Thursday, 14 February 2013
Al Terry born 14 January 1922
Al Terry, born Allison Joseph Theriot, 14 January 1922, Kaplan, Louisiana, USA, d. 23 November 1985, USA. An early country music performer, singer and guitarist Terry was among the first artists to develop the rockabilly sound.
He began singing with his brothers and made an appearance at the age of 13 on radio KVOL. He formed his first band while still in high school. After graduation he spent a period in Beaumont, Texas to learn about radio broadcasting with KRIC. He actually entered the world of professional entetainment as a radio announcer and disc jockey during World War 11.
After one of Terry's featured recordings wom extensive airplay in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Mel Foree of the Roy Acuff & Fred Rose - owned Hickory recording company signed Terry to a contract with that label. Terry’s best-known recording is the self-penned 1954 Cajun hit ‘Good Deal, Lucille’, which often appears on compilations.
In 1955 Country & Western Jamboree magazine voted Terry number 1, above Elvis Presley, in their New Male Country Singer category. In the mid-50s he was a featured guest on The Louisiana Hayride. Among artists with whom Terry worked was Jimmy C. Newman, appearing in several recordings in the late 40s/early 50s. Terry also worked as a disc jockey on KROF radio in Abbeville, Louisiana.
As interesting as his songs have been, it was the Al Terry voice and style that made him one of the best country singers of that or any other time. His soothing baritone voice anticipated the country pop vocalists, like Jim Reeves, Tommy Overstreet and Stu Phillips who emerged a short time later, but his vocal range surpassed that of most country singers.Unlike most of the country pop singers that followed him, Terry has never sung with anything but honky-tonk accompaniment, and his voice, though velvet-smooth and marked by the precise articulation gained during years of radio announcing, has never been bland.
Al Terry never took his place among country music's elite. Not only could he have been a contender, he should have been one. Terry was immensely popular throughout the Southwest with widespread fan loyalty in Louisiana and Southeastern Texas. Unfortunately, not much has been written about his legacy and as his aging fan base diminishes, so does the Al Terry saga.
(Info mainly from The Encyclopedia of Popular Music)