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  • Born

    29 June 1937 (age 80)

  • Born In

    Missouri, United States

After attending college Don Woody became a disc jockey at local nightclubs (in Springfield. Mo). Soon he met an agent who signed him up on the "Ozark Jubilee" (country-singers show, hosted by Red Foley) to do the "warm-up" for the audience just before the show went on the air…

The bandleader of " Western Swing Band" Bill Wimberley signed Don Woody to the tour during the summer with his band. They played State Fairs in the mid-west. So they did for two summers. In the meantime Don Woody was writing songs with his partner Paul Simmons and they made some demos. After he played them for Decca. As a result Decca records signed Don Woody to a contract.

Red Foley was there when they "discovered" an 11-year-old girl named Brenda Lee. After several appearances on the show, Decca signed her to a contract. In 1956, September of the 17th, she recorded "Bigelow 6200". It was her first release and she had "Jambalia" (written by Hank William) on the other side. "Bigelow 6-200" was one of her most rockabilly - styled songs.

When Don Woody went to Nashville to record. Grady Martin and the "Slewfoot Five" (Grady Martin led this session group for Decca Records in the 50's) were the band for his records. Grady Martin also directed the session.

Don Woody recorded four songs at the Bradley Film & Recording Studio, 804 16th Avenue South in Nashville (Tennessee).

Barking up the wrong tree (Decca 30277)
Bird dog (Decca 30277)
Make like rock'n'roll
Morse code

Only the first two were released by Decca at the time and even though "Bird Dog" sold pretty well, probably due to the success of a song with the same title by "The Everly Brothers", Decca couldn't be persuaded to renew Woody's contract. Woody cut another session for Arco in 1958, but did not sustain a career in music. He joined trading company Sears-Roebuck and managed a store in Dallas, Texas. Now he is retired and living in San Antonio.

Not I (Arco 4623)
Red blooded American boy (Arco 4623)

The first three songs mentioned above were re-released several times, the most well known re-issues in supreme quality are probably the ones on the Bear Family series "That'll flat git it! - Volume 2". Morse code unfortunatly is not included on this compilation, but Bear Family included it later on "That'll flat git it! - Volume 6". It can also be found on other obscure mixtures like on the "Rare Rockabillies" series (Volume 1). The two Arco songs can be found on the Eagle records release "The Chicken Are Rockin' - Volume 2". All songs were written by Don Woody and his friend Paul Simmons.

Now we can see and hear that Woody's songs are still being played by many well known as well as unknown and obscure rockabilly bands around the world.

Source of information - Don Woody's Official Website (

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