Maine Hall of Fame Members




Florence Cody Hooper - 1998
(AKA: “Flo Hooper”)

Flo Hooper was born and raised in Auburn, Maine.  She sang in church choir while attending local schools in the Auburn area.

Flo's first exposure to country music was listening to Jimmie Rogers and Patsy Montanna records.  Flo's sister, Betty Cody, learned to yodel at 15 and Flo who was nine at the time, decided she wanted to yodel too, so with Betty's help and encouragement, she mastered the art.

When Flo was 13, she attended a show with betty and Lone Pine and was asked to sing and yodel.  She sang "There's A Knot In My Lariat".

When Flo turned 16, she and another sister, Lucille, joined the Lone Pine Show, doing solos, duets, and trios with Betty Cody.

In 1948, Flo and Gene Hooper were married in Muncton, New Brunswick where they were doing a daily radio show and making personal appearances.

In 1994, Flo Hooper recorded her first solo full length cassette entitles "The One Rose".

For the past 57 years, Flo Cody Hooper, has dedicated her musical career to traditional music and yodeling and travels with the Gene Hooper Family Show and can be seen quite often appearing with the Allan "Mac" McHale and the Old Time Radio Gang.

Emile J. Bedard - 1998
(AKA: “Whistlin' Bill”)

At the age of 12 Emile started playing music at home.  His first instrument was a cigar box with 3 copper strings.  Once he swapped 5 roosters for a musical saw which he later swapped for his first guitar.  Then he and his brother played at many local events.

Bill started playing with "Nate Noble and his Harmony Hay Makers" at the age of 16 where he met his future wife, Lona - who is the granddaughter of Melli Dunham. After a lot of playing around the state of Maine, he went in the service, taking his music with him.  He played in the California desert and overseas in Japan and New Guinea.  He composed lots of songs during this time.

When he returned, he formed a band called "The Northeasters".  He soon began broadcasting on WKTQ.  In 1958, he formed the Bedard Trio which today is still very active playing at area events and nursing homes,  They also play with "The Richard Felt Orchestra" every Saturday night.

Bill plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, 2 string bass and even a musical saw.  After 58 years of playing, he is still very active in promoting country music in Maine.

Bill and his grandson are planning an album of songs that he has written.  At age 73, Bill and his wife Lona, are still very active musicians 

Ray Couture - 1999
(AKA: “Abner Doolittle”)

Ray was born and raised in Lewiston, Maine. At the age of 15, Ray and his cousins, Champ and Rich Bilodeau, formed a country band called Champ-Rich & Pan. They were one of the first groups to broadcast on WCOU in Lewiston.

In 1938, Ray joined the Lone Pine Mountaineer Show. The group broadcaster nightly shows in the area until moving to Bangor where Lone Pine was well known. They broadcasted daily on WABI and played many concerts in the area. About this time Ray joined Gene Hooper and played for several years in Bangor, Lewiston, Aroostook County and Eastern Canada.

In 1953, Ray went to Wheeling with Lone Pine and Betty Cody. When Lone Pine left the show in Wheeling, Ray stayed on and spent 45 years working on the Wheeling Jamboree, originally as a guitar player and later as Director of the Staff Band.

Ray has recorded with Lone Pine & Betty Cody, Gene Hooper, Big Slim, The Lone Cowboy, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Chet Atkins, Grady martin and played back up for many well known artists.

The late Lenny Breau, one of the greatest guitar players in the world, was taught by Ray Couture when Lenny was a young boy.

Ray is now retired and spends his musical time writing sounds with more than 500 to his credit, including “Good-Bye and So Long To You”, “Prince Edward Island Is Heaven To Me”, and “The Tom-Tom Yodel”. Doc Williams recently recorded 12 of Ray’s original songs.

Frances Dyer - 1999
(AKA: Ginger Mae)

Ginger Mae’s first singing appearance was at the age of six in the Baptist Church in Hermon, Maine. She appeared most every Sunday evening at the Auto Rest Park in Carmel, competing and winning many contests until the age of seven when her mother died.

She did not appear on stage again until she met and married her husband, Jim. In 1947, Ginger Mae and Jim moved to Danbury Connecticut and she made her first professional appearance, a solo act, at the Great Danbury State Fair and continued to perform there annually for fourteen years.

After learning to play the upright bass, she was invited to join a country band called The Western Playboys. They played several nightclubs throughout the state, crossed state lines into New York and many other state lines from Florida to Nova Scotia. The group was very popular on WLAD Radio in Danbury.

In 1974 Ginger Mae and her family returned to Maine where she joined the Grange. She entered the competition and won first place on the state level and placed second on the national level with 38 states participating.

