WRVK's Own "Living Legend"

Pete Stamper

2008 recipient of the Stephen Foster Award!

From the Kentucky Broadcaster's Association & Ky. Music Hall of Fame & Museum


In December 1957, Pete Stamper first went to work here at WRVK Radio.  He has also had an amazing career in the country entertainment business that goes far beyond just his years here at "Your Homefolks Station."

We are taking the time now to salute our own "living legend," a one-of-a-kind country comedian, songwriter, musician, and broadcaster, the one and only Pete Stamper!

A special "howdy" goes out from Pete to those of you who have found this website from the link on Doug Davis' Country Music Classics email newsletter.  Be sure to visit the homepage of 1460 AM WRVK Radio as well, where you can listen to Pete and our other DJ's live online playing REAL country music!

Click here for the WRVK Radio Home Page - "The Home of REAL Country Music!"


"Pete Stamper, is who it is...." - Pete's Amazing Story:

Pete Stamper is a native of Dawson Springs, in Western Kentucky.  He graduated from high school in 1948, and volunteered for the army, for one year’s service and six years in the reserve.  After his year in the service was up, Pete and his partner in comedy, long-time friend Clarence Williams, eventually became part of the radio show of a man named Curly Meyers.  Just a few months later, however, Pete was called back to service, this time for the war in Korea.  It was while at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky during this era that Pete first heard the Renfro Valley Barn Dance on radio.  Pete and Clarence made their first guest appearance on the Barn Dance in 1950.  Pete was invited to become a solo member of the show’s cast that same year, and he has been a Renfro Valley Entertainer ever since, with the exception of a few very notable absences from the Valley over the years to pursue other opportunities in the country entertainment business.

Pete has called Rockcastle County home for many, many years now, and has now performed on the shows at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center longer than any of their other current cast members.  In fact, Pete’s tenure on the shows there is now quite possibly one of the longest of all time.  But, Renfro Valley is only one of the experiences that have made up an amazing career in entertainment.  Pete's career has taken him away from Renfro Valley just a few times over the years since 1952.  One of these opportunities was when he was a part of Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee show in Springfield, Missouri in the mid-1950s.  This was the first nationally televised country music program, which was seen in about TEN MILLION homes from coast to coast on ABC-TV every week!  This came about after Red's daughter and duet partner Betty, who was performing at Renfro Valley with Pete, set up an audition with her dad for Pete - which took place in the kitchen of Red's Nashville home!  Pete also performed at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry, and later made numerous appearances on another now-legendary country television program, the Porter Wagoner Show

Pete had a hit on the rockabilly music charts in the early 1960s, with his self-pinned novelty song about a homemade car, “Cheva-Kiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stud-War-Linco-Baker.” (The original Dot Records 45 RPM single of this record is now worth $40!)  That Dot recording session included a who’s-who of the Nashville pickers of that era, including Floyd Cramer and many more.

In the mid-1970s, Pete performed for a time as a part of Dolly Parton's road show, and served as her road manager.  Pete has written many songs over the years which have been recorded by legends such as Red and Betty Foley, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, and many others.  (You can listen to a few of these and see their lyrics if you scroll on down this page!)   Pete’s association with Red, Porter, Dolly and their shows led to him meeting and/or working with nearly all of the notable country entertainers of the golden era of Nashville, including the likes of Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Jim Ed Brown, Jean Shepherd and so many others.  And yet the lure of fame still never managed to take Pete away from Renfro Valley, WRVK, or Rockcastle County permanently.  He has always returned to his “adopted hometown,” and we’re very glad that he has!

In 1999 the University Press of Kentucky published It All Happened In Renfro Valley, Pete's book which is a history of the Renfro Valley shows and entertainers.  (None other than Miss Dolly Parton herself wrote the forward for Pete's book!) 

As mentioned, throughout his career, more than once Pete returned to performing at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, and to DJ'ing here at WRVK.  He first went to work as a DJ at WRVK in December, 1957, just months after the station first went on the air.  He worked at the station off and on through 1987.  In 2002, when Charles and Bobbie Saylor first bought WRVK and returned it to its unique "Homefolks Station" format, Pete again went to work as the morning DJ, and has been here ever since.  We're mighty glad Pete is a part of our little radio station, and with 50 years on “Your Homefolks Station,” he is truly WRVK's own "living legend."  Pete was honored by the Kentucky Broadcaster's Association in 2008 with their Stephen Foster Award.  (He will also be honored in the museum portion of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum as a result of winning this award.)

- Pete's Photo Gallery -

Just a few glimpses from throughout a remarkable career which has spanned more than a half-century.
(Just click on any photo below to see it full size!)


