Lulu Belle (Born Myrtle Eleanor Cooper, 24 December 1913, Boone, North Carolina, USA; d. 8 February 1999) and Scott Wiseman (Born 8 November 1909, Spruce Pine, near Ingalls, North Carolina, USA, d. 31 January 1981). Myrtle Cooper learned to play the guitar and sing mountain songs as a child, but after the family relocated to Evanston, Illinois, in 1929, she first worked as a clerk. In 1932, she successfully auditioned at the WLS station in Chicago, and was given a spot on the National Barn Dance programme. The show's producer, John Lair, gave her the stage name of Lulu Belle and she initially worked with Red Foley.
Wiseman grew up on the family farm in Ingalls, North Carolina, and first developed his musical skills by learning to play a home-made banjo. He became interested in a musical career after seeing Bradley Kincaid perform and by working in his school holidays, he bought himself a guitar. In 1927, he made his radio debut, singing and playing in a manner that showed a distinct Kincaid influence, on WRVA Richmond. Initially doubtful that he could make his living by music, he decided to study for a teaching career. From 1929-32, he attended the Teachers College at Fairmont, West Virginia and obtained a degree. During these years, he wrote songs and, appearing as Skyland Scotty, was regularly featured on WMMN Fairmont. In 1933, he joined the National Barn Dance, where he began to work with Lulu Belle. He made his first recordings (solo) in December 1933, when, playing his guitar for one of the few times on record, he cut four songs for RCA-Victor Records. One of the songs was "Home Coming Time In Happy Valley", which soon became a popular song for the duo. They were married on 13 December 1934, by which time they had become a very popular act. On stage, Scotty wore plain, casual attire and played banjo, while Lulu Belle dressed in old gingham styled dresses, pantalettes and usually wore pigtails. Their simple harmony singing, interspersed with comedy and novelty songs, endeared them to the network audience and gained them the nickname of the Sweethearts of Country Music. In 1936, Lulu Belle was voted the most popular woman on American radio and between 1938 and 1944, their national popularity saw them appear in seven films including Shine On Harvest Moon. They remained stars of the WLS National Barn Dance from 1933-58 but also had a spell on the Boone County Jamboree (later the Midwestern Hayride) on WLW Cincinnati, as well as playing on the Grand Ole Opry and the Ozark Jubilee. They were also regulars on WNNBQ-TV Chicago from 1949-57. Over the years, they recorded for various labels including Conqueror Records, Vocalion Records, and Bluebird Records. They popularized many songs including "Mountain Dew" (written by Scotty with Bascombe Lunsford), "Remember Me", "My Heart Cries For You", "Tying The Leaves" and "Does Your Spearmint Lose Its Flavour On The Bed Post Overnight?" (a UK pop hit for Lonnie Donegan with "Chewing Gum" substituted for "Spearmint" in 1959). Perhaps their best-known song is one that originated at a time when Scotty was hospitalized with appendix trouble. During a visit, Lulu Belle said "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" and it inspired him to write a song. Gene Autry recorded it in November 1945 and in 1946, it was a Top 5 US country hit for Autry, Tex Ritter, Red Foley and Foy Willing. It went on to become a country standard and has been recorded over the years by many artists, including Bing Crosby with the Andrews Sisters, Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley.
In 1958, after Scotty had obtained an MA Teaching degree at Northwestern University at Evanston, they semi-retired from the entertainment business. They moved back to Spruce Pine, where Scotty taught people with speech problems at the college. They also bought a cattle farm but still made a few concert appearances and recorded for the Starday label in the 60s. At one time, they presented their Breakfast In The Blue Ridge radio show supposedly live from their home, but in reality, it was taped in Chicago. They appeared at the 1975 Fan Fair in Nashville and on the Grand Ole Opry, but generally during the 70s, Scotty continued to teach and they restricted themselves to local appearances. In 1971, his many songs saw him elected to the Nashville Songwriters' International Hall of Fame. Lulu Belle became interested in politics and in 1974, she was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives. Scotty died following a heart attack when driving home from Gainsville, Florida. Lulu Belle remarried in 1983 (Ernest Stamey, an old family friend) and in 1986 recorded a solo album for the Old Homestead label.
Lulu Belle & Scotty (Super 1963)***, The Sweethearts Of Country Music (Starday 1963)****, Down Memory Lane (Starday 1964)***, Lulu Belle & Scotty (Sweethearts Still) (Starday 1965)***, Just A Closer Walk With Thee (Birch 1974)**, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Old Homestead 1974)**.
Solo: Lulu Belle Snickers & Tender Memories (Old Homestead 1986)**.
Early And Great Volume 1 (1985)***, Country & Western Memories, Volume 3: Lulu Belle & Scotty (1986)***, Tender Memories Recalled Volumes 1 & 2 (1989)***, Tender Memories Recalled Volume 3 (1991)**.
Source: Encyclopedia of Popular Music