Paul Westmoreland

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Paul "Okie Paul" Westmoreland (September 19, 1916 – June 21, 2005) was a musician, songwriter, and disc jockey in Sacramento, California.[1]

Born in Oklahoma, he moved to California during the Okie migration.[2]

As a songwriter he is best known for "Detour (There's A Muddy Road Ahead)", written in 1945, which became a big hit for Spade Cooley and was afterwards covered by Patti Page and many others. Other songs by Westmoreland include, "Lordy, Oh Lord" (1952), "Save The Pieces" (1953), and "What's Another Broken Heart To You?" (1953, with Joe Hobson).

He also recorded for Decca Records and toured with his own band in 1954. Included in his band was bass player Raymond "Cousin Ray" Woolfenden. Woolfenden was elected to the Country Radio DJ Hall of Fame in 1999.

Westmoreland died in California.


  1. ^ Gregory, American Exodus, p. 230: "Moving to Los Angeles, he spent the war years performing, writing songs, and sometimes working in defense plants. 1946 found him in Sacramento with his own fifteen-minute morning radio program. Next he opened a club. 'I built me a beer joint and got behind the bar with my guitar and sold beer and sang.' The place prospered, and 'Okie Paul' became a permanent fixture in Sacramento's country-music scene."
  2. ^ Pew, "Route 66": "From the status of independent farmers, they had fallen to that of cheap labor, and Sacramento’s Paul Westmoreland—or 'Okie Paul,' as he is known to radio listeners throughout central California—is one of them. He was a teen-ager when he made the first run out of Oklahoma with his family. “We was starved out in 1929,” he recalls, ...“


  • Gregory, James Noble. American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California. Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-19-507136-0
  • Pew, Thomas W., Jr. "Route 66: Ghost Road of the Okies". American Heritage (August 1977).