The Paregien Journal – Issue 372 – Jan. 18, 2018 – A Periodic Publication
Wesley Tuttle & Les Anderson:
Legends of Country-Western Music
by Stan Paregien
The following photos bring back some of my fondest memories of wonderful friends and sweet, sweet music.
One photo is of me with Mrs. Wesley Tuttle (Marilyn, on my right) and Mrs. Les “Carrot Top” Anderson (Betty) on my left. Their late husbands were well-known country-western singers and musicians who performed in concerts, on radio shows, and on TV shows such as the popular “Town Hall Party” show which airred in the Los Angeles area. The photo was taken in Albuquerque, NM at the Festival of the Western Music Association in late November of 2008 by Peggy Paregien.
Wesley Tuttle (b. Dec., 1917 in Lamar, Colorado; d. Sept. 29, 2003) had a bunch of hit songs during the 1940s and 1950s. Some of his best-known include his hits in 1945, “With Tears in My Eyes (# 1)” and “Detour (There’s a Muddy Road Ahead; #4),” “I Wish I’d Never Met Sunshine (a #5 hit in 1946),” “Tho’ I Tried (I Can’t Forget You; # 4 in 1946)” and “Never,” a duet with his wife which was a # 15 hit in 1947. He also appeared as a singer and/or musician in a lot of the “B-Western” movies.
Marilyn Tuttle often performed with her husband, Wes, and was in a trio which sang backup for Jimmy Wakely for a long time.
When Wesley was converted to Christ, he gave up his career in country music because of the travel, the environment and the types of music he was expected to perform. So he and Marilyn started a career in gospel music. They not only produced most of their own LP-albums but those of many other individuals and groups in gospel music. Later, because his vision was rapidly declining, he was forced to give up performing at all.
Peggy and I got to know and to love Wesley and Marilyn Tuttle just a few years before his death in 2003. We are still in touch with lovely Marilyn. She continues living in their long-time house in San Fernando, Calif., and reigns as the virtual Queen of many cowboy-western music events across the country.
Here is just a few of the music videos you’ll find at YouTube.com featuring Wesley Tuttle:
Wesley Tuttle And His Texas Stars
I Want To Be Wanted (1945)
With Tears in My Eyes (1945)
Until Dawn (1946)
I’d Trade All Of My Tomorrows (1946)
When Payday Rolls Around
With Marilyn Tuttle, & Speedy West on the steel guitar
Hey Good Lookin’ (1957)
(Wes and Marilyn Tuttle on Town Hall Party)
A Broken Promise Means a Broken Heart
The Yodeling Boogie
(with admiring Marilyn in it, too)
If You Don’t, Somebody Else Will – with Johnny Bond
What A Day That Will Be
Wesley & Marilyn Tuttle singing gospel
Until Then (1988)
Wesley & Marlyn Tuttle singing gospel
Oh, hey, I just ran across a recent music video in which Marilyn Tuttle joins with several other singers at the last show of the 1917 Festival of the Western Music Association in Albuquerque, NM. She has long, blond hair and is wearing a black vest and a bright blue sweater. It is wonderful to see her still involved in the music scene. They are performing a lovely song I had never heard before, “If I hadn’t Seen the West.”
Then there is the photo of me with Mrs. Les “Carrot Top” Anderson, also taken in Albuquerque in 2008.
Betty’s late husband Les, was born in Arkansas on Feb. 20, 1921 and died in Ollala, British Columbia in Canada on Oct. 4, 2001. Early on he frequently sang and played his guitar or the steel guitar with the famous western swing bandleader Bob Wills.
Les was nicknamed “Red” back then, because of his bright red hair. But for some reason Bob didn’t like that nickname. So eventually someone tagged Les with “Carrot Top.” He decided to go with the flow and designed his fancy western outfits with large carrots on the front. He played steel guitar with Bob and the Texas Playboys for about four years, from 1942 until the legendary steel guitarist Leon McAuliff returned from World War II in 1946.
Then from 1946 through 1949, Les Anderson was both a soloist and a musician with Spade Cooley & His Orchestra. Cooley’s band (which was first Jimmy Wakely’s band, until he gave it up for the movies) was more mainstream than that of Bob Wills and he was sort of a Glen Miller in a customized cowboy outfit. Les recorded several songs with him.
Over the years Les recorded such ditties as, “My Baby Buckaroo,” “Teardrops on the Roses,” “The Girl Who Invented Kissin’,” “Hoein’ Cotton,” “I’m Hog-tied Over You,” and one novelty song which my ol’ country cousin Jerry Paregien memorized when we were kids, “Hey, Okie, If You See Arkie.”
Cliffie Stone was not only a musician and performer himself, but he was a smart businessman and promoter. He began managing the careers of other entertainers, and then started his own highly popular TV show, “Cliffie Stone’s Home Town Jamboree.” It was so popular it pushed Spade Cooley’s TV off the air and replaced it.
Then Les started a six-year run, from 1950 to 1956, being a featured singer and musician doing live concerts and live radio and TV shows with the “Town Hall Party” clan of performers. They performed several times a week at a dance hall in Compton, California and those shows were widely seen throughout southern California.
After that gig, he took a job with the Showboat Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. He finished that stint in 1961 and pretty much retired from performing. Soon he had moved up north to Ollala, British Columbia. There he became a gentleman rancher and worked some in real estate before retiring completely.
I found eight music videos of Les “Carrot Top” Anderson on “YouTube” recently. Three you might especially enjoy are:
(audio, only, of his excellent voice; very nice waltz)
Little Red Wagon
(at Town Hall Party with Marilyn Tuttle directly behind him)
New Panhandle Rag
(with Marilyn Tuttle directly behind him)
As valuable and enjoyable as these videos are, . . . there is still nothing like going out to an old-time music venue and experiencing the vibes of live performances.
Hey, as the cowboys say, we’re just burnin’ daylight sittin’ here. Which, being translated means, get online right now and “Google” something like “Old Time Music Concerts” and go join the fun.