Woodrow McKinley Doxtator

During World War II, my father, who was 4F because of a heart condition, was playing music in Atlanta. He had been enticed to Atlanta from Wisconsin by a hometown boy, Curly Hicks, who promised he could find plenty of work as a musician. Curly Hicks had a band and Woody was an accomplished accordion player. Because he was left-handed and self-taught, he played the accordion upside down. Curly’s band was called the Tap Room Boys and Woody wrote two songs which were put out on the Bluebird label, which became RCA. Both were fox trots.  He actually wrote boxfuls of songs, but many of them never made it to publication.

Woody’s grandfather, Peter, had been an accomplished fiddle player and had won a state contest with a large prize for his fiddle playing, so music was in Woody’s blood.

During the war, there was a popular radio show broadcast on WSB Atlanta, called the “Merry Go Round”. WSB Radio, the first radio station to broadcast in the city of Atlanta, was “born” on March 15, 1922, when it went on the air for the first time at a power of 100 watts. The station was originally owned by The Atlanta Journal and broadcast from a makeshift studio on the fifth floor of The Journal building on Forsyth Street in downtown Atlanta.

Woody also used his Indian heritage to glamorize his performance and wore a white deerskin outfit for some performances.

Biltmore Hotel - 1948

Biltmore Hotel – 1948

In 1925 the station moved to more spacious quarters on the top floor of the Biltmore Hotel, where it remained for the next thirty years. This would have been where my father played on the broadcasts.

My mother met him in late 1939 and married him in January 1941. Woody was not the marrying type, but he had a hard time figuring that out, having been married four times that we are aware of!

1 Comment

  • Aunt Diane,
    This picture looks so much like Rob! I have always loved this picture–this was the only one mom had of him for a long time! Thank you for putting all this together!

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