Personalities | Mel Tillis | Mainstream Country
(Vocals, guitar, songwriter, b. 1932)
CMA’s 1976 Entertainer Of The Year caught malaria as an infant, which left him with a speech defect (reflected in the title of his autobiography – Stutterin’ Boy). Nevertheless, the father of Pam Tillis accumulated 77 country hits between 1958 and 1989, including three duets with Nancy Sinatra. Equally famous as a songwriter, he wrote ‘Detroit City’, a hit for both Bobby Bare and Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition’s ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town’ and ‘Honey (Open That Door)’, a 1984 chart topper for Ricky Skaggs. ‘I Ain’t Never’ (1972), co-written with Webb Pierce, was the biggest of his six No. 1s. ‘Coca Cola Cowboy’ and ‘Send Me Down To Tucson’, were hits from the 1979 Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose.
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