Irene Beasley Got Her Radio Start On Station KMOX
Dixie’s Representative Now A CBS Featured Singer
If she hadn’t decided to write a song, she might just be Irene Beasley, school teacher, instead of radio’s “Long, tall gal from Dixie.”
Miss Beasley, heard each week over KMOX, is the star of the Peters Shoe program which is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. Thursdays. She is also the Old Dutch girl which is heard every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 7:45.
Irene was born in the small town of White Haven, Tennessee and received her early schooling in Amarillo, Texas, afterwards going to Sweet Briar College in Virginia to become a teacher in a small Mississippi school.
She was accustomed to music in her home and had vaguely longed for a career in music, but was too busy earning a living to make the attempt. While teaching, she wrote and published a ballad, “If I Could Just Stop Dreaming.”
She sang it several times over a small station in order to stimulate sales, and this broadcasting gave her a start, opening the path to work in St. Louis over KMOX, the Voice of St. Louis, as staff artist. Her radio work gave her the opportunity to meet a representative of a recording company, who gave her a try-out., and from this try-out came a contract for recording in New York.
While in New York in April 1929, Dale Wimbrow, Dixie’s only representative on the CBS staff at the time, used his influence to introduce her to the radio network, with which she has since been a popular artist.
Although she tried at first to develop a northern accent, she found that the great charm of her singing lay in a natural talent for interpreting the music of the South. Now she not only sings but writes as well the continuity for her own programs of plantation music.
(Originally published in Radio and Entertainment 11/21/31).