Glendale's Palmetto Ramblers
The Glendale “Palmetto
Ramblers” was a Country/Western String band composed of Paul Crocker,
J. C. Quinn, Eugene White and Clarence Crocker (this writer) of
Glendale, S.C. We played over Spartanburg’s WSPA am Radio for a few
months in 1938. Going on the air February 17, 1930, WSPA am radio was
the first commercial radio station in S.C. As I remember, the station
located just off Main Street about half block down on South Liberty
street. Mr. Virgil Evans was the owner.
Scotty The Drifter, Cliff Gray (Farmer Gray), Fred Gentry with Hal
Moore at the organ were all big names in local radio at that time.
Crazy Water Crystals, Vim Herb and Scalf’s Indian River Medicine were
big radio advertisers.
Crazy Water Crystals were
supposed to aid in relieving the pains of some 10 different human
ailments, everything from sore eyes to rheumatism. Scalf’s Indian River
Medicine was a tonic supposedly made from some 22 different herbs which
was supposed to help appetites while Vim Herb was supposed to be the
best natural laxative available. As a matter of fact, many a bottle or
package of these products were sold in the Glendale Mills Store in the
thirties, forties and fifties.
Paul the leader, played the
fiddle which was featured at least once in every program. He delighted
in playing such tunes as, The Orange
Blossom Special, Old Joe Clark,
Turkey In The Straw, or Little Liza Jane. It was in fact an
violin which most people called “fiddle“ in that day. It was hand
crafted and had a rattle snake rattler inside which was supposed to
give it certain special sounds.
J.C. and Eugene who were
brothers, played guitar and I must say, they played them well. They had
terrific musical voices and did all our solos and duets. For the most
part, I played the banjo. Except for the fiddle which only Paul played,
we all exchanged instruments from time to time, playing the guitar,
banjo, mandolin and the ukulele. Of course we all sang as a group at
least once on most every program.
Our program was aired once a
week. Our theme song was, “Put On
Your Old Gray Bonnet”. The chorus
went something like this, "now Lisa sat down on her bonnet with a
bumble bee upon it, she did not know the bumble bee was there, the
bumble bee got busy and stung poor Liza..on her golden wedding day
We played bluegrass, ragtime,
polkas and sang popular country western. Also popular folk songs of
that day such as, Blue Moon, Tumbling, Tumble Weeds, Back In The Saddle
Again, Buffalo Gals, Home on the Range, You are My Sunshine, Listen to
the Mockingbird, Goodnight
Irene and Mama Won’t Allow.
of the most
popular songs of that day was an old folk song which I believe came out
of the 1800s entitled “Wabash
Cannonball ”. Roy Acuff recorded the song
about 1936 and it was reported that 10 million copies were sold. We
always had one or two gospel songs about the middle of our
Though we had invitations to
play on other programs, we had to turn them down due to work and other
interests, (I was still in High School). As these began to claim more
and more of our time, not allowing for practice, it resulted in our
disbanding since we had no interest of making music our goal of
J. C. Quinn and Eugene White
were blood brothers but due to their
mother’s death, (appendicitis) they were adopted by their aunts and
their husbands when they were just small children. J. C, was about
2-1/2 years old and Eugene was about 6 months old. They were both born
in Converse, S. C. and were the sons of Mr. Ernest and Mrs. Rosy Mae
J. C, Quinn was born June 2,
1918 and was adopted by Mr.
Minor and Mrs. Pearl Crossley Riddle of Glendale. They did not choose
to have his name changed.
J. C’s first job was in
Glendale Mill’s weave room. He entered the Army during WW2, doing
service in Germany under the Command of General Patton. He also did
service in Korea, retiring from the army in 1970 after 26 years of
service. Moving to Georgia, he was employed by the Georgia State
Department of Corrections.
J.C. was first married to
Miss. Edith Frances of Glendale, S. C. and
they were the parents of seven children; Eddy, Gene, Jimmy, Robert,
Dorothy, Judy and Sue. Following their divorce, J. C. married Miss.
Merline Kuehnle in Germany. They were the parents of one child; Jackie.
Following their divorce, J. C’s third marriage was to Miss. Ute Roewer
of Neustrelitz, Germany. They have been married some 40 years and have
no children . Moving back to Glendale in 2010, they bought the house on
Jackson street located directly in front of the house J.C. lived in
with his Aunt and Uncle when coming to Glendale as a child.
