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Old 07-01-2008, 04:22 PM   #1
Jesse Joe
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Default Buddy Knox was to partner w/ Gordon Lightfoot !




Buddy Wayne Knox (July 20, 1933 - February 14, 1999) was an American singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 rockabilly hit song, "Party Doll".

Knox was born in the tiny farming community of Happy, Texas and as a boy learned to play the guitar. In his teens, he and some high school friends formed a band called the "Rhythm Orchids." After performing on the same 1956 radio show as fellow Texan Roy Orbison and his "Teen Kings" band, Orbison suggested Knox go see record producer Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico.

Knox recorded three songs at Petty's studio, most notably "Party Doll" that later was released on the Roulette label and went to No.1 on the Cash Box magazine music chart in 1957. This success was followed by "Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep", a top 20 hit, and "Hula Love", a top 10 hit. While he never achieved the same level of artistic success, Buddy Knox enjoyed a long career in music. For his pioneering contribution, Knox was elected to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. "Party Doll" was voted one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

In the early 1960s Buddy signed with Liberty Records and released a number of more mainstream pop records, featuring string arrangements and vocal backup singers. "Lovey Dovey" and "Ling-Ting-Tong" were the most notable recordings from this era. The sound captured on these recordings was a distinct departure from his earlier rockabilly work for Roulette Records. Liberty Records, and principle producer Tommy "Snuff" Garrett, successfully employed the same production techniques for their other mainstream pop artists of the time which included Johnny Burnette and Bobby Vee.

In 1968 Knox, who had been living in semi-retirement in Macon, Georgia while running his publishing company, moved to Nashville and signed a new recording contract with United Artists Records. Working with producer Bob Montgomery, Knox honed his traditional rockabilly style more toward the Modern Country sound of the day. His first album on U/A earned him the nickname by which he would be known for the remainder of his life. The title song of the album, "Gypsy Man", written by Sonny Curtis and featuring Curtis' impressive acoustic guitar work, received considerable airplay on Country radio and earned him respect from a new generation of fans. Several singles recorded by Knox between 1968 and 1974 were notable in the fact he experimented with a variety of sounds and styles and, from a creative and critical standpoint, may have been his most productive era. His version of Delaney Bramlett's "God Knows I Love You", along with his self-penned "Salt Lake City", placed Knox firmly in the midst of the new pop music genre being populated by artists such as Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, and others who were on the leading edge of the developing Southern Rock style such as Black Oak Arkansas and the Allman Brothers Band. His cover version of James Hendricks' "Glory Train" was another impressive stylistic stretch and featured a gospel-like chorus of back-up singers. Although recorded in Nashville, the arrangement and fuzz tone guitar licks on "Glory Train" sounded unlike anything that came from Music City during that time. His gentle remake of the Fleetwoods' 1959 classic "Come Softly to Me" demonstrated a vocal range never heard on his old rockabilly recordings. He also reached out to the new generation of songwriters who would become prominent during Nashville's Outlaw Era of the 1970s, as he was one of the first artists to record Mickey Newberry's "I'm Only Rockin'". Several other major Country Music artists later recorded this song but under the alternate title of "T. Total Tommy". Buddy also recorded songs by edgy writers such as Alex Harvey, John D. Loudermilk and Gary Paxton. On several of these recordings Knox experimented with multi-tracking his voice by singing multiple harmony parts with himself, something very few artists had done at that time. Despite the critically impressive amount of work recorded by Knox during this period he failed to connect with a mass audience as he had done in the late 1950s, and failed to shake his image as a '50s rockabilly artist. Now extremely difficult to find, Buddy's recordings from this period of time are well worth hearing.

During this same time frame, Knox was also involved in several business ventures in Canada. One of these was said to be a partnership with Gordon Lightfoot and involved a chain of Canadian night clubs.

In May 1969, Buddy Knox appeared at Langley Speedway (British Columbia) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada and assisted in handing out trophies to the race winners.

A lifelong user of cigarettes, Buddy Knox died of lung cancer in 1999 in Bremerton, Washington. He is interred in Dreamland Cemetery, in Canyon, Texas.

Last edited by Jesse Joe; 07-03-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Buddy Knox was to partner w/ Gordon Lightfoot !

Hi Jesse Joe. Your work does not go unnoticed believe me as I watch for you posts regularly and really appreciate what you contribute.
This particular topic sparked a great deal of interest in me as it was the music of Buddy Knox and others of that era that inspired me to learn my very first three chords on the guitar. That of course would be G, C, and D7. And that if I recall would have to be somewhere in the mid? 50's. Several of my friends already knew the basics and showed me how it was done so I was hooked on the guitar from that point. But it was ironically the tunes of Buddy Knox that we all seemed to take an interest in learning. Some of the guys were into lead guitar and that was a real highlight just to watch them produce the great sounds in those days. I remember well the news cast that announced his death in 1999 and it was a very sad and nostalgic time for me. But anyway, keep up the good stuff. Many thanks, Ron J.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Buddy Knox was to partner w/ Gordon Lightfoot !

Hi Jesse Joe. Your work does not go unnoticed believe me as I watch for you posts regularly and really appreciate what you contribute.
This particular topic sparked a great deal of interest in me as it was the music of Buddy Knox and others of that era that inspired me to learn my very first three chords on the guitar. That of course would be G, C, and D7. And that if I recall would have to be somewhere in the mid? 50's. Several of my friends already knew the basics and showed me how it was done so I was hooked on the guitar from that point. But it was ironically the tunes of Buddy Knox that we all seemed to take an interest in learning. Some of the guys were into lead guitar and that was a real highlight just to watch them produce the great sounds in those days. I remember well the news cast that announced his death in 1999 and it was a very sad and nostalgic time for me. But anyway, keep up the good stuff. Many thanks, Ron J.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:36 AM   #4
Jesse Joe
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Default Re: Buddy Knox was to partner w/ Gordon Lightfoot !

Hi Ron,

Really glad to hear you enjoyed reading about Buddy Knox. When ever I can find something related to our hero I will post it. If it makes one person happy, then Im happy as well. (BTW) my first 3 guitar chords were G, C, and D. That 'D' chord has always been my favorite to play. I read somewhere that Gord's favorite chord was "A," dont know if he was joking or not, being a Canadian "eh" !
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:14 PM   #5
Borderstone
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Default Re: Buddy Knox was to partner w/ Gordon Lightfoot !

Quite interesting.

My only affiliation with Buddy Knox is that I bought "Party Doll" 20 years ago on a 45 and still have & play it.

I didn't know he'd passed on either.
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