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(I BLOCKED OUT HIS SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER BUT IT DOES APPEAR ON THE DOCUMENT). Jimmie Hugh Loden, known professionally as Sonny James, was an American country music singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 hit, "Young Love".

Dubbed the "Southern Gentleman" for his congenial manner, his greatest success came from ballads about the trials of love. This is a list of CMT Music Awards ceremonies and the winners in each ceremony. The show began as the Music City News Awards in 1967. The award show partnered with The Nashville Network (TNN) in 1990 to become the TNN Music City News Country Awards.

After Music City News ceased publication in 1999, Country Weekly assumed the role of presenting sponsor of the awards show in 2000. In 2001, the show began airing on CMT, where it was retooled and renamed to the CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards in 2002.

The name of the show was changed to CMT Music Awards in 2005. Below is a list of ceremonies, the years the ceremonies were held, their hosts, the television networks that aired them, and their locations.

Kane Brown, Sarah Hyland and Ashley McBryde. Known as Sommet Center in 2009. Erin Andrews and Brittany Snow. Jason Aldean and Kristen Bell.

Kristen Bell and Toby Keith. Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus.

Pamela Anderson and Toby Keith. Terry Bradshaw and Lee Ann Womack. George Jones, LeAnn Rimes and Randy Travis. Martina McBride, Mark Miller and Lorrie Morgan. Billy Dean, Waylon Jennings and Michelle Wright.

Suzy Bogguss, George Jones and Ricky Van Shelton. Alan Jackson and Tanya Tucker. Roy Clark and Tanya Tucker. Jimmy Dean and Barbara Mandrell. Barbara Mandrell, Louise Mandrell, and Irlene Mandrell. Barbara Mandrell and the Statler Brothers. Johnny Cash, Marie Osmond and Hank Williams, Jr. Roy Clark, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Mel Tillis. Roy Clark, Marie Osmond, John Schneider. The Statler Brothers and Mel Tillis. Larry Gatlin, The Statler Brothers and Sylvia.

The Statler Brothers, Louise Mandrell, and Janie Fricke. The Statler Brothers, Louise Mandrell, and Ed Bruce. Roy Clark, Tammy Wynette, and The Statler Brothers. Ray Stevens, Lynn Anderson, and The Statler Brothers. Below is a list of winners in the major categories by year.

Carrie Underwood - "Drinking Alone". Duo Video of the Year. Dan + Shay - "I Should Probably Go to Bed". Group Video of the Year. Old Dominion - "One Man Band".

Male Video of the Year. Luke Bryan - "One Margarita". Female Vocalist of the Year. Collaborative Video of the Year. Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani - "Nobody but You". CMT Performance of the Year. Chris Young - "Drowning" from CMT Artists of the Year. Breakthrough Video of the Year. Gabby Barrett - "I Hope".

Quarantine Video of the Year. Granger Smith - "Don't Cough on Me". Carrie Underwood - "Cry Pretty". Dan + Shay - "Speechless". Zac Brown Band - "Someone I Used to Know".

Kane Brown - "Lose It". Carrie Underwood - "Love Wins". Keith Urban / Julia Michaels - "Coming Home". Luke Combs and Leon Bridges - "Beautiful Crazy" from CMT Crossroads. Ashley McBryde - "Girl Goin' Nowhere".

Blake Shelton - "I'll Name the Dogs". Dan + Shay - "Tequila". Little Big Town - "When Someone Stops Loving You". Female Video of the Year. Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris - "The Champion".

Kane Brown duet Lauren Alaina - "What Ifs". Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line - "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" from CMT Crossroads. Carly Pearce - "Every Little Thing".

Keith Urban - "Blue Ain't Your Color". Florida Georgia Line - H.

Little Big Town - "Better Man". Social Superstar of the Year. Carrie Underwood - "Church Bells".

Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood - "The Fighter". Jason Derulo and Luke Bryan - "Want to Want Me" from CMT Crossroads. Lauren Alaina - "Road Less Traveled". Tim McGraw - "Humble and Kind".

Group/Duo Video of the Year. Little Big Town - "Girl Crush". Thomas Rhett - "Die a Happy Man".

Carrie Underwood - "Smoke Break". Carrie Underwood - "Smoke Break" from CMT Instant Jam. Chris Stapleton - "Fire Away".

In 2016, Collaborative Video of the Year did not nominated. Carrie Underwood - "Something in the Water". Florida Georgia Line - "Dirt". Luke Bryan - "Play It Again". Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood - "Somethin' Bad".

Bob Seger & Jason Aldean - "Turn the Page" from CMT Crossroads. Sam Hunt - "Leave the Night On". Carrie Underwood - "See You Again". Florida Georgia Line - "Round Here". The Band Perry - DONE.

Blake Shelton - "Doin' What She Likes". Luke Bryan - "This Is How We Roll".

Luke Bryan & Lionel Richie - "Oh No"/"All Night Long (All Night)" from 2013 CMT Artists of the Year. USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year. Cassadee Pope - "Wasting All These Tears".

Carrie Underwood - "Blown Away". Florida Georgia Line - "Cruise".

Blake Shelton - "Sure Be Cool If You Did". Miranda Lambert - "Mama's Broken Heart". Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church - "The Only Way I Know". Miranda Lambert - "Over You" from CMT Artists of the Year.

Carrie Underwood - "Good Girl". Thompson Square - "I Got You". Lady Antebellum - "We Owned the Night". Luke Bryan - "I Don't Want This Night to End".

Miranda Lambert - "Over You". Brad Paisley with Carrie Underwood - "Remind Me". Jason Aldean - "Tattoos on This Town" from CMT Artists of the Year.

Scotty McCreery - "The Trouble with Girls". Blake Shelton - "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking". Lady Antebellum - "Hello World". Miranda Lambert - "The House That Built Me".

Jimmy Buffett with Zac Brown Band - "Margaritaville" from CMT Crossroads. The Band Perry - "If I Die Young". Justin Bieber featuring Rascal Flatts - "That Should Be Me".

Sugarland - "Stuck Like Glue". Web Video of the Year. Blake Shelton - "Kiss My Country Ass". Video Director of the Year. Nationwide is On Your Side Award.

Carrie Underwood - "Cowboy Casanova". Miranda Lambert - "White Liar".

Keith Urban - "'Til Summer Comes Around". Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins - "Hillbilly Bone". Carrie Underwood - "Temporary Home" from CMT Invitation Only. Luke Bryan - "Do I". Brooks & Dunn - "Indian Summer".

Lady Antebellum - "Need You Now". Taylor Swift - "Love Story".

Brad Paisley - "Waitin' on a Woman". Brad Paisley featuring Keith Urban - "Start a Band". Alan Jackson featuring George Strait, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley - "Country Boy".

Rascal Flatts - "Every Day". Wide Open Country Video of the Year. Kid Rock - "All Summer Long". Sugarland - "All I Want to Do".

Zac Brown Band - "Chicken Fried". Nationwide is on Your Side Award. Taylor Swift - "Our Song".

Trace Adkins - "I Got My Game On". Alison Krauss and Robert Plant - "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)". Bon Jovi featuring LeAnn Rimes - "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore". Kellie Pickler - "I Wonder" at Country Music Association Awards (ABC). Comedy Video of the Year.

Tearjerker Video of the Year. Kellie Pickler - "I Wonder".

Supporting Character of the Year. Rodney Carrington - "I Got My Game On". Rascal Flatts - "Take Me There".

Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats". Rascal Flatts - "What Hurts the Most". Kenny Chesney - "You Save Me". Jack Ingram - "Love You". Roman White -'Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats".

Taylor Swift - "Tim McGraw". Keith Urban - "Better Life". Most Inspiring Video of the Year. Brad Paisley Featuring Dolly Parton - "When I Get Where I'm Going".

