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Clyde Leonard Moody

"The Hillbilly Waltz King"

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CLYDE LEONARD MOODY, known widely in the bluegrass music world as the "Hillbilly Waltz King", was born 19 Sep 1915 in Haywood County, NC, and died 07 Apr 1989 in Ashland, Cheatham, TN. His musical career began in the 1930's and spanned over 50 years. He wrote music and lyrics and performed with many musical greats. Before joining Bill Monroe(ca 1940)to be a member of Monroe's (original) Bluegrass Boys, Clyde did radio performances with the Happy-Go-Lucky Boys and a bit later teamed up with Wade Mainer and Steve Ledford, to became known as Sons of the Mountaineers.

During a brief hiatus from performing with Bill Monroe, Clyde and Lester Flatt performed on radio shows in North Carolina. When he rejoined Bill Monroe's band, they went on to perform the Grand Old Opry, where he eventually became a featured artist.

Clyde's music, a smooth, soft blend of country/bluegrass/waltz and just plain "mountain", produce such beautiful melodies as "Six White Horses" (title song of one his albums), "I Waltz Alone" and, "Shenandoah Waltz", which went gold.

Clyde performed on many stages from county fairs to the "Opry", to the White House. He recorded under both Columbia and Decca Record labels; and, though his health and age limited him a bit, he performed off and on until he passed away in 1989.

Clyde married twice, his first wife was JANIE LOUISE PARKER; they married 14 Nov 1932 in Marion, McDowell Co., North Carolina. She was born 30 Jan 1913 in North Carolina, and died 12 May 1947 in McDowell County, North Carolina along with her 4 yr. old son, Jimmie, in a house fire.

The children of CLYDE MOODY and JANIE PARKER are:

- BOBBIE LEE MOODY, b. 26 Apr 1933, Marion General Hospital, Marion, McDowell Co., NC; he married HILDA (last name unknown.)

- MARTHA ELOISE MOODY, b. 31 Jul 1935, Marion General Hospital, Marion, McDowell Co., NC.

- ALONZO MOODY, b. 04 Dec 1937, Marion General Hospital, Marion, McDowell Co., NC; his wife's name was JOYCE (last name unknown)

- JIMMIE R. MOODY, b. 14 Jun 1943, Marion General Hospital, Marion, McDowell Co., NC; d. 12 May 1947, McDowell County, North Carolina along with his mother, Janie, in a house fire. The details of the fire are sketchy but family members report that nearly everyone in Clyde's family was at home at the time the fire started. The home, a typical wood-frame home, was quickly engulfed. Janie Parker Moody and her youngest child, Jimmie, were the only two casualties; all of the other family members escaped the fire.

- BETTY MOODY, b. 30 Jul 1935, McDowell County, North Carolina - d. 04 Jun 2004, Gastonia, Gaston Co., NC.; she married (first name unknown) STANTON sometime before 03 Jun 2004 and together they had a daughter, MARGARET STANTON who married STEVEN BATES. MARGARET STANTON's and STEVEN BATES' children are:



b. 28 Nov. 1962 in Bumcombe Co., NC)


(son of Brian Keith; b. 6 Feb 1982)

    Betty Stanton's obituary also mention grandchildren ROBERT BATES and JACKIE BATES but we don't know to which of her sons they were born. In addition to them were also mention a granddaughter, Donna Wood, along with great-grandchildren Brittani Campbell, Raven Lorance, and Tymber Meshaw.

- PEGGY ANN MOODY, b. 03 Aug 1945, High Shoals, Dallas Twnshp., Gaston Co., NC; d. 15 Aug 1945, Gaston County, North Carolina. The cause of death on listed on the death certificate is "cleft palate and acute irritation."

     On March 27, 1969, Clyde married for a second time and his marker bears her name as "Eletha M." Our research has revealed that ELETHA MATTHEWS was born on 17 Jan 1923 to ARTHUR and VADA SMITH MATTHEWS; she remarried following Clyde's death and passed away in Newport, TN on 30 Aug 2002. She is buried at Kennebec Baptist Cemetery in Wake County, North Carolina under the name of ELETHA MOODY COTTEN. Surviving her were sons, Don Marshburn (Rose) and Sherwood Matthews (Jean) along with brothers Bobby Matthews and W.A. Norris of Angier, NC. A son, Michael Marshburn and her parents predeceased her, as did 3 of her brother (whose names we have not yet found.)

     Clyde's two remaining siblings, sisters, reside in Marion, NC. Their memories of him are fond, loving ones.

     I remember my Uncle Clyde but, sadly, vaguely. His career took him away from home and in later years, mine did as well. Though I was a very young child, I can still vividly recall being enthralled by this man in the big Stetson and cowboy boots who had come home for visits. Back then, I knew he "sang a bit" - now, I enjoy listening to his music and my ears perk whenever I hear him singing on our local radio station, WNCW (from the Isothermal College in Spindale, NC ). But, I am particularly happy that his music has endured. I am sure that he would pleased to know that he has left behind a legacy that influenced generations of bluegrass artists and would consider it an honor when one of them selects one his songs to perform.

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Clyde Leondard Moody, "The Hillbilly Waltz King"

NOTE: Century of County, Definitive County Music Encyclopedia only mentions Clyde's 2nd wife, Eletha, and mentions two daughters Susan Lynne and Debro Jo (possibly spelled Debra Jo).

The link to that website is: While we can confirm the marriage of Eletha and Clyde, we can not confirm that Susan and Debro Jo are the children of Clyde Leonard Moody. Eletha's obituary did not mention these children, living or deceased. If these children were born in TN, we will not be able to obtain copies of any vital records by mail as the state has restrictions on such inquiries. Perhaps, someone reading this can confirm to whom these children belong?

Click on the link to view Clyde Leonard Moody's Family (Descendants) Tree

DescendantsChart-MOODY Clyde.pdf

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