• Added info on Jimmy Ford, thanks to Volker Houghton. • Extended and corrected the post on Happy Harold Thaxton (long overdue), thanks to everyone who sent in memories and information! • Added information to the Jim Murray post, provided by Mike Doyle, Dennis Rogers, and Marty Scarbrough. • Expanded the information on Charlie Dial found in the Little Shoe post.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Floyd and Mary Biggs

Save the memory of Floyd and Mary Biggs

Floyd and Mary Biggs were a husband-wife composer duo, likely from Nashville, Tennessee. The couple caught my attention about four years ago when I corresponded with Kenny Norton, a Murray Nash discovery, and talked about his career in music. He recorded two of their songs in 1965 for Nash's Musi-Center label. During my research on Nash's activities, I discovered that the Biggs had written many more songs. However, I failed to nail down some facts about Floyd and Mary Biggs.

When asked about the Biggs, Kenny Norton replied to me: "I only met Floyd and Mary a few times and that was always in the studio. You probably know more about them than I do. I do know they were very nice and helpful to me as a teenager not knowing exactly what I was doing. At the time I had no idea how much they had contributed to the music business. It was the same with Murray [Nash]. I had no clue how much he contributed. Floyd and Mary were just down to earth people. If you had met them on the street you would have no idea who they were. It was the same for Murray. Mary always worked with me on the piano. I think she understood my situation of having to record 'Oonie Oonie' when I really didn't like the song at all." Floyd Biggs was visually handicapped, according to Norton: "Floyd and Mary seemed to be about middle age when I knew them. They were very simple people. Floyd was not totally blind but close to it." Actually, it was Mary who was close to being blind, as her granddaughter Melissa told me recently: "Floyd wasn’t legally blind. He couldn’t read from far away. So he had to lean in close to see the names of the dials. [...] But she [Mary] was born with congenital cateracts. She barely saw at all. But she was one of the strongest most kind people you’d ever meet."

Mary Biggs first appeared as a songwriter in February 1957, when RCA-Victor released Del Wood's "After Five," written by Mary Biggs, Wayne Meador, and "Red" Biggs (probably Floyd). During the mid-1950s, the couple often worked with Hargus Robbins, a Nashville piano session musician, who was also blind. Together, they also composed Robbins' rockabilly single "Save It," which he released as "Mel Robbins." Floyd and Mary Biggs were active until the mid-1960s, often writing for Murray Nash's catalogue.

The whereabouts of Floyd and Mary Biggs are not known, unfortunately. I have researched and found many people of this name but I haven't found a good track, yet. There was a Mary Katherine Biggs (1932-2018), who lived in Springfield, Tennessee (not far away from Nashville) but there's no hint she's the same Mary Biggs.

I have collected Floyd and Mary Biggs compositions and counted 33 songs so far. You can retrieve my results at 45cat.com.

Thanks to Kenny Norton for sharing his memories with me.

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Bob said...

45cat link :

Vita Lestari said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello My name is Melissa Biggs I am the granddaughter of Mary Francis and Floyd Red Biggs.

I have a ton of information about what happened to them and what they did before they started working at Recordings of Nashville.

Get in touch with me at twomoons.angleheart@gmail.com

The reason you couldn’t find them was because Mary died in 87 and Floyd died in 05

Contact me because my dad has some 45s of them from the studio and he’s also interested in what material you have collected as well.