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Skeets McDonald

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Enos William “Skeets” McDonald (b. Oct. 1, 1915, Greenway, Arkansas - d. Mar. 31, 1968) was an American country and rockabilly musician.

McDonald was the youngest of his parents’ seven children; his nickname stemmed from a childhood occurrence with mosquitos. He went with his older brother to Michigan in the early 1930s and joined The Lonesome Cowboys in Detroit; the group was successful on local radio, and McDonald played with them up until drafted in 1943.

Upon his discharge, McDonald returned to Detroit and made appearances on local television; his first recordings followed in 1950, with Johnnie White & His Rough Rides. McDonald moved to Los Angeles the next year and secured a slot playing on Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree. Signing to Capitol Records, he released the single “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” in 1952, which became a nationwide hit. He continued recording for Capitol until 1959, with his last release for the label being the full-length album The Country’s Best.

He switched labels from Capitol to Columbia in 1959, and the label demanded that he continue releasing country songs, rather than the rockabilly sound he had been experimenting with for the past few years. He scored several hits on the Billboard Country charts, including “This Old Heart” (1960; #21), “Call Me Mr. Brown” (1963; #9), “Big Chief Buffalo Nickel (Desert Blues)” (1966; #29), and “Mabel” (1967; #28). He also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in these years.

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