Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper

Genres: Country & Bluegrass
Tags: bluegrass gospel bluegrass gospel Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: allmusic discogs other databases


By the time he was 12 years old, Dale T. ‘Stoney’ Cooper (16 October 1918, near Harman, Randolph County, West Virginia, USA, d. 22 March 1977, Nashville, Tennessee, USA) could play the fiddle and guitar, and on leaving school, he joined a band called the Green Valley Boys. In 1939, he became the fiddle player with the Leary Family, a well-known gospel group, who were featured on local radio. He soon fell in love with, and married, Wilma Lee Leary (b. 7 February 1921, Valley Head, West Virginia, USA). She had started singing with her family group at the age of five and was already a fine instrumentalist, playing banjo, guitar, piano and organ. In 1938 and 1939, the Leary Family had represented the state at the National Folk Festival and made recordings in Washington for the Library of Congress.

In 1940, the couple left the group and worked on local radio in Fairmont, Harrisonburg and Wheeling. Their career was slowed by the birth of...

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