David Luke Myrick (June 20, 1916 - January 28, 1972), known professionally as T. Texas Tyler, was a country music singer and songwriter primarily known for his 1948 hit, "The Deck of Cards."
Myrick was born just outside Mena, Arkansas. He recorded first for Black & White Records within "The Six Westernaires" extensively for 4 Star Records (Hollywood) from September 1945 until the end of the 1950s. Some now-legendary recordings in the country boogie (or pre-rockabilly) style were produced for the label with top session musicians on steel- and electric guitar, e.g. the driving instrumental "Guitar Boogie Woogie" (4 Star-1114; recorded in May 1946). The accompanying musicians were billed as The Oklahoma Melody Boys on the record labels.
Tyler wrote and recorded "The Deck of Cards" in 1948. The spoken word single, which was his biggest hit, tells the story of a World War II soldier who explains how a deck of playing cards serves him as a Bible, an almanac and a prayer book.
He was a frequent performer on the Grand Old Opry and Louisiana Hayride, as well as hosting his own television show in Los Angeles, California in 1950. Some of his 4 Star recordings were leased to US-Decca Records from 1952-1955. His career was hampered at the end of the 1950s because of personal problems, although some albums on King Records (USA) with 4 Star material and hymns have been released. In the 1960s Tyler enjoyed a revival when he recorded two albums (one containing hymns) for Capitol Records and in 1966 another for Starday Records.
Contemporary songwriter and recording artist Bucky Halker (www.buckyhalker.com), a Tyler fan, includes a poignant portrait of Tyler during his darkest alcohol and drugs days on his CD Wisconsin 2.13.63, Volume 2 (Revolting Records 2008). Halker's soulful ballad "T-Texas Tyler" recalls Tyler's performances in Burley, Idaho in the early 1950s when Tyler barely made it through his set most nights, but still managed moments of skillful performance.
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