Cliffie Stone Archives
Here’s a wonderful photo of Cliffie and Molly Bee on his “Rolling Stone Ranch” in Canyon Country, CA. During this time period, Cliffie was quite a horsemen and he owned several horses, which he and his family rode. Ernie Ford also boarded his beautiful Tennessee Walking horse, Desi, at Cliffie’s ranch, which Steve Stone regularly rode. On many occasions, Cliffie and his wife, Dorothy, would have a western style barbeque at their ranch and they would invite friends, business associates and musicians/singers. It was an old fashion family-type of hoedown and everyone who was invited was extended family including Ernie Ford and Molly Bee. Cliffie once said that, “Ernie Ford and Molly Bee were his forever friends.”  As Ernie’s oldest son, Buck, profoundly said about Cliffie’s character: “If Cliffie believed in you, you not only had his backing, but his loyalty and friendship – usually sealed with nothing more than a handshake and his word. If it hadn’t been for his handshake, friendship, and the spotlight that he gave to my Dad, the world would never have heard the name Tennessee Ernie Ford.” Cliffie also gave the spotlight to Molly, which helped to launch her career too. Years later when Molly Bee’s career had declined in the late 1960s and she wanted to make a comeback in the 1970s, he was there for her as a friend and music mentor. In 1975, he produced an album with her called “Good Golly Ms. Molly,” which had two charted singles. Throughout the rest of his life, he always featured Molly on his shows and concerts. In his own words, here is what he wrote about Molly in his talent show book: “There’s nothing new about youngsters becoming stars at an early age. A few of them include Brenda Lee, Tanya Tucker, Barbara Mandrell, Judy Garland, Wayne Newton and, of course, Molly Bee. When my successful “Hometown Jamboree” variety show was on television, I would announce the date, time and place for anyone who was interested in auditioning. Among the young potential star candidates was Molly Bee. She was a natural from the get-go and she gained invaluable experience during the years she was on “Hometown Jamboree.” When Molly left my show in her late teens, she continued moving up the show biz ladder to become a successful recording star, nightclub entertainer and movie star. She also toured with Bob Hope and entertained the troops. Not bad for an eleven-year old youngster with long braids and freckles on her face, who bravely climbed up on my “Hometown Jamboree” stage, grabbed a mike and, uninhibitedly sang her heart out, is it? And for the youngsters who are reading this book, it is young people like you who pick up the music baton, which keeps the song of life moving along!"

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