|Royce Porter, Rockabilly Guy & Songwriter|
Born on April 1, 1939 in Sweetwater, Texas, Royce Porter was raised in a very musical family. He started singing at an early age on the Saturday Night Jamboree at a local theater. His first recording, made at the AGA Studios in Houston, became one of the first releases on Bennie Hess' Spade label. Distribution problems, the down fall of many small labels, stood in the way of a hit status for the fine rockabilly single. In an effort to improve sales Royce and fellow bandmember Ray Doggett carried the single to every known radio station in Texas. While on the road in Doggett's 49 Ford they met Pappy Dailey of Starday fame who listened to the single and asked them to record for him. In the summer of 1957 "Yes I do", a song with strong Presley influences, was recorded in Fort Worth, Texas with Dean Beard on piano and vocal support by The Kounts.
Released on the Mercury sub-label 'Look', the single sold well locally and Royce Porter got a chance with a big label when his next release "Beach of love" was put out on Mercury Records. Uncle Sam however had other plans and drafted him just at the time that he was ready to break through as performances on the Louisana Hayride and the Ozark Jubilee indicate.
During his stay in the Navy he kept on playing with various bands, but upon his discharge he changed directions and was nomanited 'Gospel Minister' at the Baptist Church in Sweetwater. He returned to recording in 1965 with the Nat King Cole hit "Looking back" released on FED Records out of Houston. This record was followed by several singles with his brother-in-law Bill Funderbunk on Huey P. Meaux's 'Tear Drop' label. The music of the brothers-In-law was strongly influenced by the pop music of that time. In 1969, with Funderbunk in the Army, Royce decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to try his luck in the country field. He spent several years working small clubs before hitting the big time in 1973 when he teamed up with Bucky Jones, a talented songwriter. Porter & Jones Music, a music publishing company now connected with Reeves Enterprises, was the end result. Over seventy songs have come out of the pens of Bucky Jones and Royce Porter. Not every song was a hit but the awards on the walls of Porters home, along with the beautiful motor yacht at his backyard landing on Old Hickory Lake, leave no doubt... Royce Porter, the rockabilly singer from Sweetwater, Texas, has found success as a songwriter in Music City USA.
From "Rockabilly Meeting" (Redita 117) by Adriaan Sturm
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