Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A sort of Walter Kronkite with a guitar, McEnery is best known for his story songs about news events such as his 1941 recording, "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight." Bouncing between his native South and New York City, McEnery busted out of the small time and found a wide audience in 1938 when he began performing on NYC's WHN radio. Using this momentum, he released his chart topping song about Earhart in 1941 and returned to Texas, where he performed at a series of small stations along the Texas/Mexico border. Though he was absent for much of the 50s (which is a shame considering all the fodder for song topics that happened during the cold war era), he returned in the 60s to write such gems as "The Ballad of Francis Gary Powers," an ode to the U2 spy plane pilot, and "The Ballad of Patty Hearst."