|Author's Notes: This is to thank all the
readers who wrote in about my original Western Swing article, and the
many later ones, which appeared starting wiith the October 2000 Issue of
PENCILSTUBS. Many of you wrote me personally or commented on the
original article and the ones that followed. Some thanked me for
mentioning relatives and sent pictures. Some inquired as to where they
might find a certain song or albums. And many asked for information on
the artists. I hope I was of help to all and I do appreciate your
comments. If I can be of any help in locating recordings, feel free to
contact me here.
Guitar, Vocals, and Songwriter. born September 6, 1911 - died June 4, 1994Zeke Clements was a country musician, he often dressed in a Western outfit and was known as "The Dixie Yodeler and he was also known as "The Alabama Cowboy."
Zeke was born Marlon R. Clements near Empire, Alabama, and had one of the longest careers in country music, having appeared on radio shows in all sections of the country, as well as having the unusual distinction of having been a member of all three of the major barn dances in the course of his long career.
Zeke Clements began on the National Barn Dance in 1928, toured for some years with Otto Gray's Oklahoma Cowboys, and then joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1933 as a member of one of their first cowboy groups, the ‘Broncho Busters’.
While spending some time on the west coast he appeared in such films as "Santa Fe Stampede" with John Wayne and "Billy The Kid Returns" with Roy Rogers. His is the voice of the yodeling dwarf ‘Bashful’ in Walt Disney's ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.
Clements returned to the Opry in 1939, where he became one of the Opry's major stars throughout the 1940s. He also became known as a songwriter during this era, especially for "Blue Mexico Skies," "Just a Little Lovin'" recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1948, a Kitty Wells 1955 hit, "There's Poison In Your Heart," and as co-writer of "Smoke On The Water," the No. 1 country hit of 1944, recorded by Red Foley.
Clements later appeared on the Louisiana Hayride and on many other Deep South stations. He pursued a business career in Nashville in the late 1950s and 1960s, then moved to Miami, Florida, where he spent nearly a decade playing tenor banjo in a dixieland band before returning to the Nashville area.
Zeke has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He became known as "The Man from Music Mountain".
He learned his songs from the old time residents of central Alabama. Zeke's radio career has carried him to over 44 states and he has been featured on innumerable radio stations; he has been featured on all of the major networks.
He played the guitar, sang and composed. And back in 1942, yes, for the ladies, he was still single. Zeke's picture career gave him spots in some 200 major Hollywood pictures. He did the voice of "Bashful" in Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". His yodeling sequence in the "Silly" song caused much favorable comments in the press at the time. Was on the Opry at various times in the late 30's and 40's, moved and pursued other business interests but moved back to Nashville and made appearances on the Opry in the 80's.