The Wilburn Brothers
|The Wilburn Brothers|
Teddy (l) and Doyle Wilburn – 1954
|Past members||Doyle Wilburn
The Wilburn Brothers were a popular American country music duo from the 1950s to the 1970s consisting of brothers Doyle Wilburn (July 7, 1930 – October 16, 1982) and Teddy Wilburn (November 30, 1931 – November 24, 2003).
The brothers were born in Hardy, Arkansas. Their actual birth names were Virgil Doyle and Thurman Theodore. They first attracted attention as child performers, beginning in 1937, in an act called The Wilburn Children; Roy Acuff discovered them and brought them to the Grand Ole Opry in 1940. Due to federal child labor laws, the Wilburns were forced to leave the Opry after six months.
After growing up, they continued to travel and were regulars on the similar Louisiana Hayride program in Shreveport from 1948 until 1951. After the family act disbanded, and the brothers served stints in the US Army during the Korean War, they continued in 1953 as The Wilburn Brothers touring with Faron Young and Webb Pierce. They signed with Decca Records in May 1954 and had their first hit record the same year titled "Sparkling Brown Eyes." Other notable hits include "Go Away With Me" (1956), "Which One Is To Blame" (1959), "Trouble's Back In Town" (1962), "It's Another World" (1965), and "Hurt Her Once For Me" (1967).
In 1956, the Wilburns were offered the chance to record "Heartbreak Hotel" before Elvis Presley. After hearing the song they decided against recording it, describing it as "strange and almost morbid".
In addition to being successful artists, the Wilburns formed the Wil-helm Talent Agency (with Don Helms) in the early 1960s as well as the Surefire Music Publishing Company in 1963. They were instrumental in launching the careers of many country music legends, most notably Loretta Lynn, whom they signed to their music publishing company. Lynn was the "girl singer" of the Wilburns' touring show between 1960 and 1968 and she made weekly appearances on their syndicated television show from 1963 to 1971. They also helped develop the career of Patty Loveless between 1973 and 1975 by having her tour with them on weekends and during school breaks.
The Wilburn Brothers had a syndicated television program, The Wilburn Brothers Show, that ran from 1963 to 1974, with 354 half-hour episodes produced. Reruns can still be seen on the cable network RFD-TV and in the UK on Rural TV. They were Opry members from 1953 until the time of Doyle's death from cancer in 1982 (at age 52). Teddy continued with the Opry as a solo artist until his death in 2003, six days before his 72nd birthday.
A biography on the duo, written with the cooperation of the Wilburn family, is in the works.
|1958||Side by Side|
|1959||Livin' in God's Country|
|1960||The Big Heartbreak|
|1961||The Wilburn Brothers Sing|
|1963||Trouble's Back in Town|
|1964||Take Up Thy Cross|
|I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight|
|1966||The Wilburn Brothers Show||25|
|Let's Go Country||10|
|1967||Two for the Show||7|
|1968||It's Another World||23|
|1969||We Need a Lot More Happiness|
|It Looks Like the Sun's Gonna Shine|
|1970||Little Johnny from Down the Street||31||143|
|Sing Your Heart Out Country Boy|
|1971||That She's Leaving Feeling|
|1977||The Wilburn Brothers Sing Hinson and Gaither||Calvary|
|1981||Stars of the Grand Ole Opry||1st Gen|
|1954||"Sparkling Brown Eyes" (w/ Webb Pierce)||4||singles only|
|"Really Love Me"|
|"Let Me Be the First to Know"|
|1955||"I Wanna Wanna Wanna"||13|
|"Mixed Up Medley"|
|1956||"You're Not Play Love"||13|
|"I'm So in Love with You"||10|
|"Go Away with Me"||6|
|1957||"Nothing at All"|
|"Mister Love" (w/ Ernest Tubb)||8|
|"I Got Over the Blues"|
|1958||"My Baby Ain't My Baby No More"|
|"Hey, Mr. Bluebird" (w/ Ernest Tubb)||9|
|"Till I'm the Only One"|
|1959||"Which One Is to Blame"||4|
|"The Knoxville Girl"||18|
|"Somebody's Back in Town"||6|
|"A Woman's Intuition"||9|
|1960||"Sentenced to Die"|
|"Big Heartbreak"||The Big Heartbreak|
|"The Best of All My Heartaches"||27||singles only|
|1961||"Legend of the Big River Train"|
|"Blue Blue Day"||14||The Wilburn Brothers Sing|
|"Tagging Along"||single only|
|1962||"Trouble's Back in Town"||4||101||Trouble's Back in Town|
|"The Sound of Your Footsteps"||21|
|1963||"Roll Muddy River"||4||Never Alone|
|"Tell Her So"||10||single only|
|1964||"Hangin' Around"||34||Never Alone|
|"I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight"||19||I'm Gonna Tie One On Tonight|
|1965||"I Had One Too Many"||30|
|"It's Another World"||5||The Wilburn Brothers Show|
|1966||"Someone Before Me"||8||Let's Go Country|
|"I Can't Keep Away from You"||13||Two for the Show|
|"Hurt Her Once for Me"||3|
|1967||"Just to Be Where You Are"||70|
|"Roarin' Again"||13||It's Another World|
|"Goody, Goody Gumdrop"||24||Cool Country|
|1968||"I'm Leavin'"||Two for the Show|
|"She'll Walk All Over You"||It's Another World|
|"We Need a Lot More Happiness"||43||We Need a Lot More Happiness|
|1969||"It Looks Like the Sun's Gonna Shine"||38|
|"Who Could Ask for More"|
|"Tag Along"||single only|
|1970||"Little Johnny from Down the Street"||37||Little Johnny from Down the Street|
|"Lilacs in Winter"|
|"I've Gotta Hang My Hat Upon the Wind"||That She's Leaving Feeling|
|1971||"That She's Leaving Feeling"|
|"City's Goin' Country"||Portrait|
|1973||"Simon Crutchfield's Grave"|
|1974||"You've Still Got a Place in My Heart"||singles only|
|1975||"Milwaukee You're in Trouble"|
|1976||"Country Kind of Feeling"|
|1978||"Mama's Shoe Box"|
|1981||"I Know a Goodbye When I See One"||Stars of the Grand Ole Opry|
- Diekman 2007, p. 17.
- Billboard, 17 February 1968, Nielsen Business Media, p. 30
- Hefley 1992, p. 177.
- Carlin 2003, p. 429.
- Billboard, 28 May 1966, Nielsen Business Media, p. 6
- Collins, Ace (2005). Untold Gold: The Stories Behind Elvis's No. 1 Hits. Souvenir Press Ltd. pp. 10–18. ISBN 978-0-285-63738-2.
- Bush, Mitchell 2007, p. 91.
- Ellison 1995, p. 175.
- Hoffman, Ferstler 2004, p. 637.
- Bush, Johnny - Mitchell, Rick (2007), Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk, University of Texas Press
- Carlin, Richard (2003), Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary, Taylor & Francis
- Diekman, Diane (2007), Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story, University of Illinois Press
- Ellison, Curtis W. (1995), Country Music Culture: From Hard Times To Heaven, University Press of Mississippi
- Hefley, James C. (1992), Country Music Comin' Home, Hannibal Books
- Hoffman, Frank W. - Ferstler, Howard (2004), Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound, Volume 1, CRC Press