Fred Kirby

Date: 1982 November 24
Length: 91 min.
Call Number: OHC175


Country music performer. Born July 19, 1910. Died April 22, 1996. Full name: Frederick Austin Kirby. Career active 1930s-early 1950s. Began career as radio performer on Charlotte radio station WBT in the 1930s. During the 1930s-1940s performed on Cincinnati radio station WLW; Chicago radio station WLS, and Philadelphia station WFIL. Returned to WBT in mid-1940s. Host of several popular local children’s radio and television shows, including Fred Kirby’s Tiny Town USA, and Junior Rancho. Recorded for several labels during the late 1930s-1950s, including Bluebird, Decca, MGM, and Columbia. Songwriting credits include “Atomic Power” (a 1946 hit for the Buchanan Brothers).

Interview Summary

1982 November 24
(1 hour, 31 minutes)
Country performer Fred Kirby recalls highlights from his career. Discussion includes his childhood and early musical influences; his start on radio; working as part of the Briarhoppers; selling war bonds; his children’s shows; working the Carolina Hayride; working for sponsor Crazy Water Crystals; his songwriting; his recording sessions; his DJ show at WBT during the mid-1940s; and his decision to work in children’s programming.