James Francis Vienneau
September 18, 1926 (age 92)
Albany, New York, US
|Relatives||Frank Walker (uncle)|
James Francis Vienneau (born September 18, 1926, in Albany, New York) is a retired music producer. He is best known for producing the song "Hey Good Lookin'" by Hank Williams and "It's Only Make Believe" by Conway Twitty.
Jim Vienneau was born on September 18, 1926, to Marian Catherine "Mary" (née Boyne) (1891-1989) and Alfred Edmond Vienneau (1886-1966), in Albany, New York. He had two older siblings, Alfred Edmond (1918-1920) and Edmond Boyne "Ed" (1923-1995) Vienneau. Alfred Vienneau was an electrical salesman who was originally from New Brunswick, Canada and Mary Boyne Vienneau was a housewife originally from Philmont, New York. When Jim was a toddler, the family moved to North Hempstead, and later to Queens, New York. His maternal uncle was fellow music producer and mentor Frank Walker, the husband of Marian Vienneau's sister Laura Walker.
Early Career and Success with Conway Twitty
As a young man, he was mentored in producing music by his uncle Frank Walker, a producer of hit singers like Bessie Smith and Hank Williams, In 1956, he was signed as a producer by the president of MGM Records, Arnold Maxin, and began working out of the company's offices on Broadway, commuting to Nashville at times for recording sessions. He signed his most famous client Conway Twitty two years later and produced the Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit in 1958. Originally, he decided not to sign Twitty, but was overruled by Arnold Maxin. He ended up being the producer for many of Twitty's songs from 1958 to 1963.
Over the next 30 years or so, Vienneau continued to produce songs for many other successful artists including Connie Francis, Hank Williams, Jr., Roy Orbison, Mark Dinning, Bob Gallion, Mel Tillis, and Marvin Rainwater. His most successful hit for Connie Francis was the song Vacation, which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. In 1960, he produced the latter of his two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, Teen Angel for Mark Dinning. The song Whole Lotta Woman by Marvin Rainwater ended up being a hit in the United Kingdom, and was a number-one hit on the UK singles chart there. He continued to produce music until his retirement in 1989.
Jim Vienneau currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is retired. He and his wife Joan Preston Vienneau have been married for over 60 years.
- Myers, Brian. "Myers/Murphy/Balsamo/Imbraguglio/Walker/Boyne/Holder/Hogan Family Tree". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Dimery, Robert (2013). 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die. London, England: Quintessence. p. 87.