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Jimmy Wakely

Jimmy Wakely was one of the last vocalists to make it in movies as a singing cowboy or transform a movie contract into a successful recording career. A protégé and discovery of Gene Autry, he was never remotely as successful as Autry in movies, nor did his record sales approach those of his mentor, but Wakely was successful as a crossover act, his voice and repertoire attractive enough to find favor with pop as well as country & western audiences.

James Clarence Wakely was born in Arkansas on February 16, 1914, but was raised in Oklahoma, where he spent much of his early life in a succession of odd jobs while he nursed his ambitions for a career in music. Eventually he joined up with Dick Reinhardt and Johnny Bond to form the Jimmy Wakely Trio in 1937. Their main influence was the Sons of the Pioneers, and their singing and playing proved attractive enough to land them a regular broadcasting gig in Oklahoma City. Having achieved some recognition locally, they managed to parlay that into a meeting with Autry when he toured Oklahoma in 1940, and the singer was impressed enough with their work to invite them to California. Wakely and company became regulars on Autry's Melody Ranch radio show, and also began appearing in his films for Republic Pictures. Strangely enough, despite Wakely's later success, Johnny Bond became the first member of the trio to get a recording contract in 1941. Wakely got his own recording deal in 1942, shortly after he left the Autry fold, and had his first hit a year later with a cover of country yodel star Elton Britt's wartime anthem, "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere."

At the time, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the omnipresence of World War II in peoples' lives, the singing cowboy image that Gene Autry established in movies was still thriving. On the home front, the public (especially the kids) liked the movies, and there was money to be made. Autry was serving in the U.S. military, but Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter both continued riding and singing their way through screen adventures, and other small studios were in the market for their own singing cowboys. Monogram Pictures, Republic's major competitor among B-movie studios, approached Wakely with a contract in 1944, and his first picture, Song of the Range, was a modest success, leading to a five-year stint in front of the cameras. Wakely was never as natural an actor as Autry or Roy Rogers, but his voice was attractive and his 28 Westerns were reasonably successful in their time. Amid Wakely's work in B Westerns, his recording career thrived, as he began recording a uniquely sophisticated array of country, cowboy, and pop songs. His string began with his own "Song of the Sierras," a richly atmospheric ballad that presented his voice in a deep, serious light. His first major crossover hit followed a year later in 1948 with "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)," a touching song about a tragic romantic triangle that reached the top spot on the country & western charts and the Top Ten on the pop charts. Wakely became especially closely associated with the music of honky tonk songwriter Floyd Tillman, and one cover, "I Love You So Much It Hurts," spent five weeks at the number one spot on the country charts in 1949.

It was producer Lee Gillette who thought of teaming Wakely up with songstress Margaret Whiting in what proved to be a very successful partnership. Their first song together, the infidelity story "Slippin' Around," set the pattern for their partnership, the effervescent Whiting and the smooth, laid-back Wakely -- who, by that time, was becoming known as the Bing Crosby of country & western music -- balancing each other perfectly. "Slippin' Around" spent 17 weeks at the number one spot on the country charts and a week at the number one pop chart position, and the two had nine subsequent hits together, including "Wedding Bells" and "When You and I Were Young Maggie Blues." It was inevitable from all of this success that Wakely would become a media star. In 1952, he became the star of The Jimmy Wakely Show on the CBS radio network. After co-hosting the ABC television network series Five Star Jubilee in 1961 with Tex Ritter, he continued to record for his own Shasta Records label, which he founded as a mail-order distribution company in the mid-'60s. He continued to perform live in an act that included his son and daughter, and remained popular during the 1970s, until age and health problems began taking their toll. Wakely died of emphysema in 1982. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Jimmy Wakely Sings A Tribute To Bob Wills

1. A Tribute To Bob Wills

2. Take Me Back To Tulsa

3. Time Changes Everything

4. Steel Guitar Rag (Feat. Noel Boggs)

5. I Knew The Moment I Lost You

6. Faded Love

7. Stay A Little Longer

8. San Antonio Rose

9. Corrine, Corrina

10. Dusty Skies

11. I Wonder If You Feel The Same Way I Do

12. Maiden's Prayer (Feat. Bobby Bruce)

x

Track List: Slippin' Around - The Best Of Jimmy Wakely

1. Slipping Around

2. A Bushel And A Peck

3. A Four-Legged Friend

4. I Don't Want To Be Free

5. Beautiful Brown Eyes

6. I'll Be Faithful

7. Cimarron (Roll On)

8. The Gods Were Angry With Me

9. I Love You So Much It Hurts

10. Tellin' My Troubles To My Old Guitar

11. Let's Go To Church

12. Dust

13. Song Of The Sierras

14. You Can't Break The Chains Of Love

15. Someday You'll Call My Name

16. Too Bad, Little Girl

17. When You And I Were Young, Maggie, Blues

18. My Heart Cries For You

19. Tennessee Waltz

20. I'm Sending You Red Roses

21. Till The End Of The World

22. The Solid South

23. Too Late

x

Track List: Country Superstars: The Jimmy Wakely Hits Anthology

1. Slippin' Around

2. I Love You So Much It Hurts

3. (Ghost) Riders In The Sky

4. In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town

5. Love Me Tender

6. One Has My Name The Other Has My Heart

7. Cowboy

8. Beautiful Brown Eyes

9. Saturday's Heroes

10. I'll Never Let You Go, Little Darlin'

11. Saddle Pals

12. Too Late

13. Tennessee Waltz

x

Track List: The World Is Waiting For Sunrise

1. The World Is Waiting For Sunrise

2. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine

3. The Keeper Of The Key

4. What'll I Do

5. The Old Rugged Cross

6. Where The Mountains Meet The Sky (Live)

7. This Night I'll Remember

8. Tomorrow

9. Twilight On The Trail

10. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

11. Wait For The Light To Shine (Live)

12. When I Lost You

13. Medley: When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain & Where The Blue Of The Night Meets The Gold Of The Day (Live)

14. Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral

15. Who's Sorry Now

x

Track List: Call Of The Canyon

1. Call Of The Canyon

2. Happy Rovin' Cowboy

3. Cimarron

4. Lonesome Guitar Man

5. For The Good Times

6. Cowboy's Prayer

7. Don't Be Afraid

8. Easy Lovin'

9. Saddle Pals

10. Let Her Slip Away

11. Lovesong Of The Waterfall

12. A Good Woman's Love

13. Softly And Tenderly

x

Track List: You Are My Sunshine

1. You Are My Sunshine

2. Blue Shadows On The Trail (Live)

3. Empty Saddles (Live)

4. I'm An Old Cowboy

5. Loneley Is The Hunter

6. I Want To Ride That Gospel Train

7. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

8. The Last Round Up

9. Silver Trails

10. Tenting Tonight On The Old Camp Ground

11. There's A Goldmine In The Sky

12. It's A Lonely Trail

13. When The Bloom Is On The Sage (Live)

14. Your Cheatin' Heart

x

Track List: I Love You So Much It Hurts

1. I'm Sending You Red Roses

4. I Love You So Much It Hurts

5. Mine All Mine

7. Till The End Of The World

8. I Wish I Had A Nickel

9. Someday You'll Call My Name

10. Tellin' My Troubles To My Old Guitar

11. Slippin' Around

12. Wedding Bells

13. I'll Never Slip Around Again

14. Broken Down Merry Go Round

15. The Gods Were Angry With Me

16. Peter Cottontail

17. Let's Go To Church [Next Sunday Morning]

18. Mona Lisa

19. A Bushel And A Peck

21. Beautiful Brown Eyes

22. When You And I Were Young Maggie, Blues

23. I Don't Want To Be Free

x

Track List: The Singing Cowboy

1. I'm An Old Cowhand

2. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

3. Song Of The Sierras

4. Empty Saddles

5. Blue Shadows On The Trail

6. When The Bloom Is On The Sage

7. Lonely Is The Hunter

8. The Yellow Rose Of Texas

9. It's A Lonely Trail

10. There's A Goldmine In The Sky

11. The Last Round-Up

12. Call Of The Canyon

13. Saddle Pals

14. Cowboy's Prayer

15. The Trail To Mexico

16. Cool Water

17. Along The Santa Fe Trail

18. Take Me Back To My Boot And Saddle

19. There's An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight

x

Track List: The Very Best

1. Slipping Around

2. One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) (1948)

3. Beautiful Brown Eyes

4. I Love You So Much It Hurts (1949)

5. You Can't Break The Chains Of Love

6. I'll Never Let You Go, Little Darlin'

7. Too Late

8. Tennessee Waltz

9. Love Me Tender

10. He'll Have To Go

11. On The Strings Of My Lonesome Guitar

12. Ghost Riders In The Sky

13. In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town

14. Cowboy

15. Saddle Pals

16. Saturday's Heroes

x

Track List: Jimmy Wakely

1. Too Late

2. For The Sake Of Days Gone By

3. Milk Cow Blues

4. A Melody From The Sky

5. Oklahoma City Blues

6. Locked In My Heart

7. I'm Sorry I Met You

8. Don't Lay The Blame On Me

9. (Take Me Back To My) Boots And Saddle

10. I'm Gonna Marry Mary

11. Don't Laugh At My Tears

12. In The Hills Of Wyoming

x

Track List: Vintage Collections

1. One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)

2. Don't Lay The Blame On Me

3. Song Of The Sierras

4. Mine All Mine

5. Slippin' Around (1990 - Remastered)

6. Roll Along, Kentucky Moon

7. Oklahoma Hills

8. I Love You So Much It Hurts

9. Moon Over Montana

10. I Wish I Had A Nickel

11. Wedding Bells

12. In The Valley Of The Moon

13. Mona Lisa

14. Midnight Wind

15. Till The End Of The World

16. When You And I Were Young Maggie Blues

17. Between The Lines

18. Walkin' The Sidewalks Of Shame

19. Oklahoma Blues

20. At The Close Of A Long, Long Day

x

Track List: Moments To Remember

1. Who's Sorry Now (Live)

2. Sugar Moon (Live)

3. What'll I Do (Live)

4. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (Live)

5. Ramona (Live)

6. Moments To Remember (Live)

7. I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover (Live)

8. Am I Losing You (Live)

9. Sugartime (Live)

10. I'll Steal Away In The Crowd (Live)

11. I've Had My Share Of Sorrow (Live)

12. Molly Darling (Live)

x

Track List: Jimmy Wakely Sings (Remastered)

1. My Heart Cries For You

2. I Know How It Feels

3. My Mother's Eyes

4. Tomorrow

5. Me And My Shadow

6. This Night I'll Remember

7. When I Lost You

8. The Keeper Of The Key

9. Sleep Kentucky Babe

10. Out In The Cold Again

11. I Heard An Angel Cry

12. As Time Goes By

x

Track List: Jimmy Wakely Country (Digitally Remastered)

1. Slippin' Around (1977_

2. Release Me

3. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

4. Magic Isle

5. Peace In The World

6. Midnight Wind

7. One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) (1977_

8. Free From The Ghetto

9. Ramblin' Rose

10. I Fall To Pieces

11. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

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iallways enjoyed wakely movies and voice

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