Though he had a long, distinguished career in country music, singer/songwriter and guitarist Red Sovine is best remembered for his earnest, funny, and at times highly sentimental recitations that took the cab of an over-the-road truck for their settings. Born Woodrow Wilson Sovine into an impoverished family in Charleston, WV, he was inspired as a child by WCHS radio musicians Buddy Starcher and Frank Welling. Sovine and his childhood friend Johnnie Bailes joined Jim Pike's Carolina Tar Heels and performed as "Smiley and Red, the Singing Sailors." They appeared briefly on the powerhouse WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, but Sovine returned to Charleston to get married and took a factory job. He continued to sing on Charleston radio, but his friend Johnnie went on to greater renown as one half of the Bailes Brothers.