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Mickey Gilley

For most of his career, pianist/vocalist Mickey Gilley lived in the shadow of his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, playing a similar fusion of country, rock, blues, and R&B. In the early '70s, he managed to breakthrough into country stardom, but it wasn't until the late '70s, when he became associated with the urban cowboy movement, that he became a superstar.

Gilley, like Lewis, was raised in Ferriday, LA. It wasn't until Jerry Lee had a hit with his first Sun single, "Crazy Arms," that Mickey decided he wanted to pursue a musical career. Gilley began recording for a number of independent Texas labels without much success in the late '50s. In the early '60s, he became a local favorite by playing a never-ending series of bars and clubs. A few of singles became Texas hits, but he didn't have a national hit until 1968 with minor hit "Now I Can Live Again" on Paula Records.

In 1970, he opened Gilley's Club in Pasadena; the honky tonk had previously been known as Sherry's Club, and its owner, Sherwood Cryer, asked Mickey to re-open the bar with him. In 1974, Gilley had another local hit with "Room Full of Roses," which was released on Astro Records. Playboy Records, which was distributed by Epic, heard the record and acquired national distribution for the single. It became a number one country hit, crossing over to number 50 on the pop charts. "Room Full of Roses" launched a string of updated, countrypolitan-inflected honky tonk hits for Gilley that ran for just over a decade. Gilley racked up 16 number one hits besides "Room Full of Roses," including "I Overlooked an Orchid," "City Lights," "She's Pulling Me Back Again," "True Love Ways," "Stand by Me," "That's All That Matters," and "A Headache Tomorrow (Or a Heartache Tonight)."

Gilley signed with Epic Records after Playboy folded in 1978. The following year, the film Urban Cowboy -- which was based on Gilley's Club and featured a cameo by Mickey, as well as several of his songs -- brought him to national attention, which resulted in a string of six straight number one singles. He continued to have Top Ten hits until 1986, when his career began to slip. The late '80s were plagued with problems for Gilley. Not only had a new generation of country singers replaced him on the charts, he had financial problems which culminated in the closing of Gilley's Club. He turned his career around in the early '90s, when he became one of the first country stars to open a permanent theater in Branson, MO. Although Gilley recorded some albums in the '90s -- which were primarily available through television advertisements -- he focused his career on the theater. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Very good singer
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LOVIN' ME SOME MICK.......Y E A H . . . .
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t_heath
Smooth voice.......
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He just melts my heart!!!!!!
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Mickey! Mickey! No words to describe or music! :) ;)
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Love this man, his music, n this f**king song just got to me n now I need a tequilla!!!! ! !
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Nice, really nice
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hello, 1979? urban cowboy was released the first weekend of June, 1980!!
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not to much into country but love this song.
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Just u and i Mickey<3333
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Mickey gilley brings back a time for me when country was very laid back not like much of todays music hes the best
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what's country doing on A CASUAL LOOK STATION ?
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Im a Fool for u Micky ooooooo!!!!
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great entertainer
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I
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I'm not a country music fan but I sure did have a good time in his bar one night in the early 90's. The Charlie Daniels Band was playing and the pretty Texas girls were line dancing and the Lone Star beer tasted great.
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Im a fool for ur love Mickey bay-b ;))))))
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Im a fool for ur love Mikey bay-b ;)))))))
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bradbonar41
Palvm
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debbie89867
He's an amazing person and it's nice that he is such an accomplished artist too. Don't know anyone else with such class and talent!! I love Mickey Gilley!!!
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I remember listening to him when I went camping with my dad in the early 80s.
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Here's the kind of guy he is........he had an accident four years ago that parlyzed him and he couldn't perform for two years. During that time he continued to pay his band and employees their salary. You don't find many employers like that these days.
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Come to Branson and see Mickey in person. His voice is still beautiful... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . h e ' s a legend.
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Mickey Gilley Have Always Been One Of My Favorite Singers.
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Mickey Gilley on A Casual Look Station what are you Pandora folks smokin' ?
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EAT MY FUDGE STICK
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charmels26
Oh my word, he sings so sexy and sweet..
Why is not still making records????
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Anyone else ever noticed how Micky and Jerry Lee have a lot of the same playing styles? They both learned to play on the same up-right piano. Oh yeah, dont forget Swaggart, he was there too.
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jawagtex
After his accident I never thought he would perform again, I'm glad I was wrong his voice is better than ever.
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Like his style !!!
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gwen5362
That is so damn true, sometimes we think we know someone and to our surprise we know them less than the person you might encounter in the street.
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dfo_225
Mickey Gilley so outshines his cousin!! Saw his show in Branson several years ago and it was the best!! Love you Mickey
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hunter4019
thanks for the memories of singing to us on our 20 year anniv at your show it realy made our day thanks again
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I love you Mickey Gilley...I'v e loved you for so long, you don't even know....I'm A Fool....

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doke2
Mickey Gilley was our favorite of all artists when we visited Branson. He made you love "Country" even if you never thought you could. Love Mickey...
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Mickey GILLEY IS A GREAT ARTIST.
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I went to his concerts and he the best concerts all my favorite songs
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ronmsnr
i am a fan of mickey gilly since i was a child.There is a song that i don't have {she's my woman she beets all i've ever seen}.Can you please tell me how to obtain that song
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sassyjan
You should hear his other cousin Jimmy Lee Swaggart. He plays the same style and sounds just as good as Mickey and Jerry. They all learned to play at the same time.
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tonyandmary
pretty darn good for havin' such a funny name
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The memory of going to Gilley's with my parents (I was 13 at the time)on our vacation to TX in the early 80's. I met him and Johnny Lee and got autographs-- - I thought I would faint when he gave me a hug!!! Thank you for the terrific memories
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I love Mickey Gilley doing Talk To Me. Although it was a rythem and blues song from the fifties, Gilley still does it very well.
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Many great memories His songs are favorites for remembering years gone by.
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I loved Jerry lee but liked Micky later on when he came out on country stations.
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I LIKE
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mickey was one of the first newer artists of country that caught my ear , now when i here his songs it brings back some good memories

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