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Bobby Bare Biography

Bobby Bare Biography

Bobby Bare (born Robert Joseph Bare on April 7, 1935 in Ironton, Ohio) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He won a "Song of the Year" Grammy in 1963 for "Detroit City". Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s. He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success. Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called "The All American Boy" and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn and record. Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo done by Bobby Bare. The record reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles' labels all credited the artist as being "Bill Parsons". Bare's big break in country music came when RCA Records' Chet Atkins signed him. The first song he released on the label, "Shame On Me", sold nearly a million copies in 1962. His second RCA release, "Detroit City", won him a Grammy Award for the best song of the year in 1963. Then a surge of hits followed, including "500 Miles Away From Home" (his only Pop Top 10 with his name credited on the record label) and Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds". He also recorded two successful albums with Skeeter Davis. Additionally, he had a major hit in 1966 as part of a trio with Norma Jean (singer) and Liz Anderson, "The Game of Triangles". In 1968, he recorded an album with a group from England called The Hillsiders. In 1969, he had a Top 5 hit with Tom T. Hall's "Margie's At The Lincoln Park Inn".

Bare moved to Mercury Records in 1970 and immediately scored a Top 3 hit with "That's How I Got To Memphis" and had two Top 10 hits from early Kris Kristofferson compositions, "Come Sundown" (1970) and "Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends," (1971). He also scored a #12 hit in 1972 with a version of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show's pop hit "Sylvia's Mother" written by Shel Silverstein. After a couple of years at Mercury, Bobby returned to RCA Records in 1973 and immediately scored with Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy" which nearly made the Top 10. Bobby Bare is a versatile singer, and in the 1970s, he started to release novelty songs recorded live with selected audiences. One such song, "Marie Laveau", reached the number one position on the country chart in 1974; it was his only number one hit. This song was co-written by his friends Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, who received a BMI Award for the song in 1975. Silverstein penned other songs for Bare including a Grammy-nominated hit, "Daddy What If", which he recorded with his five year old son, Bobby Bare, Jr. The song was an immediate success as well not only reaching #2 on the country charts but nearly reaching the Top 40 on the Pop charts. Bare's album, "Lullabyes, Legends and Lies" became his most commercially successful album and Bobby had a new audience with pop radio once again playing his songs and a new following with college kids. Surprisingly, these two songs would become Bobby's last Top 10 hits. Bare later recorded a very successful album with his family, written mainly by Silverstein, called "Singin' in The Kitchen". It was nominated for best group category in Grammy Awards, but was declined by Bobby himself.

He continued to record critically acclaimed albums and singles. His biggest hits during this time were "Alimony" (1975), "The Winner" (1976), and "Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)" (the world's only Christian football waltz, and a 1976 Grammy nominee). In 1977 he recorded the controversial, expletive-drive, "Redneck Hippie Romance" and "Vegas" (a duet with his wife Jeannie). Concept albums were nothing new for Bobby, In 1967, Bare came up with a concept album called "Bird Named Yesterday", which was very successful. His most successful concept album is "Lullabyes, Legends and Lies". He also is the first to be given full control of his work and thus the very first Outlaw. Bobby signed with Columbia Records and continued to have hits like "Sleep Tight Good Night Man" a near Top 10 in 1978 and releasing critically acclaimed albums like "Bare" and "Sleeper Whereever I Fall". In 1979, he started off Roseanne Cash's career in a big way by singing a duet with her called "No Memories Hangin' Round" which went Top 20 for them. In 1980, he scored a near Top 10 with "Numbers" which came from his album "Down and Dirty" where Bare started to experiment with Southern Rock and continued this with his next album "Drunk and Crazy". In 1981, Bobby released an album entitled "As Is" which was produced by Rodney Crowell and returned Bobby back to his country roots with songs like "New Cut Road". Bare was still doing well chartwise into the early 1980s. In 1983, he released a Top 30 duet with Lacy J. Dalton called "It's A Dirty Job". His last trip into the Top 30 came that summer with the novelty song "The Jogger".

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