Bill Ring Old Time Radio

“If you’re too busy to go fishin’,
You’re TOO busy!”

This philosophy was popularized by Country Music legend Bill Ring. Ring appeared on the California Hayride TV program with Cottonseed Clark. He also became part of the Ralph D. Foster’s KWTO-AM (Keep Watching the Ozarks).

Foster had a vision that Springfield MO could replace Nashville as the crossroads of Country Music, and KWTO became a stepping stone for several artists entering the industry, including Porter Wagoner, Homer and Jethro, Chet Atkins and the Carter Family. Along with other business partners Foster created RadiOzarks Enterprises and the company was soon producing transcription disks of KWTO programs for other stations. Featured stars included Bill Ring, Smiley Burnett and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Ring produced 260 15-minute episodes of the Tennessee Ernie Ford show, and his own show was eventually picked up by the ABC Radio network. Ring would also be part of Korns-a Krackin’, a weekly “Hillbilly Variety Show” carried by the Mutual Network.

Bill Ring’s brand of Country Music wasn’t the “Cry-in-your-beer-because-your-wife-left-and-took-your-dog” music that is so easily parodied. His music, with its hard driving, danceable  rhythms and good time lyrics reflected a happier, simpler lifestyle. Bill Ring is remembered in Missouri as someone who always could find time to go fishing.

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