Mother who with the help of God gave me my start in
life, to the late "Cowboy Loye" who gave me my chance
for Radio fame and to you my Radio Friends, I, my Wife
and Son wish to dedicate this book.
STORY OF RAY R. MYERS
FAMOUS ARMLESS MUSICIAN
gently kicks off a right shoe, pulls forth a small key,
inserts it in the lock of a long black car, gets in and
slowly pulls away-not gibing it a thought that he is
known the World over as "The Famous Armless Musician."
began on a cold snowy day, January 2, 1911 on a little
farm near Lancaster, Pennsylvania when a tiny baby boy
was born armless to Mr. and Mrs. William Myers, who were
already the parents of four other children, two boys and
two girls as normal as any child could be.
were a happy couple never dreaming that this tiny baby,
who had been named Raymond Robert, would become famous.
as any little baby using his little feet in place of
He played with safety pins in his Mothers
dress when he was just six months old. He began
walking just as any other child, and was able to feed
and partly dress himself when he was two. By the
time he was three he had been offered a job with a large
well known circus but his parents wanted him to grow up
as normal child so they refused saying that when he was
older he could make up his own mind as to what he would
school was several miles away and the children had to
walk he did not start until he was seven, he was a
bright chap and by the time he was fourteen he was ready
for High School.
sorry part of his life was the death of his father when
Ray was just twelve. His oldest brother was
nineteen, hardly old enough to assume the responsibility
of supporting his widowed mother and the other
eight children, so his mother sold the farm and with the
money bought a small house and lot on the Lincoln
Highway near Paradise, Pa.
time Ray as he is known to his Radio friends was given a
chance for a higher education when the Lions Club of New
Holland Pa., placed him in the Good Shepherd Home for
crippled children at Allentown, Pa., where he entered
High School and was graduated with honors just four
years later. In the meantime he had played
Trombone in the High School Band, had studied Art and
had gotten an Hawaiian Guitar and with the ambition that
only the Good Lord can give, he learned to play using
his feet. With the toes of his left foot he held
the steel bar to note the guitar and with his right foot
he held a very small pick to strum the guitar. He
played and sang for Churches at small gatherings,
entered and won Amateur Contests until he decided it was
time to make his own way. It was then 1933 and
World's Fair at Chicago was in progress, he left the
"Home" and contacted Robert L. Ripley and the "Believe
It or Not Oddities." It was a very short time
until he was on his way to fame and Bright Lights.
There he stayed until the Fair closed.
returned home and with the money he saved bought a small
car as he had made up his mind that if he could do all
the other things in life that a normal person can he
could learn to drive a car. They all laughed, but
as the old saying goes "He who laughs last, Laughs
loudest," this he was able to do as he applied for a
learners permit and was given a chance to show what he
could really do. Just one week later he went to
Harrisburg, Pa., where he took a driver's test in
traffic in the Capital City of Pa. The Patrolman
who gave him the test said, "His driving is perfect."
Today he has driven some 150,000 miles in twelve
different states. And has never had a serious
was 1936, he had been broadcasting for nine mother on
W.G.A.L. Lancaster, Pa. It was on New Years Eve while
broadcasting on a National Hookup program for Robert L.
Ripley that the Famous "Cowboy Loye" heard him and
immediately wrote him a letter, and just two weeks later
he sang his first song on Radio Station W.W.V.A.,
Wheeling, W. Va., that began a great Radio Career.
He made personal appearances for seven months in Ohio,
West Virginia and Pennsylvania, then took a two months
vacation, again returning to West Virginia at Fairmont
on W.M.M.N. with Cowboy Loye.
met Miss Eleanor Jane Sturm and on December 22, they
were married on the stage of the beautiful High School
Auditorium in Fairmont before several thousand people in
one of the most beautiful weddings ever performed.
Vacation time rolled around and in 1938 found him with a
brand new job in Reading, Pa., on Station W.E.E.U., with
Uncle Jack Nelson. Here on November 2, he was a
very proud papa of tiny Ronald Nelson, who was a perfect
child. He worked here all winter until the New
York Fair was opening and the urge was too great so off
he went to the big City but the Fair was not as he had
expected and he was offered a good job on 50,000 watt
W.H.A.S. Louisville, Kentucky, with Cousin Emmy and her
Kinfolks. Here he stayed until fall and after a
short vacation found him back at W.E.E.U., in Reading,
Pa., again with Uncle Jack. Here he worked until
the fall of 1940 when he went to Huntington, W.Va., with
Radio Dot and Smokey, a fine Radio team.
call to move on found him teamed with three others boys,
Slim Mays, Curley Mitchell, and Jack Furbee and known as
"The Buccaneers" on W.S.V.A., in Harrisonburg, Va.
Here he stayed until fall when he went to Youngstown,
Ohio on W.K.B.N., with Blaine Smith, but the funniest of
all comedians Smokey and Radio Dot called him to
Charleston, W.Va., on W.C.H.S., and as he loved working
with this popular team, the time was short until he was
once more entertaining his West Virginia friends.
leaving Charleston in May he opened his own show on
Station W.H.I.S. in Bluefield, W. Va. Here he
remained until November when he returned to Pennsylvania
where he is the featured attraction with his own show.
you wonder who has done all this writing. It is
none other than Mrs. Ray Myers and is just as has been
told to me by Ray and his Mother I hope you get as much
enjoyment in reading it as I have in writing it for you.
MYERS, HIS MOTHER AND OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY
SNAP SHOTS OF RAY MYERS AND
Whenever Ray decides he needs to relax a few minutes he
has no trouble in taking a package of cigarettes from
his pocket and with a folder of paper matches lights one
and puff's away.
a car is no handicap to Ray R. Myers "The Armless
Musician. He drives a standard equipped car and is
said to be the only licensed armless driver in the
world. He holds Pennsylvania and West Virginia driver's
license, having taken rigid road tests to obtain them.
Above from Pitch Book,
Ray R. Myers was a
native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was steel
guitar player, and that would be a story of
inspiration for anyone for you see, Ray was born
He was the fifth in
a family of nine children. He graduated from the
local Allentown High School. His musical career
started off in the high school band where he
played the trombone. Later on he bought a
Hawaiian steel guitar. He had lofty aims to
learn this instrument, so he kept the steel
guitar under his bed until he learned it.
He began performing
at the local events, such as churches and
amateur contests. Then, the local radio station
in Lancaster, WGAL, gave him a program.
In 1937, it seems
that Cowboy Loye, who was then starring at the
WWVA Original Jamboree, happened to hear the
"Armless Wonder" as they called him and hired
him to play on WWVA with him. That springboard
opened other doors and its said that he played
other radio stations in the south.
By 1953, he had a
daily show over radio station WPDX in
Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he was
appearing with the Mays Brothers and Cindy Coy.
Credits & Sources
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