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  •  

    Holt, Culley (2 July 1925 – 28 June 1980)

    Bass singer from McAlester, Oklahoma, who was one of the original members of The Jordanaires.  They did a number of gospel recordings in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s before famously hooking up with Elvis Presley. 

     

    Culley had left the group before then when he fell ill, in 1954.  He was still recording however, as early as February 1954, with Johnnie & Jack, sometimes billed as “Johnnie & Jack and the Tennessee Mountain Boys”.  (A self-titled CD with that moniker was issued in 1992.) 

     

    He is credited with rejoining The Jordanaires for a recording session on 8th November 1956 with The Marvin Hughes Orchestra.

     

     On 19th March 1958, he joined Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys for a recording of “Precious Memories”, the eleventh track on their 1958 release, The Gospel Spirit.  Recorded the same year was I Saw the Light, which hit the shelves the following year. 

     

    In 1959, he appeared on Flatt & Scruggs’ gospel hit, “Cabin on the Hill”, and recorded some tracks with Moon Mullican, including “Cush Cush Ky-Yay” and “The Wedding of the Bugs”.  He reunited with Flatt & Scruggs on 1960’s Songs of Glory. 

     

    On 31st October 1960, Elvis recorded Culley’s original composition, “I’m Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs” for inclusion on the gospel album, His Hand in Mine.  The song has since been covered by Speers and appears on their 1995 CD, Family Affair, and by Bill & Gloria Gaither on Homecoming Texas Style, released in 1996.  It is also included in the 1983 songbook, Gospel’s Best Words and Music. 

     

    In 1960, he contributed backing vocals to Jim Reeves’ recording of “We Could” on the album, Welcome to My World.  In 1974, MCA pressed an LP of previously unreleased material by Bill Monroe that was recorded during the years 1957-1970, The Road of Life, which featured Culley as one of two bass singers.  (The other was Bessie Lee Mauldin.) 

     

    The road of life ended for Culley Holt on 28th June 1980.  He has left behind a generous legacy of music, much of it available on CDs such as Flatt & Scruggs’ You Can Feel it in Your Soul, Johnnie & Jack’s For Old Times Sake, and Bill Monroe’s Anthology.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jordanaires.net/History/CulleyHolt.htm
    2. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/jordanaires/bio.jhtml
    3. http://www.kki.pl/elvisal/elvisnews_june2003.htm
    4. http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/2009/05/jordanaires.html
    5. http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/2009/03/johnnie-and-jack.html
    6. http://popculturefanboy.blogspot.com/2008/11/november-8-2008-happy-birthdays-1947.html
    7. http://www.countysales.com/php-bin/ecomm4/products.php?product_id=3950
    8. http://books.google.com
    9. http://musicmoz.org
    10. http://www.rockabillyhall.com/MoonMullican1.html
    11. http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-13003.html
    12. http://users.telenet.be/davidneale/elvis/originals/list4.html
    13. http://www.amazon.com/His-Hand-Mine-Elvis-Presley/dp/B000002W1Y
    14. http://dismarc.ait.co.at/index.php?form=display&oaiid=KKA%2FTIT000513997
    15. http://www.full-vibes.com/musicmoz/Bands_and_Artists/M/Monroe,_Bill/Discography/Road_Of_Life
    16. http://library.berklee.edu/leadsheet/index.php?2=Culley+Holt
    17. http://www.earlscruggs.com/ccscd111.html
    18. http://www.music.msn.net/music/artist-credits/culley-holt/?sb=0&flt=1&startingItem=1&ipp=10
    19. http://www.myhound.com/saluki/product/297924
    20. http://www.akuma.de/speers/family-affair/album,r251451,index.html
    21. http://www.thelyricarchive.com/album/22327/Homecoming-Texas-Style
    22. http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=4000127154231
    23. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/6760384/a/Gospel+Spirit.htm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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