Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia

Scrapbook Memories

Mildred McConnell's Scrapbook Articles

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The Virginia Boys Doc and Carl

     Doc Addington and Carl McConnell, The Virginia Boys, came from a traditional family of musicians.

     Doc Addington was a brother to the late, Maybelle Addington Carter, and a cousin to the late Sara Daugherty Carter. Carl McConnell, a cousin to Doc and Maybelle, was also a cousin to Sara Daugherty Carter.

     Over on Copper Creek lived the Addingtons, Daughertys, Kilgores, McConnells, Nickels, and many other familiar people. We can truly call Copper Creek "Music Valley", because just about everybody on Copper Creek could sing or play some kind of an instrument. It was here that Doc, Maybelle and Sara grew up and began pickin' and singin' together .. Sara and Maybelle married Carters, which later became the original Carter Family.

     One night at a music party on Copper Creek given at Uncle Mil Nickel's home was where Doc Addington and Carl McConnell got together for the first time with their banjo and guitar for a duet which they called Doc & , The Virginia Boys. All at once they became popular and broadcasting on Radio Station WOPI, Bristol, Virginia. L. B. Wilson was the manager of the radio station then and a contest was going on for the group or artists that received the most fan mail would win four cases of Campbell Tomato Soup. Doc and Carl received the most fan mail and won four cases of tomato soup and took it back to Copper Creek and gave a soup supper for all their friends and neighbors. This was the beginning of their musical career.

     As they began to appear on many different shows from here, Doc and Carl went to Chicago, Illinois and were hired by the Consolidated Drug Company and began broadcasting on Radio Station WCFL. They continued broadcasting until they were transferred to WHAM, Rochester, New York. Still under the direction of Consolidated Drug Company. From here they went to Radio Station WHAS, Louisville, Kentucky another big, powerful 50,000 watt radio station. It was here they met Randy Blake which was their announcer at this time. Doc and Carl were in great demand for personal appearance so they played show dates in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and elsewhere. After a long time, transferred to Radio Station WKRC, Cincinnati, Ohio; later to WLW then to WRNL. Richmond, Virginia.

     By this time Doc and Carl became so popular that the Consolidated Drug Company wanted them to broadcast on a great number of other radio stations. At the same time now this required several 15-minute transcribed programs so they returned to Chicago, Illinois to Radio Station WCFL. There they recorded 84, 15-minute transcriptions to be broadcast on such powerful stations as XERA, SEAW, ZENT, ZELO, ZERB. Doc and Carl were known to most of the English speaking world.

     Doc and Carl had a unique style of pickin' and singin'. No one has ever came up with their style so far. Doc sang tenor and played lead guitar. Carl sang soprano and seconds or played the rhythm with his 5-string banjo. This was the reverse style to most other artists that play these kind of instruments.

     In the later years of Doc and Carl's music career Mabel McConnell, Carl's wife, joined them in singing harmony which was a great help, especially on their gospel songs.

 

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