Texas rockabilly singer Mac Curtis passed away on September 16, 2013.
The Rock and Roll of Fame inductee was born Erwin Curtis Jr. on January 16, 1939 in Fort Worth, Texas. He began playing guitar while in his early teens. After moving to Weatherford, he started a school band that played locally. In 1955 they were offered a record contract from King Records in Cincinnati. When the debut single, “If I Had me A Woman” was released in 1956, ‘Mac’ Curtis was only seventeen. Between 1956 and 19058, King Records released a string of 45s.
After joining the US military, Curtis became a deejay in Korea. He continued to work as a deejay after his return, and recorded several albums for various record companies. With the growing popularity of rockabilly during the 1970s, he recorded for Rollin’ Rock Records and appeared on festivals.
Mac Curtis died on September 16, following injuries received in a car accident.
More details and a discography can be found on Wikipedia
After a short illness, Marvin Rainwater, country and rockabilly singer and songwriter, passed away on September 17, 2013. Rainwater will be remembered for several major hits during the late 1950s.
He was born Marvin Karlton Rainwater on July 2, 1925 in Wichita, Kansas. After World War II he became fascinated with Roy Acuff and started writing songs and playing music. In May 1955 he got his big break when he won first place on Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts show. Since 1955, he was a regular on the Ozark Jubilee TV show for several years, and he signed with MGM Records. “Hot And Cold” was one of the great rockabilly sides he recorded for the label.
During the late 1950s, he became one of the first country music artists to cross over into the pop market with tunes like “Gonna Find Me a Bluebird” which sold more than one million copies, followed by a duet with Connie Francis, “The Majesty Of Love”, another million-selling hit record. Songs like “Whole Lotta Woman”, “I Dig You Baby”, and “Nothin’ Needs Nothin’ (Like I Need You)” made him popular in England. More million sellers like “My Love Is Real”, “My Brand Of Blues” and “Half Breed” followed in 1959. When his voice began to give out, Rainwater disappeared in retirement, only to reappear, soon. He continued to record for various US and European record labels and has occasionally appeared on European rockabilly festivals.
Marvin Rainwater was a Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee.
Famous Last Words (FLW) is a music reviews and interviews-based website situated in Oslo, Norway. The website is international and will focus on the genres of indie, blues, country, folk, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll music. Coverage will be given to the latest artists and related scenes, as well as catering for new and established acts who do not receive widespread coverage.
Published September 12, Famous Last Words delivers a deep look inside the Bear Family empire. Go to feature
“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” – We are commemorating the tenth anniversary of Johnny Cash’s death. Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. The singer, songwriter, and actor must be considered one of the greatest personalities of the 20th century in popular music. With his deep, bass-baritone voice he shaped unforgettable classic tunes like “Folsom Prison Blues”, “I Walk the Line”, and “Ring Of Fire”. Johnny Cash was regarded a Country Music icon, although his repertoire included other genres like rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll, and even folk, gospel, and blues. Like almost no other, Johnny Cash was benefitting from the deep well of American roots music. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Johnny Cash recorded contemporary music, from the early stages in his career until his acclaimed comeback in the 1990s for Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label.
Bear Family has well documented the first decades of Johnny Cash’s career. Bear Family’s Cash retrospectives include ‘The Man in Black’s’ early recordings for Sun Records, and his Columbia masters which brought him international recognition and popularity. Our boxed sets on Cash are containing several CDs plus lavishly illustrated, coffee-table-sized publications with rare and often unseen photos, illustrations, and discographies. Johnny Cash was a friend of Bear Family, and of Richard Weize, the company’s founder. He loved our luxurious boxed sets. One day, he asked his record company at the time, Sony Music, why they didn’t put out such beautiful sets with his music …
Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003, less than four months after his beloved wife, June Carter Cash. Thursday, September 12, 2013 was the tenth anniversary of John R. “Johnny” Cash’s death.
Today, the 1928/29 Johnson City Sessions recordings are deemed by those who know them best (scholars and record collectors, if not yet the general public) as a strong, distinctive cross-section of old-time Appalachian music made at the cusp of the Great Depression. Indeed, they might arguably constitute the second-most important recording sessions ever conducted in Appalachia.
If the 1927 Bristol Sessions can be considered “the Big Bang of Country Music,” then the Johnson City Sessions were a major aftershock.
Tompall Glaser, a former member of the Grand Ole Opry and a seminal figure in country music’s outlaw movement during the late 1960s and 1970s, died August 13 at his home after a prolonged illness. He was 79.
Glaser, who began his career as a member of the multiple award-winning trio The Glaser Brothers, was known as an astute businessman who rebelled against the music industry’s tight control of artists and record production. His efforts helped set the stage for the break-out careers of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and numerous others who wanted to control their own music.
He also was a groundbreaking recording artist in his own right, perhaps best remembered for his rendition of Shel Silverstein’s Put Another Log On the Fire, and the successful writer of many hit songs, including The Streets of Baltimore, Running Gun, A Girl Like You, Stand Beside Me and others.
