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Red Sovine

Though he had a long, distinguished career in country music, singer/songwriter and guitarist Red Sovine is best remembered for his earnest, funny, and at times highly sentimental recitations that took the cab of an over-the-road truck for their settings. Born Woodrow Wilson Sovine into an impoverished family in Charleston, WV, he was inspired as a child by WCHS radio musicians Buddy Starcher and Frank Welling. Sovine and his childhood friend Johnnie Bailes joined Jim Pike's Carolina Tar Heels and performed as "Smiley and Red, the Singing Sailors." They appeared briefly on the powerhouse WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling, but Sovine returned to Charleston to get married and took a factory job. He continued to sing on Charleston radio, but his friend Johnnie went on to greater renown as one half of the Bailes Brothers.

Bailes continued to encourage Sovine's efforts, however, and in 1947 he assembled a band called the Echo Valley Boys. After a year of performing in West Virginia Sovine moved to Shreveport, LA, where the Bailes Brothers were performing on KWKH. Sovine's own early morning show snared few listeners, but among his stagemates on the station's Louisiana Hayride show was Hank Williams, who steered Sovine toward a better time slot at WFSA in Montgomery, AL, and toward a contract with MGM Records in 1949. Over the next four years he recorded 28 singles, mostly following in Williams' honky tonk footsteps, that didn't make much of a dent on the charts but did establish him as a solid performer.

Sovine continued to perform on the Hayride and made another valuable friend in fellow performer Webb Pierce, who in the early '50s was just at the beginning of a long string of Top Ten country hits. Pierce convinced Sovine to lead his Wondering Boys band and helped him along toward a contract with Decca in 1954. The following year Sovine cut a duet with Goldie Hill, "Are You Mine?," which peaked in the Top 15, and in 1956 he had his first number one hit when he duetted with Pierce on a cover of George Jones' "Why Baby Why." Sovine had two other Top Five singles that year and joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. After recording close to 50 sides with Decca by 1959, Sovine signed to Starday and began touring the club circuit as a solo act. In Montana in 1963 Sovine passed on the helping hand given him by older performers when he heard the singing of African-American minor-league baseball player Charley Pride and suggested that he move to Nashville. Sovine opened doors for Pride at Pierce's Cedarwood publishing house, but his own career hit a lull. "Dream House for Sale," which reached number 22 in 1964, came nearly eight years after his last hit.

The genre of the spoken word truck driving song dated back to the late '40s, and Starday featured several specialists on its own roster, but it took several albums before Sovine's emotive baritone voice was paired with trucker material. In 1965, Sovine at last found his niche when he recorded "Giddy-Up Go," which, like most of his other trucker hits, was co-written (with Tommy Hill) by Sovine himself. That story of a father-son truck-stop reunion spent six weeks atop the country charts and even crossed over to become a minor pop hit. Subsequent truck driving hits included the ghost story "Phantom 309" and a tearjerker tale of a disabled child's CB-radio relationship with caring truckers, "Teddy Bear." The last-named song became Sovine's biggest hit since "Giddy-Up Go," spending three weeks at the top of the country charts in 1976 and reaching number 40 on the pop charts. Sovine followed up "Teddy Bear" with "Little Joe," a tale of a blinded trucker and his devoted canine friend which became his last big hit. Sovine died in 1980 after suffering a heart attack while driving his van. ~ James Manheim
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Heartwarming Gospel: 18 Greatest Hits

