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Finding Aid to the Smokey Rogers and Maymie Anderson Papers MSA.36
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Singer, songwriter, and actor Eugene “Smokey” Rogers (1917-1993) was a successful and influential part of the country music scene in Southern California in the 1940s and 1950s. He performed in bands with Spade Cooley and Tex Williams, hosted his own TV show in San Diego, and co-founded the Valley Music store in El Cajon, California. His wife Maymie Anderson (1918-2001) was the first female mayor of Maywood, California. This archival collection includes photos, sheet music, recordings, and personal papers mostly spanning 1931-1997, and documents Rogers’s professional life and the personal lives of Rogers and Anderson.
Eugene Throckmorton “Smokey” Rogers was born in McMinnville, Tennessee on 1917 March 23. His musical success began when he was only 8 years old when he won an amateur banjo contest on radio station WJR in Detroit. Five years later, when Rogers was 13, he joined the Detroit band Jack West & His Circle Star Cowboys. In 1935 at the age of 18, Rogers met and formed country music quartet Texas Jim Lewis’s Lone Star Cowboys with Larry “Pedro” DePaul, “Texas” Jim Lewis, and Andrew “Cactus” Soldi. The quartet secured a year-long gig playing at the Village Barn in New York City, and then proceeded to tour the United States. They settled in Southern California in the late 1930s and made a living performing their music in clubs and in short musical films.Maymie Ree Anderson had come to Southern California from Alabama with five siblings and their single mother during the Great Depression. Anderson lied to get a nighttime waitressing job at age 15 so that she could help support her family and still attend school. Anderson married her first husband, Andy Anderson, when she was only 16. They had two children together, Richard and Frances, and later adopted another child, Sandra. Together, the Andersons ran several restaurants in Maywood, California. Maywood had a tumultuous past, and crime was on the rise in the early 1960s. After a 12-year-old girl was murdered, Maymie Anderson started speaking out and was elected as the first female mayor of Maywood, California in 1964. Maymie also claimed to be the first female member of the Toastmasters International, signing up in 1967.
2.0 Linear feet (4 boxes)
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