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Carl Mann

One of the last discoveries on Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label, piano player Carl Mann was best known for his rockabilly reworking of the Nat "King" Cole pop standard "Mona Lisa." That million-selling hit positioned him as something of a softer, smoother Jerry Lee Lewis, possessed of a crooner's instincts and a velvety vibrato. Unfortunately, Mann was never able to land another hit on the level of "Mona Lisa," despite waxing a fair amount of high-quality rock & roll. Like many early rock vets, he eventually moved into country music when the rockabilly market dried up, but never successfully established himself in that arena, and gradually drifted out of music.

Carl Mann was born in Huntingdon, TN, on August 22, 1942. He grew up in a strongly rural area, where his family ran a lumber business, and fell in love with country music as a child. He began singing in church at age nine and soon moved on to performing country songs at area talent contests. He learned guitar at age ten, and piano at 13, by which time he'd already become a regular on local radio. He also formed a band with several other young musicians, and soon took an interest in the R&B and rockabilly records that some of his DJ friends played on the radio, especially those of Elvis Presley. In 1957, Mann successfully auditioned for the Jaxon label and cut his debut single, "Gonna Rock and Roll Tonight" b/w "Rockin' Love"; those sides marked his first collaborations with guitarist Eddie Bush, who would become an important member of Mann's band, and assisted him on his rearrangement of "Mona Lisa." Mann cut several more unreleased sides for Jaxon over the next year, and caught a break when Carl Perkins' drummer Bill "Fluke" Holland offered to become his manager. Holland brought Mann to Sun Records in 1959, and Sam Phillips signed him to a three-year deal. Mann cut his take on "Mona Lisa" early that year, and while Phillips wasn't keen on releasing it as a single, Conway Twitty heard the demo tape and quickly cut his own version, which began climbing the charts. Phillips hurriedly issued Mann's, which battled Twitty's all the way up the pop charts. Both hit the Top 30, and while they tended to cancel each other out in terms of placement, Mann's wound up selling over a million copies; and he wasn't even 17 years old.

Despite the newfound stardom and several TV appearances, "Mona Lisa" turned out to be the pinnacle of Mann's commercial success. At first, he tried to repeat the formula by rocking up other vintage pop standards, which failed to return him to the Top 40, and perhaps even obscured the virtues of original tunes like "I'm Coming Home." Mann also wasn't helped by the fact that he'd appeared at the tail end of rockabilly's prime, or that Charlie Rich had taken his place as Sun's rising new star. Mann's first album, Like Mann, was released in 1960, but sold disappointingly, and he began to develop a drinking problem that necessitated some time away from music. In 1964, he was drafted into the Army; upon returning to the U.S., he signed with the Monument label, but the single "Down to My Last 'I Forgive You'" failed to return him to prominence. Mann soon left music to return to his family's business, settling down with a wife and finally overcoming his problems with alcohol.

In 1974, Mann attempted a comeback singing straight country material; he issued several singles over the next few years on ABC and Dot, but they didn't fit in with the slick countrypolitan records then dominating the charts. In 1977, Mann got an offer from the Dutch label Rockhouse to record for European audiences; he issued a couple of albums on that label, 1978's half-live/half-studio Gonna Rock'n'Roll Tonight and 1981's In Rockabilly Country. Mann toured periodically during the '80s, returning to Europe every so often, and finally retired to concentrate on the family logging business. He still resides in Huntingdon, TN. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Carl Mann's Finest Performances

1. Mona Lisa (Radio Edit)

2. South of the Border

3. Chinatown

4. Because of You

5. If I Could Change You

6. When I Grow Too Old to Dream

7. I Can't Forget You

8. Some Enchanted Evening

9. Pretend

10. Bluer Than Anyone Could Be

11. Canadian Sunset

12. I Ain't Got No Home

x

Track List: Carl's Greatest Hits

1. My China Town

2. Because of You

3. I Can't Forget You

4. Even Though

5. Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes

6. If I Could Change You

7. The Canadian Sunset

8. I'm Awalkin' the Dog

9. Till the End of Forever

10. Found My Thrill on Bluberry Hill

11. Stop the World

12. Shen I Grow Too Old to Dream

13. Bluer

14. Well Mona Lisa

x

Track List: Too Young

1. Gonna Rock And Roll Tonight

2. Mona Lisa

3. Ubangi Stomp

4. Ain't Got No Home

5. I'm Coming Home

6. Pretend

7. The Wayward Wind

8. Sentimental Journey

9. Rocki'n Love

10. Kansas City

11. Serenade Of Bells

12. Take These Chains From My Heart

13. Too Young

14. Stop The World And Let Me Off

15. South Of The Border

16. Walkin And Thinkin'

17. Foolish One

18. I'll Always Love You Darlin

19. Look At That Moon

20. Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

21. I Can't Forget You

22. Crazy Fool

23. Blueberry Hill

24. I'm Bluer Than Anyone Can Be

25. Baby I Don’t Care

x

Track List: The Legendary...

