Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
COOPER, Stoney and Wilma Lee
Wilma Lee Leary (b 7 February 1921, Valley Head WV; d 13 September 2011, Sweetwater TN), Dale Troy Cooper (b 16 October 1918, Harmon WV; d 22 March1977) Leading performers of authentic mountain music. Wilma Lee was in a family gospel group, the Leary Family; young fiddle player Stoney joined '39, they married '41, left the group '47 as a duo. Featured on WWVA Wheeling Jamboree '47-57; they recorded for Rich R Tone, but quickly moved to Columbia, had success with 'Tramp On The Street', 'Walking My Lord Up Calvary Hill', 'The Legend Of Dogwood Tree'. They moved to the Hickory label '55, joined Grand Ole Opry '57; had bigger hits 'Come Walk With Me' '58, 'Big Midnight Special', 'There's A Big Wheel' '59, cover of Roy Acuff's classic 'Wreck On The Highway' '61. They joined Decca '65 and remained a popular act until Stoney's death. Wilma Lee carried on with daughter Carol Lee Snow (married to Hank Snow's son Jimmie Rodgers Snow and leader of the Carol Lee Singers) and her Clinch Mountain Clan performing old- time bluegrass and mountain songs. Albums included There's A Big Wheel '59 on Hickory, Wilma Lee And Stoney Cooper '77 on DJM, A Daisy A Day '80 on Leather, Early Recordings '82 on County, Wilma Lee Cooper '84 on Rounder.