D Kilpatrick

Date: 1995 October 16
Length: 148 min.
Call Number: OHC361


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 October 16
(2 hours, 28 minutes)
Music industry executive D Kilpatrick talks about his experiences as manager of the Grand Ole Opry during the late 1950s. Discussion includes the decision to accept the position at Nashville radio station WSM; WSM’s relationship with Jim Denny; the impact of the Philip Morris Show (a road show) on the Opry; the impact of rock & roll on country music and how he responded as Opry manager; acts he brought to the Opry, including Stonewall Jackson, Johnny Cash, and the Louvin Brothers; special promotions he ran for the Opry; advertising accounts he brought to the Opry; attempts at selling the Opry to television; the formation of the Country Music Association (CMA); CMA’s hiring Harry Stone to manage CMA; early CMA goals; the role of Connie B. Gay and Wesley Rose in establishing CMA’s role within the industry; the development of the Acuff-Rose Artist Corporation and comments on artists managed, including Don Gibson, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Carl Butler; an overview of his move to Warner Bros. and later to Philips Records; his responsibilities as the country sales and promotion director for Mercury in Nashville, including his work with Shelby Singleton; his independent label Athena Records; and highlights from his work with Hickory Records.