1. Mona Lisa

2. Rockin' Love

3. Pretend

4. Kansas City

5. I'm Coming Home

6. Walkin' And Thinkin'

7. If I Ever Needed You

8. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

9. Ain't Got No Home

10. Look At That Moon

11. Baby I Don't Care

12. I'm Bluer Than Anyone Can Be

13. Mexicali Rose

14. Ubangi Stomp

15. Walkin' The Dog

16. Mountain Dew

x

Track List: Best Of The Rockabilly Years

1. Look At That Moon

2. Take These Chains From My Heart

3. Old Lonesome Time

4. Blueberry Hill

5. Foolish One

6. Gonna Rock And Roll Tonight

7. Too Young

8. Hey, Baby Doll

9. South Of The Border

10. Some Enchanted Evening

11. Baby I Don't Care

12. Island Of Love

13. Because Of You

14. Ain't You Got No Lovin' For Me

15. Ubangi Stomp

16. The Wayward Wind

17. Satellite #2

18. Mountain Dew

19. Mona Lisa

20. I'm Walking The Dog

21. If I Ever Needed You

22. Rockin' Love

23. I'm Coming Home

24. Pretend

25. When I Grow To Old Too Dream

26. Walkin' And Thinkin'

27. Kansas City

28. Ain't Got No Home

29. Stop The World And Let Me Off

x

Track List: Carl Rocks

4. Hey Baby Doll

5. I'm Coming Home

7. Pretend

8. Island Of Love

10. Ain't Got No Home

11. If I Ever Needed You

12. Wayward Wind, The

15. Kansas City

16. Take These Chains From My Heart

18. Too Young

19. Blueberry Hill

20. Stop The World And Let Me Off

22. Because Of You

23. Ubangi Stomp

24. Ain't You Got No Lovin' For Me

25. I'm Walking The Dog

26. Ain't Got No Home

27. Baby I Don't Care

29. Foolish One

30. Walkin' And Thinkin'

31. Gonna Rock And Roll Tonight

33. Rockin' Love

34. Old Lonesome Time

x

Track List: Strait And Narrow Road

1. Strait And Narrow Road

2. I Saw The Light

3. I Can't Make It Lord Without You

4. Long Black Train

5. I Can Hear The Angels Singing

6. You're Invited To My Mansion

7. Jesus, Jesus

8. I'm Not MIne Anymore

9. Work To Be Done

10. What Heaven Means To Me

11. Wadin' Through Deep Waters

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Carl Mann: Mona Lisa

1. Mona Lisa

2. Blueberry Hill

3. Ain't Got No Home

4. Walkin And Thinkin

5. Long Black Veil

6. I'll Always Love You Darlin

7. Rockin Love

8. If I Could Change You

9. Mountain Dew

10. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

11. It Really Doesn't Matter Now

12. Kansas City

13. Look At That Moon

14. I Can't Forget You (Where Are You Darlin')

16. Mexicali Rose

18. Till The End Of Forever

19. Ubangi Stomp

20. Baby I Don't Care

21. Walking The Dog

22. Island Of Love

23. Foolish One

x

Track List: Rockin' Mann

1. Mona Lisa (Original)

2. Foolish One (Original)

3. Rockin' Love (Original)

4. Pretend (Original)

5. Some Enchanted Evening (Original)

6. I Can't Forget You (Original)

7. Look At That Moon (Original)

8. Take These Chains From My Heart (Original)

9. Too Young (Original)

10. South Of The Border (Original)

11. Kansas City (Alternate Version)

12. Wayward Wind (Original)

13. Ain't Got No Home (Original)

14. Blueberry Hill (Original)

15. I'll Always Love You Darling (Original)

16. Baby I Don't Care (Original)

17. I Don't Care (Original)

18. Ubangi Stomp (Alternate Version)

19. I'm Coming Home (Original)

20. Born To Be Bad (Original)

21. Ain't You Got No Love For Me? (Original)

22. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes (Original)

23. When I Grow Too Old To Dream (Original)

24. Mountain Dew (Original)

25. If I Could Change You (Original)

26. Even Tho (Original)

27. Because Of You (Original)

28. Long Black Veil (Original)

x

Track List: Gonna Rock 'N' Roll Tonight

1. Gonna Rock 'N' Roll Tonight

2. Old Lonesome Time

3. I'm Just A Cry Baby

4. Why Did You Go

5. Rockin' Love

6. That Old Moon Brings Teardrops To My Eyes

7. The Lost Chord

8. Satellie No.2

9. Don't Bother To Tell Me Goodbye

10. I'll Always Love You Darlin'

11. Mona Lisa

12. Ubangi Stomp

13. Foolish One

14. Kansas City

15. Baby I Don't Care

16. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

17. I'm Coming Home

18. South Of The Border

19. Mountain Dew

20. I Ain't Got No Home

21. Rockin' Love

22. Matchbox

23. Blue Suede Shoes

24. If I Could Change You

25. Johnny B. Goode

26. Pretend

27. You Win Again

28. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

29. Mona Lisa

30. Even Tho'

x

Track List: Like Mann

1. Baby I Don't Care

2. Blueberry Hill

3. Crazy Fool

4. Kansas City

5. Mexicali Rose

6. Mona Lisa

7. Rockin Love

8. Pretend

9. South Of The Border

10. Too Young

11. Ubangi Stomp

12. Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes

Comments

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I only know this guy for one song
Report as inappropriate
ay yi yi yi
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HEAVVVY
A GREAT ARTIST. NOTHING EVER TOO BVE ASHAMED OF. KIRKSVILLE, MO
Report as inappropriate
He's the greatest singer i ever heard. I love him very much,because he's my husband
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meg49979
this guy rocks in both music and looks!
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meg49979
OMG!!! i love this artist!! he has a great voice!!!
Report as inappropriate
carl mann is a legend along with elvis presley and conway twitty from the 50.s rockabilly music
Report as inappropriate
Who's this Carl Mann?

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