Kenny Chesney - "Who You'd Be Today". Carrie Underwood - "Jesus, Take the Wheel". Sophie Muller -'Faith Hill Featuring Tim McGraw - "Like We Never Loved at All". Bon Jovi Featuring Jennifer Nettles - "Who Says You Can't Go Home".

Rascal Flatts - "Skin (Sarabeth)". Hottest Video of the Year.

Billy Currington - "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right". Keith Urban - "Days Go By". Kenny Chesney - "I Go Back". Rascal Flatts - "Feels Like Today". Gretchen Wilson - "When I Think About Cheatin'".

Rick Schroder -'Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss - "Whiskey Lullaby". Brad Paisley Featuring Alison Krauss - "Whiskey Lullaby". Toby Keith - "Whiskey Girl". Tim McGraw - "Live Like You Were Dying". Gretchen Wilson - "Redneck Woman".

2004 CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards. Toby Keith - "American Soldier".

Kenny Chesney - "There Goes My Life". Rascal Flatts - "I Melt". Shania Twain - "Forever and for Always". Michael Salomon -'Toby Keith and Willie Nelson - "Beer for My Horses".

Toby Keith and Willie Nelson - "Beer for My Horses". Kenny Chesney - "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems". The Cast of Celebrity - Jason Alexander, James Belushi, Little Jimmy Dickens, Trista Rehn, William Shatner, Brad Paisley "Celebrity".

Dierks Bentley - "What Was I Thinkin'". 2003 CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards. Toby Keith - "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)". Rascal Flatts - "These Days".

Martina McBride - "Concrete Angel". Deaton Flanigen -'Martina McBride - "Concrete Angel". Cocky Video of the Year. Concept Video of the Year. Shania Twain - I'm Gonna Getcha Good!

Fashion Plate Video of the Year. Tim McGraw - "She's My Kind of Rain". Hottest Female Video of the Year. Faith Hill - "When the Lights Go Down". Hottest Male Video of the Year.

2002 CMT Flameworthy Video Music Awards. Group / Duo Video of the Year. Brooks & Dunn - "Only in America". Brad Paisley - "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)".

Chris Cagle - "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out". Tim McGraw - "The Cowboy in Me".

"LOL" (Laugh Out Loud) Video of the Year. Toby Keith - "I Wanna Talk About Me". Love Your Country Video of the Year.

Alan Jackson - "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)". Video Collaboration of the Year. Willie Nelson Featuring Lee Ann Womack - "Mendocino County Line".

Michael Salomon - Toby Keith - "I Wanna Talk About Me". 2001 TNN & CMT Country Weekly Music Awards. Male Artist of the Year. Female Artist of the Year.

When Somebody Loves You - Alan Jackson. "Murder on Music Row" - George Strait and Alan Jackson. "Murder on Music Row" - Larry Cordle and Larry Shell. CMT Video of the Year. 2000 Country Weekly Presents the TNN Music Awards.

Always Never the Same - George Strait. "Write This Down" - George Strait. "He Didn't Have to Be" - Brad Paisley and Kelley Lovelace. "He Didn't Have to Be" - Brad Paisley.

Collaborative Event of the Year. "When I Said I Do" - Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black. 1999 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Vocal Band of the Year. Vocal Duo of the Year.

One Step at a Time - George Strait. "This Kiss" - Faith Hill.

"Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" - Diane Warren. Vocal Collaboration of the Year.

"Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me" - Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. 1998 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Vocal Duo/Group of the Year. The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus: Cover to Cover - Billy Ray Cyrus. "It's All the Same to Me" - Billy Ray Cyrus.

"It's All the Same to Me" - Jerry Laseter and Kerry Kurt Phillips. "Three Little Words" - Billy Ray Cyrus.

"What If I Said" - Anita Cochran and Steve Wariner. 1997 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Vocal Group of the Year. Christian Country Artist of the Year.

Blue Clear Sky - George Strait. "Trail of Tears" - Billy Ray Cyrus. "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" - Neal McCoy. "By My Side" - Lorrie Morgan and Jon Randall. 1996 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Lead On - George Strait. "Check Yes or No" - George Strait. "Go Rest High on That Mountain" - Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs. 1995 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Vocal Group or Duo of the Year.

"Livin' on Love" - Alan Jackson. "Independence Day" - Martina McBride. "Good Year for the Roses" - George Jones and Alan Jackson.

1994 TNN Music City News Country Awards. A Lot About Livin' (And a Little'Bout Love) - Alan Jackson. "Does He Love You" - Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. 1993 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Gospel Act of the Year.

I Still Believe in You - Vince Gill. "I Still Believe in You" - Vince Gill. "Midnight in Montgomery" - Alan Jackson. "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" - Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt. 1992 TNN Music City News Country Awards.

Don't Rock the Jukebox - Alan Jackson. "Don't Rock the Jukebox" - Alan Jackson. "Rockin' Years" - Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton.

1991 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Here in the Real World - Alan Jackson. "When I Call Your Name" - Vince Gill.

"The Dance" - Garth Brooks. "'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose" - Keith Whitley and Lorrie Morgan. 1990 TNN Music City News Country Awards. Killin' Time - Clint Black. "More Than a Name on a Wall" - The Statler Brothers.

"There's a Tear in My Beer" - Hank Williams, Jr. 1989 Music City News Awards. Loving Proof - Ricky Van Shelton.

"I'll Leave This World Loving You" - Ricky Van Shelton. "Streets of Bakersfield" - Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens.

TV Series of the Year. TV Special of the Year. A Country Music Celebration: 30th Anniversary of the Country Music Association. 1988 Music City News Awards. Always & Forever - Randy Travis. "Forever and Ever, Amen" - Randy Travis. "Maple Street Memories" - The Statler Brothers. Trio - Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. 1987 Music City News Awards. The Hee Haw Gospel Quartet. Storms of Life - Randy Travis. "On the Other Hand" - Randy Travis. "Whoever's in New England" - Reba McEntire.

1986 Music City News Awards. Pardners in Rhyme - The Statler Brothers. "My Only Love" - The Statler Brothers. 1985 Music City News Awards.

Comedy Act of the Year. Atlanta Blue - The Statler Brothers.

"God Bless the USA" - Lee Greenwood. "Elizabeth" - The Statler Brothers. Another Evening with the Statler Brothers - Heroes, Legends and Friends. 1984 Music City News Awards. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Bluegrass Act of the Year. 1983 Music City News Awards. David Frizzell and Shelly West.

Come Back to Me - Marty Robbins. "Some Memories Just Won't Die" - Marty Robbins. Conway Twitty on the Mississippi. 1982 Music City News Awards. Bluegrass Group of the Year.

Feels So Right - Alabama. "Elvira" - The Oak Ridge Boys. TV Show of the Year.

Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters. 1981 Music City News Awards. Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. 10th Anniversary - The Statler Brothers.

"He Stopped Loving Her Today" - George Jones. 1980 Music City News Awards. The Originals - The Statler Brothers. "Coward of the County" - Kenny Rogers.

PBS Live from the Grand Ole Opry. 1979 Music City News Awards.

Kenny Rogers and Dottie West. The Oak Ridge Boys Band.

Entertainers On and Off the Record - The Statler Brothers. "The Gambler" - Kenny Rogers. 1978 Music City News Awards.

Larry Gatlin, Family & Friends. Moody Blue - Elvis Presley.

"Heaven's Just a Sin Away" - The Kendalls. 50 Years of Country Music. 1977 Music City News Awards.

Instrumentist Entertainer of the Year. I Don't Want to Have to Marry You - Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. "I Don't Want to Have to Marry You" - Fred Imus and Phil Sweet.

