Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Dale Evans born 31 October 1912

Dale Evans Rogers (born Lucille Wood Smith; October 31, 1912 – February 7, 2001) was an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She was the third wife of singing cowboy Roy Rogers.

Dale Evans was born Lucille Wood Smith on October 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas, the daughter of T. Hillman Smith and Bettie Sue Wood. She had a tumultuous early life. Her name was changed to 
Frances Octavia Smith while she was still an infant. She spent a lot of time living with her uncle, Dr. L.D. Massey, a general practice physician, in Osceola, Arkansas.

At age 14, she eloped with and married Thomas F. Fox, with whom she had one son, Thomas F. Fox, Jr., when she was 15. A year later, abandoned by her husband, she found herself in Memphis, Tennessee, a single parent, pursuing a career in music. She landed a job with local radio stations (WMC and WREC), singing and playing piano. Divorced in 1929, she took the name Dale Evans in the early 1930s to promote her singing career. 
After beginning her career singing at the radio station where she was employed as a secretary, Evans had a productive career as a jazz, swing, and big band singer that led to a screen test and contract with 20th Century Fox studios. She gained exposure on radio as the featured singer for a time on the Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy show.

Throughout this early period, Evans went through two additional failed marriages, the first of which was to August Wayne Johns from 1929 to 1935. In 1937, she married her third husband, accompanist and arranger Robert Dale Butts; they divorced nine years later. During her time at 20th Century Fox, the studio promoted her as the unmarried supporter of her teenage "brother" Tommy (actually her son Tom Fox, Jr.). This deception continued through her divorce from Butts in 1946 and her development as a cowgirl co-star to Roy Rogers at Republic Studios.

Evans married Roy Rogers on New Year's Eve 1947 at the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma, where they had earlier filmed the movie Home in Oklahoma. Art and Mary Jo Rush were best man and matron of honour. The marriage was Rogers' third and Evans' fourth but was successful; the two were a team on- and off-screen from 1946 until Rogers' death in 1998. Shortly after the wedding, Evans ended the deception regarding her son, Tommy. Roy had an adopted child, Cheryl, and two biological children, Linda and Roy (Dusty) Jr., from his second marriage.

Together they had one child, Robin Elizabeth, who died of complications of Down syndrome shortly before her second birthday. Her life inspired Evans to write her bestseller Angel Unaware. Evans was very influential in changing public perceptions of children with developmental disabilities and served as a role model for many parents. After she wrote Angel Unaware, a group then known as the “Oklahoma County Council for Mentally Retarded Children” adopted its better-known name Dale Rogers Training Centre in her honour.

From 1951-57, Evans and Rogers starred in the highly successful television series The Roy Rogers Show, in which they continued their cowboy and cowgirl roles, with her riding her trusty buckskin horse, Buttermilk. Alice Van-Springsteen served as a double for both Evans and Gail Davis, the actress who starred in the syndicated series Annie Oakley, often performing such tasks as tipping over wagons and jumping railroad tracks.


In addition to her successful TV shows, more than 30 films and some 200 songs, Evans wrote the well-known song "Happy Trails". In late 1962, the couple co-hosted a comedy-western-variety program, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, which aired on ABC. It was cancelled after three months, losing in the ratings to the first season of The Jackie Gleason Show

Full retirement proved elusive for Dale. She continued as a bestselling author and had a weekly television show 'A Date With Dale' for the Trinity Broadcast Network. The couple's headquarters became the The Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California near their Happy Valley home which chronicled their lives. She and her husband routinely greeted fans at their museum.

For her contribution to radio, Dale Evans has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6638 Hollywood Blvd. She received a second star at 1737 Vine St. for her contribution to the television industry. In 1976, she was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1997, she was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame. She ranked No. 34 on CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2002.

Evans died of congestive heart failure on February 7, 2001, at the age of 88, in Apple Valley, California. She is interred at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Apple Valley, next to Rogers. Following Dale's death, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum moved to Branson, Missouri.

(Edited mainly from Wikipedia)

Monday, 29 October 2018

Jimmie Dolan born 29 October 1916

Lee Roy Pettit (October 29, 1916 – July 31, 1994), known professionally as Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan, was a Western swing musician born in Gardena, California. He is best remembered for his hit single, "Hot Rod Race" on Capitol Records, which reached No. 7 on the Billboard country chart in February 1951.

