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Buddy Knox

Buddy Knox was the first artist of the rock & roll era to write and record his own number one hit, 1957's million-selling classic "Party Doll" -- a pioneer of the Lone Star State rockabilly sound that would later earn the name "Tex-Mex," the arc of his career anticipated that of fellow Texan Buddy Holly, yet while Holly is now enshrined in the pantheon of rock's true immortals, Knox's contributions remain sadly underappreciated. Wayne Knox was born July 20, 1933 on a farm just outside the tiny West Texas town of Happy -- during World War II, his mother Gladys performed with her siblings as part of a family gospel group, although his love of country music first inspired him to pick up the guitar. After high school Knox attended West Texas State College, earning a business administration degree while moonlighting in an amateur vocal group called the Serenaders that also included double bassist Jimmy Bowen and guitarist Donny Lanier; in 1955, the trio rechristened themselves the Rhythm Orchids, so named after their purple shirts they wore on-stage. With the addition of drummer Don Mills, who first joined the Rhythm Orchids on-stage with nothing more than a pair of brushes and a cardboard box, the group's melancholy country covers acquired a swinging backbeat approximating something close to rock & roll, much to the delight of the assembled barroom patrons.

Following a local gig, the Rhythm Orchids met Sun Records star Roy Orbison, who recommended they travel to Clovis, New Mexico to record with producer Norman Petty (better known for his subsequent work that other famous Texan rock & roller, the aforementioned Buddy Holly). Mills opted to return to school, so the remaining trio recruited drummer Dave Alldred to play on two Petty-produced tracks: "Party Doll" -- written by Knox at the age of 12 -- and "I'm Stickin' With You," the latter featuring Bowen on lead vocals. After handing Petty their $60.00 studio fee, the Rhythm Orchids returned to West Texas with acetates in hand; Blue Moon Records owner Chester Oliver soon pressed 500 copies, and when the initial run sold out -- thanks in large part to heavy airplay from Amarillo radio personality Dean Kelly -- the band founded its own label, Triple D, to issue 2500 more. Lanier's sister, a fashion model living in New York City, then passed a copy to music publisher Phil Kahl, and with partner Morris Levy, Kahl licensed the single for national release via the newly formed Roulette label. Roulette split the original Petty session into two separate releases, with Bowen's new "Everlovin'" backing "I'm Stickin' With You" on Roulette (4001) and "My Baby's Gone" appended to "Party Doll" (Roulette 4002); while the former reached the Top 20, selling in excess of a million copies, "Party Doll" proved far more successful, remaining on the best-seller list for 23 weeks and topping radio play lists coast-to-coast following a memorable rendition on television's Ed Sullivan Show.

From that point forward, Knox and Bowen pursued simultaneous solo careers for Roulette, although both continued employing the Rhythm Orchids as their backing unit. The follow-up to "Party Doll," "Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep" -- credited to "Lieutenant" Buddy Knox, a nod to the singer's then-ongoing six-month stint in the U.S. Army Tank Corps -- cracked the Top 30 in mid-1957 and again sold a million copies, as did its follow-up, "Hula Love." Knox's vocal style on these seminal efforts was clean and natural, the band's rockabilly sound more a jaunty, skittering update of traditional country than a white derivation of R&B, à la Holly -- in fact, by the end of 1957 Knox was arguably the bigger star of the two, headlining DJ Alan Freed's national package tours and even appearing in the feature film Jamboree. He closed out the year with the rave-ups "Devil Woman" and "Swingin' Daddy," followed in mid-1958 by a cover of Ruth Brown's "Somebody Touched Me" that reached number 22 on the pop charts. The subsequent "That's Why I Cry" went nowhere, however, and with 1959's "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" -- a song banned on many radio stations -- Knox & the Rhythm Orchids scored their final Hot 100 entry.

