Carlisle, Cliff(ord Raymond)
- Charles K. Wolfe
(b nr Mount Eden, KY, May 6, 1904; d Lexington, KY, April 5, 1983). American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Like many early country-music instrumentalists, he was caught up in the national fad for Hawaiian music after World War I; he emulated the guitar work of Sol Hoopii and Frank Ferera, and adapted a standard guitar to allow himself to play with a slide. After an apprenticeship with various vaudeville groups and tent shows, such as the Continental Red Path Chautauquas, he began to win fame by imitating the “blue yodel” style of Jimmie Rodgers. He made his first recordings in 1930 for Gennett, and early in his career also recorded one session with Rodgers for Victor. Carlisle soon established an independent reputation as the “Yodelin’ Hobo,” specializing in “new song stories.” These abandoned the sentimental themes and images of country music of the 1920s in favor of lyrics that dealt with problems such as divorce, domestic fights, faithless lovers, and making ends meet: his “Seven years with the wrong woman” (...