Bonnie Lou and Buster
Bonnie Lou (born Margaret Louise Bell) and Buster (born Hubert Ralph) Moore gained fame as a touring variety show act playing country, bluegrass, and gospel music with careers spanning from the late 1940s until the mid 1990s. Buster, born October 28, 1919 and Margaret, born June 4, 1927, were married in 1945 after he returned from a tour of service with the Army. Buster began working in Knoxville on WROL radio with his band, the Dixie Partners. After one member of the band became sick, Buster asked his wife to fill in. She became so popular that she was asked to be a permanent member of the group. Buster suggested she change her name to Bonnie Lou because it sounded like a better stage name.
The couple worked in radio for several years before becoming one of the first live television acts for Johnson City’s WJHL in the early 1950s. They later became regulars with Knoxville’s WATE while constantly touring with their act. In the early 1960s, they began performing on the Jim Walter Jubilee, sponsored by Jim Walter Homes. They remained on the show for 21 years until it went off the air in 1982. In the early 1970s, Bonnie Lou and Buster created the Coliseum Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and began performing their Smoky Mountain Hayride Show. The show continued until 1994. Buster died in Pigeon Forge on January 13, 1996.