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Billy Starr (a.k.a. Bill Stallard) is another of those post WWII stars who somehow gets overlooked in the country music reference books. A native of Kentucky he left home aged 15 and by the early 1940s was an established radio star, moving across several stations in different regions singing and emceeing and even square dance calling. He joined the Downhomers in 1944 – an Indiana-based group best known for two of its members, champion yodeller Kenny Roberts and Bill Haley, later of Rock & Roll fame. Starr’s first solo recordings were on the Clarion label in 1949 before signing with Columbia then Imperial. BACM’s collection includes his hit Steppin’ Out and a bluesy Hound Dog recorded three years before Elvis. Mostly though an hour of early-50s-country, from an artist with a fine country crooner voice.
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