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Friday, 16 February 2018

Jimmy Wakely born 16 February 1914



James Clarence Wakely (February 16, 1914 – September 23, 1982), was an American actor and country Western music vocalist, and one of the last singing cowboys. Wakeley was born in Howard County, Arkansas but his family moved to Rosedale, Oklahoma by 1920. As a teenager, he changed his surname to Wakely, dropping the second "e".  

In 1937 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma he formed The Bell Boys, a country Western singing group named after their Bell Clothing sponsor. The group performed locally, made some recordings, and did frequent radio broadcasts over Oklahoma City's WKY. Johnny Bond, Dick Reinhart, Scotty Harrell and Jack Cheney were members of the Bell Boys and later groups. Over time, Wakely's groups were known as The Jimmy Wakely Trio, Jimmy Wakely and His Saddle Pals, Jimmy Wakely Trio and James Wakely.

 During a tour through Oklahoma, Western movie star Gene Autry invited Wakely to come to California. Autry felt the group might be a good addition to his new Melody Ranch radio show which debuted on CBS in January 1940. The Wakely Trio joined the show in mid-1940. He stayed for a couple of years, then left because of movie commitments and a recording contract with Decca Records that ran from 1941–1942 through 1947. Johnny Bond stayed with the show for most of its run (the show left the air in 1956).

In 1939, Wakely made his screen debut (with the Jimmy Wakely Trio) in a Roy Rogers Western, Saga of Death Valley. In 1941, The Jimmy Wakely trio appeared in Hopalong Cassidy films Twilight on the Trail and Stick to Your Guns, singing songs such as Lonesome Guitar, My Kind of Country, and Twilight on the Trail. In the 1940s, Wakely groups provided songs and musical support for several B-western movies.

Wakely made only one film with Autry, Heart of the Rio Grande, at Republic in 1942. He was sometimes referred to as a low-budget Autry in films. His response was, "Everybody reminds somebody of someone else until they are somebody. And I had rather be compared to Gene Autry than anyone else. Through the grace of God and Gene Autry, I got a career." He appeared in 28 Westerns at Monogram between 1944 and 1949. 

About 1941–1942, Decca gave Wakely a recording contract that ran until 1947. After leaving films, he continued to record, switching to the Capitol label. Though most of his songs were country Western, some crossed over to the pop charts, including collaborations with singer Margaret Whiting and Karen Chandler, and for the Christmas song "Silver Bells”. His duet singles with Margaret Whiting from 1949–51 produced a string of top seven hits, including 1949's number one hit on the US country charts and pop music charts, "Slippin' Around." He had a number one country hit with "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)", a song originally released by Western singer Eddie Dean.
 
 
                            
 
Like other Western film stars of the era, Wakely had his own comic book series. DC Comics published 18 issues from Sept/Oct 1949–July/Aug 1952, billing him as "HOLLYWOOD'S SENSATIONAL COWBOY STAR!" In addition to Autry's Melody Ranch, Wakely had his own CBS Radio show and co-hosted other programs. He also made several appearances on television variety shows; and in 1961 he was one of five rotating hosts on the NBC-TV program Five Star Jubilee. 
He also had one of the last live network radio programs at the NBC radio studios at the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, California in 1958.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Wakely developed Shasta Records and owned two music publishing companies. He converted part of his California ranch into a recording studio, producing recordings for himself as well as for other country Western performers, including Tex Williams, Merle Travis, Eddie Dean, Tex Ritter and Rex Allen. For his recording work, Wakely has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Vine Street.

Later in life, Wakely performed at the Grand Ole Opry and National Barn Dance. His nightclub act visited Las Vegas, Reno and other venues. He did a Christmas USO Tour with Bob Hope. He made a few recordings on the Coral, Decca/Vocalion and Dot labels. He made appearances at Western film nostalgia conventions and continued personal appearances and stage shows, often with his daughter Linda and son Johnny in the act.

After contracting emphysema, Wakely died of heart failure at Mission Hills, California on September 23, 1982. He and his wife, who died in 1997, are interred next to each other in the Court of Remembrance at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California.


 Wakely was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971 and the Western Music Association Hall of Fame in 1991.
 
(Info edited from Wikipedia)

2 comments:

boppinbob said...

For “Jimmy Wakely - From Cowboy To Country” go here:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/617ynuvgc7c3f09/Jimmy%20WAKELY%20-%20From%20Cowboy%20To%20Country%20%282003%29.rar

1. BETWEEN THE LINES
2. MINE, ALL MINE
3. OKLAHOMA HILLS
4. MOON OVER MONTANA
5. WALKING THE SIDEWALKS OF SHAME
6. SLIPPIN' AROUND w. Margaret Whiting
7. WEDDING BELLS w. Margaret Whiting
8. TILL THE END OF THE WORLD
9. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH IT HURTS
10. SILVER TRAILS
11. ROLL ALONG KENTUCKY MOON
12. SONG OF THE SIERRAS
13. I WISH I HAD A NICKEL
14. TEXAS TORNADO
15. CIMARRON (ROLL ON)
16. DON'T YOU CRY OVER ME
17. I WANTA RIDE THAT GOSPEL TRAIN
18. BIRMINGHAM JAIL
19. I'M THINKING TONIGHT OF MY BLUE EYES
20. THE NIGHT HERDING SONG feat. Dick Reinhardt
21. TENTING TONIGHT ON THE OLD CAMP GROUND
22. MY CAMP FIRE LULLABY
23. IF YOU KNEW WHAT IT MEANT TO BE LONESOME
24. HERE'S THE END OF THE TRAIL (OLE TIMER)

In parallel with his screen appearances, Wakely also had a thriving recording career and on occasion could pen a useful song. A good selection of hits are featured here, such as "Song Of The Sierras", his 1948 number one Country hit "I Love You So Much It Hurts", from the same year "Mine All Mine", and from 1949 "Till The End Of The World" (a duet with an unidentified female partner) and "I Wish I Had A Nickel". In the same year, Capitol producer Lee Gillette teamed Wakely up with 'Pop' singer Margaret Whiting, resulting in another number one with "Slippin' Around", and the B-side, "Wedding Bells", also showing strongly. "Slippin' Around" crossed over to the Pop charts where again it hit the top spot, and further duets with Miss Whiting did them both proud. (Jasmine notes)

A big thank you to Mijas @ ACM2 blog for original post

Pudge said...

Thanks Bob.