After two additional singles for Roulette -- "Taste of the Blues" and 1960s "Long Lonely Nights" -- Knox left the label following a dispute about royalty payments, and he signed as a solo act with Liberty, where producer Snuff Garrett softened his approach considerably. His Liberty debut "Lovey Dovey" reached number 25 in 1961, but Garrett's teen idol-inspired production did not serve Knox well, and successive efforts like "Ling-Ting-Tong" (his final pop chart entry, at number 65), "Three-Eyed Man," "Dear Abby" and "All Time Loser" muted the dynamic presence of his earliest, finest music. Knox cut nine singles for Liberty in all before teaming with longtime A&R exec and promoter Ray Ruff to form the Ruff label, issuing just one single for the company, 1964's "Jo Ann," before signing on with Reprise for a pair of little-heard efforts, 1965's "Livin' in a House Full of Love" and the following year's "Love Has Many Ways." With a move to United Artists, Knox teamed with house producer Bob Montgomery to become a full-fledged country artist -- when "Gypsy Man" hit the Nashville charts in 1968, it proved his final chart hit. Knox ultimately moved to Vancouver, opening a nightclub called the Purple Steer and maintaining a relentless tour schedule throughout the 1970s and 1980s; on February 5, 1999, the longtime smoker was told he had contracted inoperable lung cancer -- just nine days later, he was dead. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bill Haley & Friends Vol. 3

Disc 1
Disc 2

3. Rock Around The Clock

7. Rock Around The Clock

9. Rock Around The Clock

10. Rock Around The Clock

19. Rock Around The Clock

22. Rock Around The Clock

24. Rock Around The Clock

30. Rock Around The Clock

31. Rock Around The Clock

32. Rock Around The Clock

x

Track List: 20 Great Oldies I'll Always Remember, Vol.4

1. Honey

2. Tell Him

3. Bang Bang

5. Boom Boom

6. Elusive Butterfly

7. What The World Needs Now

8. You're Sixteen

10. The Bird's The Word

11. Kind Of A Drag

12. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

13. I'm On The Outside

14. The Mountain's High

15. Let's Lock The Door

16. Walk Don't Run

17. Where Do You Go

18. Cara Mia

19. Happy Together

20. There's A Moon Out Tonight

x

Track List: 30 Halloween Hits

1. Monster Mash

7. Igor's Party

8. Frankenstein's Den

13. The Mummy

14. Psycho

15. Devil Woman

17. Frankenstein Twist

18. The Blob

19. The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor

21. Night Of The Vampire

22. She's My Witch

24. Zombi

26. Witch Doctor

27. Yogi

x

Track List: 50's Radio Hits & Jukebox Oldies

Disc 1

1. Click Clack

2. Rockabilly Party

3. Them There Eyes

4. Oh Lonesome Me

5. I'm Stickin' With You

6. The Joker (That's What They Call Me)

7. Round And Round

8. Thunderbird

9. Secretly

10. First Date, First Kiss, First Love

11. I'm Wanderin'

12. I'm Walkin'

13. A Lover's Question

14. Fabulous

15. Dynamite

16. Jim Dandy

17. Skinny Minnie

18. Shame, Shame, Shame

20. Woo-Hoo

21. Turn Me Loose

22. Hula Love

23. Okefenokee

24. Skiffle Party

25. Shenandoah Waltz

26. A Lover's Prayer

27. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

28. Dig

29. Hey Mae

30. White Lightning

31. Lucky Lips

32. Never Like This

33. Guitar Boogie Shuffle

34. Dance Me Daddy

35. Sittin' In The Balcony

36. This Should Go On Forever

37. Get A Job

39. One Summer Night

40. New Fangled Tango

41. Bim Bam

42. C.C. Rider

44. Pretty Blue Eyes

45. The Stroll

46. I'm Coming Over To Love You Tonight

47. Mr. Lee

48. Kansas City

50. I Am With You

Disc 2

51. I Never Had A Sweetheart

52. Catch A Falling Star

53. Mr. Wonderful

54. Mourning In The Morning

55. 6-5 Jive

56. The Big Beat

57. Why, Why, Why

58. Just Because

59. Wait For Me (Ti Diro)

60. I Love You

62. Hula Hoop Song

63. Crazy Little Daisy

64. Just A Dream

65. Fraulein

66. I Apologise

67. Deep Purple

68. Smokie, Pt. 1

69. C'mon Let's Go

70. The Hawaiian Wedding Song

71. By The Riverside

72. Don't You Just Know It

73. Be My Love

74. Black Slacks

75. Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

76. Little Bitty Pretty One

77. Whatever Lola Wants

78. Say When

80. When

81. The Breeze And I

83. Pretend

84. Heart And Soul

85. Wine, Women, And Gold

86. Blueberry Hill

87. Too Much Boogie

88. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

89. California Zephyr

90. Blue Monday Blues

91. Rock-A My Soul

92. I'll Do Anything You Say

93. Harlem Blues

94. Let's Dance

98. Someone On My Mind

99. Bat Masterson

100. Baby, What's Wrong With You

x

Track List: 50's Rock 'N' Roll - Whole Lot Of Shakin'