1976 Music City News Awards. When a Tingle Becomes a Chill - Loretta Lynn. "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" - Fred Rose. 1975 Music City News Awards. "Country Bumpkin" - Don Wayne.

1974 Music City News Awards. "You've Never Been This Far Before" - Conway Twitty. Touring Road Show of the Year.

Loretta Lynn, the Coalminers, and Kenny Starr. 1973 Music City News Awards. "Why Me" - Kris Kristofferson.

1972 Music City News Awards. "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" - Ben Peters. 1971 Music City News Awards. "Help Me Make It Through the Night" - Kris Kristofferson. 1970 Music City News Awards.

Tompall & the Glaser Brothers. Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.

"Hello Darlin'" - Conway Twitty. 1969 Music City News Awards.

"All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)" - Dallas Frazier and A. Hee Haw and The Johnny Cash Show (tie).

1968 Music City News Awards. 1967 Music City News Awards.

"There Goes My Everything" - Dallas Frazier. Jimmie Hugh Loden (May 1, 1928 - February 22, 2016), known professionally as Sonny James, was an American country music singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 hit, "Young Love". [1] James had 72 country and pop charted releases from 1953 to 1983, including an unprecedented five-year streak of 16 straight Billboard No.

1 singles among his 26 No. Twenty-one of his albums reached the country top ten from 1964 to 1976. James was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1961 and co-hosted the first Country Music Association Awards Show in 1967. [2] He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

Jimmie Hugh Loden was born on May 1, 1928[1][3][4][5][6] to Archie Lee "Pop" Loden and Della Burleson Loden, [4] who operated a 300-acre (120 ha) farm outside Hackleburg, Alabama. His parents were amateur musicians, and his sister Thelma Lee Loden Holcombe also played instruments and sang from an early age. By age three he was playing a mandolin and singing and was dubbed "Sonny Boy".

About this time the parents volunteered to raise an Alabama girl named Ruby Palmer, and soon Ruby was also part of the musical group, and the singing Loden Family, later billed as Sonny Loden and the Southerners, was soon playing theaters, auditoriums and schoolhouses throughout the Southern United States. After a few years the father decided they were professional enough to immerse themselves into the field full-time, so the father leased out the farm and they took a daily spot on radio station KLCN, where they provided early-morning accompaniment for the area's early-risers. After that they had spots on several other radio stations around the South. Near Christmastime that year, the two girls were married in West Memphis, Arkansas in a double ceremony[4] and left the group.

[4] During the summer of 1950, James worked with a band, sometimes singing but he was most useful as a guitar player[4] on the Memphis, Tennessee radio station WHBQ. On September 9, 1950, his career was interrupted by the Korean War when his Alabama Army National Guard unit was activated. After military service in Korea, James moved to Nashville, where he spent a week staying with Chet Atkins and his wife. James had roomed with Atkins years earlier in Raleigh, North Carolina when they were playing at the same radio station. [7] Atkins invited Capitol Records executive Ken Nelson to join them for dinner.

James stated, After dinner Chet and I began woodshedding on our guitars. We played a few songs I had written, then Chet turned to Ken and said,'What do you think, Ken? And Ken said,'I'd like to record him. "[7] Nelson asked him to drop his last name professionally believing there were already several musicians named Loden, Louden or Luden, and that "James" would be easier to remember: "The smallest children can remember Sonny James. [4] So he released his first studio record as Sonny James.

While appearing on Louisiana Hayride, he met musician Slim Whitman. James' performance on stage playing a fiddle and singing brought a strong crowd response, and Whitman invited him to front for his new touring band. [4] James stayed with Whitman's group for only two months when Whitman felt he had to do some club work to keep up his income to be able to pay his band.

The Loden family had only appeared in schoolhouses and such and Sonny agreed to stay on for a few shows until Whitman could find his replacement. [4] For the remainder of his career he never played a club performance.

Over the next few years, he had several songs that did reasonably well on the country music charts and he continued to develop his career with performances at live country music shows. He also appeared on radio, including Big D Jamboree, before moving to the all-important new medium, television, where he became a regular performer on ABC's Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri beginning in October 1955. Following his long streak of No. 1 hits, James is also remembered for his 1975 No.

6 song "A Little Bit South of Saskatoon" that was in the 1977 Paul Newman hockey comedy Slap Shot. In late 1956 James released "Young Love", a 45 rpm single for which he would forever be remembered. As the first teenage country crossover single, it topped both the US country and pop music charts in January to February 1957.

Record sales could have been higher if Capitol Records had anticipated the exposure on popular-music charts; they had ordered only enough copies of the record to satisfy the anticipated country-music demand, and were therefore unable to supply most of the requests for records. [4] The track peaked at No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart. [11] Dubbed the Southern Gentleman because of his polite demeanor, he gained more exposure with an appearance on the popular Ed Sullivan Show and the Bob Hope Show.

Thus began a seven-year search for a sound that gave him a lasting career. Two more years at Capitol Records didn't produce it and they parted ways in 1959. From 1964 to 1972 he was a dominant force in country music.

James and his Southern Gentlemen appeared on the major TV shows during that period including Ed Sullivan, Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Dean, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, The Joey Bishop Show, was a multi-time guest on Hee Haw, also on the Johnny Cash Show and made minor singing appearances in four motion pictures. On August 15, 1964, James made his first appearance with a vocal group that had been together for five years.

The group consisted of Lin Bown - 1st tenor, Gary Robble - 2nd tenor, Duane West - baritone and Glenn Huggins - bass. These four young men had started singing as freshmen at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1959, and in September 1962 they transferred to a sister college in Nashville, Tennessee. 16 months later in January 1964 they replaced the Jordanaires as the Grand Ole Opry quartet. James felt he had found the combination that propelled him into his second career - that sound he had been seeking for seven years. So these 21- and 22-year-old men, along with James' multi-talented bass player Milo Liggett, became the Southern Gentlemen and joined 36-year-old Sonny James.

Two months later, James had his first No. 1 Billboard hit since Young Love - topping the country charts with the song he co-wrote with Bob Tubert, You're The Only World I Know.

His next five releases peaked on the Billboard country charts at 2, 1, 3, 1, and 2 though all five of them hit No. 1 on either Billboard, Record World or Cashbox. With his musical style now refined and his "sound" on records and on personal appearances produced to be immediately identifiable, Sonny James was set to begin what became his legendary streak of 16 straight No. 1 singles - an uncontested record which no other solo recording artist has surpassed in any genre. Beginning in 1967 with "Need You" and ending with "Here Comes Honey Again" in 1971, James recorded 16 straight No. 1 total was 26, the last coming with 1974's "Is It Wrong (For Loving You)". During his career had 72 charted releases.

In 1973 James also helped launch the solo career of Marie Osmond, producing and arranging her first three albums, including her smash hit, "Paper Roses". In July 1957, Sonny married Doris Shrode in Dallas, Texas. In the spring of 1984, Sonny and Doris quietly retired to their home in Nashville, Tennessee.

He came home to Hackleburg during the first annual Neighbor Day Festival on April 20, 2002, and continued attending the festival every other year. During the April 25, 2009, festival, he recognized the 100th birthday of the town of Hackleburg on the main stage.

James died on February 22, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 87. [5][12] He died of natural causes at Nashville's Alive Hospice, according to a statement on his official website. [13] He is buried at Cedar Tree Cemetery, in Hackleburg, Alabama.

1 country and pop hit, one of the first such crossover hits by a country artist. In 1957, James became the first country recording artist to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1961, honoring his contribution to the music industry, James was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6630 Hollywood Blvd.