He always claimed for legal purposes that he was born Jimmie Lee Dolan, and was born in 1924 in (at different times in his life) Texas, Oklahoma, or Wyoming, but The Encyclopedia of Country Music pegs his birth name as Lee Roy Petit, his year of birth as 1916 (which would make him one of the oldest contributors to 1950s rock & roll), and his place of birth as Gardenia, CA. The 1916 birth date might make more sense, in terms of his apparent desire, manifested at age 14 when he took up the guitar, to be a singing cowboy.

He later worked at radio station KWK in St. Louis, MO, until he enlisted with the US Navy. Dolan prefers to be remembered for his contributions in entertaining troops in the Pacific Theatre, especially the Philippines during World War II. He reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer filling the function of a radioman. He returned from the war with a ready built fan base and his charisma soon had him in demand at dance halls throughout the west.

By 1946 he was singing on KXLA in Los Angeles and was billing himself as "America's Cowboy Troubador". He had his first recording contract soon after, for Four Star Records, which, thanks to a delay, didn't start seeing the light of day until 1948 -- the latter included a cover of Ernest Tubb's then recent hit "I'm Walkin' the Floor Over You." Meanwhile, Dolan was building up a loyal following on the air with his warm, easygoing persona and voice, and his self-effacing manner. He was signed at various moments in the late '40s to the Bihari Brothers' Modern Records and also to Crystal Records for one single, before joining Capitol Records' roster in 1949.

When he was discharged from the armed forces after the war, he decided to make Los Angeles, CA his home. While on the west coast, he played the various nightclubs with is band in Southern California. He hosted and played on numerous radio stations. In the early 50's he was a pioneer of television in the Seattle area where he was the general manager of its first television station as well as one of its stars. He had a television show for children as well as an adult variety show, for which he won the award for Best Western TV show of 1951.


Dolan's Capitol sides featured such top session players as Merle Travis and Charlie Aldridge on guitar, and were beautifully spare productions, with no pop music pretensions or other embellishments. What's more, the Capitol sessions showcased the singer/guitarist's limited but occasionally significant talent as a songwriter. He had to wait until 1950 for his first hit, a version of the Moon Mullican song "I'll Sail My Ship Alone," which featured lead guitarist Porky Freeman along with his usual sidemen Wade Ray on fiddle and Freddie Tavares playing steel guitar. He also had hits with tunes such as "It Had To Come Someday", "I'll Sail My Ship Alone", "Who's Kiddin' Who", "Hot Rod Race", and "I'll Make Believe".

He then had a long running radio show in San Francisco. On an airline flight he met United Airlines Stewardess Charline Bales, a graduate of the University of Idaho. They were married for 13 years. He is survived by a daughter, Patricia and a granddaughter Aria.

Not much is known about Dolan's life during the 39 years that he lived after walking away from Capitol and the music business. Last time he was heard of was that he was employed as a second hand auto sales man in Los Angeles. During the late 1980s he was contacted by the former president of his fan club, recently widowed. They met again, both being free and lived happily together until his death in Riverside Co., California on July 31, 1994

(Compiled & edited from Wikipedia,  hillbilly & AllMusic)

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Johnny Western born 28 October 1934

Johnny Western (born October 28, 1934) is an American country singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and radio show host. He is a member of the Western Music Association Hall of Fame and the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.

Johnny Western was born Johnny Westerlund in Two Harbors in Lake County in northeastern Minnesota but was primarily reared in Northfield in south central Minnesota. His father was an instructor and officer in several Civilian Conservation Corps camps, where Western spent some his earlier years. He also lived on Indian reservations along the Canada–United States border.

When he was five years old, Western's parents took him to see the western film Guns and Guitars, which starred the actor/singer Gene Autry. The young boy decided he wanted to be a singing cowboy. At the age of twelve, he received a guitar. Within a year, he was performing professionally.

Johnny Western's professional career began as a young teenager, singing and playing rhythm guitar with a collegiate singing trio. He got a job on radio at the age of thirteen, a feat publicized in Billboard as the youngest disc jockey and singer on American radio. At age sixteen, Western began performing with the Sons of the Pioneers.

He made his first professional recordings in the summer of 1952 in the studio of WCAL Radio station of St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minnesota. The six songs which resulted from those sessions were released on three singles on the local J-O-C-O label. After having played a supporting role in an episode of "Have Gun, Will Travel", Western wrote "The Ballad of Paladin" as a musical 
"thank-you-card" to Richard Boone. This landed him a deal with Columbia Records.

