Jerry Leon Wallace (December 15, 1928 – May 5, 2008) was an American country and pop singer. Dubbed "Mr. Smooth" for his warm, velvety vocal approach, Jerry Wallace scored a pair of pop smashes during the late '50s before enjoying even greater commercial success as a country singer.
Born in Guilford, MO, on December 15, 1928, Wallace was the son of a grocery store owner. After a brief stay in Arizona he settled in Hollywood, and following a U.S. Navy stint he signed to the Allied label in 1951 to cut a series of little-noticed singles including "Little Miss One," "That's What a Woman Can Do," and "Runnin' After Love."
With his Nat King Cole-inspired croon, Wallace was nevertheless a natural fit with the dominant country-pop ethos, and upon signing to Decca in 1970 he scored a Top 30 country hit with "After You" -- 1972's crossover smash "To Get to You" earned a Single of the Year nomination from the Country Music Association, and with "If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry" (prominently featured in an episode of the Rod Serling television series Night Gallery) he topped the country charts.
Wallace also reached number two with "Do You Know What It's Like to Be Lonesome," and subsequent hits like "Don't Give Up on Me," "My Wife's House," "I Wonder Whose Baby (You Are Now)," and "Comin' Home to You" kept him at the forefront of country radio playlists during the mid-'70s.
Protracted litigation against his management derailed his commercial momentum, however, and he began hopscotching from label to label (including Liberty and Decca Records) in a failed attempt to jump-start his career.
The 1980 single "If I Could Set My Love to Music" proved his final chart entry, after which he effectively retired from show business. Jerry stopped recording and also performing too, with the exception of some low-key concerts for Victorville veterans that he performed only occasionally. He died of congestive heart failure in Victorville, CA, on May 5, 2008. (Info mainly AllMusic)