In 1967, along with Bobbi Gentry, James hosted the first CMA Awards show. From 1969 through 1971, Sonny became the first country artist to achieve a feat previously not done in the country music industry. In the middle of his highly successful run of sixteen consecutive No. 1 hits, of the next seven singles that James released, five had previously been moderately successful releases for soulful R&B artists Ivory Joe Hunter, Brook Benton & Clyde Otis and Jimmy Reed. Those five songs were Since I Met You Baby, It's Just A Matter of Time, Endlessly, Empty Arms, and Bright Lights, Big City, all of which hit No.

1 on the Billboard country charts. In 1969, Billboard magazine named Sonny James Country Music's Artist of the Year. In February 1971, James was the first country artist whose music went into space; he made a special music recording for the crew of Apollo 14. They later presented him with one of the small American flags that they had carried to the Moon. In 1973, James produced Marie Osmond's first three albums. The first single "Paper Roses" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart less than one month after her 14th birthday. Osmond thus became the youngest female and overall youngest solo artist to ever reach the No.

1 position on that chart, a record that still stands as of 2015. In 1987, Sonny was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. In June 2001, honored with the Male Golden Voice Award. In November 2001 received the Master Achievement Award / R.

In June 2002 honored by the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame and Country Radio Broadcasters with the Career Achievement Award. On November 6, 2006, he appeared on television for the first time in nearly 20 years when presenter Kris Kristofferson announced on the ABC television network's Country Music Association Awards that Sonny was to be one of its newest inductees. Sonny's acceptance speech opened with the words, I want to thank my Good Lord for the career He has given me. In May 2007, Sonny James and his Southern Gentlemen were officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, [6]. In 2009 James was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. On August 15, 2015, exactly 51 years to the day when he first teamed up with The Southern Gentlemen in 1964, James was inducted into The Birmingham Record Collectors Hall of Fame. Gary Robble, one of The Southern Gentlemen, accepted the award on behalf of James and all of The Southern Gentlemen. According to Billboard statistics, between 1960 and 1979 he spent fifty-seven weeks in the #1 chart position-more than any other country artist of the era.

Known as the "Southern Gentleman" for his congenial personality and gracious manner, James had his greatest success singing romantic ballads about the joys and trials of love. James Hugh Loden was born into a family of professional entertainers. By the time he was four, Sonny (a family nickname) was performing with his parents and sister as the Loden Family. Within a few years, the group had their own radio show in Birmingham, Alabama. By the time he was a teenager, James had mastered both the guitar and the fiddle and won several fiddle championships.

In the 1950s, he gained additional performing experience with solo appearances on major country radio shows such as the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and the Big D Jamboree in Dallas. During the late 1950s, he frequently hosted the Ozark Jubilee, broadcast weekly on ABC-TV from Springfield, Missouri.

After military service, James hooked up with Chet Atkins, who introduced him to Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson. James had several singles make the charts during the early 1950s, but 1956 was the year he recorded the breakthrough song that brought him national television exposure and worldwide attention. "Young Love, " written by Ric Cartey and Carole Joyner, became one of the top songs of 1957, reaching #1 on both the country and pop charts.

After his initial success, James spent several years searching for another hit with various record labels: NRC (1960), RCA (1961-62), and Dot (1962). After re-signing with Capitol in 1963, he bounced back with "The Minute You're Gone" (#9), and became a fixture on the country charts for the next decade.

Between 1967 and 1971 James had sixteen consecutive #1 hits, including "Need You" (1967), "Heaven Says Hello" (1968), "Running Bear" (1969), and "Here Comes Honey Again" (1971). He received numerous awards, including being named #1 Country Male Artist of the Decade by Record World and #1 Artist by Billboard (1969). In the 1970s, James switched to Columbia Records and continued his chart success with eleven Top Ten hits. He left Columbia in 1979 for Monument Records and in 1981 moved on to Dimension Records, for which he scored his last chart hit in 1983 with A Free Roamin' Mind. Sonny James was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. He died February 22, 2016, at age 86. Sonny James, a genial crooner of the 1960s and'70s with 26 No. 1 country hits to his credit, died here on Monday. His death was announced on his website.

Nicknamed the Southern Gentleman for his affable manner and stylish mode of dress, Mr. James was best known for his 1956 hit, "Young Love, " a romantic ballad accompanied by acoustic guitar and doo-wop harmonies that topped the country and pop charts. It was the first of his No. It also became a No.

1 pop hit recorded by the actor Tab Hunter in January 1957. James's subsequent records reached the country Top 10, but he didn't have another No. 1 country single until 1964, when he released the romantic ballad You're the Only World I Know. It was a turning point: Twenty-one of his next 25 singles also went to No. 1, including 16 in a row from 1967 to 1972, many of them similar professions of young love.

All but the last of these were, like "Young Love, " released by Capitol Records, and virtually all were recorded in the smooth, sophisticated style of the reigning Nashville Sound, popularized by Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline. But unlike other exponents of the Nashville Sound, who were drawn to material written expressly for the country market, Mr. James often recorded versions of recent pop and rhythm and blues hits, like Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely, " from 1960, and the blues singer Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City, " from 1961.

Dig deeper into the moment. James's versions of both of those hits reached the top of the country chart during his late-'60s-to-early-'70s streak of consecutive No. So did his versions of the soul singer Brook Benton's "Endlessly" and the blues crooner Ivory Joe Hunter's Since I Met You, Baby.

"I always tried to do material that fit me, " Mr. James told Country Weekly magazine in 1995. We'd do a variety of material - ballads, up-tempo and even bluesy songs - but I stayed the same. I tried to give the fans the kind of songs they had come to expect. I think that was the reason I had such success.

James said he had been motivated to record R&B in part as a way to introduce songs that were popular among African-Americans to his mostly white, mainstream country music audiences - his hope being to promote amity between whites and blacks at a time of widespread racial turmoil in the United States. James began recording versions of R&B hits around the time Nat King Cole died, in 1965. Cole was one of America's few black singing stars, and Mr.

James had admired his crooning style. The two had become friends. James's website show the two collaborating in the Capitol Records studios in Hollywood. A Small Two-Bedroom or a Big Studio With a View? She Turned Her Audacious Lens on Herself, and Shaped the Future.

After Covid Upended a Dying Woman's Rome Dream, Her Twin Stepped In. Continue reading the main story. James was born James Hugh Loden on May 1, 1928, in rural Hackleburg, Ala. His parents, Archie and Della Burleson Loden, worked a 300-acre farm where, supported by three tenant families, they raised cotton, corn and other crops.

James's parents played music and sang, as did his older sister Thelma, with whom young "Sonny" appeared on the radio as a child. By the time he was a teenager, he was an accomplished guitar and fiddle player who had won a number of local fiddle contests.

James went on to perform as a solo artist on the radio broadcasts "Louisiana Hayride" from Shreveport, La. And the "Big D Jamboree" from Dallas. In 1952, after serving in the Army during the Korean War, he moved to Nashville, where he signed a recording contract with Capitol. He played fiddle on the label's releases by bluegrass acts like Jim & Jesse.

James's producer at Capitol, was the one who urged him to adopt the stage name Sonny James, arguing that it would be easy for people to remember. The two men collaborated on a handful of Top 20 hits before Mr.

James broke through with Young Love. With sales of more than three million copies, the record became one of the most popular singles of 1957, finding success among teenage and young adult fans of rock'n' roll and rockabilly music in a way that leading country singers like Eddy Arnold and others had failed to do.

James earned a spot as host on "Ozark Jubilee, " a weekly show broadcast on ABC-TV from Springfield, Mo. He began singing on network TV variety shows, including Ed Sullivan's. And he appeared in several Hollywood movies, including "Nashville Rebel" and "Las Vegas Hillbillys, " both of them from 1966, the latter starring Jayne Mansfield. During his streak of consecutive No. 1 hits - a feat surpassed in the history of country music only by the vocal group Alabama - Mr.

