Alabama Music Achievers

Alphabetical Achievers Listing


LEROY DALLAS - Mobile, Alabama
- In the 30's and 40's, teaming up for some time with Frank Edwards
- With Brownie McGhee (with whom Dallas had played guitar and washboard in the 30's) and Big Chief Ellis
- His springy guitar rhythms were positively countrify

- The first male quartet to devote it's exclusive time to Gospel singing
- John Daniel sang first tenor, and his brother, Troy Daniel, sang lead.
- They wrote many songs and made some of the earliest radio appearances in the business.
- Many famous Gospel music personalities were "graduated" from the John Daniel Quartet, including Jake Hess, "Big Jim" Waits, Wally Fowler and Tommy Fairchild.

MARCUS DANIEL - Montgomery, Alabama
- Co-writer of several songs made famous by Clarence Carter including "Slip Away" and "Lookin' For A Fox"
- Also co-writer on Top 10 hits for Candi Staton "Sweet Feeling" and Etta James' "Tell Mama"

JOHNNY DARRELL - Hopewell, Alabama
-First to record "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp," and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town"
-1966 CashBox Magazine's "Most Promising Male Artist"

DEAN DAUGHTRY - Samson, Alabama
- Toured with Roy Orbison's backup band, The Candymen.
- Played keyboards with the Classics IV in 1969 and recorded with them on the Gold single "Stormy".
- Joined the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1971 playing on all of the band's 12 albums

"COW COW" DAVENPORT - Anniston, Alabama
-Wrote "Cow Cow Blues" one of the most popular boogie-woogie piano tunes ever written

DON DAVIS - Calvert, Alabama
-Steel guitar player with Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys
-Nashville session musician on several of Hank Williams recordings
-Produced "Jesus Is A Soul Man", 1st Contempory Gospel record to reach the Top charts.

- Gospel influenced R&B singer
- Toured with Joe Tex & Guitar Slim

MILTON DAVIS - Birmingham, Alabama
- Worked With: John Cougar Mellencamp, Bob Ludwig, Dionne Farris, Vova Nova
- Writer of BMI Award winning Top 5 song "I Know" recorded by Dionne Farris

WILLIAM LEVI DAWSON -- Anniston, Alabama
-Graduate of Tuskegee Institute
-1931, organized the School of Music at Tuskegee and for 25 years conducted the 100 Voice Choir, which was the main attraction at the grand opening of the Radio City Music Hall of Fame in New York
-Composed the "Negro Folk Symphony" that premiered in 1934 by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski

JIMMY DAY - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
-One of the greatest steel guitarists
-Part of Louisiana Hayride house band
-Played with Floyd Cramer, Lefty Frizzell, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, George Jones, etc.

LYNN DeSHAZO - Birmingham, Alabama
- Songwriter of over 300 "Praise and Worship" songs.
- Her song "More Precious Than Silver" is listed in the top 25 of most performed songs in the genre.

LARRY DEAGON - Birmingham, Alabama
- He became Instrumental Supervisor for the Jefferson County Board of Education in 1968 and served in that position until his retirement in 1987.
- He rehearsed bands, conducted section rehearsals, gave private lessons, and advised directors, concerning music selection, pedagogy, rehearsal procedure, and musical interpretation.
- Inducted to the Alabama Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 1994.

SAM DEES - Birmingham, Alabama
- A performer/songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Clarence Carter, The Persuaders, The Temptations, Tyronne Davis, and others.
- Writer of #1 Hits: "One In A Million You" by Larry Graham and "Save the Overtime For Me" by Gladys Knight and the Pips

DELMORE BROTHERS -- Elkmont, Alabama
- Their songs inspired modern artists such as Mark Knopfler, and Emmylou Harris.
- The brothers began recording in 1931, and released over three hundred recordings on Columbia, Bluebird, Decca, King and Acme records.
- Credited with introducing boogie to country music, helped Roy Acuff break into the business, and formed the gospel quartet, The Browns Ferry Four.
- They wrote over 1500 songs including "Blues Stay Away From Me," "Beautiful Brown Eyes," "Midnight Special," and "Browns Ferry Blues".
- They joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1931.
- Inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1989.

LIONEL DELMORE - Birmingham, Alabama
- Son of Alton Delmore
- He and John Anderson began writing together in 1977 and had a string of successful songs including "Swingin'' which was certified gold.
- In 1984 Lionel and Anderson won the Music City News Songwriters of the Year Award.
- Other artists recording Delmore's songs include George Jones, Mel McDaniel, Faron Young, Carl Perkins and Conway Twitty.

DENSON BROTHERS - Double Springs, Alabama
- Seaborn & Thomas Jackson formed the Sacred Harp Publishing Co. in 1933
-Revised & Published "Original Sacred Harp" song book in 1936
-Taught shape-note singing

BOBBY DENTON - Cherokee, Alabama
-One of the first performers from the Muscle Shoals area to gain some national recognition.
-Helped establish the recording industry in the Muscle Shoals area

VERNON DERRICK - Arab, Alabama
- Traveled for three years with the Stanley Brothers and recorded 4 albums with them on King Records.
- From 1964 through 1980 he traveled with Jimmy Martin. During this time he recorded 12 albums for Decca and MCA.
- In 1982 he joined the Hank Williams, Jr. band and fiddled for him till 1988. He performed on numerous awards shows and recorded 8 albums and many singles on the Electra and Warner Brothers labels.
- Appeared on the Wheeling Jamboree, Louisiana Hayride, Midwestern Hayride, The Grand Ole Opry, Hee-Haw, Ralph Emery's Nashville Now, New Country plus many more.

