- Buddy Knox
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Buddy Knox
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Buddy Wayne Knox
Born = birth date|1933|7|20
Died = dda|1999|2|14|1933|7|20
Years_active = 1956-69
Label = Roulette, Liberty
Buddy Wayne Knox (
July 20, 1933- February 14, 1999) was an American singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 rockabillyhit song, " Party Doll".
Knox was born in the tiny farming community of
Happy, Texasand as a boy learned to play the guitar. In his teens, he and some high school friends formed a band called the "Rhythm Orchids." After performing on the same 1956 radio show as fellow Texan Roy Orbisonand his "Teen Kings" band, Orbison suggested Knox go see record producer Norman Pettyat his studio in Clovis, New Mexico, the same studio where the legendary Buddy Hollyrecorded several of his early hits including "That'll Be The Day".
Knox recorded three songs at Petty's studio, most notably "Party Doll" that later was released on the Roulette label and went to No.1 on the
Cash Box magazinemusic chart in 1957. This success was followed by " Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep", a No.17 hit, and " Hula Love", a No.9 hit. While he never achieved the same level of artistic success as Holly or Orbison, Buddy Knox enjoyed a long career in music. For his pioneering contribution, Knox was elected to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. " Party Doll" was voted one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
In the early 1960s Buddy signed with Liberty Records and released a number of more mainstream pop records, featuring string arrangements and vocal backup singers. "Lovey Dovey" and "Ling-Ting-Tong" were the most notable recordings from this era. The sound captured on these recordings was a distinct departure from his earlier rockabilly work for
Roulette Records. Liberty Records, and principle producer Tommy "Snuff" Garrett, successfully employed the same production techniques for their other mainstream pop artists of the time which included Johnny Burnetteand Bobby Vee.
In 1968 Knox, who had been living in semi-retirement in
Macon, Georgiawhile running his publishing company, moved to Nashvilleand signed a new recording contract with United Artists Records. Working with producer Bob Montgomery, Knox honed his traditional rockabilly style more toward the modern countrysound of the day. His first album on U/A earned him the nickname by which he would be known for the remainder of his life. The title song of the album, "Gypsy Man", written by Sonny Curtis and featuring Curtis' impressive acoustic guitar work, received considerable airplay on country radio and earned him respect from a new generation of fans. Several singles recorded by Knox between 1968 and 1974 were notable in the fact he experimented with a variety of sounds and styles and, from a creative and critical standpoint, may have been his most productive era. His version of Delaney Bramlett's "God Knows I Love You", along with his self-penned "Salt Lake City", placed Knox firmly in the midst of the new pop music genre being populated by artists such as Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, and others who were on the leading edge of the developing Southern rockstyle such as Black Oak Arkansasand the Allman BrothersBand. His cover version of James Hendricks' " Glory Train" was another impressive stylistic stretch and featured a gospel-like chorus of back-up singers. Although recorded in Nashville, the arrangement and fuzz tone guitar licks on "Glory Train" sounded unlike anything that came from Music City during that time. His gentle remake of the Fleetwoods' 1959 classic "Come Softly to Me" demonstrated a vocal range never heard on his old rockabilly recordings. He also reached out to the new generation of songwriters who would become prominent during Nashville's "Outlaw Era" of the 1970s, as he was one of the first artists to record Mickey Newbury's " I'm Only Rockin'". Several other major country music artists later recorded this song but under the alternate title of "T. Total Tommy". Buddy also recorded songs by edgy writers such as Alex Harvey, John D. Loudermilkand Gary Paxton. On several of these recordings Knox experimented with multi-trackinghis voice by singing multiple harmony parts with himself, something very few artists had done at that time. Despite the critically impressive amount of work recorded by Knox during this period he failed to connect with a mass audience as he had done in the late 1950s, and failed to shake his image as a '50s rockabilly artist. Now extremely difficult to find, Buddy's recordings from this period of time are well worth hearing.
During this same time frame, Knox was also involved in several business ventures in
Canada. One of these was said to be a partnership with Gordon Lightfootand involved a chain of Canadian nightclubs.
In May 1969, Buddy Knox appeared at
Langley Speedway (British Columbia)in Langley, British Columbia, Canada and assisted in handing out trophies to the race winners.
A lifelong user of
cigarettes, Buddy Knox died of lung cancerin 1999 in Bremerton, Washington. He is interred in Dreamland Cemetery, in Canyon, Texas.
Buddy Knox - Greatest Hits
All the Roulette and Liberty recordings
# Party Doll
# Storm Clouds
# That’s Why I Cry
# Hula Love
# C’mon Baby
# All For You
# I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself
# Lovey Dovey
# Somebody Touched Me
# Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep
# Cause I’m In Love
# Swinging Daddy
# The Girl With The Golden Hair
# Devil Woman
# Mary Lou
# Rock House
# Rock Around The Clock
# She’s Gone
# Slippin’ And Slidin’
# Dear Abby
# Three Eyed Man
# Tomorrow Is A Comin’
# Hitch Hike Back To Georgia
# I Got You
# I Ain’t Sharin’ Sharon
# I’m In Love With You
# Long Lonely Nights
# Good Time Girl
# Livin’ In A House Full Of Love
# Love Has Many Ways
# Teasable, Pleasable You
* [http://www.rockabillyhall.com/BuddyKnox1.html Rockabilly Hall page]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:difpxqe5ldde~T1 All Music Guide]
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