Red River Dave: Authentic Hillbilly Ballads & Topical Songs Vol.1 (LP)
,- Deluxe vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. Notorious for his
1970 song 'California Hippie Murders!' - a ghoulish, harrowing, yodeling
retelling of the infamous (Charles Manson masterminded) Tate-La-Bianca
slayings - Red River Dave was a genuine cowboy singing star turned
tabloid balladeer. While 'California Hippie Murders!' might seem
chilling and bizarre, within the body of 'Red River Dave' McEnery epic
saga songs (collected here for the very first time), it makes perfect
sense. The Moon landings, the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, the
Vietnam conflict, the assassination of JFK, the murder of young Emmett
Till, Korean War 'Manchurian Candidate' brainwashing, patriotic tirades
and Cold War dirges - all grist for the great Red River Dave Hillbilly
song-mill. Often cut within hours or days of the event and pressed as
minuscule edition private 45s: the tall, flamboyant, 'Buffalo Bill'
bearded McEnery cut a dashing figure in his gold-sprayed cowboy boots
and cracking lariat - as he hawked these handcrafted cuts from the boot
of his steer-horned Cadillac. Some sides presented here are so rare
as to be near-mythical - you'll hear Red River Dave wax about the death
of Marilyn Monroe and the Bay of Pigs - in an eccentric and forgotten
chronicle of the 20th century experience.
Article properties: Red River Dave: Authentic Hillbilly Ballads & Topical Songs Vol.1 (LP)
born: San Antonio, Texas, December 15, 1914; died: January 15, 2002
A veteran western entertainer whose career spans seven decades, Red River Dave is best known as a prolific com-poser of topical, patriotic, and sentimental ballads.
A native of San Antonio, David McEnery toured the rodeo circuits as a youth, winning Texas championships at rope twirling and yodeling. With interest in singing cow-boys at a peak, McEnery began his broadcasting career in San Antonio and on BORDER RADIO before moving east in the mid-1930s. After performing on stations in Virginia and Florida, he landed a regular slot on WOR–New York, in 1938; the Mutual Radio Network fed his program to its nationwide affiliates.
Encouraged by songwriter-publisher Bob Miller, McEnery began writing and recording topical songs; "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight" became a country- folk standard. In May 1939 he sang on an experimental television broadcast at the New York World's Fair.
Returning to Texas after World War II, McEnery re-corded for numerous postwar labels, appeared in several low-budget westerns, and began performing over WOAI–San Antonio. He also cut transcriptions for Mexi-can border stations. McEnery was a popular San Antonio television personality through the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1967 he largely retired from music to concentrate on his real-estate business, although he continued producing self-accompanied topical singles on his own labels. He re-turned to music in the late 1970s in Nashville; he then moved to California, where he occasionally performed at Knott's Berry Farm near Anaheim. — Dave Samuelson