In my visit with J.C. and his
wife in Glendale on January 3, 2011, I was greeted with a big smile and
a warm welcome. It had been over 50 years since we had been able to sit
down and talk. I found J.C. to be the same friendly and jovial guy I
had come to know some 75 years before. It was hard to believe that he
was 92 years old. His wife has a wonderful personality and a big smile.
She was gracious to both J.C. and myself during my visit. She was quick
to get info and pictures of J. C. together for this article. My deep
appreciation is extended to them for their assistance in pulling this
Eugene Quinn White was born
December 11, 1920 and was adopted by Mr. Boyce and Mrs. Della Crossley
White of Glendale and chose to have his name changed.
His first job was with
Glendale Mills where he worked in the cloth
room. Leaving Glendale Mills, he was employed by Duke Power Company as
a bus driver which he continued to do until he was moved inside as a
Eugene had married Miss
Lee Mira Sherbert of Spartanburg, S. C. and they were the parents of
three children, Dianne, Sandra and Gerald. He was a member of the
Glendale Baptist Church, the Spartan Masonic Lodge #70 and the Hejaz
Temple. He was a WW2 Army Veteran and served also in the Korean
One day while driving
with his son he saw a lady have a very bad wreck. The car burst into
flames. Eugene stopped, ran over and pulled the lady out of the car
preventing her from burning to death. For his act of compassion and
heroism he received Duke Power’s highest Robinson Award and was moved
to the sales office where he became the top salesman.
He was working with Duke at
the time of his death. His obituary appearing in the Spartanburg Herald
and Journal on January 15, 1975 stated that he had died on Tuesday
January 14, 1975 at 5:15 PM in the Mary Black Hospital at the age of
54.It also stated that he had been a salesman for Duke for 31
His funeral was held at Floyd
Mortuary with interment following in the
Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. He was survived by his wife
Mrs. Lee Mira White and two daughters; Mrs. Dianne Fowler of Lima, Ohio
and Mrs. Sandra Crowe of Lake Bowen, S. C.; one son, Gerald White of
Spartanburg; one brother, J.C. Quinn of Atlanta, Ga. and six
Eugene was a peach of a guy,
friendly and always dressed immaculately. During the days of our radio
program he drove a new red and white Plymouth pickup truck.
Continuously washing and polishing the truck, it sparkled like new
money. His brother J. C. jokingly told him that he had washed and
polished the truck so much, it turned to a pale pink.
J.C. and Eugene were
two of the nicest and best friends anyone could ever have. I am glad
they were my friends.
Incidentally, they have a
sister Ethel Smith who at 84 years of age,
has a “Dixie Jazz Band” in which she plays the banjo and sings. Among
other places, they perform on an Alaskan Cruise Ship from time to time.
My appreciation to
Dianne and her husband, Newell Fowler, another good friend of old
times, for their help in getting dates and pictures together for
Paul Revere Crocker was the
son of Albert E and Ella Elnora Crocker and
was the brother of this writer. He was born September 25, 1919 in the
family home on the Glendale/Clifton road.
Paul married Miss. Nellie
Geneva Johnson daughter of Mr. John Jessie and Mrs. Eliza Melinda Neely
Johnson. She was born in their home in Hancock, Tenn. Paul and Nell
became the parents of one daughter, Martha Ann.
Paul’s first job outside the
family farm, was in Glendale Mills for a short while. He was self
employed, operating a dry cleaning route at the time we were playing as
a band. In September of 1939 ,at the age of nineteen, Paul was employed
by Liberty Life Insurance Company as a Insurance Salesman where he
remained, except for a three year tour of military service, until he
Paul was a veteran of WW2
having served in the U. S. Army in numerous
places in the Pacific theater. He was credited with silencing a
Japanese machine gun position in Okinawa. He was discharged as a
Technical Sgt. (First Class) having been awarded a Purple Heart for
injury received in action and a Bronze Star for Heroic Action.
Paul was a member of the
Glendale Baptist Church for 54 years and had served as a member of the
choir, taught the Young Men’s Bible class and had served as Sunday
School Superintendent during which time the Sunday School experienced
it’s largest attendance in history having 602 persons in study one
Sunday morning. He received a 47 year perfect attendance Sunday School
Following the death of his
wife, Nell Johnson Crocker on September 23, 1987, Paul married Mrs.
Janie Sprouse of Clifton, S. C.
Paul died on October 19, 2000
from pancreatic cancer. His funeral was
held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the
Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Spartanburg, S. C. I was honored by being
asked to bring the message for the service. He was survived by his
wife, Janie; his daughter Martha and her husband, Ben Dearybury and two