Top 5 Maddox Brothers & Rose Songs
The look and sound of West Coast country music begins with the family band the Maddox Brothers & Rose.
Groundbreaking vocalist Rose Maddox (1925-1998) and brothers Cliff (1912-1949), Cal (1915-1968), Fred (1919-1992), Don (1922- present) and Henry (1928-1974) were all born in the Sand Mountain region of Alabama, the historically fertile starting point of fellow singing kinfolks the Delmore Brothers, the Louvin Brothers and the band Alabama. However, the Maddox siblings' career began in California, where their family migrated in 1933 by hitchhiking and riding boxcars.
In 1937, the siblings formed a band and found quick success via live radio. For nearly 20 years, “The Most Colorful Hillbilly Band in the World” would innovate country music style with their matching outfits and an upbeat style more akin to the coming sound of rock ‘n’ roll than pre-war string band music. The family band toured as well-rounded entertainers with a sound that competed with Roy Acuff and other contemporaries while teasing the arrival of Elvis Presley and rockabilly.
A rapidly changing genre found Rose going solo in 1956. In the coming years, she cut successful sides for Capitol, including the Buck Owens duet “Loose Talk” (1961), and recorded a bluegrass album at the behest of Bill Monroe.
For a small sampling of the Maddox clan’s wide range of talents and immense influence on country music’s West Coast blueprint, check out these five cuts from their career.