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Al Dexter

Background information
Birth name Clarence Albert Poindexter
Born May 4, 1905(1905-05-04)
Origin Jacksonville, Texas
Died January 28, 1984 (aged 78)
Genres Country
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1944-1968

Al Dexter (May 4, 1905 - January 28, 1984) was an American country musician and songwriter. He is best known for "Pistol Packin' Mama," a 1944 hit that was one of the most popular recordings of the World War II years and later became a hit again with a cover by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.



Born Clarence Albert Poindexter in Jacksonville, Texas, Dexter owned a bar in the 1930s and helped popularize the style of country music known as honky tonk.[1] He made his recording debut on November 28, 1936 for ARC Records.[2] and he was probably the first artist to use the term "honky-tonk" in a country song when he recorded "Honky Tonk Blues" at his first session.[1][3] His tremendous hit "Pistol Packin' Mama" became the 1943 marching chorus of the New York Yankees. The 1943 movie of the same name, made by the Republic Pictures, gave Dexter close to $250,000 in royalties. Another hit from the 1940s was "Guitar Polka" who entered Billboard's list as the "Most Played Juke Box Folk Record" for fifteen weeks running in 1946.[4] Still other hits include "So Long Pal," "Triflin' Gal," "I'm Losing My Mind," and "Too Late To Worry."

Dexter was the first country singer to perform on Broadway, and in 1971, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died January 28, 1984 in Lewisville, Texas.



Year Single Label
1954 Songs of the Southwest Columbia
1961 Pistol Packin' Mama Harmony
1962 Sings and Plays His Greatest Hits Capitol
1968 The Original Pistol Packin' Mama Hilltop


Year Single Chart Positions
US Country US
1944 "Pistol Packin' Mama" 1 1
"Rosalita" 1 22
"So Long Pal" 1
"Too Late to Worry" 1 18
1945 "I'm Losing My Mind Over You" 1
"I'll Wait for You Dear" 2
"Trifflin' Gal" 2
"I'm Lost Without You" 5
1946 "Guitar Polka" 1 16
"Honey Do You Think It's Wrong" 2
"Wine, Women and Song" 1
"It's Up to You" 3
1947 "Kokomo Island" 4
"Down at the Roadside Inn" 4
1948 "Rock and Rye Rag" 14
"Calico Rag" 11


  1. ^ a b Russell, p. 235.
  2. ^ Russell, Pinson, p. 314.
  3. ^ La Chapelle, p. 150.
  4. ^ Russell, p. 236.


  • Peter La Chapelle, Proud To Be An Okie, University of California Press, 2007
  • Tony Russell, Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Tony Russell, Bob Pinson, Country Music Records: A Discography 1921-1942, Oxford University Press, 2004

External links

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