Tony Booth (musician)
|Born||February 7, 1943|
|Associated acts||Gene Watson|
As a boy, Booth showed his talent by winning a contest in New Port Richey, Florida, for playing guitar at age 14. After high school, he attended the University of New Mexico with the intent of becoming a schoolteacher. But he decided to give music a try, and began his music career with the Mel Savage Band. Before long, he was touring with Jimmy Snyder.
Booth's first single, "Wishful Thinkin'" (backed with "I Think I Can") and album, Country '67 was released under the stage name "Johnny Booth" by Universal City Records in 1967. It featured a cover of Engelbert Humperdinck's "There Goes My Everything", a version of which had been released months earlier by Ray Price, one of Booth's longtime influences. The album, produced by Cliffie Stone, retains the vestigal sound of Rockabilly that country music was moving away from at that time, ironically toward the softer sound then being pushed by artists such as Price.
When his first album did not yield a chart position, Booth formed a band called Modern Country in 1968 and performed for a time in Las Vegas, Nevada before moving to Los Angeles, California. The band, which renamed itself the Tony Booth Band, became the house band at L.A.'s Palomino Club. He cut a single with K-Ark Records, "Big Lonely World" (backed with "It's Alright") but it also had no chart success.
That changed in 1970 when his first single for MGM Records, Merle Haggard's song about interracial love, "Irma Jackson" (backed with Booth's own "One Too Many Times") reached the charts. His band also won an Academy of Country Music award, which they would take home for three consecutive years.
An album soon followed, On The Right Track, produced by Dusty Rhodes, and in 1971 Booth won the ACM award for Most Promising Male Vocalist. He signed with Capitol Records and became one of several artists to record under Buck Owens. His first single, "Cinderella", went midway up the charts.
Booth released two albums a year for Capitol between 1972 and 1974. The first was The Key's In The Mailbox which included three hit singles. The title track reached No. 1 on Cash Box, making it his best-ranked and best-known song. The last single from the album made it to No. 13, and "Lonesome 7-7203" from his next album peaked right behind at No. 6.
Over the next three albums, Booth produced five more singles which all charted. "When a Man Loves a Woman (The Way That I Love You)" made it to No. 19, and the next four all made the Top 50 including a cover of Doris Day's hit "Secret Love." He was also nominated for the ACM Male Vocalist of the Year award in 1973.
After two singles failed to chart, Booth's cover of Jim Croce's hit Workin' At The Car Wash Blues, made it to No. 22 and the album of the same name won an ASCAP award in 1974. Up to that album, his recordings for Capitol were largely penned by Buck Owens, but by that time Owens was retreating from the music scene following the death of his close friend Don Rich and the net for Booth's material was cast wider.
Booth left Capitol in 1975 after three more singles. He was picked up by United Artists Records in 1976, and unsurprisingly left the Bakersfield sound behind. The soaring strings didn't impress the charts, although his 1977 single "Letting Go" (backed somewhat ironically with "Nothing Seems To Work Anymore") just barely made the Top 100.
He went on to tour in Gene Watson's band and played bass and sang backup on many of his mid-1980s albums, and performed the song "Still on the Bottle" for the movie Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got the Will? (1990).
Booth currently lives in Alvin, Texas, with his wife and family, and appears frequently in the band at the Alvin Opry with his brother Larry. Tony Booth has also resumed touring on his own again playing mostly in southern states such as Texas and Oklahoma.
- 1970 - ACM Best Non-Touring Band
- 1971 - ACM Best Non-Touring Band
- 1971 - ACM Most Promising Male Vocalist
- 1972 - ACM Best Non-Touring Band
- 1974 - ASCAP Award for Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
|1970||On the Right Track||—||MGM|
|1972||The Key's in the Mailbox||12||Capitol|
|1973||When a Man Loves a Woman (The Way That I Love You)||27|
|This Is Tony Booth||33|
|Workin' at the Car Wash Blues||—|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1970||"Irma Jackson"||67||—||single only|
|"Give Me One Last Kiss and Go"||—||—||On the Right Track|
|1971||"Cinderella"||45||—||The Key's in the Mailbox|
|1972||"The Key's in the Mailbox"||15||26|
|"A Whole Lot of Somethin'"||18||—|
|"Lonesome 7-7203"||16||7||Lonesome 7-7203|
|1973||"When a Man Loves a Woman
(The Way That I Love You)"
|32||17||When a Man Loves a Woman
(The Way That I Love You)
|"Loving You"||41||69||This Is Tony Booth|
|"Secret Love"||47||—||Happy Hour|
|1974||"Lonely Street"||84||—||Workin' at the Car Wash Blues|
|"There Ain't Enough of Love to Go Around"||—||—|
|"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"||27||18|
|"Watch Out for Lucy"||72||—||singles only|
|1975||"Down at the Corner Bar"||—||—|
|"Fanny Lee (The Burlesque Queen)"||—||—|
|"All Night Long"||—||—|