Robert Autry Inman (January 6, 1929 – September 6, 1988), was an American country and rockabilly musician.
Inman was born in Florence, Alabama. An early prodigy, Inman played guitar at the age of five and at 12, he formed his band, the Alabama Blue Boys and was performing on local radio station WLAY by age 14. He used his middle name "Autry" (or "Autrey") as his stage name. After completing school he worked as a reporter for the Lauderdale Co. Law & Equity Court.
He played on various local radio stations and in the mid-40s, he began to appear on the WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. He appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1947, where he became friendly with Cowboy Copas. He played bass for Copas's Oklahoma Cowboys in 1949 and 1950, before spending the next two years playing with George Morgan’s Candy Kids.
He released his first solo singles on the small label Bullet Records; in 1952 he signed with Decca Records, for whom he recorded over 40 country songs. In 1953, he enjoyed a number 4 country hit with "That's All Right", but failed to achieve a follow-up hit with the label. However, service in the Army interrupted his career. After his dismissal he switched to playing rockabilly music in 1956, then at the height of its popularity.
His first single in the style, "Be Bop Baby" b/w "It Would Be a Doggone Lie", became the best-known of his rockabilly titles. He changed to RCA Records in 1958, releasing further rockabilly singles but to limited success. In the 1960s, he recorded for
Mercury Records, United Artists Records, Sims Records, Guest Star Records, and Jubilee Records where he cut some adult stand-up comedy albums.
In 1963, his Sims recording of "The Volunteer" made the Top 25. He recorded two risqué live albums for Jubilee the following year. In addition to being a vocalist, Inman was a well-respected songwriter, and his tunes were covered by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Hank Williams. In 1968, he released a single with Bob Luman entitled "Ballad of Two Brothers", which turned out to be his biggest hit in the U.S., reaching #14 on the country charts and #48 on the Billboard Hot 100. His final recordings were made in the mid-1980s for the Koala label.
He appeared in two films, A Face In The Crowd (1957) and Music City USA (1966), and released further albums, but achieved no further chart success. He is listed in the Alabama Country Music Hall of Fame and holds the record for "most songs written and recorded in a single year".
He died in 1988 at age 59. (Info edited from Wikipedia & Rocky 52)