James was named the No. 1 Country Male Artist of the Decade (the 1960s) by Record World magazine. He was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1961 and joined the Grand Ole Opry the next year.

In 1967, with the singer Bobbie Gentry, he hosted the first Country Music Association awards show. James also had success as a producer, overseeing the recording of, among other songs, Marie Osmond's "Paper Roses, " a No. 1 country hit and No. 4 pop hit in 1973. He had his final hit as a performer, with a single called "A Free Roamin' Mind, " before retiring because of throat problems in 1983. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. James is survived by his wife, the former Doris Shrode. "Young Love" spent the better part of six months on the country and pop charts.

James told the music historian Dave Samuelson in an interview excerpted on Mr. James's website, it might have had even greater success if Capitol Records had been better prepared to meet public demand for the record. "It caught the people in merchandising off guard, " he explained, adding: They didn't want to overpress before any record was released. The song surprised everybody, it hit so fast.

SONNY JAMES, THE SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN. Born in Hackleburg Alabama on May 1, 1928, Sonny James would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

The last leaf was fallen for him upon his passing on February 22, 2016. From 1953 to 1983, The Southern Gentleman has had a total of 72 Chart Hits. By the mid 1960's the career of Sonny James would reach new heights. Starting with his hit recordings "The Minute You're Gone" and "Baltimore", "You're The Only World I Know" climbed to Number One country in 1964 spending four weeks in that position.

That began one of the greatest tears country music has ever known: 21 of Sonny James' next 25 singles hit Number One and the other four were near-misses with three reaching No. 2 and the other No. 3 - During this streak of hits, James scored an incredible five year run of 16 Consecutive Number One Singles. A feat never before accomplished in country music, pop or rock'n roll. If we use the same criteria used today for determining #1 singles, James would have had an unbelievable 25 number ones in a row.

(Billboard, Cashbox, Gavin, Radio & Records). On August 30, 2006, the day it was announced that Sonny James was to be an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Kix Brooks (Brooks And Dunn) probably said it best, This is an artist who really dominated his time in history. The foundation for this success was laid years before when in late 1956 this Alabama native took his guitar, a simple musical arrangement and sang what would become his signature song "Young Love". Capitol Records discovered radio stations of all formats were programming "Young Love" and was taking country music to scores of fans it had never reached before.

The record soared to top all charts (classical being the exception) to become one of the most recognizable hits ever. It was the first traditional country teen crossover hit. (Followed by fellow Capitol artist Ferlin Husky's "Gone".

And a few months later Marty Robbins' "White Sport Coat"). Over forty years later "Young Love" is still programmed around the world.

The importance of television no doubt played a key role in James' recording career. His years as a cast member with The Ozark Jubilee (ABC-TV) and his frequent appearances on the nationally televised Ed Sullivan Show introduced his new releases to millions of viewers, while creating additional interest for guest appearances on other television programs, notably Bob Hope, Andy Williams. Variety Specials also gave valuable exposure. He joined the world famous Grand Ole Opry in 1962 where he regularly appeared until touring schedules would not permit him time to both tour and return to Nashville for the required Opry programs.

In 1967 the honors continued when James would host the first CMA Award Show - Country Music Association's recognition of country's top writers and performers. With Bobbie Gentry as his co-host, the two no doubt played a major role in what has become an annual event, and one of television's highest rated programs. In the 60s and 70s he received numerous awards from Billboard magazine and other publications for his hit recordings and personal appearances.

Was named Male Artist of The Decade by Record World. On January 31, 1971 Sonny James took a trip to the moon!

By special request James was honored to be the first country artist to record a program exclusively for a moon flight. In appreciation, the crew of Apollo 14, Stuart Roosa, Edqar Mitchell, Commander Alan Shepard, presented him with a flag they carried to the moon. One of James' prized possessions. In 1987 James was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame- the Lifework Award for Performing Achievement. Capitol Records released his signature song "Young Love" in late 1956. This giant hit became one of the most recognizable songs ever recorded. It was the first Traditional Country/Teen cross over record. Followed by fellow Capitol artist Ferlin Huskey's "Gone" and later Marty Robbin's "White Sport Coat". Stuart Roosa, Edqar Mitchell, Commander Alan Shepard, presented him with a flag they carried to the moon. One of James' prized possessions. 00:00 / 00:00. Read More About the History of Young Love. A World Of Our Own. View The Most Popular Recordings of Sonny James. DAVE SAMUELSON (MUSIC HISTORIAN AND BIOGRAPHER). Samuelson did a one on one interview with Sonny James on special assignment - an insight on the early years. Here are some excerpts from that interview. Sonny James (Loden) was born May 1, 1928 in Hackleburg, Alabama, a small agricultural center about ninety-five miles northwest of Birmingham. His parents, Archie and Della Burleson Loden, operated a 300-acre farm about six miles outside of town.

Their farm supported three tenant families, who cooperatively used teams of horses and mules to raise enough cotton, corn and hay to see them through each season. Along with his sister Thelma, who was born five years earlier, "Sonny" James grew up listening to music. Both of his parents were musicians. "Pop" Loden played guitar and fiddle but preferred the five-string banjo, while "Mom" played guitar in an open tuning.

Thelma -whom the family always called "Sis"- learned guitar as soon as she could wrap her left hand around the fingerboard. The family owned a wind-up Victrola- Pop particularly liked Jimmie Rodgers' records- and a battery- powered radio introduced them to pop singers like Kate Smith.

James vividly retains childhood memories of Saturday nights when local musicians gathered in each others' homes to play music amid the bronze glow of Aladdin and coal-oil lamps. "I used to play around on a broom", he said.

That's when Pop decided,'Well, I'll give him something that he can at least play around on. That's when he cut the molasses bucket in half and used the bottom of it and put a neck on it and then reversed it. It became the top of a little banjo, but it was tuned like a mandolin- So then I graduated to a mandolin and long about that time -I must have been about three or something - I began singing. By age eight, Sis Loden was a confident singer and skilled rhythm guitarist with a knack for picking up contemporary hill-billy or pop tunes. Mom's voice soared over the others, creating a harmony that paralleled with what Rose Carter later did with the Chuck Wagon Gang.

When Pop added the necessary bass vocals, the Loden Family's sound began to gel. In 1933, Pop Loden arranged an audition with WMSD in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, impressed with the family's performance, the station manager offered them a regular Saturday slot. James also remembers when the family won a Mid-South Champion Band contest. It was a 5,000-watt station, one of the leading stations in Birmingham at that time.

They would get a big artist to come in to headline the band contest, and Kate Smith happened to be that artist. She saw us do our show-now this is what Pop and all of them had said- she kind of took a liking to us. She must've for some reason took a liking to me. She had me on her lap, gave me a silver dollar and said that some day I would have a bright future in the entertainment field. Later that year Pop and Mom Loden volunteered to raise an Arkansas youngster who was about Sonny's age.

Ruby Palmer loved the family's music and was soon incorporated into the group. Her excellent voice was a key in the group's trio and quartet.

By 1936 the Loden family was a popular attraction throughout the South. "We sang everything from Jimmie Rodgers to whatever was on the radio, " James recalled.

When we hit the stage, always from the first time I was little, when the curtain went up we were playing, and we started off with something fast, do another full number before Pop would ever say anything. He got the show started in a good way!

Pop made sure that no two Loden Family shows were ever alike. He used a mixture of not only the tempo of the song-slow, medium, fast- but a variety, like Sis and Ruby should sing a duet and then I would sing something and I'd play an instrumental. You didn't have the sameness following the other numbers.

We tried to make it entertaining. I think one way of doing that is you mix your tempos up and you mix your sound up when you do a trio, a folk-type song, or when you'd be doing something from the hills like Molly O'Day or Roy Acuff. Though a musical career is admittedly risky, the family's success convinced Pop Loden to turn professional.