Ginger Mae has released two 45 RPM records. “Hold Tight To My Hand” and “Does Jesus Have a Daddy”. She joined the MCMA in the early 80’s and served on the Hall of Fame Mobile Unit and Maine Country People Committees. She was Chaplain in 1986 and Secretary in 1989, was also Historian.

She has won several awards from MCMA: Songwriter, Fiddlin’ Harold carter, Gospel Artist and DECMA presented her with an appreciation plaque and the Yodeling Slim Clark Award..

She is still very active today with prison ministries, nursing homes and benefits.

James H. Cox - 2000
(AKA: Jimmy Cox)

Jimmy Cox is called “A Kentucky Picker in Maine”. He started “picking” at the age of 3 and was playing on radio at the age of 14. He was soon playing with many bluegrass greats such as Don Reno, Mac Wiseman and Red Smiley. He has also played on the Grand Ole Opry. He is widely known in the Bluegrass circuit having played at many festivals, such as Renfro Valley, Kentucky.

While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Presque Isle where he married and decided to make his home. He played all around the Aroostook County area during these years.

He later moved to Brunswick, where he joined Charlie Gilliam and formed The Blue Mountain Boys. Working together for 20 years, they played on the Ken MacKenzie Show for 12 years, appearing on TV in the Portland and Bangor.

He helped organize the first Picking Party at Bowdoin College in 1971. he was instrumental in forming the Pine State Blue Grass Music Association, of which he is president.

Jimmy still has his own band, “Jimmy Cox and the Maine Grass.” He also taught music for years. He is a superb craftsman of musical instruments, (banjo, mandolin, and fiddle) and the only one making the complete instrument. He is known as “The Banjo Maker”.

Frederick E. Thompson - 2000
(AKA: “Tommy Thompson”)

Tommy started playing the guitar at the age of six. He played in dance bands in the Mid-Coast area while attending Junior and Senior High School.

He took up country music while stationed in the Army in Georgia. Together with other musicians, they formed a band and played in nightclubs in the Savannah area.

While on a troopship going to the Far East in 1951, Tommy was selected from a pool of musicians to play in the ships band.

After returning to Rockland in 1953, he joined Bob Randell’s band doing radio and stage shows. In 1954, Tommy took over the time slot on WRKD and together with Chuck Philbrick and Ray Olsen formed the “Ramblers”, playing in various clubs and hotels in Maine and Massachusetts until 1958. They also appeared on several TV specials for the March of Dimes.

In 1965, he joined the Dick Curless Band, still at the Thorndike Hotel, playing rhythm guitar and singing. He was a member of the Country Gentlemen in the 80’s and in 1986 received the Lenny Breau Award from DECMA.

In 1991, Tommy started learning the pedal steel guitar with “Three Of A Kind”. Tommy has released an album of instrumental gospel and country music, “Steel Alive & Well”.

He is very active today and is in much demand. He is a member of Denny Breau & Friends, Tim Farrell’s Misfitz, Bing Crosby & Just Friends and The Pioneer Show Band.

Robert Wincapaw - 2001
(AKA: Bob Elston)

Bob Elston was born and raised in Maine. At an early age Bob became interested in country music. At age seventeen he appeared on a local radio show on WRDK in Rockland, Maine.

In 1958 Bob joined with Curly O’Brien TV Show on WLBZ in Bangor. For the next several years he continues working on TV in Bangor and also on WMTW-TV in Poland Spring, Maine.

While in the service in the early 1960’s, Bob formed a band playing Texas and New Mexico. Settling in Portland in 1965, after the service, he established The Road Ranger Band, which is still together today. Bob did live TV on WGAN-TV, and during this same period he opened a show for Hank Williams Jr. at Portland City Hall in 1966.

Through the years Bob has had the pleasure of working with such stars as Bill Anderson, Skeeter Davis, Bill Carisle, Jeannie C. Riley, Tex Ritter and Roy Acuff.

He has recorded 45 RPM records, cassette albums and written such songs as “Mind Over Wine”, “Stopsign on The Heart of Mine”, and “Raising Hell in Tennessee”.

In 1987 Bob received the Media Personality Award from MCMA and he hosted some of MCMA Award Shows and Hall of Fame Shows.

Presently he is a DJ on WMCM 103.3 in Rockland. Bob resides in Clinton, Maine with his wife Marlene. Country music has and will always be a large part of Bob’s life.

Charles B. Brown - 2001
(AKA: Charlie Brown)

Charlie became interested in what he and his family called “Cowboy Music” at an early age, listening to Canadian Radio. Two of his favorite singers at that time were Hank Snow and Wilf Carter.

As a young man he sang at local church suppers, lodges, and talent shows. A schoolmate showed him a few simple guitar chords, and it wasn’t long before he added his own accompaniment.

