(By Daryl Stogner)
Dave Stogner was born May 15, 1920 on a farm in St. Jo, Texas, and he was the youngest boy of nine children. By the age of 13 he was playing fiddle with his father and brothers at country-dances in north Texas. He joined a band in his hometown at age fifteen, and formed his own band and played on an Oklahoma radio station and at dances statewide.
Following World War II, Dave formed a five-piece band called "Dave Stogner and The Western Rhythmaires". After the war Dave stayed in California's Bay area near Richmond, he moved south to Bakersfield and Fresno and became a fixture at the "Big Fresno Barn" every Saturday night. He worked for radio stations in the San Joaquin Valley, and was a television personality for more than twelve years.
Dave moved from Fresno, down to Bakersfield in the 1960's and hosted his television show on Channel 17. He also had a local radio show. Dave recorded on Decca and Mosrite labels. He also made appearances in Nashville, Tennessee where he met and became friends with some of the legends in Country Music. Among his friends were Marty Robbins, Johnny Russell, Jean Shepard, Merle Haggard, Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Woods,(a lifelong friend). He booked many Country Music Hall of Famers to the Big Fresno Barn in the 1950's, including Hank Williams, Faron Young, Hank Snow, Lonzo and Oscar, Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. Stogner brought Western Swing music to the San Joaquin Valley in the 1950's, and those musicians that influenced his music were Milton Brown and The Musical Brownies, as well as Bob Wills.
Dave Stogner died May 17, 1989 in Fresno, California. Dave Stogner is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, and The Western Swing Hall of Fame in Sacramento, California. One of Dave's songs "Oh Sweet Mama", was re-released on a Franklin Mint Limited Edition Album entitled "THE GREATEST COUNTRY MUSIC RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME".
Currently Dave's music lives on and has become quite popular in Europe. In November, 2002 Country Music/Rockabilly fans in Masstricht, Netherlands are having a "Dave Stogner Dance Party" at "The Atrium" with a European Country Band performing many of Dave's songs from his Decca Record Releases.
Dave loved working in Bakersfield and thanks went to Bill Woods for talking him into making the move there.
Please visit Dave's official web site at www.davestogner.com for photos, music and more history.
Dave's Rockabilly Hall of Fame page for photos, music and more history.