1. The Church Around The Corner

2. Except The Lord

3. Cast Thy Bread Upon The Waters

4. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

5. The Treasure I Lost

6. Sing With All Your Heart

7. A Beautiful Life

8. He's Standing By

9. There'll Come A Payday

10. I'm Singing Hallelujah

11. Cheyenne

12. Lay Your Hands On Me

13. Your Robe Won't Fit

14. If You Should Visit Heaven (Recitation)

15. I'm Another World Millionaire

16. Happy, Happy Goodbye

17. No One's Too Big To Cry (Recitation)

18. Oh No, No

x

Track List: Red Trucker

1. Sing Me A Happy Song

2. Camptown Boogie

3. We Didn't Cheat You

4. Footprints In The Snow

5. Philadelphia Lawyer

6. Sixteen Tons

7. Country Gentleman

x

Track List: The Hero

1. The Hero

2. Long Time To Forget

3. Tender Years

4. No Money In This Deal

5. Tonight My Lady Learns To Love

6. Bummin' Around

7. Blues Stay Away From Me

8. These Two Empty Arms

9. Green Green Grass Of Home

10. Sparkling Wine

11. A Place For Mama's Roses

12. The King's Last Concert

13. Room Across The Hall

14. Why Baby Why

15. A Million To One

16. The Other Woman (In My Life)

17. A Poor Man's Riches

x

Track List: Lay Down Sally

1. Lay Down Sally

2. I Can't Believe I Lost My Everything

3. Flesh And Blood

4. Cold Love To Go

5. Farmers And The Miners

6. Hold Everything (Till I Get Home)

7. I'll Sail My Ship Alone

8. I'm Waiting Just For You

9. It Happens Every Night (But Not At Our House)

10. Signed, Sealed And Delivered

x

Track List: Best Of The Early Years

1. Why, Baby, Why? (Original Version)

2. Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)

