The 1934 WLS Family Album:

Lulu Belle

Lulu Belle got herself all prettied up in her party dress and parked her chewin' gum just before a split-second camera caught her actually still for an instant. This girl, Myrtle Cooperm who has told you so often she'll be "Seventeen Come Sunday" isn't very much older than that. Behind the scenes she's much like she is on the air, bringing a smile or laugh to all who see or hear her.

Curator's note: Lulu Belle (Myrtle Cooper, 1913-1999) was one of WLS's most popular personalities (in 1936 she was elected "Queen of all Radio"), and a regular on the "National Barn Dance" into the 1950's. Not long after this photo was taken, she married Scott ("Skyland Scotty") Wiseman. The couple teamed up as "Lulu Belle and Scotty".

Following her WLS days, she became a North Carolina state (1975-1978) representative (running on the Democratic ticket). In 1977 she made an impassioned plea for extending the death penalty to rapists, revealing that she had been the victim of a sexual assault while on a musical tour. In spite of the lobbying of Roselyn Carter, she voted against the Equal Rights Amendment, arguing that the voters of her district (Spruce Pine) would not accept it.

Here's how the State of North Carolina honored the memory of Lu Lu Belle in 2001:




Whereas, the Appalachian region has a unique and rich culture; and
Whereas, July 2002 through July 2003 has been designated the "Year of Appalachia", a celebration that will commence with the 75th anniversary of the Bristol recording session, which introduced Appalachian music and the region to the world in 1927, and culminate with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.; and
Whereas, the Year of Appalachia was initiated by the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, a regional organization based in Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia that fosters appreciation of the cultural heritage of Appalachia, particularly the region's music, and sustainable economic development activities based on the region's rich heritage; and
Whereas, legislation has been introduced in Congress designating July 2002 through July 2003 as the Year of Appalachia; and
Whereas, several of the thirteen states in the Appalachian region have adopted legislation proclaiming the Year of Appalachia with the remaining states planning to adopt similar measures; and
Whereas, various activities have been planned throughout the Appalachian region to celebrate the region's culture and heritage, including performances featuring traditional mountain music, dance, and crafts; and
Whereas, the Year of Appalachia will promote regional economic development through increased cultural and heritage tourism; and
Whereas, during the Year of Appalachia the General Assembly would like to recognize the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance for its many contributions to the Appalachian region and to pay tribute to one of the State's most renown music performers, Myrtle Eleanor "Lulu Belle" Cooper Wiseman Stamey; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle was born on December 24, 1913, in Boone, North Carolina, to John Reed Cooper and Sydney Knupp Cooper; and
Whereas, when she was a teenager, Lulu Belle and her family moved to Illinois; and Whereas, Lulu Belle began working as a singer and comedienne with Red Foley at age 19 on WLS Chicago's National Barn Dance, the most popular folk and country music radio program at that time; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle was later paired on the show with Scotty Wiseman, another North Carolinian, whom she married in 1934; and
Whereas, during the 1930s, Lulu Belle and Scotty's popularity helped attract large numbers of people to country music; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle and Scotty were known as the "Sweethearts of Country Music"; and
Whereas, in 1936, Lulu Belle was voted National Radio Queen by Radio Guide's readers; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle and Scotty performed on the National Barn Dance for almost 20 years, appeared together on several television shows and in seven motion pictures, and recorded several albums; and
Whereas, from 1949 to 1957, Lulu Belle and Scotty hosted their own daily television program on WNBQ in Chicago; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle and Scotty retired from entertaining in 1958 and moved back to North Carolina; and
Whereas, during the 1960s and 1970s, Lulu Belle and Scotty performed occasionally for events sponsored by the Country Music Association and the Grand Ole Opry; and
Whereas, during the 1970s, Lulu Belle became active in politics and was elected to the House of Representatives where she represented the people of Avery, Burke, and Mitchell Counties from 1975 through 1978; and
Whereas, during her lifetime, Lulu Belle gave freely of her time to numerous organizations, volunteered for the American Red Cross, and taught home nursing and craft classes; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle was active in the Pine Grove Methodist Church; and Whereas, Lulu Belle was a loving mother to her two children, Linda and Steven, and a doting grandmother; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle lost her husband, Scotty, in 1981, and in 1983, married lifelong friend, Ernest Stamey; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle recorded a solo album in 1986; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle made great contributions to country music and helped pave the way for other female artists; and
Whereas, Lulu Belle died on February 8, 1999; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

SECTION 1. The General Assembly honors the life and memory of Myrtle Eleanor "Lulu Belle" Cooper Wiseman Stamey for the service she rendered to the State of North Carolina and for the invaluable contributions she made to country music.
SECTION 2. The General Assembly extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Myrtle Eleanor "Lulu Belle" Cooper Wiseman Stamey for the loss of a beloved family member.
SECTION 3. The General Assembly commends the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance for its efforts in initiating the Year of Appalachia and encourages the citizens of this State to participate in the activities planned to celebrate the Year of Appalachia.
SECTION 4. The Secretary of State shall transmit certified copies of this resolution to the family of Myrtle Eleanor "Lulu Belle" Cooper Wiseman Stamey and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance.
SECTION 5. This resolution is effective upon ratification. In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 25th day of July, 2002.

_____________________________________ Beverly E. Perdue President of the Senate _____________________________________ James B. Black Speaker of the House of Representatives

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