Along with brothers Chuck and Jim, Glaser owned and operated Glaser Sound Studios in Nashville, known during the Outlaw days as “Hillbilly Central” where Kinky Friedman, John Hartford and assorted other artists got their start. Waylon Jennings recorded his classic Dreaming My Dreams there with legendary producer Cowboy Jack Clement who died August 8, 2013
The story begins in the unlikeliest place: rural Nebraska. Louis Glaser and his wife, Marie, had six children. The three youngest were Thomas Paul (Tompall), born on September 2, 1933; Charles Vernon (Chuck) and James William (Jim). The Glasers didn’t get electricity until the 1950s, so the boys grew up listening to their father’s wind-up Victrola. “Dad … had a large collection of Carter Family, Riley Puckett, Jimmie Rodgers, Vernon Dalhart, and so on. The Carter Family inspired us later on. Dad taught me the first chords, and I began singing Ernest Tubb’s songs, and playing the guitar runs like Jimmie Short.” Continue reading →
Producer, singer, writer of classic songs, discoverer of stars and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame — Jack Clement died August 8 at his Nashville home. He was 82, and suffered from liver cancer.
His life story is unparalleled. As a young sound engineer working at Sun studios in Memphis, Tennessee, he was the first to record Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. In Nashville, he brought Charley Pride to popular attention and desegregated country music in the process.
He wrote and produced historic records for best friend Johnny Cash, and he produced what many believe to be the highlight of the much-vaunted Nashville Outlaw Movement of the 1970s, Waylon Jennings’ ‘Dreaming My Dreams.’ He conceived and produced what was likely country music’s first story-oriented “concept album”: Bobby Bare’s ‘A Bird Named Yesterday,’ released in 1967. He arranged the horns on Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire.’
Mr. Clement schooled studio protégés Garth Fundis, Allen Reynolds, Jim Rooney, Mark Howard and David Ferguson, men who who went on to work with Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, John Hartford, Nanci Griffith, Crystal Gayle, John Prine, Iris DeMent and others. Mr. Clement wrote ‘Just Someone I Used to Know’ for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, and ‘Guess Things Happen That Way’ for Cash. He co-produced ‘Angel of Harlem’ and ‘When Love Comes To Town’ for international supergroup U2.
Jack Clement is a recipient of a lifetime achievement award for songwriting from the Americana Music Association, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, a recording artist and the subject of a documentary called “Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan: Cowboy Jack Clement’s Home Movies.” And he persuaded Kris Kristofferson to move to Nashville.
Jack Clement was born April 5, 1931 in Whitehaven, Tennessee, near Memphis along famed Highway 61. At an early age he heard Jack Clement on Memphis radio station WMC. In 1954 he enrolled at Memphis State University, unknowingly putting himself in a town that would soon give birth to rock ’n’ roll. For $ 60 a week, he worked for Sun studio owner, Sam Phillips. Jack Clement recorded Lewis, Cash, Orbison, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, The Million Dollar Quartet and others – until 1959, when Phillips fired him.
In 1963, Johnny Cash called his old friend one night to tell him he had a dream about a mariachi band playing on a song called ‘Ring of Fire.’ Mr. Clement wound up arranging the unusual horn part on that now-classic, and he played the rhythm guitar part on the record.
Jack Clement has written American music history. His credits are all-encompassing, from his early achievements as a sound engineer and his producing skills, from the abilities of a musician and his songwriting talents to his career as successful label owner, and music publisher.
Tommie Lee Guthrie, an American rockabilly singer popular in the 1950s, known professionally as Tom Tall, an American rockabilly singer popular in the 1950s, was born December 27, 1937 in Amarillo, Texas. Record label owner Fabor Robison discovered him at a talent contest. He often sang duets with Ginny Wright, and later recorded for Crest and Decca Records where he met Eddie Cochran, a session musician for the label.
In the 1960s, he was on the Chart label and had a comeback hit with Wright. While he was with Chart, Tall made a series of singles including a song called Walk Tall which was tailor-made because of his professional name.
Tall retired in Los Angeles. During the 1980s, Bear Family Records rediscovered Tall and issued two albums with his Fabor recordings. In 2005, Bear Family released “Are You Mine”, a CD that was shared equally between Ginny Wright and Tom Tall. Are You Mine by Ginny Wright & Tom Tall became one of 1955s biggest records. The CD has the hit record along with the other duets and single records both singers recorded during their time with Fabor Records.
Tom Tall died June 14, 2013. Here is a memorial video his son has put together: “In this video are some exclusive content such as newspaper clippings cataloging his early rise to stardom and some ‘amateur’ recordings during his latter days. Enjoy and reflect, as the world remembers Tom Tall together …”
Download Video with Vixy.net | YouTube to MP3: Vixy
Buddy Wayne Knox, an American singer and songwriter, was born July 20, 1933 in Happy, Texas. He remains best known for his 1957 hit record, Party Doll.
While in his teens, he formed a called The Rhythm Orchids. In 1956 they performed on the same radio show as Roy Orbison who suggested, Knox should be in touch with producer Norman Petty (who had recorded several of Buddy Holly’s hits in his Clovis, New Mexico, studio). One of the three songs recorded by Petty was Party Doll. Released on Roulette, it went to the top of the Cash Box charts. Knox had several more hits, like Hula Love, and Somebody Touched Me, and he enjoyed a long career in music, later recording pop music for Liberty and signing with United Artists in Nashville in 1968, recording in the style of the modern Country sounds. He also reached out to the new generation of songwriters who would become prominent during Nashville’s “Outlaw Era” of the 1970s, as he was one of the first artists to record Mickey Newbury’s I’m Only Rockin’.
Buddy Knox was elected to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Party Dollwas voted one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll. Bear Family has released his greatest sides. Buddy Knox & Jimmy Bowen’s ROCK CD contains Party Doll, Hula Love, Devil Woman, and many more in pristine sound quality.
On February 14, 1999, Buddy Knox died of lung cancer. He would have celebrated his 80th birthday on July 20, 2013.
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