• Corrected and extended the post on artists performing under the name of Bill Haney. Thanks to all visitors who commented on this issue! • Updated the post on Fiddlen Jamie, thanks to all visitors who shared their memories with me. • Updated the post on Lynn Pratt, his Hornet label, and Tammy Locke, thanks to Volker Houghton.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Red Yeager on Bejay

Red Yeager & Jack Danials - Tomorrow (Bejay 1344), 1970

Red Yeager, a popular country music singer in the Southwest regions of Missouri and in Northwest Arkansas, first came to my attention while writing about another act from the same area, the Reavis Brothers. Like the Reavis family, Yeager played the local venues of the Arkansas-Missouri border region, around the Branson entertainment scene and likely even south of Springfield.

Yeager was born Leonard Wayne Yeager on August 18, 1934, and actually hailed not from Missouri but from Bluff City, Arkansas. Born to Claude L. and Irma Yeager, he served in the United States Marine Corps as a young man.

By the late 1950s, Yeager had taken up music more or less professionally and managed to get his first release out in early 1960s. "Tears In My Eyes" b/w "Must That Someone Be Me" were recorded for the Capo label (CP-002), which was affiliated with Sundown Records from Pico, California. How Yeager ended up on a west coast label is a riddle still to solve.

Billboard March 21, 1960, C&W review

It was not until ten years later that a second disc appeared by Yeager, this time on Ben Jack's long running Bejay label from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Jack also owned a recording studio and it is probable that these tracks were recorded there. Yeager cut two classic country tracks, "Tomorrow" and "Send My Heart Back Home" (Bejay #1344), both duets with Jack Danials (likely a pseudonym or stage name).

It is likely that Yeager continued to perform well through the 1970s and 1980s but there is no documentation of such activities. Through my research of the Reavis Brothers, I made contact with Yeager's daughter but unfortunately, further correspondence with her fizzled out.

Red Yeager died December 30, 2015, at the age of 81 years in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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