Red, Jim, and Jack Anglin, performing as the Anglin Twins and Red, billed themselves with some justification as "the South's favorite trio" in the 1930s. The group was something of an incubator for the next generation of country sounds, spawning the 1940s duo Johnnie & Jack and thence, indirectly, the career of Kitty Wells. The brothers were born in Franklin, TN, into a large family, but grew up in Athens, AL. Befriended and influenced by northern Alabama's Delmore Brothers while they were still young, the Anglins moved to Nashville in 1930 and were inspired to think of a performing career themselves by a Delmore Brothers performance on the Grand Ole Opry. By 1933 they had formed a trio consisting of Jack on guitar, Jim on string bass, and Red singing vocal harmonies with the other two. They landed a non-paying slot on Nashville's WSIX radio in the mid-'30s, after which the Delmores paved the way for a more lucrative program featuring the brothers on Birmingham, AL's WAPI. Regional celebrity led the ARC label to the Anglins as they prepared to launch a recording operation in San Antonio in 1937, and those sessions produced the hit single "They Are All Going Home but One." The Anglins moved to Memphis station WMC in 1938, and recorded again that year, this time in Columbia, SC. Of the 34 sides the Anglin Brothers recorded, only 14 were released, all on ARC's newly acquired Vocalion imprint. After radio stints in New Orleans and Atlanta, the group broke up when Red was drafted. He was injured during the Allied invasion of France. Jim Anglin became one of the great songwriters of the 1940s and '50s, composing key items in the repertoires of Roy Acuff and later Kitty Wells. Of the three, Jack Anglin found the most success when he formed a duo with his brother-in-law, Johnnie Wright, in the early '40s. Johnnie & Jack produced numerous hits for RCA Victor until 1963, when Jack was killed in an auto wreck.
In 1979, Michigan's Old Homestead label produced a compilation containing allthe Anglin Brothers' commercially released songs; the album reveals a songbag heavy with humorous and sentimental pieces in venerable molds, including several pieces that later artists may well have learned from the brothers' performances on recordings and radio. "Uncle Eph's Got the Coon" became a trademark number for Grandpa Jones, for example, and "Where the Soul of Man Never Dies" became one of Hank Williams' gospel favorites. ~ James Manheim, Rovi