Between August 1958 and May 1963, Western recorded seven singles and one album (Have Gun, Will Travel, released in May 1962) for Columbia, until he was dropped from their roster. He then signed a contract with the Philips label, but only one single resulted ("Light The Fuse" b/w "Tender Years").


Have Gun Will Travel included the haunting Stan Jones song "Cowpoke", which members of the Western Writers of America chose as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. The album was a mature work, redolent of Western lore. It also included 
Western's third version of "The Ballad of Paladin", a fine and introspective performance of "The Lonely Man", the gallows ballad "Hannah Lee", "The Streets of Laredo", "The Searchers" and "The Last Roundup".

Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash & Johnny Western
After this, Western was left without a recording contract. Over the years, he recorded various songs for small local labels such as Hep in Missouri or a promo-single for Dodge City. It was not until Johnny Cash invited him to record at his House Of Cash recording studio that Western was able to compile enough material for another LP, which was released under the simple title of Johnny Western in 1981. Apart from the House of Cash recordings, it contained some unreleased songs Western had recorded for the Hep label.

Western's third album was recorded September 17–20, 1984 at Jack Clement Studio in Nashville, with Art Sparer producing. It was released under the title Johnny Western Sings 20 Great Classics & Legends. Amongst others, it contained a new version of Western's own composition "The Gunfighter", featuring Harold Bradley on gut-string guitar, imitating the original "El Paso" sound, since Western had originally written that song with Marty Robbins in mind.

His scarce recording output notwithstanding, Johnny Western remained a consistent performer for over sixty years and so his name was never lost on the general public.

He performed with Gene Autry and was a part of the Johnny Cash road show from 1958 until 1997. He wrote and performed the theme song "The Ballad of Paladin" for the CBS television program Have Gun – Will Travel, with Richard Boone. In collaboration with Johnny Cash, he re-wrote the lyrics of NBC's Bonanza and the theme song, "The Rebel - Johnny Yuma", from the ABC series The Rebel, starring Nick Adams.

In October 2013, Johnny Western announced that he would stop touring and giving concerts.
(Info from Wikipedia)

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Page Morton born 27 October 1915

Page Morton (1915-2013) was a cabaret singer who married William Black, founder of the catering and coffee business Chock full o'Nuts. As Page Morton Black she was known for singing the "Heavenly Coffee" jingle on the company's televised advertisements and sponsored broadcasts. When Black died in 1983, she took over his charitable work with the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

Morton was born Page L. Mergentheim on October 15, 1912 and raised in Winnetka, Illinois. Her father was Morton Adolf Mergentheim, a lawyer and professor of law working in the Chicago area. For a period he was a partner in the law firm of Sigmund Zeisler. Her mother, Rose Heymann, was a classically trained pianist who had studied with Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, wife of Sigmund. Morton’s only sibling was Morton Alexander Mergentheim who was about 3 years older. They were both educated at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois where her highest grade was 4th year.

Morton came from an affluent family but her father lost his money on the markets so she moved to New York with her mother to find work. In 1940 at the age of 18 she was living with her mother on East 43rd Street, having changed her name from Mergentheim to Morton. Her occupation in the 1940 census was given as model, and one newspaper of the period indicates that she was connected to the John Robert Powers modelling agency.When her father died in 1943, his obituary described her as an actress with the stage name of Page Morton.

During the 1940s and '50s she sang and played piano in various New York clubs, hotel bars and restaurants including the Warwick Hotel's Raleigh Room, Café Pierre, the Vanderbilt and the Sherry-Netherland. The band leader Guy Lombardo saw her perform in the Pierre and suggested to William Black that she could sing the advertising jingle for Chock full o’Nuts coffee.

In the 1960s Morton started to work on radio and television shows. She appeared on the Guy Lombardo New Year's Eve special, sponsored by the Chock full o’Nuts company. In 1961 she had her own radio programmes, and appeared on two further New Year's Eve specials, one hosted by Lombardo and the other by Xavier Cugat. She released her first album for MGM called May You Always and sang a duet with Jimmy Durante advertising the coffee brand

William Black had started his business by selling nuts from a stand on Broadway with a $250 start-up fund. As the company grew, he began selling his own vacuum-packed blend of coffee that eventually accounted for 60% of his multi-million dollar turnover. 