Pete(R) and Clarence Williams, his original comedy partner.
Red Foley was on Page One of the Ozark Jubilee's Second Edition Program Book in the 1950s - And Pete Stamper, the show's "Ambassador of Goodwill" was right there on Page Two, shootin' marbles!
Pete goes in front of the ABC-TV cameras
in the mid-1950s, on Red Foley's Ozark
Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri. It was
not uncommon for TEN MILLION people, nation-wide to be watching Pete and the rest on the other side of that camera each week!
Pete is helped down from a
chauffer-driven car at an
Ozark Jubilee appearance! 
Pete is pictured here, Circa 1970s,
with (L - R): fellow comedian Bun Wilson, music publisher and Dolly Parton manager (and Pete's music publisher) Don Warden, Pete, and Curt Caldwell.
Teenage Pete at home in Western Kentucky, about 15 or 16 years old.
While serving in the Army in Washington State, early 1950s.  Pete also served in the Korean War.
His longtime friendship with the late Porter Wagoner led to Pete being the now-legendary Dolly Parton's road manager and opening act for a time at the dawn of her solo career in the mid-1970s.  Here's Dolly giving Pete a welcoming hug!
Pete in his trademark checkered suit from the 1970s, on the Renfro Valley Old Barn stage.
Another on-stage shot of Pete (in another fabulous checkered coat!)
You've hear of a "wardrobe malfunction?", how 'bout a "guitar malfunction!"
Pete Stamper and the"Girls of the Barn Dance" on the Old Barn Stage at Renfro Valley in the 1980s.
Pete on stage at Renfro Valley, circa 1990s, during the time he was a part the  "Jamboree" show's cast.

The dust jacket to a hard back First Edition copy of Pete's 1999 book, It All Happened In Renfro Valley.  The book was published by the University Press of Kentucky, and chronicles the history of the Renfro Valley shows and Pete's career up until that time.


Pete at a book signing following the 1999 release of It All Happened In Renfro Valley.
A reunion o f the "Ozark Jubilee."  Next to pete in black suit is Si Siman who started the "Ozark Jubilee" show.
On June 16, 2007 Pete received a plaque in recognition of 50 Years at WRVK, during the station's 50th Anniversary
Celebration held in Mt. Vernon.
Pete enjoy's WRVK's 50th Anniversary event.
Susan Tomes Laws, James "Goober" Buchanan, and Pete in July, 2007.  Susan and Pete, along with fellow Renfro Valley Entertainer and WRVK DJ Wayne Combs, paid "Goober"a visit at his residence in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The retired
country comedian was over 100 years old, and still sharp and spry!
On the occasion of his birthday, Pete was surprised on the air live here at WRVK with the unveiling of this website.  On hand were (L-R) Wayne Combs, Jason Proctor, Jeanine Lawrence, and Pete.  Not pictured was Susan Tomes Laws.
Pete recording the "Gatherin'," circa 1980s.  (Check out them glasses!"
Pete on the air here at WRVK, circa 1979-80.
Is this muscular hunk striking a pose the newest "American Idol?"  Nah, that's just Pete while in the Army at age 18!
Pete signs the station on at 6am.  Bet you didn't know what he wears some mornings! Good thing it ain't television, huh!?!?
Pete at the Grand Ole Opry in the 1980s with late country music legend Billy Walker.
Pete with Ronnie McDowell backstage at Renfro Valley's New Barn.
Pete as Willie!
Pete admires a copy of his classic LP "Pete Stamper, Is Who It Is!"
Pete with his friends Porter Wagoner, and Willard Collinsworth.  Porter was, of course, a country music legend, and Willard is a local legend who ran the Renfro Valley Country Store for many years.
Pete with Pat Boone on the Old Barn stage at Renfro Valley.  Pat came to the Valley in the late 1980s when the street leading to WRVK was named in honor of Pat's father-in-law, the late great Red Foley.
Pete and J.P. Pennington of the group Exile.  (J.P.'s parents were both Renfro Valley entertainers with whom Pete worked.)
Here's another one of Pete at the WRVK control board.
Pete with the late and legendary Porter Wagoner during an appearance on Porter's long-running syndicated television show.  Pete was on Porter's show many times during its run.
Pete is pictured above with his very first musical performing/broadcasting partners, The Pine Valley Pals, in 1945.  (James Milton, Clarence Williams, and Pete.)
Above is an original show advertisment bill for The Pine Valley Pals.  (As a teenager, this was Pete's very first radio performance "gig," at station WHOP in Hopkinsville, KY.)