"As our personal appearances would do a little bit better, then we'd come back home, and then we'd go again and come back home, " James recalled. Finally he decided,'Well, we're going to try it in Blytheville, Arkansas at KLCN. Fortunately, the Lodens were in a position to take such a risk.

"We'd have the farm as a backup-what we got from the renters and what we got off of our farm, " he said. Of course, they'd cover for Pop any of the farming that needed to be done for him while he was away. Pop Loden also made sure his decision did not affect his children's education. "I went to several schools but it was never hard on me, " James admitted. Pop wouldn't ever book anything so far that I couldn't go to school and live a normal life.

Consequently I participated in all sports and he was most cooperative. I never was held out of anything. Despite a paltry 1000-watt signal, KLCN blanketed Arkansas, southeastern Missouri and western Tennessee as effectively as any 10,000-watt station. We had good reception and the station was able to get good sponsors for us', he said. I've advertised everything from Griffin Shoe Polish to you name it.

I used to sing the theme song. The way we'd start out would be the first thing you'd hear right out of the news. You'd hear this train whistle. Sis and band playing real fast, and I'd blow it two or three times. I'd sing'Don't forget your suitcases, umbrellas and ba-a-a-a-bies! That was the way we opened up when people got up in the morning. I'd see people in school and they got the biggest kick out of that.

They'd all sing, Don't forget your suitcases. With the tenant farmers taking care of the Loden property back in Hackleburg, the family concentrated on its music and personal appearances. "You'd work a radius of maybe two hundred miles around, " James said.

The radio station would cover it and that was your means of advertising. Basically we would play school auditoriums.

A lot of towns had one theatre of course. Occasionally we'd play an outside- what we'd call a picnic, a musical picnic- but basically it was schoolhouses and theatres. On some of those dates the Lodens shared billings with another radio group working out of northeastern Arkansas, The Wilburn Family, including young Teddy and Doyle Wilburn. The Loden Family left Blytheville two years later for brief stints over stations in Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi, before securing an extended slot over WJDX in Jackson. By then the group had matured into a self-contained show band, often in demand as an opening act for traveling radio and recording headliners. Musically, the family could handle virtually any type of song, from pop tunes like "Now Is The Hour" to Bob Nolan's classic Western specialties. James credits his sister Thelma as one of the key factors in the family's success. "My sis was one of the funniest comediennes you ever saw, " he said.

She participated in whatever we were doing. From the time she came on until it was all over, it was all upbeat.

She knew when to talk and when not to. Her timing and actions were just plain funny. She's the nearest thing to a female Red Skelton or Homer and Jethro that I ever saw.. Not just a rube comic.. She did that, but was also cleverer.

And the more I'd laugh, the more she'd laugh. The audience ate it up.

Just before the end of World War II, Lowell Blanchard brought the Loden Family to Knoxville to appear on his daily Midday Merry-Go-Round and Saturday night Tennessee Barn Dance over WNOX. "I don't even remember auditioning for Lowell" James admitted, so evidently Lowell heard us somewhere.

Blanchard's impressive talent roster at the time included Cliff and Bill Carlisle, Archie Campbell, Eddie Hill, Johnny Wright, Molly O'Day and Lynn Davis, and occasionally Chet Atkins. Lost John Miller briefly worked on WNOX during the winter of 1945-46. James remembers hearing and becoming friends with Miller's banjo player, Earl Scruggs. During the family's stay at WNOX, Pop hired accordion player Buddy Baines as a concession to the current style in country music. When they moved to WPTF in Raleigh, North Carolina early in 1946, Lois Brock replaced Baines.

While in Raleigh, James roomed with two musicians working in Johnny and Jack's Tennessee Mountain Boys, Chet Atkins and fiddler Paul Warren. "A lot of people didn't know it, but a little of that comes out in songs like "I'll Never Find Another You" and "A World of Our Own'.

If you listen to the guitar work there, you know I like that kind of picking. In retrospect, James considers the stays in Knoxville and Raleigh as the family's professional and artistic peak. From there the family joined WMPS, Memphis, where they reconnected with Eddie Hill, then a daily show with Ira and Charlie Louvin. We'd do an hour show,' James said. We'd do the first thirty minutes then Eddie would do thirty.

Eddie and the Louvin Brothers would do a fifteen-minute program. Then Eddie would come on and say,'Welcome and for all the sick and shut-ins'..

That was the approach and it was easy. He'd emcee and Charlie and Ira would sing. Around Christmas 1949, Thelma Loden and Ruby Palmer were married in double ceremonies in West Memphis, Arkansas and both left the act. Pop Loden hired two or three musicians to maintain the WMPS job, but things weren't the same.

"It was a good band but after the girls got married, we just weren't into it, " James admitted. I think they were at that time ready to come home, James said. They were happy and I felt they worked a little bit hard- I don't mean in toil, but in long hours. During that period James joined the National Guard and completed his final year at Hackleburg High School. Despite its popularity, the Loden Family left virtually little behind for posterity.

They thrived in an era when the record business primarily served juke box owner-operators. Since family acts like the Lodens, the Wilburns and the Everlys did not play honky-tonks, major labels didn't seek them out. The few that made records, such as the Chuck Wagon Gang and the Johnson Family Singers, generally limited their repertoires to sacred numbers.

As a consequences once-vital segment of country music's heritage has been lost to history. Now out of school and back in Hackleburg, James worked in the family store and pondered his future options. Torn between continuing his education or pursuing a career in music, he opted to return to radio until he made a decision. He contacted a friend of his in Memphis, Freddy Burns, who fronted a band featured on a noontime show on WHBQ that fed to stations on the Mutual Broadcasting System. I said,'Until I decide what I'm gonna do, would you be interested?

He was already familiar with the family, knew all the family and all of that from my background. He said,'Shoot yes, son!

So he more or less took me under his wing so I started doing this daily network show with him. From that beginning, he was soon offered his own fifteen-minute show each day, performing by himself with a bassist for support, for the Mutual Network.

"I was out there doing that when Pop called me, " he said'Son, Capt. Brumley just called and said you all are on active duty. He said,'Yeah, this conflict they're having, they've placed you all on active duty.

Returning to Alabama, James joined his fellow Guardsmen with the 252nd Truck Company from Hamilton, Alabama. It was port of embarkation, which should tell you they didn't intend for us to stay there long. Our company and a unit from Pennsylvania I believe, were the first National Guard Troops in Korea. James's company was to land in Inchon, about one hundred miles south of the 38th Parellel. China's entry into the conflict forced the 252nd Truck Company to disembark at Pusan on the Korean peninsula's southern tip.

We were attached to the 2nd U. Our primary mission was to re-supply the front line with food, ammunition, gas, personnel, equipment, carry prisoners of war casualties-just anything. Altogether the Unit carried more tonnage than any other truck company assigned to the Eighth Army. The 252nd remained in Korea for a time after a cease-fire ended the hostilities.

During their service in Korea, the group lost only one member.. None of the Hamilton-based Guardsmen were casualties. Their company was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and one of just two units in the nation to receive a citation for their service in the Korean conflict.. Also the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

James continued to hone his musical skills. Though he left his good instruments in Hackleburg, he kept a fiddle and an old Epiphone guitar wherever he was stationed.

Though he had dabbled in songwriting for years, he began writing seriously. Returning to Alabama around Thanksgiving 1952, James stayed around home for two or three weeks before leaving for Nashville. "Obviously I was interested in getting back to either doing my radio work or writing or possible recording or whatever" he explained. He looked up his former roommate, Chet Atkins, already an established recording artist, session musician and featured act on the Prince Albert portion of The Grand Ole Opry.

