Duke of Paducah

Date: 1984 July 13
Length: 145 min.
Call Number: OHC109


Country music performer and comedian. Born May 12, 1901. Died June 20, 1986. Real name: Benjamin Francis Ford. Later given the nickname “Whitey” for his blond hair. Acquired stage name, the Duke of Paducah, in the 1930s. Career active 1920s-1950s. Star of the Grand Ole Opry during the 1940s. Member, Country Music Hall of Fame®.

Interview Summary

1984 July 13
(2 hours, 25 minutes)
Country comedian Benjamin “Whitey” Ford, popularly known as the Duke of Paducah, recalls experiences from his entertainment career. Discussion includes working with Gene Autry; working with Smiley Burnette; working with John Lair; the origin of his stage name; the Renfro Valley Barn Dance; working on Plantation Party; his collection of jokes; his script writing; the KMOX Barn Dance; working for the USO during World War II; working on the Grand Ole Opry; Red Foley on the Opry; working with Uncle Dave Macon; and the working environment at the Ryman Auditorium.