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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Marlon Grisham on Cover

Marlon Grisham - Man with No Heart (Cover 45-711)

Better known as a rockabilly singer, Marlon Grisham also recorded a couple of country songs during his career in the 1950s and 1960s. One of those pieces, the beautiful "Man with No Heart," is featured today.

Grisham was a local Memphis/East Arkansas singer. He probably first recorded for B.B. Cunningham's Cover record label in Memphis, releasing "Ain't That a Dilly" b/w "Sugarfoot" (Cover 5982, 1959), for which he is best known today. He followed up with another single on Cover ("Teenage Love" / "Now It's Your Time," Cover 4621, 1962). Probably between those two singles or even before his first, it is reported that Grisham also recorded a couple of tapes for Sun Records, including "Between Here and There" and "What a Beat."

Marlon Grisham

I'm not quite sure where today's featured disc by Grisham fits in, but I would date it around early to mid-1960s. "Man with No Heart" is a highly commercial tune with lots of pop influences, written by Jody Chastain (1933-1999). Chastain played with Eddie Bond early on and wrote "Boppin' Bonnie" for him, before performing with Fuller Todd and then Charlie Feathers from 1955 to 1960. Both Chastain and Todd composed songs recorded by Grisham, including "Ain't That a Dilly" (written by Chastain), "Sugarfoot" (co-written by Chastain and Todd), and "Teenage Love" (co-written by Grisham and Todd). The flipside of "Man with No Heart" was "Square Watermelon Seed," penned by W. A. Harris, who was likely the same Bill Harris that wrote "Jungle Love."

In 1964, one single by Grisham appeared on the Fernwood label. The aforementioned "Why Did She Go" b/w "Jungle Love" were released in 1965 on the Memphis based Clearpool label. Around the same time, Grisham was with Gene Williams' Country Junction Show ensemble on KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and in addition, appeared on a various artists LP on Williams' Cotton Town Jubilee label. About two years later, Grisham recorded one record for John Cook's Blake label.

Fuller Todd, who was born 1935 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, recorded for King Records 1957-1958. About the same time, Jody Chastain was recording for King as a member of Charlie Feathers' Musical Warriors.


Discography

Cover 5982
Marlon Grisham
Ain't That a Dilly (Joe D. Chastain) / Sugarfoot (Joe D. Chastain; Fuller Todd)
863 / 864
1959
Billboard pop review on September 7, 1959

Cover 4621
Marlon Grisham
Now It's Your Time (Marlon Grisham) / Teenage Love (Marlon Grisham; Fuller Todd)
C-4621-1 / C-4621-2
1962
Billboard pop review on August 25, 1962

Cover 45-711
Marlon Grisham
Man with No Heart (Joe D. Chastain) / Square Watermelon Seed (W. A. Harris)
1001 A / 1001 B

Fernwood 140
Marlon Grisham Combo
Pins and Needles in My Heart () / You Are My Sunshine ()
1964

Clearpool 101
Marlon Grisham
Why Did She Go (Marlon Grisham; Fuller; Brewer) / Jungle Love (Bill Harris)
101 A / 101 B
1965

Blake 2-222
Marlon Grisham
Queen of the City (M. Grisham) / You're the Rose for Me (M. Grisham)
2-222-A / 2-222-B

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hayden Thompson's early band Southern Melody Boys had a bass played named Marlin Grissom. Is this the same person as Marlon Grisham or is it just a somewhat similar name?

Mellow said...

It's just a similar name, whereat Marlin Grissom was female. She was the sister of Cricket Grissom, featured vocalist with the Southern Melody Boys.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up!

Ronny Thomas said...

That is incorrect. Marlin Grisham played with Hayden and is the older BROTHER to violet "Cricket" Grisham.