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The Advertiser

Section 1 Page 14

Date: November 14, 1950

Article Name: Ken Marvin, Native Son, Famous Singer

One of Winston County's contributions to the popular field of hillbilly music is Ken Marvin, the Winston County Pea Picker, of WSM's Grand Ole Opry fame, Nashville.

This singer and musician was born Lloyd George, and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin [and Myrtle] George, of Nashville, formerly of Haleyville. Ken Marvin is his professional name, and the young native Winston youth is making quite a name for himself.

Ken Marvin went to work at W.S.M. in Nashville in 1942, and immediately became a Grand Ole Opry star as he worked with such headliners as Eddy Arnold, Roy Acuff, and others.

Ken formed the now famous "Lonzo and Oscar" comedy team, and played the part of Lonzo. He has played music in 47 states, bringing nation-wide attention to the "Free State of Winston," as he went under the title of Winston County Pea Picker.

Probably no other living man, with the possible exception of Pat Buttram, has told of Winston County before so many people in so many places.

On Television

The Winston musician has appeared on television shows, as well as doing radio work on nation-wide Hook-ups. Under the new name of Ken Marvin he now sings solo, and is doing road work (personal appearances) as a featured star with the Jimmie Dickens Show.

The husky, handsome singer has made thousands of friends from coast to coast, and from Canada to Mexico. He has played music and sung before President Harry S. Truman, and other top national figures.

Ken Marvin records on Capitol records, and his arrangements of popular songs are going over big with music lovers and disk jockeys everywhere.


From The Advertiser, Haleyville, Alabama, February 3, 1956

IN NORTH CAROLINA Lloyd George, born in Haleyville, in recent years has been a Grand Ole Opry Star in Nashville, is now a disc jockey for a radio station in Ashville, N. C. He now works under the professional name of Ken Marvin, but for a long time he was a member of the hillbilly comedy team, Lonzo and Oscar. He has several records out, singing as Ken Marvin. Parents are Mr. and Mrs. Auston George of Nashville, formerly of Haleyville. Ken, his wife Clyda, and their 1 1/2-year-old daughter Claudia, live in Ashville. Advertiser Photo-Engraving.


Alabama Music Hall of Fame Information:

Lloyd Leslie George (a.k.a. Ken Marvin, Lonzo#1)

This information was obtained by permission from the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.


Member of Lonzo and Oscar:

Instruments: Vocals
Date of Birth: June 27, 1924
Place of Birth: Haleyville, Alabama
Date of Death:October 16, 1991

The musical comedy duo of Lonzo & Oscar was for many years a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry. Over the act's history of almost fifty years, three different men in succession played the role of Lonzo, while Rollin Sullivan held down the role of Oscar.

The act's beginnings can be traced to the late 1930s, when Kentucky-born brothers Johnny and Rollin Sullivan toured as a duo and made their professional radio debut on WTJS in Jackson, Tennessee. In 1942 Rollin Sullivan joined Paul Howard's Arkansas Cotton Pickers at WSM's Grand Ole Opry, playing electric mandolin. With World War II under way, John Sullivan went into the service.

In 1945 the Sullivan brothers and Lloyd George all worked as sidemen for Eddy Arnold at WSM and on record for the next two years. While with Arnold, Lloyd George and Rollin Sullivan provided comic relief with an act they called Cicero & Oscar. It was Arnold who changed George's moniker to Lonzo.

In late 1947 Lonzo & Oscar left Arnold to become a Grand Ole Opry act in their own right. The following year they scored their biggest hit with "I'm My Own Grandpa" for RCA Victor. In 1950, when Lloyd George left for a solo career under the name Ken Marvin, John Sullivan rejoined his brother, continuing the Lonzo & Oscar tradition of satirizing songs.


Definitive Country Encyclopedia:

From the DEFINITIVE COUNTRY: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers by Barry McCloud

Lonzo & Oscar

When Formed: 1944

Lonzo (1944-1950)
Instruments: Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
Given Name: Lloyd L. George (AKA Ken Marvin)
Date of Birth: 1924
Place of Birth: Haleyville, Alabama
Date of Death: 1991

Oscar
Instruments: Guitar
Given Name: Rollin Sullivan
Date of Birth: January 19, 1919
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Kentucky
Married: 1. Helen (dec'd.), 2. Geneva Busby
Children: Linda Kay

The duo of Lonzo & Oscar ranked as the Grand Ole Opry's premier musical comedy team for a quarter century, performing both original humorous songs and parodies of current hits. Actually there were three "Lonzos" during the team's four-plus decades of existence, with John Sullivan being the most significant; the original was Lloyd George (better known as Ken Marvin) and the third was David Hooten. Toward their last decade as an act, Lonzo & Oscar abandoned much of their zany comedy, becoming a nearly straight Country Bluegrass duet, placing a serious song on the Billboard charts and working numerous Bluegrass festivals.