"In the den of his house, we'd each pick a guitar and I'd sing material" James remembered. After two weeks of being together it was like old times. Impressed by James's songs and warm, intimate style, Atkins felt James had potential as a recording artist. Curiously, he thought the singer might have a better chance at success on Capitol than his own label, RCA Victor. The next time Capitol producer Ken Nelson flew into Nashville from Los Angeles to record his southeastern artists, Atkins invited him and James to dinner. "Chet wanted Ken to hear me" James said.

"I forgot who said what, but anyway, either Chet asked Ken, or Ken said, "Son, would you like to record for me? Nevertheless, that's how Ken Nelson and Sonny James got together. Prior to the first recording session, Ken Nelson suggested the singer adopt "Sonny James" as his professional moniker. "Sonny, " Nelson advised, "when we start recording, instead of "Loden, let's use'James' as your last name, because there's a lot of'Lodens' and'Loudons' and'Ludens'.

I think'James' would be good, because the smallest children can remember'Sonny James. Though some people had been calling him by those two names for years, the singer initially balked at Nelson's suggestion. What about people that know me? " The market-savvy producer also provided a memorable tag similar to along the lines of Eddy Arnold's "The Tennessee Plowboy", Hank Snow's "The Singing Ranger" and Ernest Tubb's "The Texas Troubadour. "Because I was tall and lanky and had this Southern accent, he called me "The Southern Gentleman James said. For that first session on June 11, 1952, Nelson selected four songs written during James's tour in Korea.

Atkins was recruited for lead guitar, Jerry Byrd played steel, Eddie Hill played rhythm guitar and Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance was on bass. When the musicians gathered in the Castle Studios in the Tulane Hotel, the producer left them alone.

"In his mind he knew that I cared so much about my career he gave me leadway", James explained. There are some things that a person does naturally. The longer I worked with Ken, the more liberty he would give me.

If he didn't think something was a good idea, he'd tell me. He had a way of doing it. He'd say,'Sonny, you might consider this. We just treated each other just like we should have.

It's not anyone overriding. He recognized that I was doing my best.

Of course, being a friend of Chet's and we were musicians, he gave you that liberty to show what individuality that you had. That's one of the things that I think was the greatest thing to happen to me because I did work with someone like Ken, you see I love to play the guitar and it became a part of my sound. And without that, it wouldn't have been me. By him giving me the liberty to bring out my guitar, it's a style.

Without that, there wouldn't have been a Sonny James sound that people are familiar with. Several days after that session, Nelson unexpectedly brought James back to the studio, this time as a sideman.

Jim and Jesse McReynolds, also making their debut session for Capitol, arrived in Nashville, without a fiddle player. Knowing James was still in town, Nelson asked him if he might help the brothers. "I said sure, because I like them", he remembered.

I was more or less just helping out. Now hailed as bluegrass classics, those early Jim & Jesse Capitols capture a rare glimpse of James' skill as a fiddler.

Back in California, Nelson reviewed the four sides James recorded at his session and selected the uptempo "Shortcut" as the'A'-side with a ballad,'It's So Nice To Make Up as the flip. While waiting for the record's release, James made a guest appearance on The Louisiana Hayride on KWKH, Shreveport.

Curly Harris introduced the singer to Slim Whitman, a Hayride regular starting to break through as a recording artist. As demand for personal appearances increased, Whitman decided to quit his post office job and go on the road with his band, the Stardusters. Normally shy and reserved, the singer needed a dynamic, personable front man to warm up the crowd before he took the stage.

After watching James entertain the Hayride audience, Whitman found his front man. James was grateful for the opportunity. Following conventional country music protocol, James came on stage after the band played its opening number. For thirty minutes he whipped up the crowd with songs and fiddle tunes. "He'd sing and play the fiddle behind his back and under his leg, " Whitman told Kevin Coffey in 1995.

"Slim and I, we got along great, " James said. While I was with Slim, one day we were headed on a personal appearance and we traveled in a car with a teardrop trailer. At that time, we weren't getting any television exposure, Slim wasn't getting any and neither was I. We used to go into restaurants, and of course, they'd see that teardrop trailer out there with Slim's name on it.

Here I was, six-foot-three and just as slim as I could be, and Slim was a little heavy - he's just a good, stout man. We'd go into restaurants, several times he'd be looking at the menu and he'd look over at me, and he'd say,'Slim, what do you think you want? He'd play me off as Slim to the waitress! Capitol released James's first record during his stay with Whitman. "I remember the first time I heard my record, " he said.

We were in the car and Slim was driving. We heard it and I said,'Hey, that's me! James never recorded with Whitman, though he played fiddle and electric mandolin on an Imperial session featuring the Stardusters' Curly Herndon and Hoot Rains.

In many ways, Whitman and James were kindred spirits. Neither smoked nor drank, and both bad an aversion to working those honky-tonk crowds that did.

But unlike James, Whitman faced the responsibilities of meeting a weekly payroll. To keep the band working, he had to accept the roadhouse and honky-tonk bookings he hoped to avoid.

This posed a moral dilemma for James. "Slim, I'm not comfortable doing that, " James told him. All my family ever played was theaters and auditoriums and schoolhouses.

Although sympathetic to his front man's concerns, Whitman encouraged James to stick it out. "Spend a couple of weeks with me, " he pleaded. Maybe I can work this out.

But as those club dates grew closer, James reluctantly gave Whitman his notice. During his two months with Whitman, James kept his eye open for other opportunities. While visiting a Jackson, Mississippi, station to promote his first single, a disc jockey suggested the singer hear a new release by Baton Rouge singer Lou Millett, That's Me Without You. " "He said,'It's strictly a territorial. And I know the writers would like to get a major label to do it, he said.

Co written by Jay Miller and issued on his Feature label, the song's lyrics immediately struck the singer. That was the first time that I've ever heard a song that you'll just listen to how it's written. A night with no moonlight, a day with no sun.

A plane with no rudder, a watch that won't run. A tree with no branches, a rose with no dew. A song with no music, that's me without you.

In other words, you mention all the different subjects, different things, and then you come along with the main line:'that's me without you. That combination I had not heard in a country song. Convinced that this was a hit song, James called Ken Nelson in California, asking to record it at his next session. Ken told me,'Sonny, we just released your other song, your first record.

I said,'I know, Ken, this is different. It's just so unusual. He said,'Tell me some of the lyrics. I told him and he said,'I'll meet you in Nashville.

"That's Me Without You" was the first song James recorded at his September 17, 1952, Nashville session, which also featured three more originals penned in Korea. By then James landed a spot in Dallas, working with Bobby Williamson, an RCA Victor artist with a strong local following. "He wondered if I might do the same thing with him that I was doing with Slim, " James said.

The difference with him was I would stick on a hat. Bobby dressed in Western - all of his boys did. He asked me would I play fiddle and mandolin or something else. In addition to opening for Williamson, James became a utility player, picking up the fiddle, mandolin or guitar as needed. The group made several television appearances, worked a regular midday show over WFAA that featured Bob Shelton of the Shelton Brothers.

Program Director Dan Valentine also offered James his own show in addition to his appearances with Williamson. Even more important, the singer was given a slot on WFAA's The Saturday Night Shindig, which was simulcast on radio and television. While James was in Dallas, Capitol released That's Me Without You. Disc jockeys jumped on the song, and Billboard reported strong airplay. The next stage in making a record a success was to grab the attention of jukebox operators.

After that, record sales usually ballooned. James's record reached No. 9 in Billboards "Most Played by Jockeys" country chart at the same time Marty Robbins did with his intended breakthrough ballad. "He came right out with that, and he just absolutely killed us, " James said. He killed what would have been for Marty and me a good start.

