Melba Montgomery

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Melba Montgomery
Melba Montgomery.png
Melba Montgomery in 1967
Background information
Birth nameMelba Montgomery
Born (1938-10-14) October 14, 1938 (age 82)
Iron City, Tennessee
Origin Florence, Alabama, United States
Genres Country, Pop
Occupation(s) Singer, Songwriter
Years active1963 present
Labels United Artists Records
Starday Records
Musicor Records
Capitol Records
Elektra Records
Phonorama Records
Playback Records
Associated acts George Jones, Charlie Louvin, Gene Pitney
Website Official site

Melba Montgomery (born October 14, 1938) [1] is an American country music singer. She is best known for her duet recordings in the 1960s with country music star George Jones and later Charlie Louvin. Her brother is the famous country music songwriter, Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery.

Contents

In the 1970s, Montgomery was a successful solo artist in her own right. Her best-known solo hit is the number-one hit, "No Charge".

Childhood

Montgomery was born into a musical family in Iron City, Tennessee, United States, [1] and raised in Florence, Alabama. She gained her first exposure to music through her father, a fiddler and guitarist who taught vocal lessons at the town's Methodist church. She started playing guitar at the age of 10. Music became a very important part of Montgomery's life and she soon had serious dreams about achieving success in the country music industry.

Rise to fame

At age 20, Montgomery and her brother won an amateur talent contest held at Nashville radio station WSM's Studio C, which at that time housed the Grand Ole Opry. [1]

Montgomery gained a recording contract with United Artists Records in 1962 with the help of singer/promoter Roy Acuff. [1]

Country music career

1963 1972: Duet artist career

Montgomery went solo in 1962. She wrote "We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds", which she sang with George Jones. [1] The song spent over 30 weeks on the Billboard Country chart, and peaked at number three by 1963. It became the duo's best-known song together. [1] The single's success brought a successful duet album with Jones (What's in Our Hearts), which released two other Top 20 hit singles, "Let's Invite Them Over" and "What's in Our Hearts".

After finding success as a duet artist, Montgomery found the time to release a solo album. In 1964, Montgomery's first solo debut, America's No. 1 Country and Western Girl Singer. The album brought about a top-25 hit for Montgomery, "The Greatest One of All", which peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Country Chart. For the rest of the decade, Montgomery had a few other minor solo hits, none of which made the country top 40.

Jones continued to duet with Montgomery. However, in 1966, Montgomery was partnered with Gene Pitney for a duet album, Being Together, which spawned a top-15 hit, "Baby, Ain't That Fine". [1]

Although they parted ways the duo of Charlie Louvin and Montgomery continued releasing singles including "Did You Ever", which reached the top 30, followed by the minor hits like "Baby, What's Wrong With Us" and "A Man Likes Things Like That", which were released only as singles in 1971 and 1972.

1973 1980: Solo career

In 1973, Montgomery switched to Elektra Records, where she focused more on a solo career. On her debut album for the label, Montgomery had a top-40 hit single, "Wrap Your Love Around Me", her first solo single to reach this far on the country charts in nearly 10 years. Released in 1974, "No Charge" became a number-one country hit on the Billboard country chart, as well as top-40 hit on the Billboard pop chart. [1] The song and the album became successful, and Montgomery's only top 10-hit as a solo artist.

The title track of Montgomery's follow-up album, Don't Let the Good Times Fool You, reached the top 15 in 1975, the only top-40 hit from the album. Subsequent singles also released from the album, "Searchin' (For Someone Like You)" and "Your Pretty Roses Come too Late" did not bring much success. However, in 1977, under United Artists, Montgomery released a self-titled album, and a cover version of Merrilee Rush's pop hit, "Angel of the Morning" that reached the top 25. The single was Montgomery's last major country hit.

In 1986, Montgomery released her last single, "Straight Talkin'", which peaked at number 78.

1981 present: songwriting

Since 1997 Montgomery has focused her career on songwriting. She has written songs for such artists as George Strait, Reba McEntire, Randy Travis, George Jones, Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Terri Clark, John Prine, Jim Lauderdale, Sara Evans, Eddy Arnold, Connie Smith, Leon Russell, J.D. Souther, Rhonda Vincent, and many more.

She co-wrote George Strait's top-five single "What Do You Say to That" with Jim Lauderdale. Montgomery has written many of her songs with various co-writers such as Jim Collins, Leslie Satcher, Jerry Salley, Steve Leslie, Jim Lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, J. D. Souther, Stephony Smith, Bill Anderson, Jennifer Kimball, Kathy Louvin, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Larry Shell, Buddy Cannon, Jim "Moose" Brown, Tommy Polk, Kim Richey, Al Anderson, Clint Daniels, Tommy Karlas, Tommy Collins, and her brothers Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery and Carl Montgomery.

Discography

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The discography of American country artist Melba Montgomery contains twenty nine studio albums, eleven compilation albums, sixty two singles, one charting B-side and five other appearances. Signing with United Artists Records in 1962, she recorded with George Jones on the self-penned "We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds". It reached the top three of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The pair's follow-up "Let's Invite Them Over" reached the top twenty, as did its B-side. Jones and Montgomery issued their debut studio album What's in Our Heart in November 1963, which peaked in the top ten of the Billboard Top Country Albums list. They continued releasing albums together including Close Together (1966) and Party Pickin' (1967). In 1963, Montgomery's debut solo singles reached the top-thirty of the country songs chart and the following year, her first pair of solo studio albums were issued. She collaborated with Gene Pitney in 1965, releasing "Baby Ain't That Fine" that year. The song reached number fifteen and the duo then issued the studio album Being Together (1965). Between 1965 and 1968 Montgomery released six solo studio efforts on both United Artists and Musicor, including Hallelujah Road (1966) and Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long (1967). Through Capitol Records, she recorded with Charlie Louvin in 1970 and "Something to Brag About", reached number eighteen in early 1971. The pair would release two studio albums together in 1971 and several more singles.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Country Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 275. ISBN   0-85112-726-6.