Born 31 January 1933, Morehead, Kentucky
Buddy Thompson was primarily a country singer, but he made at least one one excellent rock 'n' roll record. Born in Kentucky, Thompson was raised in Tampa, Florida. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War. Back in Florida, he hung out with songwriter / manager Buck Peddy, who brought him to Nashville. Thompson was signed to a major label, RCA, probably through Peddy's connection with Jim Denny at Cedarwood Music. The Cedarwood connection is evident in Thompson's choice of songwriters on his RCA singles (Webb Pierce, Danny Dill, Johnny Hicks, Dee Mullins, etc.). During 1955-56, Thompson had six singles released on RCA (produced by Chet Atkins), including the original version of Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams" (a big country hit for Faron Young, Gibson himself, Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris). However, Thompson's version (RCA 6485) went unnoticed at the time, being tucked away on the B-side of "Stuff Like That There", an uptempo number that comes closest to rockabilly of all Thompson's RCA recordings.
Buddy appeared on the Grand Old Opry and on several other radio barndances before Peddy landed him a deal with the Opry's major competitor, the Louisiana Hayride. Thompson stayed in Shreveport for two years, supplementing his income with deejay work at KCIG. After his RCA contract ran out, Thompson was signed to Atlantic's subsidiary Atco Records by Herb Abramson, in the same week that Abramson also signed Bobby Darin. Buddy recorded his first and only Atco single (6095) on May 10, 1957, in New Orleans, backed by members of Cosimo Matassa's studio band. One side, "I've Got A Good Thing Going", was written by Merle Kilgore, while the reverse, "This Is the Night", is better known in a later version by Bob Luman, who performed it in the movie "Carnival Rock". Both sides are highly recommended to fans of New Orleans rock 'n' roll ; they have recently been reissued on the Bear Family CD "That'll Flat Git It, Vol. 21" (BCD 16721), which features rockabilly and rock 'n' roll from the vaults of the Atlantic, Atco and East West labels. A third track from this N.O. session, "What A Pity", has never been issued. Thompson's next stop was at Hal Webman's Greenwich Records in New York City, where he had one release in 1958 : "Sweet Love"/ "When My Ship Comes A Sailin'"(Greenwich 409). He returned to Nashville in 1959 and then moved to California where he joined the small Foothill label and performed country music in night clubs. He left the business in 1963 and now resides in Dade City, Florida. He continues to perform in the Tampa area now and then. The website below suggests that Thompson recorded for Crown Records before he joined RCA. However, this is a different Buddy Thompson. http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/index.php?id=11259
Acknowledgements : Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Colin Escott.
May 2008, Dik
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