In 1951 he divorced his first wife and married singer Jean Martin. She featured on sponsored radio and television programmes for Black and sang the "Heavenly Coffee" jingle. By 1960 Black and Martin were separated and divorced in 1962. Black married Morton in Connecticut on March 27, 1962. She curtailed her singing career after their marriage. But her voice lived on in the jingle, which was broadcast for more than 20 years. Upon frequent and nostalgic request, she continued singing it at public events long afterward.

Chock Full o’Nuts is that heavenly coffee, Heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee.
Chock Full o’Nuts is that heavenly coffee, Better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy.


In 1984, "That Heavenly Feeling" re-worded as "The Chock Full o'Nuts" jingle, underwent a final, bizarre lyric change. Henry Jerome turned it into "I Want to Know," and Page Morton Black went into the studio with backing singers and a creepy bass-
baritone…and released the single via Atlantic. The single went nowhere, and the "Chock Full o'Nuts" chain of 25 stores mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn was eclipsed in the late 80's and early 90's by fast food joints.

After her marriage Morton became a director of Chock full o’Nuts and worked with her husband's philanthropic ventures. Following the death of a friend and colleague in 1957, Black had contributed $100,000 to establish the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Later he donated several million dollars to medical research. Morton became the unpaid secretary of the Foundation and following the death of her husband in 1983, she took over his role as the chairperson and remained so until 2012.

Even after her career ended, music was still a big part of Black's life she played the piano faithfully every day, and sang, and her two dogs sat right beside her. Page's last dramatic moment came in 2008. Her home in Mamaroneck caught fire, and she was trapped on an upstairs balcony, the elderly lady saved by the timely arrival of the fire department.

She died on July 21, 2013 at her home in the Premium Point enclave of New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 97. Her interment was private but a celebration of her life was held at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on September 12, 2013.

(Compiled & edited mainly from Wikipedia & New York Times)

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Coco Robicheaux born 25 October 1947

Curtis John Arceneaux (October 25, 1947 – November 25, 2011) better known by the name Coco Robicheaux, was an American blues musician and artist, from Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States.

He was born in Merced, California, United States, the son of Herman Arceneaux from Ascension Parish, Louisiana and Virginia Grant of Waushara County, Wisconsin. His father was of Acadian (Cajun) descent, while on his mother's side his ancestry included English, Norwegian, Scottish, German, Dutch, Welsh, and Native American (Mohawk). Also on his mother's side he was a direct descendent of accused Salem witch Sarah Cloyce. He spent some of his preteen/early teens in France where his Air Force father was stationed for three years. He spent some of his childhood in the French countryside

Arcenaux was no stranger to the blues, either musically or otherwise. He played the blues most of his life, fronting his own band when he was 13 years old, playing Bourbon Street just two years later, and inking a record deal around the age of 18. Sounds like smooth sailing, but that often wasn't the case for the musician. He suffered a broken back when a vehicle struck him, and his lack of health insurance sent him to a charity hospital. In severe pain, he waited more than 24 hours beside a gunshot victim in an emergency room. The experience gave him a firsthand look at what a large segment of the population goes through due to lack of affordable health insurance, and it strengthened his resolve to do something to help.

He was one of the featured volunteer contributors on the CD Get You a Healin', a fundraising project for the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic housed in the Health Sciences Centre at LSU. Appearing with Robicheaux on the funk disc were Maria Muldaur, the Funky Meters, Luther Kent, and Dr. John, among others. The album's playful concept cantered each track on a part of the body or a health condition, and Robicheaux contributed "Louisiana Medicine Man." During the '60s in San Francisco, Robicheaux helped establish a free health clinic with another civic-minded crew that counted among its members singer Janis Joplin.

Arceneaux took his stage name from a Louisiana legend, in which a naughty child called Coco Robicheaux is abducted by a werewolf (Loup Garou or Rougarou). The name 'Coco Robicheaux' is repeated in the song "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" from Dr. John the Night Tripper's 1968 album, Gris-Gris.

                       Here’s “Revelator” from above album.


He made a record in 1965 for Mississippi label JB, but did not record further until the mid-'90s, when he put out Spiritland for Orleans Records. The album was well received, and in 1998 Robicheaux recorded Louisiana Medicine Man and followed up 
with Hoodoo Party. In 1998, Offbeat magazine dubbed him the winner of its award for the year's Best Blues Album by a Louisiana Artist. He received three nominations, one in the category of Best Blues Artist, from the Big Easy Entertainment Awards the following year.