3. Billy Goat Boogie

4. Groovy Boy

5. Lifetime To Regret

6. You Taught Me How

7. Missing You

8. Sundown Sue

9. It'd Surprise You

10. I Hope You Don't Care

11. Big Dipper

12. Are You Mine?

13. Don't Drop It

14. When I Get Rich

15. A Hard Road To Travel

16. I'm Glad You Found A Place For Me

17. Farewell, So Long, Goodbye

18. You're Barking Up The Wrong Tree Now

19. How Do You Think I Feel

20. Outlaw

21. Don't Be The One

22. My New Love Affair

23. I'll Worry You Out Of My Mind

24. Who's Lonely Now?

25. Till Today

26. The Intoxicated Rat (My Little Rat)

x

Track List: Honky Tonks, Truckers & Tears-Starday

1. I Didn't Jump The Fence

2. Loser Makin' Good

3. Freightliner Fever

5. Dream House For Sale

6. In Your Heart

7. Long Night

8. Little Rosa

9. I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still)

10. Normally, Norma Loves Me

11. Phantom 309

12. Why Baby Why

14. Giddy-Up Go

16. Lay Down Sally

17. Daddy

18. Woman Behind The Man Behind The Wheel

19. Little Joe

20. The Days Of Me And You

21. Last Goodbye

23. It'll Come Back

24. Teddy Bear

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Why Baby Why

2. Little Rosa

3. Hold Everything (Till I Get Home)

4. Dream House For Sale

5. Giddyup Go

6. Six Days On The Road

8. I Didn't Jump The Fence

9. Walk Through This World With Me

10. Phantom 309

11. In Your Heart

14. I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still)

15. Teddy Bear

16. Little Joe

17. The Days Of Me And You

18. It'll Come Back

x

Track List: Teddy Bear

1. Teddy Bear

2. 18 Wheels Hummin' Home Sweet Home

3. Little Joe

4. Flesh And Blood

5. Love Is

6. Daddy

7. Ballad Of The Bootlegger King

8. I Din't Know She Was Loving Me Goodbye

9. I'd Love To Make Love To You

10. I'm Gonna Move

x

Track List: 20 Greatest All Time Gospel Hits

1. Cast Thy Bread Upon The Waters

2. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

3. Except The Lord

4. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

5. The Church Around The Corner

6. If You Should Visit Heaven

7. The Treasure I Lost

8. Bringing In The Sheaves

9. Sing With All Your Heart

10. A Beautiful Life

11. I'm Singing Hallelujah

12. I'm Another World Millionaire

13. Lay Your Hands On Me

14. No One's Too Big To Cry

15. He's Standing By

16. Cheyenne

17. Oh No, No

18. Your Robe Won't Fir

19. There'll Come A Payday

20. Happy Happy Goodbye

x

Track List: Two Golden Voices Of Recitations

1. Skid Row Joe

2. Colorado Kool-Aid

3. Supper Time

4. Gear-Jammer And The Hobo

5. Strawberry Roan

6. Old Rivers

7. Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw

8. Giddyup Go

9. The Farmer And The Lord

10. Daddy

x

Track List: 20 All Time Greatest Hits

1. Teddy Bear

2. Daddy's Girl

3. Lay Down Sally

4. Truck Drivin' Son Of A Gun

5. Colorado Kool-Aid

6. Giddyup Go

7. Old Rivers

8. The Days Of Me And You

9. Little Rosa

10. I Didn't Jump The Fence

11. It'll Come Back

12. Little Joe

13. I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still)

14. Last Goodbye

15. Phantom 309

16. Roses For Mama

17. 18 Wheels A Hummin' Home Sweet Home

18. Anything Leaving Town Today

19. Daddy

20. Woman Behind The Man Behind The Wheel

x

Track List: Best Of The Best

1. Teddy Bear

2. It'll Come Back

3. Giddy-Up Go

4. Daddy's Girl

5. Colorado Kool-Aid

6. Phantom 309

7. I Know You're Married But I Love You Still

8. Old Rivers

9. 18 Wheels Hummin' Home Sweet Home

10. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

11. Daddy

x

Track List: Classic Narrations

1. Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw

2. Please Make Up Your Mind

3. Beyond The Sunset

4. I'Ve Been Down That Road Before

5. Too Many Parties And Too Many Pals

6. Men With Broken Hearts

7. Picture From Life'S Other Side

8. Everything'S Okay

9. I Dreamed About Mama Last Night

10. Help Me Understand

11. Just Waitin'

12. Steal Away

x

Track List: Cryin' In The Chapel

1. Cryin' In the Chapel

2. Be Careful of Stones That You Throw

3. Beyond the Sunset

4. Brighten the Corner Where You Are

5. I Dreamed About Mama Last Night

6. If Jesus Came to Your House

7. Roses for Mama

8. Satisfied Mind

9. Vietnam Deck of Cards

x

Track List: Phantom 309

1. Phantom 309

2. Bringing Mary Home

3. Wildcat Run

4. Lonely Arms Of Mine

5. 1460 Elder Street

6. Hitch Hiking Girl

7. Ten Days Out And Two Days In

8. Old Pipeliner

9. Big Ben Dorsey The Third

10. Sad Violins

x

Track List: It'll Come Back

1. It'll Come Back

2. Love Makes The Grass Grow Green

3. Daddy's Girl

4. Sunshine Man

5. Daisy's Chain

6. Can I Keep Him Daddy

7. Sugar Tree

8. I Love You More

9. Everybody Sing A Song

10. Red's So Fine

x

Track List: Anytime

1. Anytime

2. Letter Edged In Black

3. More From Habit Than Desire

4. A Kiss And The Keys

5. Big Ben Dorsey The Third

6. Long Night

7. Don't Let My Glass Run Dry

8. I Think I Can Sleep Tonight

9. Too Much

10. Nobody's Business

x

Track List: Giddy-Up Go

1. Giddy-Up-Go

2. Tender Years

3. Mister F.C.C.

4. I'm An Old Pipeliner

5. Love Is All She Ever Asks Of Me

6. Walk Through This World With Me

7. Trucker's Ramble

8. Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie

9. That's Me

10. Lonesome Number One

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Always happy to hear Phantom 309. Great song.
Report as inappropriate
Able to reach out and touch peoples heart. You can't do better then that.
Report as inappropriate
antonioscrit
One of the all time Greats
