The Bradley Kincaid Collection,1923-1980 (bulk 1925-1970)
- The Bradley Kincaid Collection,1923-1980 (bulk 1925-1970)
- Berea College
- 6.4 Linear Feet
- American Folk Music
- American Popular Music
- Berea College
- Bradley Kincaid
- Country Music History
- History of Radio
- Tent Shows
- Berea College
- Biography / History
- Bradley Kincaid was born at Point Leavell, Garrard County, Kentucky on July 13, 1895, the fourth of nine children. His parents, William and Elizabeth Hurt Kincaid, were the singers from whom he learned his first songs. His father, a farm laborer, once traded one of his foxhounds for a guitar, which young Kincaid learned to play. For many years he used this "Hound Dawg" guitar to entertain family and friends.
- Kincaid attended Garrard County's Back Creek School through fifth grade. He worked in a Louisville wheel shop and then on a farm until 1914 when at age 19, he entered the Berea College Foundation School as a sixth-grader. He left after the eighth grade to join the military, serving two years during World War I. For a brief period after the war, he worked as salesman for the Storrs-Schaefer Tailoring Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Kincaid soon resumed his education at Berea and it was during this time that his interest in music deepened. With the encouragement of Thomas Edwards, one of his teachers, he began systematically collecting ballads and other songs. His search lead to several trips throughout the eastern part of the state and the material collected was eventually included in thirteen published songbooks.
- Kincaid graduated from the Berea College Academy (high school) in 1921 at age 26. A year later he married his Berea music teacher, Irma Foreman, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He worked in Kentucky as a Y.M.C.A. district secretary for two years. He then moved to Chicago to attend Y.M.C.A. College (now known as George Williams College.)
- Singing with a college quartet led to a 1928 solo audition for the National Barn Dance, a radio program heard widely throughout the Midwest on Chicago's 50,000 watt WLS. He became a regular cast member on the program and was soon being billed as "the Kentucky Mountain Boy." His renditions of "Barbara Allen" and other old ballads and songs learned while growing up in Kentucky, drew huge amounts of fan mail and lucrative opportunities for songbook sales and personal appearances in theaters and other venues.
- After four years at WLS, he went on to have similar success on radio stations in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Boston and other cities. Among the musicians he partnered with during this period was Kentuckian, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones. He made numerous commercial recordings for a variety of labels including Gennett, Brunswick, RCA, Decca and those companies' subsidiaries in Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and Japan. In 1939, while at WHAM in Rochester, New York, he adopted a tent show format for much of his warm weather personal appearance work and continued what he called his "Radio Circus" throughout the remainder of his career. His last major radio work was on WSM's Grand Ole Opry in Nashville from 1942-1947.
- From Nashville he moved to Springfield, Ohio where his business efforts included successful stints as a radio station and music store owner. Although pretty much retired from show business, he continued to issue commercial recordings well into the 1970s. He died September 23, 1989 in Springfield, Ohio at age 94.
- Scope and Content
- This collection of correspondence, photographs, news clippings, songbooks, and sheet music from radio ballad singer, Bradley Kincaid was placed in Hutchins Library's Southern Appalachian Archives in the summer of 1975. The collection was given by Loyal Jones who received it from Kincaid. Additional material collected by Jones from Kincaid and others was added in the summer of 1989.
Contents of the Collection
Series I: Printed Material
Clippings, 1926-1999, undated
Printed Material, 1925-1969
Printed Material, 1975-1976
Printed Material, 1977-1978
Printed Material, 1980-1981, undated
Series II: Personal / Biographical
Radio Addresses and Quizzes
Song Lists and Personal Discography
Personal Notes and Interviews
Series III: Personal / Manuscript
Manuscript: Correspondence, 1973-1979
Manuscript: Correspondence, 1980-1981
Manuscript: Text Proofs
Manuscript: Music Proofs
Manuscript: Galley Copy
Series IV: Correspondence
Correspondence: November 1923 - April 1931
Correspondence: May 1931 - July 1931
Correspondence: August 1931 - September 1931
Correspondence: October 1931 - November 5, 1931
Correspondence: November 6, 1931 - November 30, 1931
Correspondence: December 1931
Correspondence: January 1932 - February 1932
Correspondence: March 1932 - April 1932
Correspondence: May 1932 - June 1932
Correspondence: July - September 1932
Correspondence: October 1932 - December 1933
Correspondence: January 1934 - December 1939
Correspondence: "Doc" Schneider - Tent Shows, 1939-40
Correspondence: January 1940 - March 1945
Correspondence: April 1945 - December 1967
Correspondence: 1971 - 1974
Correspondence: January 1975 - December 1977
Correspondence: 1979 - 1980
Correspondence: 1986 - August 1987
Correspondence: September - December 1987
Correspondence: 1988 - 1989
Correspondence: Not dated
Song Lyrics: A -B
Series V: Song Lyrics
Series VI: Sheet Music
Series VII: Songbooks
Series VIII: Oversized Sheet Music and Sheet Music Fragments
Series IX: Photographs
Photographs: Bradley Kincaid and family
Baby Picture of Bradley, Viola, Ann, and Lewis.
Bradley, Irma, and Twins.
Twins, Barbara and Irma.
Bradley Kincaid, WLW .
The Twins Alene and Barbara, Irma, and Mrs. George Biggar.
Bradley Kincaid and Irma, last summer on farm.
Bradley Kincaid and Geo Biggar of WLW.
Bradley Kincaid, 1938-39, Rochester, New York.
Bradley and his Hound Dog Guitar.
Bradley with News Quartet at George Williams College, 1925-1926.
Painting of Bradley Kincaid by Bert Williams.
Bradley at State Theatre, Farmington, Maine. 1935.
Various Pictures of Kincaid
George Biggar, Bradley Kincaid, and Assistant Program Director at WLW in 1930.
Bradley at Traditional Music Festival, 1974.
Bradley and President Stephenson [1970s]
Bradley on Berea Campus, [1970s]
Slides of Kincaid
Photographs: Radio and Road Shows
Community Chest 30th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner1953.
Kincaid cutting wheat in North Carolina.
Kincaid House in Scotland.
WBZ Radio 103.
WKRC road show, 1943; Bradley Kincaid with band and Renfro Valley Performers.
WLW talent at Cincinnati's Fountain Square, 1941.
WLS Barn Dance, 1929.
WLS National Barn Dance, 1944.
WLW Jamboree On Stage at RKO Palace in Boone County, 1953.
Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, A - C
Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, G - P
Hank and Dusty
Betty and Anne Heifner
Marshall (Grandpa) Jones
"The Maple City Four"
Oscar McGooney and Jack Baggett
Bashful Joe and Pie Plant Pete
Pete and Joe
Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys with Eddy Arnold
Photographs: Radio Friends and Associates, R - Z
Slim and Dan
Jim Small and His Shiretonians
Burt Swor and Lou Lubin
Texas Ruby and Curly Fox
The Three Hired Men
The Willis Brothers, Judy Perkins, and Kincaid
Table of Contents
- Descriptive Summary
- Collection Overview
- Preferred Citation
- Contents of the Collection