I have been blessed to meet some amazing performers who have for some period occupied the spotlight in many music genres but especially those who made a home in country music.
Through the 1950s and 60s, one of the female vocalists who kept the airwaves filled with her talents from Starday, Mercury, United Artists, Monument, and Ashley Records, whether as a feature artist, duet partner, songwriter or background vocalist is Margie Singleton.
Singleton, now in her 80s continues entertaining audiences, sharing interviews, videos, and blessing hearts and ears with her latest Christian music CD “On the Other Side of Life.”
Among her early hits are titles such as “Eyes of Love,” and with duet partner George Jones “Did I Ever Tell You,” and “Waltz of the Angels” and with Faron Young “Keeping Up with the Joneses.” She did a full album of duets with Jones which is now a legendary part of both their legacies.
Numerous artists yielded songs from her pen with just a few being Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride, and Brook Benton. She even joined the Jordanaires adding the feminine touch to countless classic country recordings of the era beside the famed back-up harmony group.
Her most recent Christian music CD features “On the Other Side of Life,” “I Chose You,” “Peculiar People,” “Follow Me,” “I Heard Him Knockin’,” “Making Payments,” “On My Father’s Side,” “His Destiny,” “Meet Me at the Altar,” “Flying with My Lord,” “You Can’t Go Back,” and “Heaven Bound.”
Her voice and musical stylings reflect the amazing sounds that made her a radio favorite. Check out her CD and she recently did a video of the single “Jesus Is My Pusher” which is seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeJgy2rJnFI&t=13s.
The “Coca-Cola Cowboy” Mel Tillis, 85, passed away Nov. 19. As I was coming up as a country artist, he was one of the kings of country songwriting, singing, performing comedy and acting in movies. He created a home for his classic country style by building a theater in Branson, a town where he and Roy Clark reigned for many years.
Throughout his 60+ year career, the Grand Ole Opry member recorded more than 60 albums, had 35 Top Ten singles, six #1 hits (“I Ain’t Never,” “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” “Southern Rains,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Heart Healer,” and “I Believe in You”), was named the Country Music Association’s coveted Entertainer of the Year, and was elected a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He wrote over 1,000 songs, 600 of which have been recorded by major artists including Kenny Rogers (“Ruby, Don’t You Take Your Love to Town”), George Strait (“Thoughts of A Fool”), and Ricky Skaggs (“Honey, Open That Door”). Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) named Tillis Songwriter of the Decade for two decades. In February of 2012 President Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts.
For years my office base of operations in Nashville was in Mel’s building on Music Row. It was where meetings occurred, quick changes as I rushed into town for an appearance. I often found Mel there and shared a brief visit for a few words of encouragement or wisdom. He was an amazing talent that made us think, laugh and remember that we artists were there to entertain the audience…a true class act… Prayers for his daughter Pam Tillis and all his children, grandchildren and family.