Jerry Prain, Norbert Ebert, Keith, Ray Ebert.
"Ohio Valley Boys"
Keith Anderson and his Ohio Valley Boys were doing a radio program over WETZ in New Martinsville, West Virgionia when I first met him. I was a new announcer at the station, and we talked a little while they set up to do their broadcast. When Keith learned I was an entertainer too, he insisted I do a number with them on the show.
After the show we talked more. I was brand new to this area...I knew nobody and nobody knew me. It sure was nice to get acquainted with a bunch of really nice guys who were also entertainers. I had left all my old friends far behind when I moved clear across the state to this job.
Keith Anderson, Doc Potts, Kirk Hansard and Lee Hoover
One thing was for sure...Keith was good, and he had a good band too. He and I and Bob Tuttle hit it off from the minute we met. Had only lived here a week and already made friends with some swell people.
We visited frequently, and Keith offered me a job playing in his band right off the bat. I accepted, and he also asked me to emcee his radio programs. I said, "lets do it together"..and we did. We clicked and we had a ball!
Keith started booking me into his personals, and my wife Tea and his wife Ruth and the other wives and girlfriends of the band sat together when we played.
Sonny Wright, Peggy Sue and Keith Anderson
It turned out we had mutual friends who were entertainers too, and I met some of Keith's friends who were entertainers. Blaine Stewart, one of Hank the Cowhand's Sagebrush Roundup members lived nearby, and I had learned a lot about him before actually meeting him. We became fast friends too.
New England Country Gentlemen,
Keith and Jimmy Stephens
We had another mutual friend who played a big part in both our lives...John Bava. John owned Panhandle Music, a publishing company, and Cozy Records, a pupular label in those days. We both published through Panhandle and we both made records for Cozy Records. And we both did shows with acts from the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling as well as gust appearances on the Jamboree with several of their groups.
Eventually I left WETZ for larger market stations and left the area. Though we pretty much lost contact over the years, our paths still crossed some. We both wound up on the Big Red Jubilee television show in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Though I did not see Keith again after moving on to Maryland, North Carolina and then Florida, Cozy kept sending me Keith's records and I kept on plugging them on my stations. He was out of my sight, but remained in my mind.
Keith's death was not known to me for several years and I assumed he was still entertaining. When I learned of his untimely death, It took me a week, but I finally got in touch with his wife Ruth by phone. Since then I have become email friends with his children. Some were only toddlers when I saw them last, some were not yet born then.
When I look back on those days, the good times we had, the music we played, making friends with Keith's wife Ruth and the band members and their families, it is good. The guys played good music, Keith was a fine guitar man, good singer, and great stage personality. He had a lot of fans up and down the Ohio Valley.
Keith Anderson and wife Ruth - 25th Anniversary
But what stands out most in my memories is how Keith and his circle took in a couple who were strangers in town, had no friends there, no place to go. They made us welcome and made us feel at home. So what I remember most about Keith is that he was my friend!
Gary Ebert one of Keith's band members is still performing in the New Martainsburg area.
Keith Anderson and Bobby Cecil.
From the family ...Keith Anderson was born in Webster Co., Wheeler W V on December 29 1933. He learned to play the guitar at a young age. He and his Aunt Ressie Fisher entered & won many amatuer contests. At the age of 10 his parents Landis and Elizabeth bought a dairy farm in Wetzel Co. New Martinsville, WV, so they moved. He began playing with local bands at the age of 18, then he put together his own band Keith Anderson & The Ohio Valley Boys. Next he went to Nashville, TN. and worked with Kirk Hansard & Lois Johnson for a few years. He then joined Jimmy Stephens & The New England Country Gentlemen. Then he decided it time again for his own band: The Travel Agents. He had this band untill cancer stopped him. He told me he would have a new band together again on April 1st. He died on March 29, 1985 and was buried on April 1st. I hope he has a great band with all his friends who have also gone on.
In Loving Memory,
His wife, Ruth Anderson
One lesson I learned from my Dad ... Once when I had been hurt by someone, he told me, "No one out there was any better then me, but dont think you're better then anyone else."
THE TRAVEL AGENTS:
Gail Neff, Keith Anderson, Allen Neff and Don Cropp.
THE TRAVEL AGENTS:
Gail Neff, Steve Neff, Gary Ebert, Allen Nuff, Keith Anderson.