Volume 8, Number 9, Fall 1984
As a young boy growing up on a farm near Theodosia, MO, our battery operated radio was always tuned to KWTO in Springfield during the daytime. Among the staff of live entertainers on KWTO were a duet of ladies whose voices blended together to perfect harmony and, I thought their yodels were not excelled by anyone especially when they sang "I Want To Be a Cowboys Sweetheart."
They were called, Boots and Bobby, the Faye Sisters. Bobby was born Genevieve Brayfield at Rogersville, MO, daughter of John and Carrie Smith Brayfield and granddaughter of Casey and Ruth Brayfield. Although the Brayfield family were musically inclined, none have played professionally except Bobby and her brother John Jr., a present day city bus driver, who plays at benefits with "Sunset Band" in the Springfield area.
In 1936 when Genevieve was 14, the Brayfields moved to Springfield where the TARCH family was one of their neighbors. The TARCH family had a daughter Eloise near the age of Genevieve and they became close friends. They would often get together to sing and play their guitars for pastime. At that time there was a weekly talent program called the Alfenbrau Hour in Springfield. One day they decided to audition for the show even though neither had performed outside their respective homes. They were accepted and sang one song. When they were through singing, they were told they had a phone call and it was Ralph Foster of KWTO who offered them a job as entertainers on the station. For two young ladies of 15 and 17, who played by ear and had never played professionally, they were elated and gladly accepted. This was in 1937.
Eloise had the nickname of Boots and the name of Bobby was suggested for Genevieve. Boots suggested the Faye Sisters. Thus they became Boots and Bobby, the Faye Sisters.
They worked at KWTO for two years. In 1939 they toured with the Weaver Brothers and Elvira Show through several states. They returned to KWTO in 1940, where they stayed until 1943 except for a brief stint on KMS in Shenandoah, Iowa.
While at KWTO they also did personal appearances with other entertainers from KWTO. During this time they appeared on as many as five shows daily on KWTO and often as early as 5 a.m. even though some of their personal appearances would prevent them from arriving back in Springfield with only time to change clothes and catch a taxi for the station.
While on personal appearances they began singing as a trio with another KWTO entertainer, Jim West and the trio became so popular they were given a spot on KWTO together.
The Faye Sisters also appeared on Grand Ole Opry during their time together, and, only separated when love came into the life of Bobby.
Bobby was dating a young man from Forsyth, who brought a special friend to the studio with him one day. Cupids arrow pierced the heart of Bobby and the friend, Junior Wyatt. They were soon married, the Faye Sisters disbanded, and the Wyatts moved to a farm near Forsyth. Bobby continued to sing on a station at Branson for four years. Later she gave up the entertaining and became a farm wife and mother to her husband and sons, Ron and Don.
Junior died 1970 and Bobby now lives in Springfield. She is known to her friends as Bobby and some do not know of her as Genevieve. Her Martin guitar purchased in 1938 is packed away and she never entertains anymore.
Boots married Roscoe Krawl and lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and four children. Roscoe was also a recording artist in the 50s and known as Idaho Call. They occasionally entertain but are retired.
Boots and Bobby still correspond with each other, and to quote Bobby, "It was a very hard life physically, but I am glad I did it."
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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