CARL BELEW (By Shaun Mather)
Born Carl Robert Belew, 21 April 1931, Salina, Oklahoma
Carl Belew is one of a long list of performers who moved on from making small rockabilly records to country music fame as both a singer and songwriter. His rockers include Cool Gator Shoes and Folding Money on Four Star for whom he made his debut in 1955 after being brought to the company's attention by Marvin Rainwater.
His big breakthrough came when Johnnie And Jack took Belew's Stop The World (And Let Me Off) into the charts (# 7 country in 1958). It's a great song which was covered in blistering style by Waylon Jennings for an early RCA single. Lonely Street was also a turning point for him, the ballad becoming a Top 10 hit for Andy Williams, and covered in fine style by our Shaker Gene Vincent. Gene seemed to like the ink that flowed from Belew's pen, cutting a cover of Am I That Easy To Forget? which was a # 9 country hit for Carl himself and a pop hit for Debbie Reynolds in 1960. Eight years later it hit in the UK for Engelbert Humperdinck. Other notable cover versions came from Jim Reeves and Don Gibson.
Strangely for such a great writer, he scored two hits with Crystal Chandeliers and Hello Out There, neither of which he penned. Other songwriting success came with Eddy Arnold's US country number 1, What's He Doing In My World? (1965).
I've never heard That's When I See the Blues in Your Pretty Brown Eyes, but what a great title.
He died from cancer in November 1990. Two years after his death he won the Music City News award for Best Song with Look At Us. It's a beautiful ballad (If they want to know what true love should be, they'll just look at us), which was a massive hit for Vince Gill. Discography: http://www.luma-electronic.cz/lp/b/Belew/belew.htm There are no Carl Belew CD's in print at this time of writing.
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