Dick Curless

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Dick Curless
Dick Curless promo photo.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRichard William Curless
Born(1932-03-17)March 17, 1932
Fort Fairfield, Maine, U.S.
OriginWare, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMay 25, 1995(1995-05-25) (aged 63)
Togus, Maine, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1959–1974

Richard William Curless (March 17, 1932 – May 25, 1995) was an American country music singer.[1] He usually wore a patch over his right eye.


Curless was born in Fort Fairfield, Maine, United States, and moved with his family to Massachusetts at the age of eight.[1] He began his music career in 1948 in Ware, Massachusetts, where he hosted a radio show and toured with a local band called the Trail Blazers.[1]

Curless married his wife, Pauline, in 1951, and only six months after the wedding, he was drafted into the United States Army. He served in the Korean War from 1952 to 1954, first as a truck driver and later as a radio host with the stage name "Rice Paddy Ranger".[1]

Curless returned home to Maine in 1954 and continued performing on radio shows, but he spent much of the following year, 1955, at home due to a chronic illness.[1]

In 1957, Curless returned to the public spotlight and appeared on the CBS television show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.[1] He spent much of the late 1950s performing in clubs in California and Las Vegas but occasionally returned home to Maine to recover from periods of illness and fatigue.[1] While in Maine, Curless recorded several singles, including "China Nights" at Event Records with Al Hawkes. Eventually he temporarily left the music industry and bought his own lumber trucking vehicle in Maine.[1]

In 1965, Curless recorded one of the biggest hits of his career, "A Tombstone Every Mile", which cracked the top 5 on the Billboard country charts and propelled him to national fame.[1] In 1966, he recorded the album A Devil Like Me Needs an Angel Like You with Kay Adams. From 1966 to 1968, he toured the nation with the Buck Owens All American Show. The pinnacle of his career came in the late 1960s with eleven top-40 hits, including "Six Times a Day (the Trains Came Down)".[1] Altogether, he recorded 22 Billboard top-40 hits throughout his career.

After Curless' success in 1970 with the hits "Big Wheel Cannonball" and "Hard, Hard Traveling Man", he recorded infrequently until he released the albums Welcome to My World and It's Just a Matter of Time in Norway in 1987. The albums were successful in Europe, especially in Norway and Germany.[1]

Curless recorded an album with German country musician Tom Astor in 1991. During the later part of his life, he performed often at the Cristy Lane Theater in Branson, Missouri.

Curless died of stomach cancer in 1995, aged 63.[2]



Year Album US Country Label
1959 Songs of the Open Country Tiffany
1961 Singing Just for Fun
1962 I Love to Tell the Story
1965 A Tombstone Every Mile 12 Tower
1966 The Soul of Dick Curless
Travelin' Man
At Home with Dick Curless
A Devil Like Me Needs an Angel Like You (w/ Kay Adams) 16
1967 All of Me Belongs to You
Ramblin' Country
1968 The Long Lonesome Road 43
The Wild Side of Town
1970 Hard, Hard Traveling Man Capitol
1971 Doggin' It 42
Comin' On Country 43
1972 Stonin' Around
1973 Live at the Wheeling Truck Driver's Jamboree 37
The Last Blues Song
1974 End of the Road Hilltop
1987 Welcome to My World Rocade (Norway)
1990 It's Just a Matter of Time Rocade (Norway), Stetson (UK)
1995 Traveling Through Rounder


Year Single Chart positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1965 "A Tombstone Every Mile" 5 A Tombstone Every Mile
"Six Times a Day (The Trains Came Down)" 12
"'Tater Raisin' Man" 42 Travelin' Man
1966 "Travelin' Man" 44
"Highway Man" single only
"A Devil Like Me Needs an Angel Like You" (w/ Kay Adams) A Devil Like Me Needs an Angel Like You
"The Baron" 63 All of Me Belongs to You
1967 "All of Me Belongs to You" 28
"House of Memories" 72
"Big Foot" 70 Ramblin' Country
1968 "Bury the Bottle with Me" 55 The Long Lonesome Road
"I Ain't Got Nobody" 34
"All I Need Is You" single only
1969 "The Wild Side of Town" The Wild Side of Town
1970 "Big Wheel Cannonball" 27 18 Hard, Hard Traveling Man
"Hard, Hard Traveling Man" 31
"Drag 'Em Off the Interstate, Sock It to 'Em, J.P. Blues" 29
1971 "Juke Box Man" 41 Doggin' It
"Loser's Cocktail" 36 Comin' On Country
"Snap Your Fingers" 40
1972 "January, April and Me" 34 Stonin' Around
"Stonin' Around" 31 35
"She Called Me Baby" 55
1973 "Chick Inspector (That's Where My Money Goes)" 54 Live at the Wheeling Truck Driver's Jamboree
"China Nights (Shina No Yoru)" 80 Stonin' Around
"The Last Blues Song" 65 The Last Blues Song
1974 "Swingin' Preacher"
"Brand New Bed of Roses" single only


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 333/4. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ The Associated Press (May 28, 1995). "Dick Curless, Country Singer, Aged 63". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2019.

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