Don Bowman (August 26, 1937 – June 5, 2013) was an American country music singer, songwriter, comedian and radio host. He recorded for RCA Victor between 1964 and 1970, charting in the Top 40 with the novelty hit single "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star". Bowman worked at several radio stations, including KRZK in Branson, Missouri.
He was born Rubel Don Bowman to Jack and Fern Bowman in
Lubbock, Texas. Don attended school in Lorenzo, Texas, graduated from NMMI in Roswell, N.M., and he later attended Texas Tech in Lubbock. He fulfilled a childhood ambition by becoming a disc jockey, working initially in Lubbock and Littlefield, at times with Waylon Jennings. The two men became friends and later wrote many songs together.
As a singer, Don began his recording career with Coward of the Alamo on La Gree in 1961. The 45 received some action and led to a recording contract with RCA which resulted in eight album releases between 1964 and 1970. His biggest single to date is Chit Akins, Make Me A Star which spent four months on the country charts in 1964 peaking at #7 (Cash Box) and #14 (Billboard).
Other singles of note include Dear Harlan Howard, Giddyup Do-Nut, For Loving You with Skeeter Davis, Folsom Prison Blues #2, and Poor Old Ugly Gladys Jones with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Bobby Bare. His highest charting albums to date are Our Man in Trouble and Funny Way To Make An Album, which received a Grammy nomination in 1967 for Best Comedy Performance. He subsequently recorded for Mega, Lone Star, and Lard Bucket.
As a comedian, Don has appeared on the big screen, the small screen, on stage, and on record. He played Jeepers in a pair of motion pictures -- The Las Vegas Hillbillys and Hillbillys in a Hanuted House. He portrayed Seemore Miles when he opened shows for Moe Bandy in Branson. He also was the comedian on the syndicated Bill Anderson Show.
He received the inaugural award as Comedian of the Year from the Country Music Association (CMA) getting the nod over fellow parodists, Ben Colder and Homer & Jethro in 1967 after receiving the Favourite Country Comedy Recording Artist Award at the 1966 Billboard Country Awards from Roy Acuff. Willie Nelson's opening act from 1981 through 1986 was also named "Comedian of the Year" by Record World and Cash Box.
Bowman was also the original host of the radio show American Country Countdown. He hosted the show from its inception on October 6, 1973, through April 1978, after which Bob Kingsley (who had been ACC's producer since 1974) took over as host. Bowman's song "Wildwood Weed" later became a hit for Jim Stafford, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.
He was Willie Nelson's opening act from 1981 through 1986 and after that turned up at various Southern radio stations amusing listeners with his ad-libs and personality. After moving to Branson in the early 1990s, he portrayed “Seemore Miles” for the Moe Bandy Show.
Bowman had been confined to a nursing facility since a stroke in 2008. He died from complications from a stroke on June 5, 2013, in Forsyth, Missouri, at the age of 75.
(compiled from various sources, including Wikipedia)