1920 – 1989
Dave Stogner was born May 15, 1920 on a farm in St. Jo, Texas, the youngest of nine children.
Following a stint in the Marines during World War II, Dave formed a five-piece band called “Dave Stogner and The Western Rhythmaires” in California’s Bay Area near Richmond. Shortly thereafter he moved south to Fresno where he had a radio show with his brother “Tom & Jerry” on KCOK in Tulare leading to the formation of a band: Tom and Jerry, and The Oklahoma Troubadores.
He left for Los Angeles and the promise of a Nightclub act but he soon returned to the Valley to host a radio show on KSJV in Sanger. Meanwhile, he put together a re-formed Western Rhythmaires and signed a contract to play at The Cozy Inn in Fresno, playing to capacity crowds Tuesday through Saturday nights. This led to a contract in 1950 to play The Fresno Barn Saturday nights, alternate Wednesdays and New Year’s Eve. He would remain there for 12 years booking many national acts at the Barn including Hank Williams, Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Faron Young and Hank Snow.
During this time he hosted a live radio show with his band on KFRE radio five days a week and later did stints at KMJ and KARM. In 1953 he debuted the Dave Stogner Show on KJEO-TV running five nights a week and later did televison shows on KMJ-TV and KFRE-TV. He moved to Bakersfield in 1963 and hosted a television show on KLYD-TV and also hosted a local radio show on KLYD-AM.
Dave recorded on the Decca and Mosrite labels and made appearances in Nashville, Tennessee where he met and became friends with some of the legends in Country Music; Marty Robbins, Johnny Russell, Jean Shepard, Merle Haggard, Little Jimmy Dickens and Bill Woods. He was inducted into the Western Swing Society Hall Of Fame in 1998 and was a member of the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame.
Dave Stogner died May 17, 1989 in Madera. He is buried in Fresno’s Belmont Memorial Gardens. His gravestone reads: A legend of country swing music.