One day, a coworker of Betty Wallace’s told her he was going to write a song about her.
“He said I was just an amazing lady and that he was going to write a song about me,” she said. “I said, ‘That’s OK. That’s fine. Just go right ahead.’ ”
And that’s exactly what Ken Scott did. Over the course of three years, Scott and co-writer Christina Hawkins composed the song about Wallace, called “The Ballad of Betty Bette.”
Wallace, a Barren County resident, does a daily radio show, “The Afternoon Trader,” on WHSX 99.1-FM in Edmonton. Listeners call into the show to tell Wallace about items they want to buy, then she announces it on the air.
Scott – who has written several songs, including “George Jones Is Still the Best” with Jones’ band in the 1970s – sings “The Ballad of Betty Bette.”
A recorded version of the tune was produced by country music veteran Billy Anderson. John Heinrich, steel guitarist for country artist Ronnie Milsap, also appears on the song, and Eugene Moles – who has worked with Merle Haggard and Buck Owens – plays electric guitar.
Scott wrote the song because he said Wallace always wanted him to do it.
“It turned out better than I thought it would,” Scott said. “It’s kind of a tribute to her.”
At one time, Wallace held down four jobs: She worked for a television station in Campbellsville, the Clip-It Shopper in Bowling Green, Walmart in Glasgow and sold advertising for WHSX.
She retired from Wal-Mart after 27 years, and she has been with the Clip-It Shopper for 28 years.
“I told them the other day I said, ‘I think my middle name is Betty Work,’ but I love it,” she said.
Wallace has worked nearly her entire life. Her first job was as a waitress at the Spotswood Hotel on Glasgow’s public square. She then went to work for Richardson Hardware.
At one time, she owned and operated eight convenience stores, including one now owned by Jr. Food on Happy Valley Road in Glasgow.
After she sold the convenience stores, she didn’t work for six months, which she said nearly drove her crazy.
She now does the radio show, works for the Clip-It Shopper and manages a thrift store called Betty Bette’s This and That.
“I’m thankful that I’m still able to work,” she said. “Not only do I work, but we bowl four times a week in a league.”
Dewayne Forbis, who owns WHSX along with his wife, Carol, said Wallace is a great employee and that the song is a fitting tribute.
“It’s a wonderful song about her life and her passion for the radio and The Trader,” Forbis said.
Wallace plays the song at the start of her radio show each day, and the tune is popular with her fans, she said.
Wallace recently paid the Edmonton Adult Day Health facility a visit. Those who frequent the day health facility listen to Wallace’s show every afternoon.
“I think she’s a wonderful person. She always mentions a couple of them on the radio,” said Lisa Harper, RN supervisor.
Wallace paid $2,500 to have the song recorded and she sells copies of the CD for $5 each. Once she recoups her investment, she plans to donate the remainder to the day health facility.
Meanwhile, Wallace doesn’t intend to retire.
“Not unless I get disabled,” she said. “My intentions are to work.”
– Visit www.glasgowdailytimes.com to hear “The Ballad of Betty Bette.”