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Malcolm Yelvington


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Malcolm Yelvington (September 14, 1918 – February 21, 2001) was an American rockabilly and country musician.

Born in Covington, Tennessee, he released a record on Sun Records in 1954, just after Elvis Presley.
Yelvington began performing in local venues at the age of 14, having learned to sing and play guitar as a boy. His voice was a baritone, somewhat comparable to Ernest Tubb (one of Yelvington’s major influences). He continued with mostly local engagements into his 20s, and was passed over for military service in World War II because of his health. In the late 1940s, he began playing with Reece Fleming’s band, The Tennesseeans, at the Memphis Gem Theater. This group disbanded in 1952, and several of its members, including Yelvington, picked up with local troupe the Star Rhythm Boys. They performed daily on local radio and had a steady and popular gig at the Clover Club north of Covington, but family attachments prevented most of the players from traveling or touring with the group. Yelvington began playing side gigs in Memphis whenever he wasn’t playing with the Star Rhythm Boys.
Yelvington and guitarist Gordon Mashburn first heard word of Sam Phillips’s Sun Records in 1953, and arranged a meeting. Philips was initially unimpressed with Yelvington and the Star Rhythm Boys, because he was not interest in recording straight-ahead country music; however, he thought the band had potential, and had them audition a large number of songs.


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