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I love his songs
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Great Music
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Phantom 309. Big Joe was the original Large Marge. The biggest wreck I ever seen.
Report as inappropriate
Warm and sincere emotion and great talent.
Report as inappropriate
He has such a great voice
Report as inappropriate
Have all of his CD'S still playing as good as ever!!
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hmcota13
great voice I like all of his songs grew up listing to him and other oldies
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Always makes cry when I hear it
Report as inappropriate
Always liked to listen to Red Sovine...qui t e a talent.
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One word . Classic
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Rip Red Sovine
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ers23462
Teddybear is such a sweet story... The truckers I have known have had great big hearts.
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pcardinal5
My favorite of Red Sovine's is From the Window Up Above
Report as inappropriate
troykeller88 7 8
My grandpa listen to Red Sovine when i was a little boy to Giddyup Go gets to me every time
Report as inappropriate
Ditto!
Report as inappropriate
dellis430
One of the best country singers ever...trave l i n g with my dad in his eighteen Wheeler was the best times of my life. Giddy up go and daddy's girl..rip daddy
Report as inappropriate
I love it will come back
Report as inappropriate
I love daddy's girl by red sovine although my dad abused me so I am sad and lonley
Report as inappropriate
I will always love Red Sovine because my late Dad was a long haul independent trucker. He started in the sixties and I used to go on the road with him every summer; in those days an AM radio was our entertainmen t ! You were lucky if the a/c worked. As a pilot, I never forget every memory & the laughter. Your daughter & buddy misses you beyond words!
Report as inappropriate
infinititomb o m b
This ma jam homie!
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Love this man
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For my 11 bday I am going to play songs like this because I enjoy them soooo much!!! :)
Report as inappropriate
Red is the real deal. Happy to find him here.
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Always Cry And Love this Man
Report as inappropriate
I remember my Mom picking me up after school at Blanchard Elementary and taking me to Hope Hughes Grocery Store to hear Red Sovine and the Syrup Soppers sponsored by Johnny Fair Syrup. Hard to get the classic country stations to get past on 2-3 of this records
Report as inappropriate
gjokaj2255
One of the best country musicians out there!
Report as inappropriate
I remember Red Sovine's songs I would play them all the time when I drove over the road back in the 70's. He was a true artist.
Report as inappropriate
My grandmother played his music every day as I was small boy and I still l play his music when I can .
Report as inappropriate
he's good
Report as inappropriate
My Uncle who was a truck driver for many years of my life used to let me listen to his tapes and Red was my ultimate favorite...s a d l y my uncle passed from Cancer and these songs always take me back to sitten in his lap and listening to Teddy bear. Or daddy's girl.
Report as inappropriate
wish you had a station that played only red sovine
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Red Sovine was simply the BEST!!!
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This is the heart and soul of real country music.
Report as inappropriate
Giddy up go is my favorite song but it is sad
Report as inappropriate
slw3115
Reds songs always make me thing of younger years sitting around the table drinking hamms beer, playing tonk and playing spoons!!!!
Report as inappropriate
a1983heartbe a t 1
Red you shall always be missed as one of the greats of country music who didn't get the credit you deserved here on earth. But I bet in heaven you are singing your heart out and everyone is loveing it.
Report as inappropriate
These songs always capture the spirit of the heart!
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Red always hits the heart!!!!!
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i like him
Report as inappropriate
ds2465
www.sterling m o v i e f a c t o r y . c o m
Report as inappropriate
dadsrr
I have always liked Red's songs. I think that I not only like him for his story telling but also because his voice sounds exactly like my Dad's. When my Dad tells a story, it sounds like one of Red's stories. I find that I think of Dad when I hear one of Red's songs. And yes, tears form in my eyes.
Report as inappropriate
one of the few good memories of my dad that I have are the trucker songs he'd play. especially red sovine. dad is still alive just dont have anything to do with each other.
Report as inappropriate
Red is THE MAN!!!!
Report as inappropriate
one of the best songs from red sovine "teddy Bear"
Report as inappropriate
Love that " Freightliner Fever."
Report as inappropriate
Red Sovine's "Daddy I Love You" is playing at a good time on Pandora
Report as inappropriate
carouselchic k 0 6 8
My dad use to love listening to Red sovine and in time got to know his songs aswell and there are so many that I like but the one that is dearest to my heart I'd say Is Daddy's Girl
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