Charlotte, North Carolina native Fred Kirby (1910-1996) began his radio career in 1931 over WIS, Columbia, South Carolina. Returning to his hometown the following year, Kirby landed a slot on WBT. Briefly teaming with Cliff Carlisle, he cut his first records for Conqueror in 1932. His regional popularity led to recording sessions for Bluebird in 1936 and 1937. After a series of 1938 sessions for Decca, Kirby worked stations in Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, eventually rejoining WBT in 1943.
In 1945 Kirby was the first country artist signed to Sonora Records, a five-year-old subsidiary of a Chicago radio and phonograph manufacturer. Unlike many labels, Sonora generally focused on marketing multi-disc albums instead of single releases. For his third Sonora session at WOR, New York, Kirby recorded eight sides for his first and only album, accompanied by Walden Whitsell (Don White) on steel and probably Arval Albert Hogan, mandolin; and Roy “Whitey” Grant, guitar. Sonora released Hillbilly Tunes, in May 1946.
After Sonora folded in 1948, Kirby recorded for M-G-M and Columbia. During the fifties the singer focused on children’s television, becoming a beloved personality on Charlotte’s WBTV until his retirement in 1991.
01 Please Don’t Take My Baby Fred Kirby
02 Hang Your Head In Shame Fred Kirby
03 Somewhere A Heart Is Breaking Fred Kirby
04 Hello My Baby Fred Kirby
05 Bury My Heart Beneath The Roses Fred Kirby
06 When Its Reveille Time In Heaven Fred Kirby
07 Our Hearts Beat Together Fred Kirby
08 Out Of My Mind Fred Kirby