Terry Fell

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Terry Fell (1921–2007) was an American country musician.

Biography[edit]

Childhood and adolescence[edit]

Fell was born in Dora, Alabama on May 13, 1921 and got his first guitar at the age of nine. Later he learned mandolin and took singing lessons. When he was 13 years old, his father died; and three years later he moved alone to California, where he spent some time in a camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps. After he briefly lived in Alabama again, Fell and his mother moved to the US West Coast. There he began playing in 1943 as bassist for Merl Lindsay.

Musical career[edit]

Fell started his record career in 1945 as a member of Billy Hughes band. His first record was with Hughes on Fargo Records. He then began his solo career for Cortney and 4 Star Records, although none of his singles were hits there.

During his first session for RCA in Hollywood, he recorded a song that would become a hit. Although the A-side, "Don't Drop It", was underplayed, the B-side, "Truck Drivin Man", became a classic, especially in the trucker country music scene. In 1955, he made a guest appearance on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee.

Fell remained with RCA for the following two years; however, he never produced a single with the same success. RCA extended his contract in 1956. In 1959 he began military service in the U.S. Army and was stationed in West Germany. Along with Elvis Presley, who was at the same time a GI, he wrote the song "Mississippi River". The single was never released, but the rights were later sold for $30,000 in 1996.

Due to the lack of success and health problems his career fell short. Later, for a short time, he managed country star Buck Owens and wrote a song in 1961 with Bobby Edwards titled "You're The Reason". In 1962, Fell moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he was a songwriter for various publishing companies, until he went to board. Published in 1993 with Bear Family Records, the album Truck Drivin Man was released with his collected works. Terry Gordon noted that it was discontinued in 1998, but revised again. Because of his achievements in country music he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Fell died April 4, 2007 in Madison, Tennessee.

Discography[edit]

A note might apply here. He also recorded a novelty record on the Lode label under the name, Brother George Underbrush, called "Green Garden Hose. It was divided into two parts, one on each side. I don't know when he recorded it, but he later released a cassette on Lode that contained several more of his strange musings.

Singles[edit]

All 4 Star and RCA plates were published under the name Terry Fell and the Fellers.

Year Title # Comments
Fargo Records
Paper Heart / You Don't Want Me Anymore 1112 with the Red River Rangers
4 Star Records
1947 Paper Heart / You Don’t Want Me Anymore 1160
1947 You Ran Around / I’ve Done All I Know To Do 1161
1947 You Are My Sunshine / Will There Be a Light In Your Window 1162
1947 Guess I’m Better Off Without You / Rainbow at Midnight 1163
1948 There’s a Gold Moon Shining / You’re Not Wanted Here 1206
1948 Napanee / Little by Little 1211
1948 Snow Beard / Put Another In Heart 1212
1950 Snow Dear / With Another In Your Heart 1426
X Records
1954 Let’s Stay Together Till After Christmas / We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo 4X-0009
1954 Don’t Drop It / Truck Driving Man 4X-0010
1955 You Don’t Give a Hang About Me / Get Aboard My Wagon 4X-0079
1955 Mississippi River Shuffle / He’s In Love with You 4X-0114
1955 I’m Hot To Trot / Fa-So-La 4X-0149
RCA Victor
1955 That’s What I Like / I Nearly Go Crazy 20-6256
That’s The Way The Big Ball Bounces / What Am I Worth? 20-6353
If I Didn’t Have You / Over and Over 20-6444
Consolation Prize / What! Bam! Hot Ziggity Zam 20-6515
Don’t Do It, Joe / I Can Hear You Cluckin’ 20-6621
1956 Play The Music Louder / Caveman 20-6707
Lode Records
1958 Child Bride / Paper Kite 2004
Crest Records
1960 Y’all Be Good Now / Who Whose 1071
Sims Records
1964 If I Could Learn To Love You Less / Music City U.S.A. 192

Album[edit]

  • 1993: Truck Driving Man (Bear Family works edition)

Sources[edit]