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Biography

Gene Allison (born Versle Eugene Allison, Pegram, Tennessee, August 29, 1934 - d. Nashville, Tennessee, February 8, 2004) was an American R&B singer.

Allison grew up in `ville, singing in the church choir with his brother Leevert. As a teen, Allison was offered a chance to sing with The Fairfield Four and, later, The Skylarks. Producer Ted Jarrett signed Allison to Calvert Records to record secular music; soon after Jarrett got him a deal with Vee-Jay Records along with Larry Birdsong. His debut single was "You Can Make it If You Try", released in 1957; it became a hit in the U.S., even cracking the pop charts in early 1959.

Allison would go on to score two more hit singles at the end of the 1950s, and the success of "You Can Make it If You Try" allowed him to open a 24-hour soul food restaurant called Gene's Drive-In in Nashville. Allison continued to perform well beyond his brief period of fame. He died of kidney failure at age 69 on February 28, 2004.

Singles
Year Title Chart Positions
U.S. Pop Singles U.S. Black Singles
1958 "You Can Make it If You Try" #36 #3
1958 "Everything Will Be Alright" - #19
1958 "Have Faith" #73 #11

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