In addition to his New Orleans gigs, he performed in Colorado, New York, South Carolina, Australia, and Paris. He played festivals in Canada and France, and appeared for eight consecutive years at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival beginning in 1994. He also played annually at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival 
starting in 1995. 

After the turn of the millennium, Robicheaux released three albums on the Spiritland label: Yeah, U Rite! (2005), Like I Said, Yeah, U Rite! (2008), and Revelator (2010).

Coco Robicheaux passed away in the early evening Friday, November 25 at Tulane Medical Centre in New Orleans age 64. He had been rushed to the hospital after having a heart attack and collapsing at his favourite hangout, the Apple Barrel on Frenchmen Street, where he could often be seen lounging on the outdoor bench in his trademark reptilian boots.

Shortly after Robicheaux's death, two second-line parades were held in his honour, both of which passed by the Apple Barrel bar. Later, more formal musical tributes were held at the French Quarter Festival in March 2012, at the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo in May 2012, and at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May 2013. 

(Compiled and edited mainly from Wikipedia & Linda Seida @ AllMusic)

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Speckled Red born 23 October 1891

"Speckled Red (October 23, 1892 - January 2, 1973) was born Rufus Perryman in Monroe, Louisiana. He was an American blues and boogie-woogie piano player and singer, most noted for his recordings of "The Dirty Dozens", with exchanges of insults and vulgar remarks that have long been a part of African American folklore. Although the lyrics were sung rather than spoken, with its elaborate word play and earthy subject matter, "The Dirty Dozens" is considered in some respects an ancestor to rap music.

Speckled Red was the older brother of Piano Red, their nicknames derived from both men being albinos. The brothers were separated by almost a generation and never recorded together. Speckled Red and Piano Red both played in a raucous good time barrelhouse boogie-woogie style, although the elder Speckled Red played slow blues more often. Both recorded versions of "The Right String (But the Wrong Yo-Yo)", Speckled Red first in 1930, and the younger scored a big hit with the song 20-years later.

The family moved for brief periods during his early-to-mid teenage years to Detroit, Michigan, then Atlanta, Georgia after his father violated Jim Crow laws, before settling in Hampton, Georgia, where his birth was eventually registered some 
time later. The family itself, consisting of Perryman and 7 brothers and sisters, had little musical background, though Speckled Red was a self-taught piano player (influenced primarily by his idol Fishtail, along with Charlie Spand, James Hemingway and William Ezell, and inspired at his earliest point by Paul Seminole in a movie theatre) and also learned the organ at his local church.

By his mid-teens he was already playing house parties and juke joints, and moved back to Detroit in his mid-20s to play anywhere he could, including nightclubs and brothels, and was noticed by a Brunswick Records talent scout just before he left for Memphis, Tennessee, where he was located by Jim Jackson. It was here where he cut his first recording sessions, resulting in two classics for Brunswick in "Wilkins Street Stomp" and the hit “The Dirty Dozens” which became a hit in late 1929.


The following year, 1930, he recorded again, this time in Chicago, Illinois, resulting in most notably “The Dirty Dozens No. 2,” which was not nearly as successful and the pianist was without a contract or label and again playing making the rounds at Memphis venues and St. Louis bars.

His 1938 session work in Aurora, Illinois with slide guitar player Robert Nighthawk and mandolinist Willie Hatcher for Bluebird Records was steady and long but also unsuccessful, and sometime after during the 1940s moved back to St. Louis and continued his career of playing taverns, as well working the public produce market doing manual labour until the servicemen returned home to heavy lifting jobs.

Charlie O'Brien, a St. Louis policeman and something of a blues aficionado who applied many of his professional investigative methods to track down old bluesmen during the 1950s, "rediscovered" Speckled Red on December 14, 1954, who subsequently was signed to Delmark Records as their first blues artist.

He experienced a small revival of interest in his music during the late 1950s and 1960s, his abilities still considerable, and worked around the St. Louis-area jazz scene, regularly as the intermission pianist for the Dixie Stompers, performing concerts with Dixie Mantinee and the St. Louis Jazz Club, played the University of Chicago Folk Festival in 1961, went to Dayton, Ohio, with Gene Mayl's Dixieland Rhythm Kings, and toured Europe in 1959 with Chris Barber. Several recordings were made in 1956 and 1957 for Tone, Delmark, Folkways, and Storyville record labels.