Disc 1

1. Go Jimmy Go

2. Sea Cruise

3. Whispering Bells

5. Good Golly Miss Molly

6. Robbin' The Cradle

7. Little Darlin'

8. Do You Wanna Dance

9. Red River Rock

10. Personality

Disc 2

1. Willie And The Hand Jive

2. Goodbye Baby

3. Little Star

4. The Fool

5. Teen Angel

6. Little Bitty Pretty One

7. My Heart Is An Open Book

8. Party Doll

9. Rebel Rouser

10. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

x

Track List: American Graffiti

Disc 1

1. Rock Around The Clock

2. Sixteen Candles

3. Runaway

4. Why Do Fools Fall In Love

5. That'll Be The Day

6. Fanny Mae

9. The Stroll

10. See You In September

11. Surfin' Safari

12. He's The Great Imposter

13. Almost Grown

14. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

15. Little Darlin'

16. Peppermint Twist

17. Barbara Ann

18. Book Of Love

19. Maybe Baby

20. Ya Ya

21. The Great Pretender

Disc 2

1. Ain't That A Shame

2. Johnny B. Goode

3. I Only Have Eyes For You

4. Get A Job

5. To The Aisle

6. Do You Wanna Dance

7. Party Doll

8. Come Go With Me

9. You're Sixteen, You're Beautiful (And You're Mine)

10. Love Potion No. 9

11. Since I Don't Have You

12. Chantilly Lace

13. Teen Angel

14. Crying In The Chapel

15. A Thousand Miles Away

16. Heart And Soul

17. Green Onions

18. Only You (And You Alone)

19. Goodnight, Well It's Time To Go

20. All Summer Long

x

Track List: Buddy Knox & Jimmy Bowen

1. Party Doll

2. Don't Make Me Cry

3. Rock House

4. Rock-A-Billy Walk

5. Devil Woman

6. Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep

7. Hula Love

8. Mary Lou

9. Maybelline

10. I'm In Love With You

11. Rock Around The Clock

12. That's Why I Cry

14. Somebody Touched Me

15. All For You

17. The Girl With The Golden Hair

21. Stick With Me

22. Whenever I'm Lonely

x

Track List: Fun 50's

1. Sh-Boom

2. Just Walkin' In The Rain

4. Long Tall Sally

5. Party Doll

6. Little Darlin'

7. Yaketty Yak

8. Sea Cruise

9. At The Hop

10. Big Man

11. To Know Him Is To Love Him

12. 40 Miles Of Bad Road

13. Personality

14. Red River Rock

15. Charlie Brown

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Of The 60's

Disc 1

1. How Do You Do It?

2. I'm Telling You Now

4. Stay

5. Hanky Panky

6. I'm Into Something Good

7. High Time

8. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

9. Confessin' (That I Love You)

10. Sloop John B

11. Have I The Right

12. Blackberry Way

13. Out Of Time

14. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

15. It Might As Well Rain Until September

16. The First Cut Is The Deepest

17. The House Of The Rising Sun

18. On The Road Again

Disc 2

1. Itchycoo Park

2. Tobacco Road

3. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

5. She's Not There

6. Going Up The Country

7. It's Good News Week

8. Happy Together

9. Do You Want To Know A Secret

11. Where Do You Go To My Lovely

12. God Only Knows

13. I'm A Tiger

14. 5-4-3-2-1

15. Dance On

16. Shakin' All Over

17. Hippy Hippy Shake

18. Telstar

Disc 3

1. Shout! Shout!

2. I Like It

3. Do Wah Diddy Diddy

4. A Little Loving

5. Bad To Me

6. You Were Made For Me

7. Venus

8. I Can't Let Maggie Go

9. Lovesick Blues

10. Let It Be Me

11. Silhouettes

12. I'll Never Get Over You

13. Google Eye

14. Boom Bang-A-Bang

15. I'm Alive

16. A Salty Dog

17. Angel Of The Morning

18. Handbags And Gladrags

Disc 4

2. F. B. I.

3. Got To Get You Into My Life

4. Super Girl

7. Put A Little Love In Your Heart

8. Ain't Misbehavin'

10. Tin Soldier

11. Fire Brigade

12. Hi Ho Silver Lining