Dick Curless came into Charlie’s life in 1951 by asking him up on stage to sing a couple of numbers which started a lasting friendship with his mentor. He also appeared on shows with Hal Lone Pine, Curley O’Brien, Gene Hooper, Shorty Thomas, Yodeling Slim Clark and Beverly “The Prairie Sweetheart”.

In 1960 he formed his own band called “The Easternaires”, and they played throughout the Washington County area. Then in the mid sixties Charlie went to work for WMCS in Machais as an announcer. One night a caller requested a song that the station didn’t have on file, so he grabbed his guitar, which he just happened to have with him, and without thinking sang the song live on the air.. The station received many letters on the incident and Charlie was given his own fifteen minute show which was later extended to half and hour.

Throughout the seventies he worked with Elton Record, Vi Moody and the Knighthawkes, Cherry Bonney and the Country Blend, and others.

Charlie married Marilyn Hammons in the mid eighties and they became known as “Charlie and Miss Marilyn” duo. Later they formed the Okey Dokey Band playing statewide and won Traditional Band Of The Year Award from MCMA in 1993. Charlie and Miss Marilyn still perform under the name “Two For The Show”.

Robert E. Alley, Jr. - 2002
(AKA: Bob Alley)

Bob was born in east Boothbay, Maine. As a teenager he studied guitar, saxophone and trombone. Taking up drums during high school years, he graduated from Boothbay Harbor High School where he played drums in the school band.

After serving a hitch in the United States Air Force, Bob won a talent contest and toured with Horace Height and his “ Musical Knights” across the country to Los Angeles, California where he studied music and drama at Los Angeles City College, later landing a spot with the Sammy Kay Band.

In the seventies Bob became interested in country music, working with “Hazel B and The Zodiacs”, “Kenny Freeman and the Memories” and “The Silver Wings Band”. For the last twenty three years with Elmer Larson and the Country Fever Band, keeping the beat and helping Country Fever win the Traditional Country Band ten years straight from 1983 through 1992.

Bob won the first Fiddling Harold Carter Award ever given in 1983 at the MCMA Awards Show for outstanding sideman work. He and his then wife won the novelty/comedy award from 1984 through 1986.

Bob has backed Hall of Fame Members , Duke Knight, Charlie Gilliam, Gus Fiore, Norm DeCoteau, Tim Farrell, and Country Fever members Elmer Larson, Jeanie carter Johnson and Russ Adams. Plus other notables such as Dick Curless, Marvin Rainwater and Jeanie Pruitt.

Bob and his wife Rae live in Windham, Maine and he is still active in country music.

Slim Andrews - 2002

Slim was born June 14, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1932 the family moved to Lewiston-Auburn area in Maine.

Slim’s music career began at age eleven when he won a talent contest at the Old Auburn Community Theater in 1942. His early years were spent listening to WWVA Wheeling. He got his first guitar at age eleven, picked up a few chords, and by age fifteen was adept at the guitar and enjoyed playing for anyone who would listen.

After graduating from high school in 1948, Slim joined the Army where he played and entertained the troops. In 1958 he formed the Bershire Mountain Boys and they played in Southern Massachusetts for thirteen years.

In 1971 Slim returned to Maine and formed the well-known Cumberland Valley Boys. He continued to entertain with this band for many years throughout Southern Maine. Then in 1976 Slim and Gini were instrumental in the introduction of the first State of Maine Country Music Awards, which became an annual event.

In 1977 Slim, along with Berry Dean founded the present Maine Country Music Association (MCMA) where Slim, was elected as it’s first acting president.

In May of 2001, Slim lost his wife of 22 years, Gini, to a fourteen-year battle with cancer. However, he still enjoys singing and playing his favorite country songs at gigs, jam sessions, retirement and assisted living facilities, and of course MCMA Shows.

David Mallett – 2003
(AKA: Dave Mallett)

Dave has lived in Maine for all but eight years, when he lived in Nashville. Some of his early influences were Jim Reeves, Jimmy Rogers, Marty Robbins, Gordon Lightfoot and Buck Owens.

His career began at the age of eight when he and his brother performed at local country fairs, grange halls and school auditoriums throughout New England. During his days at the University of Maine, he began listening to singer/songwriters such as Lightfoot and John Prine. He was inspired by the caliber of their work, and it wasn’t long before Dave made a commitment to his own songwriting. He once said “They combined elements of country music and lyric quality of folks and that served as a beacon for me”.

Known as “The Voice of New England”, Malletts’ talent for combining compelling lyrics and beautifully crafted melodies caught the attention of producer Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) and in 1978 he recorded his first album of original material. Since that time his songs have been performed by over one hundred artists including Emmy Lou Harris, Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, John Denver, Hal Ketchim, Marty Stewart, Arlo Guthrie, Kendall Morse and even the Muppets.

