David McEnery

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"Red River Dave" McEnery
Birth name David Largus McEnery[1]
Also known as Red River Dave
Born (1914-12-15)December 15, 1914
San Antonio, Texas United States
Died January 15, 2002(2002-01-15) (aged 87)
Genres Western music
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1937–2002
Labels Decca Records Savoy Records
Associated acts The Swift Cowboys

Red River Dave McEnery (born David Largus McEnery)[1] (December 15, 1914 – January 15, 2002[2]) was an artist, musician, and writer of topical songs. He was born in San Antonio, Texas. He got the nickname "Red River Dave" because he enjoyed singing "Red River Valley" in high school. He was the leader of The Swift Cowboys.


As a teenager, he appeared regularly on KABC radio. Dave began his career by singing, yodeling, and performing rope tricks at rodeos. In 1936, he broadcast a live singing performance from the Goodyear Blimp over CBS AM radio station WQAM in Miami. His career really took off with his song "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight", broadcast in a pioneer television broadcast from the 1939 New York World's Fair.[3] He worked for radio station WOR (AM) in New York City.[4] He was a radio personality in border radio for station XERF. In the latter part of his life, he became a well-known painter of Texas landscapes and Western Americana themes and was often known to paint the backs of his used guitars.


He worked in several westerns as a singing cowboy, including Swing in the Saddle (1944), Hidden Valley Days (1948) and Echo Ranch (1948).


  • Dave, Red River; Betty Ann Fisher (1939). Red River Dave Song Book: marvelous collection of cowboy, hill-billy, mountain and home songs, all originals. New York: Stasny Music Corporation. 
  • McEnery, Dave (c. 1940). Red River Dave's Louisiana Jamboree and Nashville Favorites. San Antonio, Texas: Red River Dave Music Company. 


Album cover for Songs of the West by Red River Dave

Red River Dave's songs have been recorded by Hank Snow and Tex Ritter.


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1997). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. p. 504. ISBN 0-89820-122-5. 
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index
  3. ^ Wadey, Paul (January 21, 2002). "Red River Dave McEnery". The Independent. Retrieved May 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ Kingsbury, Paul (2004). The Encyclopedia of Country Music: the ultimate guide to the music. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 432. 
  5. ^ Lyrics
  6. ^ Ballad of Francis Powers lyrics
  7. ^ Rogers, Thomas (August 4, 1983). "Ballad to Pine Tar". New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Russell, Tony (March 21, 2002). "Red River Dave". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  9. ^ Gallagher, Peter B. (December 24, 1984). "Red River Dave tries to keep America humming". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 17, 2009. The sleigh bells were playing Yankee Doodle in time 

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