Dolly’s Uncle Bill Owens helps land her first radio and television gig on Cas Walker Show on WIVK Radio in Knoxville, Tenn.
Dolly’s natural talent and drive didn’t escape the attention of her Uncle Bill Owens. He saw her potential and had the same vision Dolly had; she was going to be a big star. Encouraging Dolly every step of the way and knocking on door after door, in 1956, Uncle Bill finally brought her to the attention of self-made multi-millionaire Cas Walker.
Walker created a variety show known as the “Farm and Home Hour” to promote his chain of successful grocery stores. The show initially aired as a radio program on WROL-AM and later on WIVK-AM. The show featured artists such as Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe, Carl Smith, Carl Butler, Jim Nabors, and Chet Atkins. Uncle Bill managed to get Dolly backstage during one of the radio shows at WIVK radio station in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In true Dolly style, she would find a way to be heard. She showed her initiative and drive by telling walking up to Cas Walker and telling him that she wanted to work for him. Because of her bold determination, Walker couldn’t resist. Dolly had landed her first radio and television gig at the age of 10 before her family even owned a television.
Listen below to the rare audio clip of Dolly performing on “The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour.”
Dolly performed like a seasoned veteran in front of the crowd in the little radio station auditorium for the first time, and they shouted and cheered for an encore. Residents in Knoxville, Tenn. and the surrounding cities heard her on their radios and televisions at home. For Dolly, this was her very first taste of stardom and it was sweet.