Pete's WRVK co-workers with Dolly Parton when she

visited the station while Pete was her road manager in the mid-1970s

A Note from Dolly Parton:

Here's what the legendary Miss Dolly Parton had to say about her old friend Pete Stamper when she wrote the forward for his book "It All Happened In Renfro Valley," back in 1999:

"Pete Stamper is to me and many others one of the funniest and most original comedians ever in our business.  I love his delivery; he kinda sneaks up on you.  His humor is smart and funny, and that's a great combination.  Pete is not only unique as a comedian but as a human being as well.  I traveled with Pete long enough to pick him apart if there had been anything there to pick at.  I think he is a perfect gentleman - respectful, reserved, quiet - and you would think he is anything but a comedian except for his funny twist on everything.  He reminds me a great deal of Will Rogers.  I love him." Dolly


With a dry wit that "just-sorta-kinda" sneaks right up on you and makes you bust out laughing every time, Pete's comedy routines have led to comparisions to such greats as Will Rogers.  But no doubt about it, as the title of one of his old LPs says, "Pete Stamper Is Who It Is", and his hilarious brand of country comedy is just one more reason why he is a truly unique treasure of country entertainment!



Writing songs comes as natural to Pete as does his comedy.  He has had songs recorded over the years by such well known artists as Red & Betty Foley, Porter Wagoner, Bill Anderson, and many more.  Here are just a few examples of Pete's unique songwriting talent!



(AKA "The Car Song")

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



I didn't have the money that the big cats had
I couldn't get a Ford much less a Cad'
But I'm not the kinda guy to be undone, tell you what I did
I went and made me one

I got the front end here, I got the rear end there
I came by the middle 'bout everywhere
I got 'em all together and I made 'em fit
But the hardest part was namin' it

It's a Cheva-Kiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stud-War-Linco-Baker
With a Continental Kit
A Cheva-Kiser-Olds-Mo-Laca-Stud-War-Linco-Baker
And I'm proud of ever' part of it

I was clippin' off twenty in a fifty-five zone
I asked the police what I did wrong
He said there's one thing that I want to know,
Tell me what is it and I'll let you go


I went to see my baby it was just last night
I drug up front in under the other night
I leaned on my horn, I hollered come here pet
But all I heard was Ooooh, what's THAT


How About Me

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



I'm so lonesome tonight and need company
If you think I would do, then how about me
My old love is gone and now I'm free
If you want someone new then how about me

How about me, for my love is true
How about me, don't you need me too
My old love is gone and now I'm free
If you want someone new then how about me

I'm still holding on to an old memory
If you just need a friend then how about me
My world is gone wrong and it's true love I need
'Til eternity's end, darlin' how about me


My world is gone wrong and it's true love I need
'Til eternity's end, darlin' how about me

The Way He Said Your Name

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



Just today I met a stranger
I met a man in misery
He asked about you oh my darlin'
And the way he said your name chilled the heart inside of me

Pardon me, sir, said the stranger
I love her so, oh how is she?
Surely you could hear him darlin'
For the way he said your name shook this heart inside of me

Guilty shame I felt inside me
For the wrong I'd planned to do
For had it not been for that stranger
And the way he said your name, I would have cheated tonight on you


The Stranger's Story

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



Oh, come hear a story a stranger just told me
Of a woman who meant everything
So proud he once owned her but he has her no longer
For she wears another man's ring

He talked of the good time they had in the springtime
Before she was stolen away
He blamed her oh no, none, he said she was too young
And that's why she wanted to stray

We drank to her new love, that it might be true love
Her future both happy and bright
With his eyes growin' misty he drank down the whiskey
That was tellin' his story that night

And though he didn't even know me he told me all of his story
And not one single word did he say without pride
And then he asked me if I blamed her
But oh when he named her I wanted to run out and hide

How could I tell him the man that had dealt him
His sadness and sorrow was me
I ran from the table while I was still able
To hold back my own misery

And now a wonder comes to me that maybe
He knew me and he told me just so I'd cry
But without his knowing my teardrops were flowing
For she had just told me goodbye

I Should Be With You

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



Last night I met an old love and just to pass the time
We did some of the things we used to do
But as I held him in my arms this thought ran through my mind
Oh I should be with you

I held him close but that old thrill I used to know was gone
I kissed his lips and then I knew why everything was wrong
I could not win my conscience this thought kept coming through
Oh I should be with you


TAG: Oh I should be with you

Kiss Me One More Time

By Pete Stamper

(Copyrighted material - all rights reserved - Warden Music Publisher)



I've had too many of your kisses
To ever get you off my mind
So if you're really going to leave me
Won't you kiss me one more time

One more kiss won't really matter
No more sorrow can be mine
And I might cry just one less teardrop
If you'll kiss me one more time

Yes, I know you'll be pretending
You'll have another on your mind
But it hurts to know that you don't love me
But won't you kiss me one more time

One more kiss then walk away dear
True happiness I know you'll find
But just this once before you leave me
Won't you kiss me one more time

TAG:  Yes, won't you kiss me one more time