Foy Willing

Date: 1975 December 17
Length: 92 min.
Call Number: OH510


Country performer. Born 1915. Died June 24, 1978. Singer and songwriter. Leader of the western vocal group Riders of the Purple Sage. Began career in the early 1930s in New York radio with a show for Crazy Water Crystals. During the late 1930s-early 1940s worked in Texas and Oklahoma. In 1943 formed the Riders of the Purple Sage. The group appeared on the Hollywood Barn Dance, recorded for the Columbia, Decca, and Majestic record labels and backed numerous western performers on radio and film.

Interview Summary

1975 December 17
(1 hour, 32 minutes)
Performer Foy Willing talks about his career. Discussion includes his Takeaways Radio Transcriptions from the late 1940s; comments on his overall career during the late 1940s; his early musical influences, including Nick Lucas; the development of his career; the influences of folk songs and folk singers, including Bradley Kincaid; his career during the mid-1950s, including a concert tour with Gene Autry; his recordings during the 1960s, including work with Mary Ford; the decision to disband the Riders of the Purple Sage in 1952; comments on his recording career; comments on the Republic Pictures contract; memories from his work in television; comments on his association with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; and comments on the Riders of the Purple Sage.