Jerry Fuller

b. November 19, 1938 / Ft. Worth, TX

Singer / Songwriter /Producer

  See Jerry Fuller's web site at: http://www.jerryfuller.com/

As a songwriter, Jerry Fuller has written hits for the likes of Ricky Nelson, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Reba McEntire, John Conlee, Al Wilson, Tom Jones, and many others.

As a producer, he's been responsible for such chart successes as O.C. Smith's, "Little Green Apples," Gary Puckett & The Union Gap's 'Young Girl," Mark Lindsay's "Arizona," The Knickerbockers' "Lies," and Collin Raye's "Love Me" to name but a few.

As a singer-songwriter, he has also had some hits on his own which enabled him to travel extensively and perform along side many of the early pioneers of the music industry.

Born on November 19, 1938, in Fort Worth, Texas, Fuller had music in his genes. His parents were both singers; his father, Clarence, once performed with the legendary Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys when they were still known as the Light Crust Doughboys.

As for Jerry himself, his mother, Lola, taught both him and his brother, Bill, the rudiments of singing. Known as The Fuller Brothers, the pair performed regularly in their home state and recorded one single before Jerry branched out on his own, at which point he also began writing his own material. Jerry later produced recordings of his brother, Jimmy and his band, "Angus" for Bell Records and his sister, Claudine sang on some of Jerry's own records and demos. His first 10 recordings for a small Texas based label, Lin Records are now considered collectables and have just recently been released on a "Golden Classics" edition CD.

Fuller was 21 when he moved to Los Angeles and began pursuing his career in earnest. After singing demos for music publishers at ten dollars a pop, he landed his own contract with Challenge Records. "Betty My Angel," a Top Ten hit on the West Coast, followed, as did several more regional successes; and in 1960, Fuller's rockabilly flavored version of "The Tennessee Waltz" made the nation Top 40 and earned him an invitation to appear on "American Bandstand."

So far, so good. But it was after he'd already written some 80 songs for Challenge's publishing wing, Four Star Music, that Fuller made a substantial move into the big time. Ricky Nelson, whom Jerry had not met as of yet, got a hold of "Travelin' Man", one of Fuller's songs.

Fuller had actually written "Travelin' Man" for Sam Cooke. But when Ricky Nelson's bass player, Joe Osborne, happened to hear it in Cooke's office one day, he quickly played it for Nelson, who recorded it without Fuller's even knowing.

In Nelson's hands, "Travelin' Man" sold 6 million copies. It also put Jerry Fuller on the music business map. He went on to write no less than 23 of Ricky's recordings, including "It's Up To You", "Young World", and "A Wonder Like You, " all of which made the Top 10. Jerry and his friends, Glen Campbell and Dave Burgess sang back-up on many of Ricky's recordings.

Fuller then spent some time touring as a featured singer with "The Champs" ("Tequila"), whose other members included Dave Burgess, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Seals, and Dash Crofts. But while a subsequent two-year stint in the Army put a crimp in his career momentum, he never stopped writing. And when he was discharged in '63, Challenge/Four Star moved him to New York to run their east coast operation.

"It wasn't an easy time," says Jerry; in fact, "it was like starting over again!" But things began looking much brighter when he discovered a group called The Knickerbockers in an Albany, New York nightclub. With Fuller as their mentor, the group began recording demos (Jerry's first efforts at production). Jerry and The Knickerbockers then moved back to L.A., where they recorded "Lies," a monster hit in late 1965.

After eight years with Challenge/Four Star, Fuller took a staff producer's job with Columbia Records in 1967. His first discovery was Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, whom he found in a San Diego bowling alley lounge. The group and Fuller were soon rolling plenty of strikes, including, 'Woman, Woman," "Young Girl," "Lady Willpower," and "Over You," the latter three both written and produced by Jerry.

The true scope of Fuller's versatility emerged over the course of his three and a half years with Columbia. He took O.C. Smith, a jazz singer, matched him with a country song, "Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp," and scored a hit on the pop and R&B charts; the success was repeated, and them some, with O.C.'s Grammy nominated, "Little Green Apples." He worked with an impressive range of talent at CBS: Mac Davis, (whom Jerry also discovered), Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, John Davidson, Billy Joe Royal, and others.

When he left Columbia in 1970 to start his own company, Moonchild Productions, Inc., and his own publishing concern, Fullness Music, the hits kept coming for Fuller - many of which, like Al Wilson's, "Show & Tell'' (recently revived by Peabo Bryson), Jerry wrote as well as produced.

Fuller's accomplishments to date speak for themselves, including 28 gold/platinum records, over 40 Top Ten hits, more than 250 national chart records, and a host of awards and accolades, including 12 BMI achievement awards and 5 BMI "Million-Air Awards." His songs and productions have been responsible for the sale of over 120 million records, tapes and CDs to date. But Jerry has no intention of slowing down.

Fuller's accomplishments to date speak for themselves, including 28 gold/platinum records, over 40 Top Ten hits, more than 250 national chart records, and a host of awards and accolades, including 12 BMI achievement awards and 5 BMI "Million-Air Awards." His songs and productions have been responsible for the sale of over 120 million records, tapes and CDs to date. But Jerry has no intention of slowing down.

Indeed, Fuller continued to produce hits with a variety of artists, including Glen Campbell, ("I Love How You Love Me"), Roger Miller, ("Loving Her Was Easier"), and Johnny Mathis (4 hit LPs) to name three.

His productions also enjoyed some major chart success with Gene Pitney, Toby Beau, and Country superstar, Collin Raye, whom he discovered in Reno, Nevada. Fuller secured a record deal for Raye with Epic/Nashville and along with his friend, John Hobbs, co-produced Collin's debut album, "All I Can Be", which contained the #1 hit, "Love, Me" - -nominated for both the C.M.As and A.C.M's "Single Of The Year" award. The CD is approaching double platinum to date (1999).

Fuller has also continued to thrive as a songwriter, with hit recordings by Reba McEntire, Freddie Hart, Ray Price, Tom Jones, and many others, including John Conlee's major Country hit, "Wayback".

Jerry has remained true to his first musical love, singing, and has just released his own CD of 24 selections entitled, "Four Decades, A Songwriter Sings His Hits", produced and compiled by his son, Adam Fuller and engineer, Brian Friedman for M.P.I Records.

Also' as a vocalist, he regularly performs his songs for songwriter support organizations' events and industry functions. He in fact recently was chosen to sing at the National Academy Of Songwriters '"Salute To The American Songwriter." Jerry and his wife of 33 years, the former Annette Smerigan, live in Southern California, where they maintain their offices and an adjacent 24-track recording facility, Footprint Sound Studio. Jerry's daughter, Anna just graduated college and is pursuing the Dentistry field.

-- SOURCE: http://www.jerryfuller.com/bio/bio.htm

Songs Credited to
 Jerry Fuller
Song Title
1. Some Fool Made a Soldier of Me
2.  

 

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Last revised: February 23, 2006.