John D. Loudermilk

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John D. Loudermilk
Also known as Johnny Dee
Ebe Sneezer
Born (1934-03-31) March 31, 1934 (age 80)
Durham, North Carolina
Genres Country, pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Labels Colonial
Columbia
RCA Victor

John D. Loudermilk (born March 31, 1934) is an American singer and songwriter.

Biography[edit]

Born in Durham, North Carolina, Loudermilk grew up in a family who were members of the Salvation Army faith and was influenced by the church singing. His cousins Ira and Charlie Loudermilk were known professionally as the Louvin Brothers. Loudermilk is a graduate of Campbell College (now Campbell University), a private North Carolina Baptist Convention-owned college in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

As a young boy he learned to play the guitar, and while still in his teens wrote a poem that he set to music, A Rose and a Baby Ruth. The owners of the local television station, where he worked as a handyman, allowed him to play the song on-air, resulting in country musician George Hamilton IV putting it on record in 1956. After Eddie Cochran had his first hit record with Loudermilk's song, "Sittin' in the Balcony", Loudermilk's career path was firmly set.

Loudermilk recorded some of his songs, including "Sittin' in the Balcony", under the stage name Johnny Dee (reaching No. 38 on the pop charts in 1957). His 'Johnny Dee' records were recorded for the North Carlina based Colonial Records.

In 1958, he signed with Columbia Records and recorded five unsuccessful singles through 1959.[1]

In 1961, he signed with RCA Victor, where he had a number of hits:

  • Language Of Love (US No. 32/ UK Top 20) in 1961.
  • Thou Shalt Not Steal (US No. 73) in 1962
  • Callin' Doctor Casey (US No. 83) in 1962
  • Road Hog (US No. 65) in 1962.

But it was as a songwriter that he made his mark. In 1963 he wrote another all-time hit for George Hamilton IV, Abilene. Working out of country music capital Nashville, Tennessee, Loudermilk became one of the most productive songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s, penning country and pop music hits for the Everly Brothers, Johnny Tillotson, Chet Atkins, The Nashville Teens, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Johnny Cash, Marianne Faithfull, Stonewall Jackson, Sue Thompson and others. For example, he wrote The Pale Faced Indian, later known as Indian Reservation, a hit in the 70s.

"Midnight Bus" was recorded by several singers, and he commented that the best was by Betty McQuade in Melbourne, Australia.

Loudermilk was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976[2] and was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011.[3]

Indian Kidnapping Story[edit]

A well-known story surrounding one of Loudermilk's songs is that, when Loudermilk was asked by the American Top 40 radio show about the origins of the Raider's hit song "Indian Reservation", Loudermilk invented a story that he wrote the song after crashing his car in a blizzard and being kidnapped by Cherokee Indians. He claimed that they tortured him for days by piercing his spine with thin needles and only let him go after he promised to write a song about their plight. American Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem later announced this story while playing the Indian Reservation song on air. The story was later confirmed to be false, and attributed to Loudermilk's imagination rather than an actual event.

Notable compositions[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1961 Language of Love RCA
1962 Twelve Sides of John D. Loudermilk
1966 A Bizarre Collection of the Most Unusual Songs
1967 Suburban Attitudes in Country Verse
1968 Country Love Songs
1969 The Open Mind of John D. Loudermilk
1970 The Best of John D. Loudermilk
1971 Volume 1-Elloree Warner
1979 Just Passing Through MIM

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US
1957 "Sittin' in the Balcony" 38 single only
1961 "Language of Love" 32 Language of Love
1962 "Thou Shalt Not Steal" 73 singles only
"Callin' Dr. Casey" 83
"Road Hog" 65 Twelve Sides
1963 "Bad News" (b/w "Guitar Player(Her and Him)") 23 singles only
1964 "Blue Train (Of the Heartbreak Line)" 44 132
"Th' Wife" 45
1965 "That Ain't All" 20
1966 "Silver Cloud Talkin' Blues" A Bizarre Collection of the Most Unusual Songs
"You're the Guilty One" single only
1967 "It's My Time" 51 Suburban Attitudes in Country Verse
1968 "Odd Folks of Okracoke" single only
1969 "Brown Girl" The Open Mind of John D. Loudermilk
1971 "Lord Have Mercy" Volume 1-Elloree
1979 "Every Day I Learn a Little More About Love" Just Passing Through

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist US Country
1967 "Chet's Tune" Some of Chet's Friends 38

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ihesm.com/
  2. ^ http://www.nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com/l-o/john-d-loudermilk.aspx, retrieved April 16, 2013  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "2011 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 
  • Orr, Jay. (1998). "John D. Loudermilk". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 303–4.

External links[edit]