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    Nunley, Louis (15 October 1931 – Present)

    Arranger and baritone/bass singer from Sikeston, Missouri, who was brought up in Anderson, Indiana, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, while still in his teens.  There he went to David Lipscomb College, whilst free-lancing on the side as a session singer. 


    In 1952, he graduated with a degree in Mathematics.  A year later, he was singing bass with The Anita Kerr Singers.  There was also a pared down version of The Anita Kerr Singers known as The Anita Kerr Quartet who won the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts Show in 1956, decades before American Idol.  As a result, they became a staple on his radio and TV programs until his retirement.  They even rearranged their recording schedules in Nashville so they could go to The Big Apple and participate in Arthur’s shows.  In 1965, the combo’s reputation was solidified with a pair of Grammy wins for Best Religious Recording and Best Recording by a Vocal Group for their collaboration with George Beverly Shea, Southland Favorites. 


    In addition, Louis moonlighted by filling in when needed as an ersatz member of The Jordanaires.  In the 1970s, they would frequently cross paths in the recording studios.  A case in point is Gene Watson’s 1978 LP, Reflections, which featured the vocal talents of Louis, as well as Hoyt Hawkins, Neil Matthews, Jr., and Gordon Stoker.  They sang harmony on three songs:  “I Wonder How it is in Colorado”; “Mama Sold Roses”; and, “Take off Them Shoes”.  About a decade later, Louis reunited with Gene on his 1987 album, Honky Tonk Crazy. 


    In the 1990s, now a veteran of the Nashville music scene, Louis was just hitting his stride.  He appeared on Confederate Railroad’s Greatest Hits, Etta James’ Love’s Been Rough on Me, and Jimmy Dean’s Inspirational Songs.  In 1997, he was one of the original cast members of the Broadway musical, Violet, along with his fellow Jordanaires.  He became an official, full-time Jordanaire in 1999, when baritone Duane West fell ill.  In 2000, Neal Matthews, Jr. passed away and Louis became the group’s arranger. 


    He opened the new millennium by celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Mary Ann, in 2001. 


    In 2003, the shelves of music stores were filled with CDs bearing Louis’s name, including George Jones’ Gospel Collection, Reba McEntire’s Room to Breathe, and Dolly Parton’s For God and Country.  He appeared on a pair of duets compilations in 2008:  George Jones’ Burn Your Playhouse Down:  The Unreleased Duets and Elvis Presley’s Christmas Duets. 


    Some of the artists with whom he has worked include Eddy Arnold, Garth Brooks, Perry Como, Floyd Cramer, Red Foley, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Engelbert Humperdinck, Burl Ives, Brenda Lee, Jim Reeves, Kenny Rogers, and Randy Travis. 


    In his copious free time, he has also lent his vocal talents to commercials and movie and TV soundtracks.  His television credits include The Country Music Association Awards, The Music City News Awards, and a regular gig on The Statler Brothers Show. 


    Louis refers to the first half-century of his career as a “warm-up” and is now ready for the big show. 



    1. http://www.jordanaires.net/LouisNunley/index.htm
    2. http://www.jordanaires.net/History/complete.htm
    3. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Louis%20Nunley/a/Louis%20Nunley.htm
    4. http://broadwayworld.com/bwidb/sections/people/index.php?var=56409
    5. http://www.jordanaires.net/History/complete.htm
    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Beverly_Shea












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