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"Skeets" Yaney

by Lambert Kohr, KMOX program producer (1949)

Skeets Yaney, the vocalist of the famous “Skeets and Frankie” team, has been in radio for 19 years and has the unique distinction of having been sponsored for over 17 of those 19 years by the same client, the famous Jolly Irishman, Uncle Dick Slack. A familiar voice on radio station KMOX and the CBS Network for all those years, Skeeter’s formal billing has always been, “The Golden Voiced Yodeler.” He has also won seven National Championships as a yodeler, while his sidekick Frankie walked away with a like number of accordion championships.

Born Clyde A. Yaney in Mitchell, Indiana, and inheriting the nickname “Skeets” from an older brother Jim, he started in to win acclaim and attention at an early age. Being judged the best entertainer in southern Indiana when he was but six years of age…playing the harmonica and singing. Fifteen years ago Skeeter met Frankie. They teamed up and have remained the top folk song artists of the country ever since.

Although his pen has been idle recently, Skeeter has written and has had published many of the finest songs in his field, and he has made what his fans think are much too few recordings under the Town and Country label. However, they’ll be happy to know Skeets will record a larger series under the Columbia banner in the near future.

Among other distinctions, Skeeter could well earn the title of best dressed folk artist in the country as well because of his wardrobe of western costumes, specially designed and tailored, being one of the largest and finest in the Midwest.

Perhaps this accounts for his popularity and demand for personal appearances. For many years, Skeeter and his group of National Champion Hillbillys have had their pick of the choicest fair dates and various celebrations in this area.

His most recent appearance was a performance for the President of the United States. Along these lines, Skeeter continues to do more than his share of charity appearances for veterans, crippled children’s hospitals, etc. Skeeter now heads his own program – commercial, of course – on KMOX, and with his same 17 year sponsor, “Slack’s Big Old Fashioned Barn Dance,” heard at 10:30 P.M. on Saturday nights, and “Slack’s Ozark Varieties” heard every morning at 7:15.

Skeeter’s “home” station has been, as it should be, KMOX, The Voice of St. Louis, the CBS outlet in this area. Needless to say, he has set some of this station’s record mail returns and today, with a confidence that there is only one like him, ninety percent of his mail is addressed simply – Skeeter, c/o KMOX, St. Louis, and over ninety percent of all fan mail received at KMOX is addressed to this veteran folk artist who still rides the crest of popularity after 19 years of wonderful entertaining. I know. I’ve produced his shows for almost ten years and I’ll go along with his fans who earnestly hope we can listen to him sing for 19 years more.