Dave has recorded many albums and is still pleasing audiences with his great writings and renditions. His popularity and tour schedule has grown with each new album. Mallett is recognized as an uncompromising and unique talent.

Marilyn H. Brown - 2003
(AKA: Miss Marilyn)

Miss Marilyn. Which she is known as today, began her career in country music at the age of six when her Aunt Louida Miller, a school teacher and well known musician, taught her some old songs and got her interested in learning to play an instrument. The instrument was a ukulele, a gift from her grandfather.

Word soon got around of “Little Marilyn’s” entertaining expertise and she soon found herself the center of attention at school functions, talent contests and house parties. Her voice was God given and her range was very mature for her age. Once bitten by the praise and applause heaped on by her relatives and friends, she was off and running.

Her grade school music abilities lead her to be appointed lead singer in the schools musical presentations. During her high school years she became a member of a Cony Broadcast Club, presenting her songs over WRDO radio in Augusta.

Shortly after graduation, Marilyn married an officer in the service and sang in a Texas Swing Band for two years in clubs in San Antonio and Houston. In 1949 her husband was transferred to Fairbanks, Alaska where Marilyn sang at base clubs. After the breakup of her marriage she returned to Augusta.

In 1971 she met Charlie Brown and in 1973 they were singing their country songs together. In the early eighties Marilyn learned the keyboard and she and Charlie were performing under the name of “Two For The Show” at many shows for the Down East Country Music Association and the Maine Country Music Association winning many awards from both organizations. Marilyn and Charlie Brown still make their home in Augusta and still perform under the name “Charlie Brown and Miss Marilyn”.

 William T. Anketell - 2004
(AKA: Banjo Bill Anketell)

The youngest of five children, Bill was raised in a musical family.  His father, played piano, mother sand songs, two sisters sang in church choir, and two older brothers played trumpet.  Bill also played trumpet then, during high school years he learned the slide trombone playing in bands, orchestras, and the Fire Department Band.

His family moved to Maine in 1954 where bill started learning the guitar, influenced by such stars as Jimmy Rogers, Lee Moore, the Osborne Brothers, and Chet Atkins who's style Bill also picked up.

In 1960 Bill was bitten by the Bluegrass bug and just had to learn the five string banjo "Scruggs" style.  Bill played bluegrass music for the next ten years, developing his style, and perfecting his picking.  He also learned to play steel guitar.

Over the years Bill had backed such artists as Dick Curless, Elton Britt, Ralph Stanely, Johnny Russell, Mac Wiseman, and others.  back in the sixties he played on the Ken MacKenzie weekly television show.

Bill eventually went back to his "roots" and joined the "Down Home Bluegrass Band".  They performed all over Maine and into Canada.  The band was named "Bluegrass Band of The Year" in 2002 by MCMA, one week after he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Gray.

Bill was a great guy who deserves to be remembered as someone who loved to play and loved the people.

Dennis Breau - 2004
(AKA: Denny Breau)

Denny breau was born May 26, 1952 in Lewiston, Maine.  The son of Hall of Fame members Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody.  He started playing guitar at age nine, teaching himself by listening to records on the radio.  His older brother, great guitarist Lenny Breau, moved back to Maine from Canada and was a big influence on his music and playing style.

Denny joined the Army in 1972 and was a member of the 389th Army Band at Fort Monmouth, N.J.  During this time he played with a combo in local clubs and got to know some musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons and Groove Holmes.

Back in Maine in 1975, he began working as a full time musician with several rock bands.  His command of various musical styles led to his being in demand as a studio musician, recording with various artists including Scooner Fare, Don Campbell, Dick Curless, Melinda Liberty, Jose Vachon, and blues great Pine Top Perkins.

Denny released a solo album of his own country songs, "A Lot of My Old Man In Me" as well as an album with Brad Harnois, self-titles "Winterwood".  Denny fulfilled a lifetime dream in 1996 when he opened for Chet Atkins at the State Theater in Portland..

Over the last twenty years Denny has generated numerous awards from the Maine Country Music Association including "Instrumentalist of the Year", "Best Songwriter", "Best Recording", and "Entertainer of The Year".

Each year Denny produces a concert in Auburn, "The Denny Breau Family Show", which still features his mom, Betty Cody, his Uncle, "Genial Gene Hooper", his Aunt "Flo Hooper" and other famous and not so famous relatives and friends. Denny lives in Lewiston with his wife Ann and their children Aron and Alyssa.  He has another son, Josh, from a previous marriage who also lives in the Lewiston-Auburn area.


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