Ashland, Boyd County, Curly Wellman, Dixie Lee, Ed Haley, history, Huntington, Hymns from the Hills, John Hartford, Kentucky, Laverne Williamson, Lawrence Haley, Lynn Davis, McVeigh, Molly O Day, Molly O'Day, Mountain Fern, Mountaineer Jamboree, music, Nashville, Snake Chapman, U.S. South, WEMM-FM, West Virginia, writers, writing
Back in Nashville, I followed up on some leads from Curly Wellman. I focused in on Molly O’Day, the famous singer who grew up hearing Ed’s music at her parents’ home in McVeigh, Kentucky. Snake Chapman and Lawrence Haley had both implied a strong connection between she and Ed. Named Laverne Williamson at birth, she initially used the stage names Dixie Lee and Mountain Fern. In 1941, she married Lynn Davis; the following year, she changed her name to Molly O’Day. During the 1940s, she was one of the leading female vocalists in country music.
“Uncomfortable with fame, Lynn and Molly found consolation in religion and evangelism from 1950,” according to Mountaineer Jamboree. “More often than not Huntington or its suburbs has been their home and since 1974 they have had a program called ‘Hymns from the Hills’ on WEMM-FM radio which features country gospel records and inspirational talk. Molly O’Day continued as a familiar voice on WEMM-FM radio in Huntington until she was diagnosed with cancer. She ‘went home to be with the Lord’ on December 4, 1987, and Lynn Davis has continued their radio ministry alone.”
I definitely wanted to look up Molly’s widower the next time I was in Ashland.
Lynn Davis was a dear friend of ours My husband, Basil Hudson was a minister in Huntington and he a Lynn became big buddies. I think Lynn was a father figure, prayer partner, lunch friend and spiritual friend to our family. Lynn adored Molly and would always smile when he told stories of her singing and beauty.
Lynn died several years ago, but we will always cherish his love.
Basil and Brenda Hudson
Scott Depot, WV