|Decades:||1950s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
Kyle (7 May 1915, West Virginia, USA, d. 3 March 1996, USA), John (b. 24 June 1918, West Virginia, USA, d. 21 December 1989, Swainsboro, Georgia, USA), Walter Butler (b. 17 January 1920, West Virginia, USA, d. 27 November 2000, Sevierville, Tennessee, USA) and Homer Bailes (b. 8 May 1922, West Virginia, USA) were raised in abject poverty on a small farm in Kanawha County, near Charleston, West Virginia, USA. Kyle was forced to abandon his education as soon as he was old enough to work to support the fatherless family. The boys had a guitar, which their mother managed to buy from a mail-order catalogue. In the early 30s, their half-brother, Jennings Thomas, who worked as a rodeo rider and musician, arrived home and created sufficient interest for he and Kyle to sing together on local radio. A few years later, the family moved to Charleston, where Johnny found work to keep his two siblings at school but soon looked for a musical career. The boys sang together locally...