About three years ago, Roy Queen, the Lone Singer, decided that he wasn’t quite satisfied with life in Ironton, Missouri and wanted things to happen. He took a couple of bicycle tires and traded them for a 22 rifle but found that wasn’t quite what he wanted.
Then he traded the rifle for a guitar and his young career began to bud. Of course he didn’t know one string from another nor did he know how to tune it but he did have courage and that of his convictions. He walked three miles to a neighbor’s house through the snow to get him to tune the instrument and then trudged merrily home.
Unfortunately, on the route home, the guitar got out of tune and he was no further along than before. But he set to work to master it and basing his inspiration on his knowledge learned from his mother’s playing an organ when he was a youngster, he learned to play. He learned to sing the songs that his mother had taught him and then he came to KMOX for an audition.
His singing of the plaintive Western laments and hillbilly songs was so effective that he was immediately given a job and he has been there since March 1930. He is now heard on the Early Morning Farm Folks Hour and the weekly County Fair.
Roy has black, curly hair, regular features and is about five feet six inches in height. He is very quiet and apparently unconscious of the fact that he is the object of devotion of feminine admirers. He is twenty years old. His fan mail comes from all over the United States and requests for his favorite song “I Can’t Give Up My Rough and Rowdy Ways” pour in every day. That is the song that he sang for his first audition and that is the primary reason for his preferring it.
(Originally published in Radio and Entertainment 4/1/1933).