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Missouri’s Johnny Rion began his radio career in 1937, accompanying himself on guitar singing hillbilly songs and much influenced by his idol, Jimmie Rodgers. This kicked off an ‘On air’ career that would continue for 60 years. During the 1950s he and wife Ann operated the Johnny Rion Hillbilly Park in various locations with shows featuring many of country music’s top names. Despite his talents both as songwriter and musician he never achieved national fame, and we are delighted to rescue these fine recordings from obscurity. Several just have Johnny accompanying himself on guitar; the two 1956 tracks on the Paramount label include Chet Atkins (guitar), Roy Wiggins (steel) and Dale Potter (fiddle) as session musicians. There are two versions of Rion’s That Heaven Bound Train, dedicated to Hank Williams. Thanks to Tony Byworth for the liner notes.
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