- For nineteen years was lead singer and keyboard player for the band, Telluride, a secular band of immense popularity in the South.
- He has opened for and performed with acts such as the Blues Traveler, Jimmy Buffett, The Guess Who, ZZ Top, Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker Band, Cheap Trick, and many more.
- More recently, he has been in concert with Third Day, Point of Grace, Audio Adrenaline, Avalon, Big Tent Revival, FFH, Jennifer Knapp, Charles Billingsley, 4 Him and Steven Curtis Chapman and many others.
- Derryberry has released five Contemporary Christian Rock Gospel CDs in as many years.

OTT DEVINE - Gadsden, Alabama
- Prominent radio executive at WSM in Nashville from the 1940s through the 1960s.
- Replaced Jack Stapp as program director and took on the additional role of Grand Ole Opry manager in 1959

HARRY DIAL - Birmingham, Alabama
- Joined band led by violinist Wilson Robinson, then played with Clifford 'Klarinet' King;s Big Band (1928 9). With Jerome Don Pasquall's Band in 1930, also led own band.
- Played with Oscar 'Bernie' Young, pianist Ira Coffey, and Ida Mae Marples before joining Louis Armstrong's Big Band in March 1933
- With Fats Waller in Spring of 1935, then with Chin Lee's Band. Played in Ed Allen's Band from 1937 40, also did regular work as music copyist during late 1930's and 40's.

DIXIE GENTLEMEN - Muscle Shoals, Alabama
- The band was built around the compositions of guitarist/lead vocalist Jake Landers along with their vocal trios and the solid instrumentation of Herschel Sizemore on mandolin and Rual Yarbrough on banjo. In addition, fiddler Vassar Clements played with them for a time, as did fiddler, Al Lester. The group had several bass players over the years including Billy Sizemore, Wesley Stevens, and especially Jesse Handley.
- The dissolution of the Dixie Gentlemen resulted from a need for their services as sidemen in bands led by top names in the field.

ERIC DOVER - Jasper, Alabama
- In the alternative rock 'n roll band Jellyfish touring Europe, Japan and Australia playing guitar and singing background vocals.
- Lead vocalist with Slash's Snakepit, a band put together by former Guns n' Roses' guitarist Slash.

ARTHUR DOYLE - Birmingham, Alabama
- Saxophone player involved in "free jazz' movement
- He is more recognized abroad with successful tours of Europe and Japan
- Played with Sun Ra at one point in his career

DRIFTING COWBOYS - Montgomery, Alabama
- The original Drifting Cowboys, formed in 1937, were the back-up band for Hank Williams.
- The line-up of Don Helms (New Brockton, AL), Jerry Rivers, Sammy Pruett (Goodwater, AL) and Cedric Rainwater remained with Hank Williams until his death in 1953.
- Many others were in the band through the years including Smith "Hezzy" Adair, Charley Mays, Shorty Seals, Boots Harris, Indian Joe Hatcher, Lum York, Bob McNett, Hillous Butrum and others.
- Two singles were released by the Drifting Cowboys during 1953 and one in 1954 before they split up.
- The band re-formed in 1960 and during 1968, worked a lot of dates with Hank Williams, Jr. breaking up again in 1971.
- In 1976 the band reunited with Don Helms, Jerry Rivers, Bob McNett, Bobby Andrews and Jimmy Heap, Jr.
- The band now tours with Hank Williams' daughter Jett Williams.

DRIFTERS - Wetumpka, Alabama
- Andrew & Gerhart Thrasher brothers were two of the original four members.
- Johnny Moore, a native of Selma, Alabama joined as lead singer in 1955
- The group helped create soul music by bringing gospel styled vocals to secular material.
- Early hits included "Money Honey" (1953), later covered by Elvis Presley; "Such A Night" (1954); "Honey Love" (1954); "White Christmas" (1954 55); "Whatcha Gonna Do" (1955), all Top Ten rhythm and blues hits.

WILSON DRIVER - Birmingham, Alabama
- Member of the first jazz band in Birmingham, the Jazz Demons.
- Organized the Ullman High School Band.
- Moved to New York during the 40s playing drums with some of the most accomplished and acclaimed musicians in the country.

MIKE DUKE - Thomasville, Alabama
- Joined the group Wet Willie in 1976 on keyboards and as an added vocalist.
- He has worked with the Outlaws, Delbert McClinton, Huey Lewis, and Bugs Henderson to name a few.

STEVE DUKES - Bay Minette, Alabama
- Songwriter with two #1 Hits on the Country Charts, the 1995 Tim McGraw single "I Like It, I Love It" and in 1996 Joe Diffe's "Bigger Than The Beatles".

"SON" DUNHAM - Selma, Alabama
- An itinerant quartet trainer, best remembered as being active in Bessemer.
- He could sing all four voices with facility, and this enabled him to coach young groups.
- He was one of the major influences on the developing Jefferson County quartet style during the early 1920s.

"BIG" JOE DUSKIN - Birmingham, Alabama
- Debut album was finally released by Arhoolie Records in 1979 and revealed him as a worthy bearer of the boogie woogie tradition.
- Later albums have appeared on the Special Delivery and Wolf labels.
- He has also recorded behind Dave Peabody and The Blues Band.

Alphabetical Achievers Listing


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