Country music legend, Mel Tillis, started performing in the early 50's with a group called The Westerners while serving as a baker in the United States Air Force, stationed in Okinawa. In 1956, Webb Pierce recorded a song written by Mel entitled "I'm Tired", and it launched Mel's musical career.
Awards: In 1976, Mel Tillis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame, and that same year, he was named Country Music Association's (CMA) Entertainer of the Year. Also, for six years in the 70's, Mel Tillis won Comedian of the Year.
Mel owned and operated his own theater in Branson, Missouri for 12 years from 1990 - 2002. Mel then returned to his first love - touring the country.
On September 21, 1999, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) named Mel Tillis the Songwriter of the Decade for two decades.
Mel was the recipient of the Golden Voice Entertainer Award for 2001. He also won the 2001 Golden R.O.P.E. Songwriter Award.
The Grand Ole Opry inducted Mel Tillis as its newest member on June 9, 2007.
In October of 2007, Mel Tillis became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tillis' home state of Florida honored him on March 25, 2009 — inducting him into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame.
2010 — The Academy of Country Music chose Mel to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award.
2012 — Mel received the National Medal of Arts from the President of the U.S.
Songwriting: Mel has written well over 1,000 songs, and approximately 600 have been recorded by major artists. The following is a list of a few of those songs and artists:
|"Ruby, Donít Take Your Love To Town"||Kenny Rogers|
|"Detroit City"||Bobby Bare|
|"I Ainít Never"||Webb Pierce|
|"Burning Memories"||Ray Price|
|"Thoughts of a Fool"||George Strait|
|"Honey (Open That Door)"||Ricky Skaggs|
In June 2001, Mel received a Special Citation of Achievement from BMI for 3 Million broadcast performances of "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town". Songs which have reached this coveted status are in a very select group of worldwide favorites.
Singer/Entertainer: Mel has recorded more than sixty albums. He has had thirty-six Top Ten singles, with nine of them going to Number One - "Good Woman Blues," "Coca-Cola Cowboy," and "Southern Rain" to mention a few.
In 1993, he recorded his first gospel album. This album is entitled "Beyond the Sunset". He followed it up with WINGS OF MY VICTORY.
He also recorded "Old Dogs" album with Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Reed. It was released in July of 1998 and received a nomination for the 1999 Vocal Event of the Year by the Country Music Association.
His first comedy album, You Ain't Gonna Believe This, was nominated for a Grammy and was produced by Toby Keith.
Mel Tillis entertained millions of people for 50 plus years. He and his band, the Statesiders, performed all over the 50 states, Canada, England, and other countries.
He has appeared on such television shows as 20/20, The Tonight Show, The 700 Club, Prime Time Country, 60 Minutes, Crook & Chase, David Letterman, and he has served as host for Music City News Awards and Music City Tonight.
Acting: Mel has appeared in numerous feature films including Every Which Way But Loose with Clint Eastwood, W.W. & The Dixie Dancekings, Cannonball Run I and II, Smokey and the Bandit II with Burt Reynolds, and the lead role with Roy Clark in Uphill All The Way. He has starred in several television movies as well including Murder in Music City and A Country Christmas Carol.
At one point in his career, Mel was the spokesman for several companies such as Badcock Furniture, Fina Oil Co., and perhaps his most famous partnership....Whataburger.
Mel's Art: Mel began painting in 1998. 1000 limited edition signed and numbered prints of his painting Masonic America were sold with all profits going to the Scottish Rite Foundation which benefitted speech and hearing clinics all over this great nation. All of his art is available online through his website.
Other Information: Mel was the 1998 spokesman and honorary chairman for the Stuttering Foundation of America. Mel was raised to a 33° Mason at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C., in 1998. On October 11, 1999, Mel was honored with the Grand Cross. Mel has six children; Pam, Connie, Cindy, Carrie, Mel Jr., and Hannah.