John Lair

Lair Home


John, Lee, Jones, Lair was born July 1, 1894 in Livingston, Kentucky. Just a few miles outside the valley he called home. Like most that grew up in rural America at the turn of the century, farming was a way of life. John Lair did his share of farming while growing up but he was destined to do something else. Even as a child he had a great interest in reading, writing and drawing. His father Thomas Burke Lair had very little use for that sort of thing. His mother Isabella Coffey Lair was known to swoop up young John from the floor, along with his books and papers, and rush him into his bedroom when his father came home.
He served in the army special services during World War I. Many believe that is where he got a taste for entertainment. Early on he showed a knack for writing. He wrote a poem titled "If I Could Jest Go Home Once More", that gained national attention. Later he wrote and drew characters for a lighthearted booklet issued to all soldiers titled "Lest We Forget". The army teamed up with Zigfield Follies giving him a chance to write for the show, "Atta Boy", which probably gave him the entertainment bug.
In 1930 at the age of thirty four John Lair was on staff of one of the largest radio stations in the country, WLS, out of Chicago. He wasted no time in bringing in musical and comedic talent from the foothills of Kentucky.



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