Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 19 October 1889, Bristol, England; d 10 February 1986, Fountain Valley CA) Talent scout, producer, A&R man. To USA 1913, worked in a Wisconsin factory that made cabinets for Edison's phonographs, got into the record industry promoting Ma Rainey and Blind Lemon Jefferson records on Paramount. By 1930 he worked for ARC (see Columbia) and after Ralph Peer was the most important A&R man in country music. He recorded Gene Autry from '29, Bob Wills from '35, Hank Penny from '38; but his favourite was Roy Acuff (from '36): Satherley like Peer was an unwitting folklorist, and Satherley recorded both black and white artists, but regarded any music of rural origin, whether white or black, as country music, and loved it all. But he was a traditionalist, and Acuff never became a singing cowboy (see Wills's entry for anecdotes). Satherley and his colleague Don Law regarded Molly O'Day as the greatest female country singer of all (see her entry). Satherley worked for Columbia after '38, retired '52, having helped the careers of Lefty Frizzell, Carl Smith, Marty Robbins, many others.