The Sullivans grew up in a family of 10, not far from the cave country of south central Kentucky. Rollin and Johnny began playing square dances at a fairly early age and also played in a local group called the Kentucky Ramblers. About 1939, Rollin went to WTJS Jackson, Tennessee, and began playing in a band led by Cousin Wilbur Webrooks (later a comedian with Bill Monroe on the Opry) where he received the nickname "Oscar." Later Oscar went to Louisville for a while, but in 1942 journeyed to Nashville's WSM and the Opry, finding a job picking mandolin with Paul Howard's Arkansas Cotton Pickers. Two years later, he became a sideman for the show's new superstar, Eddy Arnold, as did his brother John and an Alabama boy named Lloyd L. George (1924-1991). Oscar and Lloyd became a comedy team and Eddy finally hit upon the name "Lonzo" for Lloyd. Thus was born the team of Lonzo & Oscar.

The Tennessee Plowboy also helped the duo land a contract with his own label, RCA Victor. Their initial release, You Blacked My Blue Eyes Once Too Often and then I Am My Own Grandpa (1948 Top 5) became mild hits. Soon the duo went on their own, subtitling themselves the Winston County Pea Pickers (from a locale in the Alabama hill country) and became Opry regulars in 1947. George left the act in 1950 to embark on a solo career as "Ken Marvin."


RCA Victor "In the Groove" Magazine, August 1947

This magazine states "Lonzo and Oscar with their Winston County Pea Pickers" first 78 RPM release "Ole Buttermilk Sky/Take Them Cold Feet Outa My Back (Before I Kick You Out)."

Comedy Duo Signs Contract

Lonzo and Oscar, famous singing comedy team who have become popular with the Eddy Arnold group, have signed a recording contract with RCA Victor.

The hilarious twosome, who have built their success on the burlesquing of popular tunes and original mirth provoking numbers, started their careers with Eddy two years ago. Their novel stylings have gained them a tremendous amount of success in this short time. Now under an exclusive recording contract to RCA Victor, their unique brand of humor will be brought to the further attention of the public.

Their first disc under their new pact is a pairing of Ole Buttermilk Sky and Take Them Cold Feet Outa My Back. What they do to the popular Hoagy Carmichael number will bring peals of laughter from everybody who hears it. Cold Feet on the reverse, is almost equally as humorous and will do much to bring the duo increased popularity.

Currently Lonzo and Oscar can be heard on the famous Grand Ole Opry program which originates at Station WSM in Nashville, Tenn. They're on this show from 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. each week-day night. They also put in an appearance on the Eddy Arnold show every Saturday night from 11 to 11:15.


Ken Marvin, Victor Recording Artist

One of the newest and brightest stars in the folk music field, Ken Marvin is recording for the RCA Victor Record Co., and has turned out such hits as, "You Can't Pick All the Roses," "Afraid," "I'm Waiting Just For You," "Half as Much," "More Pretty Girls." Current best sellers by Ken on the RCA Victor Label are "Heartsick Soldier," "Missing in Action," "When I Stop Loving You," "Let's Take the Long Way Home Tonight," and "I Don't Care if you go a Little Further."

He was born in Halleyville, Alabama, June 27, 1924. His first Radio appearance was at the age of 14 years on WMSD, Sheffield, Alabama. Since this time he has been on well over 200 Radio Stations, but for the last 2 years has been a featured artist on WSM Grand Ole Opry and WSM-TV. The feeling and sincerity with which he sings, have endeared him to thousands of fans all over the country.

Ken stands 5 feet 10 inches tall, weights 165 pounds, has brown wavy hair and grey eyes. Whenever his Radio and personal appearances schedule permit, he enjoys golfing and fishing, as a hobby.

Ken Marvin wishes to thank you for buying his new and first song book, hoping you get some enjoyment out of the songs and pictures in it. Ken would like very much to hear from all his fans. Write him at WSM Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tenn.


Lloyd George Obituary:

From the Herald Citizen

COOKEVILLE -- Funeral services for Lloyd Leslie George, 67, of Cookeville will be held Friday, October 18, at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Whitson Funeral Home. Burial will be in Netherlands Cemetery.

Mr. George was dead-on-arrival at Livingston Regional Hospital on Wednesday, October 16, 1991.

Born June 27, 1924, in Haleyville, Alabama, he was the son of the late Austin and Myrtle Shirley George.

He was a retired musician who played as the original Lonzo of the Lonzo and Oscar Hour on WSM Radio Station and the Grand Ole Opry. Mr. George was also a member of Netherland Church of Christ.

His family includes a daughter, Claudia Faye George of Cookeville; a sister-in-law, Etheleen Richardson of Cookeville, and two nephews.

The family will receive friends after 6 p.m. tonight at the funeral home.

Bro. Jack Honeycutt will officiate at the services.

Clyda George Obituary:

From the Herald Citizen

ALGOOD -- Funeral services for Clyda Kathleen George, 66, of Algood, will be tomorrow, June 8, at 1 p.m. in the chapel of Whitson Funeral Home with burial in the Netherland Cemetery in Overton County.

Mrs. George died Wednesday (June 6, 1990) in Parkview Hospital in Nashville.

Born in Overton County on January 15, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Clarence and Hallie Hastings Ogletree.

Mrs. George was a nurse's aide and a member of the Netherland Church of Christ.

Her family includes her husband, Lloyd L. George of Algood; one daughter, Claudia Faye George of Cookeville; one sister, Ethelene Richardson of Cookeville; two nephews, Tim and Michael Richardson.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home after 5 p.m. today.

Bro. Roger Anderson will officiate at the services.


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