In 1957 while still in high school, Tillotson was making records and performing on stage; as a student at the University of Florida, he had his own musical variety show on regional television. Following graduation in 1959 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communications, he signed with Cadence Records and moved to New York City to pursue his music career. In 1960, he recorded his first hit, a composition entitled “Poetry in Motion” (written by Anthony/Kaufman), that went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and #1 on the UK Singles Chart.
A “crossover” artist, several of Tillotson’s songs were successful on both the country music charts and pop charts. He earned a Grammy Award nomination for another of his own compositions, “It Keeps Right On a-Hurtin,” and also for the song “Heartaches by the Number,” nominated for Best Vocal Performance of 1965. He also appeared in the 1963 film “Just for Fun” and sang the theme song for the 1965 Sally Field television comedy “Gidget”.
In a career spanning more than 40 years, Tillotson has recorded 26 singles that made it onto Billboard’s charts, and performed at venues across the United States and other places around the globe.
He was featured in the 1966 camp comedy The Fat Spy starring Jayne Mansfield, Jack E. Leonard, Phyllis Diller, Brian Donlevy and Jordan Christopher & the Wild Ones. This film was featured in the 2004 documentary The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made (#46).
Edited by E-Clect-Eddy on 19 Apr 2012, 12:41
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