Al Dexter

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Al Dexter
Al Dexter.jpg
Background information
Birth nameClarence Albert Poindexter
Born(1905-05-04)May 4, 1905
Jacksonville, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 28, 1984(1984-01-28) (aged 78)
Lewisville, Texas, U.S.
Years active1936–1968

Clarence Albert Poindexter (May 4, 1905 – January 28, 1984),[1] known as Al Dexter, was an American country musician and songwriter. He is best known for "Pistol Packin' Mama," a 1943 hit that was one of the most popular recordings of the World War II years and later became a hit again with a cover by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.


Born in Jacksonville, Texas, United States,[1] Dexter owned a bar in the 1930s and helped popularize the style of country music known as honky tonk.[2] He made his recording debut on November 28, 1936, for ARC Records.[3] and he was probably the first artist to use the term "honky tonk" in a country song when he recorded "Honky Tonk Blues" at his first session.[2][4] His self-penned hit, "Pistol Packin' Mama", became the 1943 marching chorus of the New York Yankees. The 1943 movie of the same name, made by the Republic Pictures, gave Dexter close to $250,000 in royalties. Another hit from the 1940s was "Guitar Polka", which entered Billboard's list as the "Most Played Juke Box Folk Record" for 16 weeks running in 1946.[5] Still other hits include "So Long Pal", "Triflin' Gal", "I'm Losing My Mind Over You" and "Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry."[1]

Dexter was the first country singer to perform on Broadway, and in 1971, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1] He died on January 28, 1984, in Lewisville, Texas.[1]

On August 21, 2010, Dexter was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame, located in Carthage, Texas. Other inductees that night along with Dexter were George Jones and Ray Winkler.

Following Al Dexter's death in 1984, his family discovered 50 master tapes containing studio recordings. In 2010, Al Dexter's son, Carl Wayne Poindexter, released the three-disc CD box set entitled Al Dexter's Found Masters Volume 1–3 on his independent record label, Al Dexter Estate Productions. This professionally produced collection contained digitally re-mastered studio recordings which were made by Dexter with various band line-ups and configurations.



Year Single Label
1954 Songs of the Southwest Columbia
1961 Pistol Packin' Mama Harmony
1962 Sings and Plays His Greatest Hits Capitol
1968 The Original Pistol Packin' Mama Hilltop


Year Single Chart Positions
US Country US
1936 "Honky Tonk Blues"
1937 "Honky Tonk Baby"
1939 "Jelly Roll Special"
"My Troubles Don't Trouble Me No More"
"Daddy's In The Doghouse Now"[6] 4
1941 "Down At The Roadside Inn"
"The Money You Spent Was Mine"
"You Will Always Be My Darling"
"Darling, It's All Over Now"
"Meet Me Down In Honky Tonk Town"
1942 "Honky Tonk Chinese Dime"
1943 "Pistol Packin' Mama" 1 1
"Rosalita" 1 22
1944 "So Long Pal" 1
"Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry" 1 18
1945 "I'm Losing My Mind Over You" 1
"I'll Wait for You Dear" 2
"Triflin' Gal" 2
"I'm Lost Without You" 5
1946 "Guitar Polka" 1 16
"Honey Do You Think It's Wrong" 2
"Wine Women and Song" 1
"It's Up to You" 3
1947 "Kokomo Island" 4
"Down at the Roadside Inn" 4
1948 "Rock and Rye Rag" 14
"Calico Rag" 11


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 685. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b Russell, p. 235.
  3. ^ Russell, Pinson, p. 314.
  4. ^ La Chapelle, p. 150.
  5. ^ Russell, p. 236.
  6. ^ "Hillbilly Recordings – Month Ending November 25, 1939" (PDF). The Billboard. Cincinnati, Ohio. November 25, 1939. p. 68. Retrieved July 17, 2021.


  • Peter La Chapelle, Proud To Be An Okie, University of California Press, 2007
  • Tony Russell, Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost, Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Tony Russell, Bob Pinson, Country Music Records: A Discography 1921–1942, Oxford University Press, 2004

External links[edit]