D Kilpatrick

Date: 1995 June 22
Length: 234 min.
Call Number: OHC359


Music industry executive. Born July 18, 1919. Full name: Walter David Kilpatrick. AKA: W. D. Kilpatrick. Career most active 1940s-1960s. Nashville-based country producer for Capitol Records, 1950-1951. Country producer for Mercury Records, 1951-1956. Manager, WSM’s Grand Ole Opry, 1956-1959. Helped launch Acuff-Rose Artists Corporation, 1959. Later served with Warner Bros. Records and Philips Records. One of the founders of the Country Music Association (CMA).

Interview Summary

1995 June 22
(3 hours, 54 minutes)
Music industry executive D Kilpatrick talks about his years at Capitol Records. Discussion includes his career prior to his work in the music industry; joining Capitol as a salesman; the popularity of country music among military personnel; Capitol’s growth as a label; his experiences as a salesman based in Charlotte; experiences promoting “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” in the Carolinas; the growth of country music; memories of Tex Ritter; his move to Atlanta as branch manager for Capitol; comments on his decision to leave the record business; working with Lee Gillette; the contrast between the development of a pop hit and a country hit; Capitol’s market for children’s recordings; competition between record labels; working with Fred Rose; working with James and Martha Carson; comments on the Grand Ole Opry management’s philosophy and practices; acts he recorded as A&R director for Capitol, including Carl Butler, Jimmie Skinner, and Hank Thompson; and comments on his experiences working for Capitol.