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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Marvin Rainwater born 2 July 1925


Marvin Rainwater (born Marvin Karlton Percy, 2 July 1925 - 17 September 2013) was an American country and rockabilly singer, who had a few hits during the late 1950s. His best known hits are "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" and "Whole Lotta Woman". He was best-known for wearing Native American outfits on stage. He was 25% Cherokee indian. Rainwater was one of country's most noteworthy stars in the 1950s, when his good looks and baritone voice made him popular.

He was born in Wichita, and grew up during the Depression era. As a child, instead of listening to the Grand Ole Opry with his father, he took classical piano lessons. Piano studies ended when he lost his thumb to a work accident as a teenager. While attending college, he took short stints in the Navy. He soon took up playing the guitar. He became fascinated with Roy Acuff and started playing and writing songs. With his brothers, he played concerts in and around the Virginia area. He sometimes wore a buckskin jacket and headband. Rising guitarist
Roy Clark worked with Rainwater. Together they cut a few demos for Four Star Records. 1950s pop celebrity Teresa Brewer turned one of his compositions "I Gotta Get My Baby Back" into a big hit. Others were overdubbed and were released on budget labels.

Rainwater got his big break in the music business when he performed on the Arthur Godfrey Show in the early 1950s. (The show later helped another country singer, Patsy Cline, to become a success in 1957). The Godfrey appearance led to a performances on Red Foley's Ozark Jubilee in Missouri, with other country singers like Jean Shepard. Rainwater got a recording contract with MGM Records. He recorded a series of songs for MGM – peppy numbers like "Hot and Cold" for example. Such songs were showcases for Rainwater's voice. His energy and versatility led him to record rockabilly in the late 1950s.

One of the first rockabilly songs he recorded was "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird". Released in 1957, the song became a big country-pop crossover hit, making Rainwater one of the first country singers to appeal to a pop market. The song never topped the country charts, but it did make the top 5. During the song's success, Rainwater re-located to the New Jersey-New York area. But, like many in that era, his chart success did not last very long.

(A big thankyou to hillbillycountry.blogspot for the above mp3 and scan.)

His next single, "So You Think You Got Troubles", was a successful follow-up on the country charts, but not on the pop charts. A number of his songs charted in the 1950s; the most famous of them was "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird", which reached U.S. #18 in 1957. Another, "Whole Lotta Woman", made UK #1 for three weeks in April and May 1958. A second UK single, "I Dig You Baby", made #19 in June 1958. Another hit was "Nothin' Needs Nothin' (Like I Need You)".

Rainwater was constantly performing and touring throughout the rest of the 1950s. His voice began to give out, and he began to develop calluses on his vocal cords. As a result, Rainwater and MGM Records parted ways in 1960. He went into brief retirement to rest his voice and then recorded sporadically for Warwick Records. While some people enjoyed these recordings, they never charted.

In the 1960s he recorded for a series of record labels like United
Artists Records, Warner Bros. Records, Sonet Records, and even started his own record company called Brave Records.

Rainwater has also appeared occasionally at rockabilly festivals in Europe. He now has retired to Minnesota, but is still loved by many fans. In the 1970s Rainwater developed throat cancer, from which he slowly recovered, and moved to his current home (a house trailer) in Aitkin, Minnesota. His daughter, Judi, lives in Wenatchee, Washington. Rainwater was the 73rd inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

He died of heart failure on September 17, 2013, in Minneapolis.
(info from Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For 1958 LP "Songs by Marvin Rainwater" go here:!download|656p2|101635767|Songs_By_Marvin_Rainwater.rar|43457|0|0|1|referer-9CAF853E4F084053743E024ECC1080E8

1. Moanin' The Blues
2. Gamblin' Man (Roving Gambler)
3. I Dig You Baby
4. Dance Me Daddy
5. Nothin' Needs Nothin' (Like I Need You)
6. Don't Be Late For Love
7. Look For Me (I'll Be Waiting For You)
8. My Brand Of Blues
9. My Love Is Real
10. Lucky Star
11. Whole Lotta Woman
12. Baby Don't Go

For 1981 LP "Whatever Happened to Marvin Rainwater" go here:

1. Running Bear
2. Slippin' Around
3. Kaw-Liga
4. Jambalaya
5. I Can't Stop Loving You
6. Tennessee Waltz
7. Searchin' (vocal by Barbie and Lora Lee)
8. Whole Lotta Woman
9. Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
10. Release Me
11. Apt. #9
12. Cold, Cold Heart
13. I Forgot More (vocal by Barbie and Lora Lee)
14. Make The World Go Away
15. I Miss You Already
16. For The Good Times

Matt Chingduvé said...

Sad to hear that Marvin died a couple of weeks ago :(