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Rose Maddox

Rose Maddox exerted a heavy influence on honky tonk females through her recordings with the Maddox Brothers but later turned to traditional bluegrass forms as well to inspire folk revivalists of the 1960s and '70s. Born on August 15, 1925, Maddox moved from Alabama to Modesto, CA, with her family to make a better living as farm laborers. After several years of hard work and occasional amateur musical appearances, Fred Maddox lobbied KTRB-Modesto to give a time slot to him and his brothers Cliff, Cal, Don, and Henry. The radio station agreed, but on the condition that the Maddoxes include a female singer. Rose was recruited -- as an 11 year old -- and the group soon appeared in bars as well as on the radio show. They won a contest at the California State Fair in 1939, and began to broadcast at KFBK-Sacramento, which included several stations in nearby states as part of its coverage.

World War II interrupted the career of the Maddox Brothers & Rose, with Cal, Fred, and Don entering the services. The group re-formed in the late '40s and became more popular than ever: They recorded for 4 Star and Columbia, making annual trips east to appear on the Louisiana Hayride and Grand Ole Opry. The Maddoxes' popularity was biggest on the West Coast, however; they performed on several radio shows with good music and comic hillbilly routines that appealed to the masses of dispossessed Southerners in California.

The Maddox Brothers last recorded in 1957, and Rose decided to go solo a year later with help from brothers Cal and Henry. She signed to Capitol but didn't have much success until 1961, in which she accounted for five Top 20 hits. Both "Kissing My Pillow" and its B-side "I Want to Live Again" hit the country Top 15 early in the year. "Mental Cruelty" made it to number eight in May, and her duet with Buck Owens called "Loose Talk" hit number four the same month. She ended the year with another Top 15 single, "Conscience, I'm Guilty." Her biggest hit, "Sing a Little Song of Heartache," came the following year, reaching number three in late 1962. More Top 20 singles followed in 1963, including "Lonely Teardrops," "Down to the River," "We're the Talk of the Town," "Somebody Told Somebody," and another duet with Owens, "Sweethearts in Heaven."

After hearing suggestions that her voice would be perfect for bluegrass recordings, the resulting Rose Maddox Sings Bluegrass (with Bill Monroe, Don Reno, and Red Smiley) became a big hit with folk revivalists of the mid-'60s. Maddox's Capitol contract ended in 1965, and after recording with several smaller labels, she began to concentrate on tours, with brothers Cal and Henry in addition to her son, Donnie. During the '80s, Rose suffered several heart attacks but continued to perform at folk and bluegrass festivals and record for Arhoolie, Varrick, and Takoma. Maddox spent most of the '90s relatively quietly, performing at a few festivals and recording an occasional album, including The Moon Is Rising in 1996. Maddox died of kidney failure on April 15, 1998. She was 71 years old. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The One Rose

Disc 1

1. What Makes Me Hang Around

2. Bill Cline

3. Gambler's Love

4. Lies And Alibis

5. Custer's Last Stand

6. I Lost Today

7. Live And Let Live

8. My Little Baby

9. Philadelphia Lawyer

10. Tramp On The Street

11. Gathering Flowers For The Masters Bouquet

12. I'm Happy Every Day I Live

13. Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down

14. Whoa Sailor

15. On The Banks Of The Old Ponchartrain

16. Honky Tonkin'

17. At The First Fall Of Snow

18. Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me

19. Chocolate Ice Cream Cone

20. Move It On Over

21. Shining Silver Gleaming Gold

22. Down, Down, Down

23. Please Help Me, I'm Falling

24. Johnny's Last Kiss

26. Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus

27. An Empty Mansion

28. The Great Speckled Bird

29. This World Is Not My Home

Disc 2

2. Drifting Too Far From The Shore

3. When I Take My Vacation In Heaven

4. How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

5. I'll Reap My Harvest In Heaven

6. Smoke, Fire And Brimstone

7. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

8. Kneel At The Cross

9. There's A Better Times A Comin'

10. I Want To Live Again

11. Kissing My Pillow

12. Dime A Dozen

15. Conscience I'm Guilty

16. Read My Letter Once Again

17. Tall Men

18. Early In The Morning

19. There Ain't No Love

20. What Am I Living For

21. Stop The World (And Let Me Off)

22. Jim Dandy

23. North To Alaska

24. Lonely Street

25. Gotta Travel On

26. Just One More Time

27. Don't Tell Me Your Troubles

28. There Ain't No Love

29. Your Kind Of Lovin' Won't Do

Disc 3

1. Take Me Back Again

2. Fool Me Again

3. Long Journey Home

4. From A Beggar To A Queen

5. Let's Pretend We're Strangers

6. If You See My Baby

7. Let Those Brown Eyes Smile At Me

8. When The Sun Goes Down

9. Alone With You

10. My Life Has Been A Pleasure

11. Curly Joe

12. Here We Go Again

13. Long Black Limousine

14. White Lightnin'

15. Uncle Pen

16. Footprints In The Snow

17. Blue Moon Of Kentucky

18. My Rose Of Old Kentucky

19. Molly And Tenbrooks

20. Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms

21. Cottonfields

22. Each Season Changes You

23. The Old Crossroad Is Waitin'

25. Down, Down, Down

26. Ole Slew Foot

27. Lonely Teardrops

28. Sing A Little Song Of Heartache

29. Tie A Ribbon In The Apple Tree

Disc 4

1. Let Me Kiss You For Old Times

30. George Carter

3. Down To The River

4. Somebody Told Somebody

9. I Won't Come In While He's There

10. Silver Threads And Golden Needles

11. Bluebird Let Me Tag Along

12. That's A Mighty Long Way To Fall

13. Stand Up Fool

15. The Great Pretender

16. Tia Lisa Lynn

17. Lonely One

18. The Big Balls In Cowtown

19. Wabash Cannon Ball

20. I'll Always Be Loving You

21. Mad At The World

22. Big, Big Day Tomorrow

23. Cottonwood Road

24. Down To The River (Live)

Comments

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Amen good song OK bye sweetheart
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Very great down home country music!

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