His age, however, had become a factor, and the remainder of the 1960s saw scattered performances. He died on January 2, 1973, of cancer in St. Louis, at the age of 80. He is buried in Oakdale Cemetery.      (Info mainly from Wikipedia)

Monday, 22 October 2018

Bobby Fuller born 22 October 1942

Robert Gaston Fuller (October 22, 1942 – July 18, 1966) was an American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for "Let Her Dance" and "I Fought the Law", recorded with his group The Bobby Fuller Four.

Born in Baytown, Texas, Fuller had a maternal older half brother, Jack, and a younger brother, Randy. Fuller moved as a small child to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he remained until 1956, when he and his family moved to El Paso, Texas. His father got a job at El Paso Natural Gas at that time. It was the same year that Elvis Presley became popular, and Bobby Fuller became mesmerized by the new rock and roll star. Fuller soon adopted the style of fellow Texan Buddy Holly, fronting a four-man combo and often using original material.

During the early 1960s, he played in clubs and bars in El Paso, and he recorded on independent record labels in Texas with a constantly changing line-up. The only constant band members were Fuller and his younger brother, Randy Fuller (born on January 29, 1944, in Hobbs, New Mexico) on bass. Most of these independent releases (except two songs recorded at the studio of Norman Petty in Clovis), and an excursion to Yucca Records, also in New Mexico, were recorded in the Fullers' own home studio, with Fuller acting as the producer. He even built a primitive echo chamber in the back yard. The quality 
of the recordings, using a couple of microphones and a mixing board purchased from a local radio station, was so impressive that he offered the use of his "studio" to local acts for free so he could hone his production skills.

Fuller moved to Los Angeles in 1964 with his band The Bobby Fuller Four, and was signed to Mustang Records by producer Bob Keane, who was noted for discovering Ritchie Valens and producing many surf music groups. By this time, the group consisted of Fuller and his brother Randy on vocals/guitar and bass respectively, Jim Reese on guitar and 
DeWayne Quirico on drums; this was the lineup that recorded "I Fought The Law". (There are actually two versions of "I Fought The Law" by Fuller: the original hit was released as a 45-rpm single, and the re-recording was issued on an album. The arrangements are identical but the vocals by Fuller are slightly different.)

At a time when the British Invasion and folk rock were the dominant genres in rock, Fuller stuck to Buddy Holly's style of classic rock and roll with Tex Mex flourishes. His recordings, both covers and originals, also reveal the influences of Eddie Cochran, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and The Everly Brothers, as well as surf guitar. Less well known was Fuller's ability to emulate the reverb-laden surf guitar of Dick Dale and The Ventures.


His first Top 40 hit was the self-penned "Let Her Dance". His second hit, "I Fought the Law", peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 12–19, 1966. The song was originally written and recorded by Sonny Curtis, who became a member of Buddy Holly's former group The Crickets after Holly's death. The group's third Top 40 single was a cover of Holly's "Love's Made a Fool of You."
Within months of "I Fought the Law" becoming a top 10 hit, Fuller was found dead in an automobile parked outside his Hollywood apartment. The Los Angeles deputy medical examiner, Jerry Nelson, performed the autopsy. According to Dean Kuipers: "The report states that he found no bruises, no broken bones, no cuts. No evidence of beating." Following autopsy, the L.A. Country Coroner’s office classified the death as “accidental, or suicide,” caused by “asphyxia due to inhalation of gasoline.” Despite the official cause of death, some commentators believe Fuller was murdered.

Erik Greene, a relative of Sam Cooke, has cited similarities in the deaths of Cooke and Fuller. Fuller bandmate Jim Reese suspected that Charles Manson played a role in Fuller's death, but never provided credible evidence. A sensationalist crime website has speculated that the Los Angeles Police Department may have been involved because of Fuller's connection to a Mafia-related woman.

Fuller was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. His death was profiled in a segment of Unsolved Mysteries.

His death was explored in the May 11, 2015 episode of the NPR program All Things Considered. The program references the book I Fought the Law: The Life and Strange Death of Bobby Fuller, by Miriam Linna, with contributions by Randy Fuller. 

Sometime after the Unsolved Mysteries segment in question initially aired, the cause of Fuller's death was officially changed from "suicide" to "accident.  (Info Wikipedia)