* Birth name
|Occupation(s)||singer, songwriter, guitarist|
1953 - 1983
Capitol, Columbia, Monument, Dimension
Born James Loden on May 1, 1929, he began performing with his show-business family at the age of three and played with his four sisters as the Loden Family while in his teens. After spending time overseas during the Korean War, Loden took Sonny James as his stage name — after his teenage nickname — and joined the local bar circuit. He met and played with Chet Atkins, who later got him a tryout with Capitol Records. The label liked what it heard and offered James a contract.
single, "That's Me Without You," hit the country Top Ten in
early 1953, but it was three years before "For Rent (One Empty
Heart)" became his second big hit. James played guitar on virtually
all of his records.
next single became his biggest hit: "Young Love" spent nine
weeks at number one during 1956-1957 and crossed over to top the pop
of his next 25 singles hit number one (and the other four near-misses
hit either two or three).
James completely dominated the chart from 1964
to 1972, though only several singles crossed over for modest placements
on the popular charts.
changed from Capitol to Columbia in mid-1972. By the early '70s, James
had moved into producing and music publishing also; he oversaw three of
Marie Osmond’s albums and still managed occasional Top Tens himself.
He picked up the prestigious award of Country Music's
Male Artist of the
Decade from Record World in 1977 and moved to the Monument label in
then to Dimension two years later. He retired in 1983, and now
raises cattle in Alabama.
Billboard statistics, for nineteen years (1960-1979) he spent more time
in the Number One chart position than any other artist in country music
- a total of 57 weeks.
In 1987 James
was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame - the Lifework Award
for Performing Achievement.
MALE GOLDEN VOICE AWARD -
Golden Voice awards
Hall of Fame and Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.
From 1953 to 1983, The Southern Gentleman had a total of 72 chart hits
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