By Cal Stanton
We wonder how many of our readers might remember Harry Stanton, who was a radio entertainer during the 30s and 40s in Northeast Ohio. He sang, yodeled and played guitar and harmonica. He was encouraged to become an entertainer by his grandmother, Lana Stanton.
Harry’s first radio appearance was a stint on the Barnbusters program on WJAY Cleveland in 1933. He performed on WGAR and WTAM in Cleveland in 1933 and 1934 and in Akron on WADC in 1933. From there he went on to other stations, WSPD Toledo in 1936, WFAR Fairmont, West Virginia and WPAR in Parkersburg, West Virginia in 1933 and 1934. He was the Universal Troubadour at WICA Ashtabula in 1936, WMAN Mansfield in 1937 and WARN Warren in 1938. From 1940 he was known as Red Stanton with the Wabash Cannonball Crew on WKBN Youngstown and also appeared on the Jamboree held in the Youngstown Armory on Saturday nights conducted by Larry Sunbrock. One of their sponsors was Gallat Hams. You may remember other personalities of the day who he worked with, such as Pie Plant Pete and Bashful Harmonica Joe and the Missouri Foxhunters. He put together a book of songs, “Songs You Love by the Radio Serenader” to send to his fans
During the depression, of course, times were tough and jobs were scarce, but he always managed to find sponsors to keep him on the air. He also did stage shows and personal appearances at civic functions and fairs. He acquired a great following of listeners and his popularity continued to grow until 1942 when he went into the Army Air Corps, serving in England and France as a radio control tower operator in England and France, A.C.S. Radio Spec.
Harry served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945, separating from the service on Dec. 18, 1945. As a World War II veteran coming home after the war was over, his health was impaired and ended his radio career. Harry retired after a 35-year career in sales and continued to live in his hometown of Huntsburg, Ohio. Harry passed away on May 7, 2000 at the age of 84.
The best thing about it to me is, when I was only 10 years old, I sometimes got to sing and play my ukulele on his shows in Ashtabula. What wonderful memories!
Editor’s Note: This memory was written by Cal Stanton, Harry’s brother. They grew up in Huntsburg. Cal and his wife, Jeannette, have donated many items to the Huntsburg Historical Society that can be viewed in the museum at 12406 Madison Road in the Huntsburg Community Center. The museum is open by appointment by calling 440-636-5820 or during the Society’s monthly meetings the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.