Country music legend, Mel
Tillis, started performing in the early ‘50’s with a group called The
Westerners while serving as a baker in the United States Air Force,
stationed in Okinawa. In 1956, Webb Pierce recorded a song written by Mel
entitled “I’m Tired”, and it launched Mel’s musical career.
Songwriting: Mel has written well over 1,000 songs, and
approximately 600 have been recorded by major artists. The following is a
list of a few of those songs and artists:
"Ruby, Don’t Take Your
Love To Town"
"I Ain’t Never"
"Thoughts of a Fool"
"Honey (Open That Door)"
In June 2001, Mel received a Special Citation of Achievement from BMI for 3
Million broadcast performances of “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”.
Songs which have reached this coveted status are in a very select group of
Singer/Entertainer: Mel has recorded more than 60 albums. He
has had thirty-six Top Ten singles, with nine of them going to Number One -
“Good Woman Blues,” “Coca Cola Cowboy,” and “Southern Rain” to mention a
In 1993, he recorded his first gospel album. This album is entitled “Beyond
One of Mel’s recent recordings is the “Old Dogs” album with Bobby Bare,
Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Reed. It was released in July of 1998, and
received a nomination for the 1999 Vocal Event of the Year by the Country
Mel Tillis has been in the music/entertainment business now for over 45
years. He and his band, the Statesiders, have worked concerts all over the
50 states, Canada, England, and other countries.
He has appeared on such television shows as 20/20, The Tonight Show, The 700
Club, Prime Time Country, 60 Minutes, Crook & Chase, David Letterman, and he
has served as host for Music City News Awards and Music City Tonight.
Acting: Mel has appeared in numerous feature films including
“Every Which Way But Loose” with Clint Eastwood, “W.W. & The Dixie
Dancekings,” “Cannonball Run I and II,” “Smokey and the Bandit II with Burt
Reynolds, and the lead role with Roy Clark in “Uphill All The Way.”
He has starred in several television movies as well including “Murder in
Music City” and “A Country Christmas Carol.”
Mel Tillis has also been the spokesman for and done numerous commercials
over his career for companies such as Badcock Furniture, Fina Oil Co.,
Whataburger, and currently for National Hearing Centers.
Mel’s Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, fishing, painting, and
watching University of Florida ball games.
One of Mel’s hobbies – painting – has turned into a charitable event. 1000
limited edition signed and numbered prints of his painting “Masonic America”
are being sold with all profits going to the Scottish Rite Foundation which
benefits speech and hearing clinics all over this great nation.
Mel was the 1998 spokesman and honorary chairman for the
Stuttering Foundation of America.
Mel was raised to a 33° Mason at the House of the Temple
in Washington, D.C., in 1998. On October 11, 1999, Mel was honored with
the Grand Cross.
In 1976, Mel Tillis was inducted into the Nashville
Songwriters International Hall of Fame, and that same year, he was named
Country Music Association’s (CMA) Entertainer of the Year. Also, for six
years in the 70’s, Mel Tillis won Comedian of the Year.
On September 21, 1999, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) named Mel Tillis the
Songwriter of the Decade for two decades.
Most recently, Mel was the recipient of the Golden Voice Entertainer Award
for 2001. He also won the 2001 Golden R.O.P.E. Songwriter Award