Cleo (Belle Starr) Raymond

Cleo was born in Dallas on June 9, 1922. She was a Life Member, having joined Local 147 on January 19, 1948. She starred on many country & western shows, including WBAP-TV’s The Hoffman Hayride. She was a regular on many radio programs, including The Early Birds on WFAA, The Texas Roundup on KLRD, and Bill Boyd and the Cowboy Ramblers on WRR. She was also a member of the Tex Ritter Interstate Theater Show, which traveled the US extensively. She performed reguarly at the Fort Worth Stock Show, and also toured overseas with the USO camp shows in Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii. Bob Hope once remarked of her that she was “a real trooper.” She even led her own band, Miss Cleo and the Texas Farm Hands, which had a long residency at Dallas’s Southern Mansion. She also was part of a troupe that traveled the campaign trail on LBJ’s Senate campaign. Texas Monthly wrote of her that “Raymond and her contemporaries helped define an emerging country and western sound that paved the way for generations to come – and she did it as one of relatively few touring female musicians at the time.” She passed away on June 3, 2024 in Texarkana, just six days shy of her 102nd birthday. She is believed to be the longest lived member of our Local.