My Grandpa’s Album…

There’s many things that I don’t talk about. Usually it’s my family, unless it’s an excuse for why nothing’s coming out like when dad died. But… I’m gonna talk about a different member of my family, my mother’s father. My grandpa, Billy Lee Carter.

Ol’ Billy Lee came up from West Virginia to Akron, Ohio in either the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. I’d have to ask mom the details of when. Anyway, I’m sure he met my grandmother up here as well, despite being from the same county I think? Anywho, he because famous by being one of the biggest named bar owners. He had a few, like Billy Lee’s Country Club and The Country Palace. But he was also known for singing country music.

No, he never went on tour because back in his day… they all had to take their own cars and drive. Tour Buses were not like they are now. But he always had a bar to perform in. He passed away back in 2001, on father’s day no less from injuries in a 4-wheeler (ATV) accident. But back when he was active as a singer… he had a record. And old 45, thus meaning one song on each side. It was under the FiG label, the only recording of him in existence.

It turns out that last year… someone found it and put it out on YouTube.

The first side is a cover of “You’re Just Keeping me Around”. To be honest… I never heard that song before. And I’m used to old country music.

On Side B… is “Crazy Arms”. It’s one I’m familiar with, it was even on GTA V’s country station. (Note: I need to do one last rant on that damn game)

But yeah, my grandpa was a country music singer. Kinda one of the reasons I grew up on it, because mom did. Though now I’m more of an 80’s metal guy. Back before I started smoking, I used to sing. Hell, everyone would want me on stage back in school when they would do karaoke. I was famous for it. I even had an offer to join a band back when I worked at KFC before moving back to Akron. But… it’s just not me. We all love music on my mother’s side of the family. Even those with musical talent don’t exploit it. Like with writing, singing is something you do because you love it.

But yeah, I wanted to share this album with you guys. I’m proud to have ol’ Billy Lee as my grandfather. It’s from him and my father that I inherited a love for Cadillac cars. But I’m less ashamed to admit that I’m Billy Lee’s grandson. And yes, that’s how people referred to him. Hell, mom had to tell people that Lee wasn’t her last name when she worked at grandpa’s bars.

Anywho, I’ll try to get back into writing soon. But for now, enjoy my grand-pappy’s singing.

4 thoughts on “My Grandpa’s Album…

  1. I used to go to The Country Palace from time to time and your grandfather Billy Lee he used to call me hoss and he was one of the most polite person I have ever met. When he got up to sing I couldn’t believe how good he was. One night I saw Johnny and June Carter Cash in his place and someone told me he was related to June. People around Akron have fond memories of Billy Lee’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. To be honest, I don’t know if he’s actually related to June Carter Cash or not. The Carter family tree is more like a bush, it’s hard to tell the branches apart. All I’ve been told is that David Allan Coe used to frequent grandpa’s bars and even mentioned the old man in a radio interview. And just so ya know, I’m Penny’s little boy.


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