Mallie Anne Stilley

Mallie was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1940 to Johnnye and Grundy (Slim) Harbet. Slim was from a poor Texas family living in a shotgun house, drawing water from a well and, with no indoor plumbing, using an outhouse. Her mom's side of the family was more well off, having a truck farm during the Depression with orchards, vegetables, cattle and chickens. Mallie's parents married when her mother was 18 eventually producing three children, two girls and a boy; Mallie was the oldest and her youngest sister was 16 years younger. Slim was a musician playing on KWKH with Bob Shelton and the Sunshine Boys and then with Jimmie Davis' band when Jimmie was Governor. Her dad went to work at WFAA in Dallas with Arthur Godfrey as the host of a morning music talk show "The Early Birds" playing the standup bass. Mallie began singing at age eleven doing a fifteen minute radio show. Later she and Slim began working the "Saturday Night Shindig" at the fairgrounds where they had a big country music show. They left WFAA and went to WBAP in Forth Worth to a country music show and she and her dad signed with Columbia Records when she was twelve. Later they performed on television and in Waco, Texas they were on one hour per day, six days per week. They returned to Bossier where Mallie graduated from Bossier High School. She met her husband Lloyd in a restaurant across the street from The Shreveport Times production building and they married in 1959. After she began attending church, Mallie decided to end the country music circuit and she began to sing only gospel music. She and Slim were inducted into the Louisiana Hayride Hall of Fame. While Mallie realizes that the family income depended on her working, she regrets not getting to be a kid, a teenager, and go to proms and dances although she has good memories of working, traveling and singing with her dad. Her favorite song with her dad was "Harvard Bells". She and Lloyd have three sons, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.