Bonnie Lou, One Of My Favorites
I've gotta tell you, I had a great time visiting with Bonnie Lou, the retired Channel 5 entertainer, for the story that ran today.
I chatted with her and Judy Perkins, another former "Midwestern Hayride" star, at Bonnie Lou's Green Township home earlier this month, and then went back a second time to chat some more. She has great stories to tell about working with Ruth Lyons, Paul Dixon and the Channel 5 stars of the 1950s and 1960s. Sad to say, with Marian Spelman's passing last January, Bonnie Lou is the last of Channel 5's big stars from Ruth Lyons' "50-50 Club" 1958 Christmas album, which sold 250,000 copies(!)
To this day, at 83, she still refers to Ruth Lyons as "Miss Lyons." Why? "I always have. My mother taught me that way. Miss Lyons would razz me about that. But I said, "I’ve got to call you Miss Lyons."
So did she call Paul
Bonnie Lou was one of Channel 5's busiest stars. She was on "Midwestern Hayride" every Saturday night, co-hosted the "Paul Dixon Show" mornings M-F, appeared at least once a week on Lyons' "50-50 Club" at noon, and hosted "Six Star Ranch" from WLW-AM on the Mutual radio network.
Plus she did personal appearances to promote her records made at King Records. Her "Seven Lonely Days" and her comical "Tennessee Wig Walk" ("I walk with a giggle and a wiggle and a squak, doing the Tennessee Wig Walk!") each sold about 750,000 copies in the early 1950s, and each made Billboard's weekly country music top 10. And her "Daddy-O" was a King rockabilly hit, reaching No. 15 on the weekly pop chart in 1955.
She had offers to go to
In the coming months, Bonnie Lou will get some deserved attention – on Lee Hay's WVXU-FM "King Records Christmas" (11 p.m. Dec. 22), a WVXU-FM hour about King Records rockabilly music (in February) and a downtown Public Library panel discussion marking King Records 65th anniversary in April.
If you have a favorite Bonnie Lou story or memory, please post it here.