13. Let's Go To San Francisco

14. Spooky

15. Time Of The Season

16. The Weight

Disc 5

1. Working In The Coalmine

2. The Israelites

3. Wonderful World, Beautiful People

4. The Birds And The Bees

5. Good Vibrations

6. I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door

7. Melting Pot

9. Flowers In The Rain

10. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'

11. A Must To Avoid

12. Carrie Anne

13. Anyone Who Had A Heart

14. Good Morning Starshine

15. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

17. We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place

18. Little Green Bag

Disc 6

1. Bus Stop

2. Think

3. Mony Mony

4. She's Gone

5. Honey

6. Michael Row The Boat Ashore

7. I've Been A Bad Bad Boy

8. I Understand (Just How You Feel)

9. Apache

10. Pretty Flamingo

12. Kites

13. Way Of Life

14. Man Of The World

15. Little Children

16. Everyone's Gone To The Moon

17. Wonderful World

18. You'll Never Walk Alone

Disc 7

1. Johnny Remember Me

2. Leader Of The Pack

3. The Carnival Is Over

4. If You Gotta Go, Go Now

5. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

6. It Must Be Him

7. Walking Back To Hapiness

8. Poison Ivy

9. Crystal Blue Persuasion

10. Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun)

11. Jenny Take A Ride

12. Games People Play

13. Lazy Sunday

14. Maria

16. Go Now

17. America

18. Thank U Very Much

Disc 8

1. No Milk Today

2. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody

3. Ferry Across The Mersey

4. You're No Good

5. Poetry In Motion

6. You're My World

7. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

8. Tribute To Buddy Holly

9. All I Really Want To Do

10. Excerpt From A Teenage Opera

11. On A Carousel

12. Elusive Butterfly

13. I'll Keep You Satisfied

14. Hello Little Girl

15. Lily The Pink

16. Bring It On Home To Me

x

Track List: Oldies But Goodies - '50s Hawaiian Rock N' Roll

3. Hawaiian Melody

4. Hula Hop

5. The Hula Hoop Song

7. Me Rock-A-Love

10. Lula Rock-A-Hula

11. Blue Hawaii

12. Putti Putti

17. Susie Darlin'

18. Bop-A-Hula

23. Hula Hop

26. Let's Go To Hawaii

27. Hawaiian Rose

28. Hula Love

31. Hawaiian War Chant

32. Hop Scotch

33. Hawaiian Stroll

34. Hawaiian Rock

39. Waikiki Run

40. Holiday In Honolulu

x

Track List: The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 4

1. Linda Lu

2. Little By Little

3. Rama Lama Ding Dong

4. Flamingo Express

5. New Orleans

6. Maybe

7. Drip Drop

8. Start Movin' (In My Direction)

9. Lonely Saturday Night

10. Don't Let Go

11. Pop Pop Pop Pie

12. Life's Too Short

13. High School USA

14. Glory Of Love

15. Peanuts

16. Need You

17. Party Doll

18. Could This Be Magic

19. Killer Joe

21. Peek-A-Boo

22. You'll Lose A Good Thing

24. Tears On My Pillow

25. Baby Talk

26. Here I Stand

27. (Do The) Mashed Potatoes (Part 1)

28. Why Don't You Write Me?

30. Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)

Comments

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So
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No bio?
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brianna.mitc h e l l 1 4 7
Different words
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haven't heard that song for a half a century
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econnelly1
I agree with Keith Pixton, he does sound like Don Knotts.
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nyy7cnbailey
Buddy Knox's music reminds me of Buddy Holly.
Report as inappropriate
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