When The Saturday Night Shindig folded, James joined the cast of KRLD's live country music showcase, The Big'D'Jamboree. Ed McLemore, who ran the program along with Ed Watt became James's managers. With the stockpile of available sides dwindling by summer 1954. Because James's busy schedule prevented him from going to Nashville, the producer booked time at Jim Beek's Dallas studio in late July for two sessions.

James used his regular band, which included Harland Powell on steel and Neil Jones on guitar. The first track, "This Kiss Must Be Forever, " opened with James's distinctive lead guitar work - a significant component of his maturing style.

The second track, the bouncy "She Done Give Her Heart to Me, " became a d. 14 on Billboard's "Most Played by Jockeys" chart.

The session also yielded a Christmas single, featuring songs James co-wrote with John Polanski, a Dallas Salvation Army major who wrote under the name John Skye. " But musically, the most impressive side was probably "'Till the Last Leaf Shall Fall, a sacred song that drew its arrangement from the great gospel ensembles of the era. James would apply elements of this sound to some of his most memorable recordings. Hit records may be elusive but James's career was taking off in other ways. In addition to his weekly appearances on The Big'D'Jamboree, Ed McLemore landed him a rotating slot on Ozark Jubilee, a new country music show aired Saturday nights on ABC-TV. An expanded version of a weekly barn dance show heard on KWTO, Springfield, Missouri, Ozark- Jubilee debuted January 22, 1955, with Red Foley as its host.

In the beginning, about eighty stations picked up the first half-hour, then the full network carried the remaining hour. "It was originally an hour-and-a-half show, " James said. Red said, it's just too long for him to emcee - he was afraid people would tire of it. Foley opted to emcee the final hour of the show, leaving the first thirty minutes to be shared by three rotating hosts: Sonny James, Webb Pierce and Porter Wagoner.

Every three weeks James would board a train from Dallas to Springfield, nearly 425 miles away. "Every third week I'd emcee the first portion, " James said. I'd have to give the Rolaid commercial live and all that stuff. I just remember they'd always make sure that they manicured my fingers, because they'd shoot me holding the Rolaids. That was just one of the sponsors, but I had to do that.

They'd just make sure that your nails were clean. James's high visibility on The Big D Jamboree and Ozark Jubilee assured steady sales of each new Capitol release. "I could almost be booked on these country tours due to my exposure that I was getting on radio, and then, of course, there was Ozark Jubilee", he said. There was no (other) live television country that was network.. The exposure was just amazing what Ozark Jubilee did for me. A December 1955 session yielded a conventional country ballad, "My Stolen Love" penned by Dot artist Billy Vaughn. For the last song of that session, "For Rent (An Empty Heart)". Penned by James and Jack Morrow, the song was built around a driving backbeat, bluesy piano and a breezy background whistler.

"For Rent" sounded unlike anything James had previously recorded - many collectors consider it his finest moment from his first tenure at Capitol Records. It certainly was his most popular record to date. When James next visited Jim Beck's Dallas studio in April 1956, Major-Bill Smith, a Public Relations Officer at Casswell Air Force Base, supplied Twenty Feet of Muddy Water', a bluesy ballad. Adam Komorowski queried Smith about the song in a late'70s profile for New Kommotion No. 23: "Jack Anderson, who's a famous columnist in America, he was working for Parade magazine at the time - and he and a navy photographer came down to the base to do a story on the B-36, the biggest bomber of all time" Smith said.

We were sitting around the office and the photographer said,'one time during the war I had to go down in twenty feet of muddy water and take pictures. That hit me- twenty feet of muddy water-so I thought I'm gonna write a song with that title. I came up with the idea that somebody told this guy that his girl had taken off his ring and threw it in the river and he's going down into twenty feet of muddy water to see if she really threw it away. This record was heavily played by country radio. In August 1956, James and Harland Powell flew to Los Angeles to record James's first album for possible single release. With backing by guitarist Joe Maphis, bassist Bud Dooley and drummer Pee Wee Adams, the sessions were aimed at a mainstream country audience.

Nelson used nine of these tracks on Southern Gentleman (Capitol T 779) and fleshed out the album with three sacred tracks from earlier sessions. "The Cat Came Back", a buoyant, folk-flavored song was picked as James's next single for 1956.

That's me hitting the guitar between beats.. Anyway, I just used me and a bass fiddle. As before, it became a favorite of disc jockeys. He always considered the song and his arrangement as country as anything', but it grabbed the pop market at the end of 1956 and clung to the Billboard's pop and country charts until May, 1957. And would have hung on longer if Capitol Records had been better prepared to supply the demand.

It caught the people in merchandising off guard. Being a country artist they looked for me to sell a certain amount of records and each release was based on that. In other words, they didn't want to overpress before any record was released. The song surprised everybody it hit so fast, and was such a hit. James's success also led Ken Nelson to push other country artists into pop markets.

Ferlin Husky's "Gone" was a No. 4 Billboard pop that spring. Marty Robbins also benefited from James's single. Irritated that Columbia Records undercut his'Singing the Blues' with an inferior pop cover by Guy Mitchell, Robbins began cutting his own teen pop with arranger Ray Conniff in New York City. "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)' and "The Story of My Life" attracted the same pop audience that bought "Young Love.

As demand for personal appearances escalated, James's television representative MCA Agency also launched a campaign to place him on major television shows in addition to his regularly scheduled Big D Jamboree and Ozark Jubilee appearances. He married his lovely wife Doris in 1957 in Dallas. His career overall was thriving.

However, he readily admits mistakes were made regarding his recordings. I should have set aside more time for writing and screening demos publishers were sending me - I'm sure I overlooked some good songs and settled for mediocre because I was runnin' all the time, thinking I had to be everywhere for everybody to keep my career at that level. Also by now there were several records of mine out there. I figured my fans would want me to do something different once in awhile. So I'd leave my guitar off a record now and then, change the background, and feature other players and other folk's arrangements for a change.

That was a mistake on my part, I was wrong. And it's a valuable lesson I remembered when a few years later my string of hits began. I learned to gradually add new things without doing away with the original. James departed Capitol for a period of time, recording albums for his ex-roommate and friend, Chet Atkins on RCA and Dot Records respectively.

Now based in Nashville, James joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry 1962. Responding to the warmth of the Ryman crowds, he realized he needed to make records that were true to his own vision. He contacted Ken Nelson in California and arranged to meet him the next time he was in town. I said,'Ken, well, I've tried since we left and I think if I go back and do my guitar like we were doing it, and our sound - just do Sonny James, I think we can do it.

I've just got that confidence. And he said "I think you're right - let's do it that way". He said'Marvin Hughes is here'-he had Marvin working Capitol at that time in Nashville. And when we got together it was just great'. The minute we started doing what I call homegrown type arrangements in my head and picking songs that went along with my country background it was unbelievable, everything began hitting.

I guess people wanted to hear what they heard on my earlier records. That taught me a lesson I've never forgotten, different type songs are needed along the way for freshness and variety.. But without changing the artist- Loyal fans have certain things they listen for on each record. Once you've found it, don't stray too far from what got you there. My years with Capitol meant more to me than hit records. Ken Nelson, Marvin Hughes, Kelson Herston and George Ritchey not only produced my recordings but became my very close friends. In the early'60s James re-established his career as one of the most successful recording artists of all time. Country music history verifies his achievements.







SHE DONE GIVE HER HEART TO ME. YOU'RE FREE TO GO. YOU'RE THE REASON I'M IN LOVE. TIL THE LAST LEAF SHALL FALL. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Autographs\Music".

The seller is "memorabilia111" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Republic of Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macau, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion.

  1. Industry: Music
  2. Signed by: Sonny James
  3. Signed: Yes
  4. Original/Reproduction: Original
  5. Country/Region of Manufacture: United States