d like to come down and be on my television show. I asked, “What record?” He said, “If You’ve Got The Money Honey, I’ve Got the Time.” The light bulb went on in my head. I recalled that I played that record which was becoming popular, but it never occurred to me that the artist would call me! So I said, “Sure, Lefty. I’d love to have you on my show.” So I booked him, publicized his name and date that he’d be on my show. He came down with just one guitar player and my band backed him up. Well, he was a smash hit that night and I knew that he was something special. Lefty was always invited to be my show whenever he wanted to do it. I respected his country roots and his easy going attitude; he was never complicated. He was never late, and when he sang with my band, he was easy to back up. He was always dressed to the hilt. He wore Nudie outfits that were red or green or blue. What I liked was the white fringes along his arm sleeves. As time went by, he grew more popular and his entourage increased. He sang songs like ‘I love You A thousand Ways;’ ‘Mom and Dad’s Waltz;’ ‘That’s The Way Love goes.” When I hear a lot of singers today, I think of Lefty, who was before Merle Haggard’s time. Everyone has to have a hero or model who influenced them. Since Lefty was from the Bakersfield area, Merle must have heard him sing at one time or another. However, Merle is his own man and he certainly developed his own style which so many singers of today try to copy. I just feel that there’s a lot of ‘Lefty’ in today’s country male singers; they just don’t know that it was Lefty who started it all.

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