The Bill Haley Vogue Myth
For many years it has been rumored that Bill Haley, who was a member of the group the Down Homers, may have played guitar on the Vogue recording sessions with the band (records R736 and R786). A number of picture record guides have perpetuated this rumor. Wayne Daniel, who devotes his spare time to researching country music artists, has finally helped dispel this myth.
Wayne presented a session titled "The Lives and Times of Country Music Artists on Vogue Picture Records" at the 16th annual International Country Music Conference in Nashville in June 1999. He repeated this session at the 1999 AVPRC Convention. The AVPRC had asked Wayne if he could somehow confirm or deny the Bill Haley Vogue myth.
Wayne surprised everyone at the 1999 AVPRC Convention by playing a message audio-taped especially for the AVPRC by none other than Kenny Roberts, the lead singer of the Down Homers for the Vogue sessions. Kenny warmly welcomed the AVPRC Convention attendees and remarked that "Out Where the West Winds Blow" was his first yodeling record, and that he still sings that song at some of his shows. Roberts was about 19 years old, working out of Fort Wayne, Indiana on the WOWO Hoosier Hop Barn Dance radio show, when he recorded for Vogue.
Roberts said, "Vogue put out such a beautiful record, and such colorful displays. I have 8 or 10 different ones in my collection that I have displayed on my wall in my office." He stated that he didn't recall who did the technical work on the recording sessions, or how much he was paid, but he did remember who was present for the sessions.
Kenny told the Convention attendees, "A lot of times people think Bill Haley was on the Vogue picture record label, but he wasn't on the Vogue sessions I did with the Down Homers." According to Kenny, the members of the group for the Vogue sessions were Kenny Roberts (upright bass fiddle), Shorty Cook (steel guitar), Guy Campbell (electric lead guitar), and Lloyd Cornell (rhythm guitar). Colorado Bob Mason sang on "Baby, I Found Out All About You".
Roberts said that Bill Haley isn't in the picture of the Down Homers that appears on Vogue picture records; pictured are Cook, Campbell, Mason, Cornell, and Roberts. The picture was taken around October 1945.
Click here to listen to Kenny Roberts' message to the convention attendees.
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