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Claude Gray
Born:  January 26, 1932
KOCA Kilgore, TX (1958)
WDAL Meridian, MS (1959)

Claude Gray, known as the "Tall Texan" was born deep in the heart of East Texas, near the town of Henderson and was a graduate of Henderson High School and grew to be about six feet four inches tall. He joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and spent almost all of his naval career aboard ships in the Far East and South Pacific. Claude was honorably discharged as a second class petty officer (quartermaster) in the latter part of 1954.

Claude mentioned in an interview once that he got his start as a country singer when he just "...kept messin' around with my pickin' and singin' since I was 12 or 13 years old."

Claude Gray

Claude's recording career began in 1960. At the time, he was working as a disc jockey for radio station WDAL out of Meredian, Mississippi. By that time, he had already made appearances on such nationally known shows as the "Louisiana Hayride" on KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana as well as "The Big 'D' Jamboree" over KRLD out of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.

His first hit record was the classic song, "The Family Bible" which was a country smash at the time, reaching the No. 7 position on the Billboard charts. In 1961, his debut record for the Mercury label was the million seller, "I'll Just Have A Cup Of Coffee Then I'll Go", which he followed with "My Ears Should Burn When Fools Are Talked About". That latter song also made it into the Billboard Top Ten list. It was also written by a good friend of Claude's, Roger Miller. When he was with Mercury at the time, the said he had a reputation as a "...country singer who really sings fromn the heart."

In an interview in Country Song Roundup Magazine in 1962, Claude was asked about his being noted for singing with warmth and sincerity—singing with his heart. He replied:

"If a song doesn't have any soul in it, I don't sing it. I just don't sing anything unless I like it and it expresses my sentiments."

Some of the other hit records for Claude include "I Never Had The One That I Wanted" which Claude co-wrote with a friend of his, Sheb Wooley. That tune was his first release on the Decca record label and reached the No. 2 spot on the national Billboard country charts. The following release "If I Ever Need A Lady, I'll Call You" and the truck-driving classic tune, "How Fast Them Trucks Can Go" are some of Claude's most requested hits.

Claude's recording career includes working with the Mercury, Columbia, and Decca record labels. He did a total of sixteen albums, 53 singles of which 18 reached the Billboard Top 20 on the national country charts. He's done personal appearances in a number of European countries and 49 of the 50 United States.

Claude Gray

Claude has worked with almost all the major country music acts and consders many of them friends. He's also appeared with those who might be considered "pop" entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Marty Allen, the great Dinah Washington, and over a period of several years, worked a number of shows with "Festus" from the TV show, "Gunsmoke". Claude considers Festus to be one of the finest entertainers he ever worked with. He appeared frequently on the Grand Ole Opry in 1961 and from time to time was called upon to host portions of the Friday Night and Saturday Night Opry shows.

Claude notes that some of his favorite singers are Don Gibson, Buck Owens, Barbara Streisand, Luciana Pavarotti, Frankie Laine and Brook Benton. Some of his favorite people are folks such as the late Marty Robbins, Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, who he had the pleasure of working with on many tours through the years, Freddie Hart and true friends, Bill Mack and Morgan Choat.

Sound Sample—(RealAudio Format)
My Ears Should Burn (When Fools Are Talked About)

Appearance History This Month
 
April 5, 1968

Roanoke, VA
 
April 6, 1968

Philadelphia, PA
 
April 7, 1968

Washington, DC

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Recordings
 
Columbia
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  43294 A Thank You Neighbor
  43294 B Kinderhook bill
  43443 A For Losing You
  43443 B Thank You For The Ride
 
D
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1059 A I'm Not Supposed To Think Of You Now
  1059 B Letter Overdue
  1093 A The Best Part of Me
  1093 B Loneliness
  1118 A The Family Bible
  1144 A My Party's Over
  1144 B Leave Alone
  1154 A When The Light Shines In The Valley
  1154 B Home Coming In Heaven
 
Decca
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  32039 A I Never Had The One I Wanted
  32039 B Effects Your Leaving Had On Me
  32122 A Because of Him
  32122 B If I Ever Need a Lady (I'll Call You)
  32180 A How Fast Those Trucks Can Go
  32180 A How Fast Them Trucks Can Go
  32180 B Next Time You See Me
  32180 B Next Time You See Me
  32266 A The Easy Way Out
  32266 B Your Devil Memory
  32312 A Night Life
  32312 B Just Between Us Tears
  32566 A Sherry Ann
  32566 B Take Off Time
  32648 A The Cleanest Man in Cincinnati
  32648 B Crazy Arms
  32786 A Angel
  32786 B Save My Mind
  32852 A Baton Rouge
  32852 B Your Devil Memory
 
Granny White
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  10003 A Vin Rose
  1001 A But That's All Right
  1001 B Rockin' By Memories
  1002 A That's My Baby
  1002 B We Fall In Love That Way
  1003 B It'll Do
  1005 A Slow Dancing
  1005 B Late Cup Of Coffee
  1006 A If I Ever Need A Lady
  1006 B The Bar
  1007 A Never Had The One I Wanted
  1007 B Late Cup Of Coffee
  1009 A Let's Go All The Way (w/Norma Jean)
  1009 B We Climbed A Mountain (w/Norma Jean)
  1010 A Who Sent My Ex To Texas
  1010 B So Sad To Watch Good Love Go Bad
  1011 A How Fast Them Trucks Can Go
  1011 B Old Flames Can't Hold A Candle To You
 
Mercury
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  71732 A I'll Just Have A Cup Of Coffee And Then I'll Go
  71732 B I Want To Be Alone
  71826 A My Ears Should Burn (When Fools Are Talked About)
  71826 B Crying In The Night
  71936 A Stone Heart
  71936 B You Take The Table
  72088 A First Love Never Dies
  72156 A I'm Gonna Lie Again
  72156 B Go Home Cheater
  72236 A Eight Years (And Two Children Later)
  72236 B Lonesome
 
Million
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  31 A Woman Ease My Mind
  31 B Don't Fight The Feeling
 
Million Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  18 A What Every Woman Wants To Hear
  3 A Jeannie
  3 B Straight Down To Heaven
  36 A We Could
  36 B Loving You Is A Habit I Can't Break
 
Minor Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  MH-110 A Late Again
  MH-110 B Barricade Around My Heart
 
Sparton
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  792 A Little Overdue
  792 B I'm Not Supposed
  871 A Family Bible
  871 B Crying In The Night
  914 A My Party's Over
  914 B Leave Alone
  943 A Homecoming In Heaven
  943 B When The Light Shines In The Valley


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