Cindy Walker ~ The Original Bearcat Mountain Gal
Walker passed away Friday, March 24, 2006 at age 87
at Bearcat Getaway Resort, we always strive to provide the best
in National and Regional acts for our summer concert series each
year. Although our resort has been named Bearcat Getaway
from the beginning (that's another story entirely!) we feel that
it was appropriate to dedicate our "Bearcat Mountain"
to Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter, Cindy Walker.
in Mart, Texas, she recorded for DECCA. Her memory is preserved
in the Texas Country Music Hall Of Fame as one of the greatest
song writers ever. She wrote many of Bob Will's songs, such as
"Cherokee Maiden" and co-wrote with Bob, "Bubbles
In My Beer" and "Sugar Moon" which, years after
being a considerable success for him, was included by k.d. lang
on her Shadowland album. I'm sure you all remember "You Don't
Know Me" that she co-wrote for Eddy Arnold. That song
was subsequently recorded by Ray Charles, Jerry Vale, Elvis Presley,
Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, and Mickey Gilley. Her "In
The Misty Moonlight" was a hit for both Jerry Wallace and
Dean Martin. The Western song made popular by Gene Autry, "Blue
Canadian Rockies" was also her creation. Walker wrote
songs for Bing Crosby and the 1962 rock song "Dream Baby"
for Roy Orbison. She also authored "Distant Drums" for
Jim Reeves, a song that stayed at No.1 on the British charts for
five weeks in 1966.
All told, she wrote
more than 500 recorded songs for an array of artists.
information from Wikipedia)
The Los Angeles Times described her first sale:
In late 1940, the 22-year-old Walker accompanied her parents on
a business trip to Los Angeles. They were driving down Sunset
Boulevard, when she spotted the Crosby Building and asked her
father to stop the car. "I had decided that if I ever got
to Hollywood, I was going to try to show Bing Crosby a song I
had written for him called 'Lone Star Trail,' " she recalled
in a 1988 interview with the Chicago Tribune. "My father
said, 'You're crazy, girl,' but he stopped the car."
grabbed her song-filled briefcase and went inside. A few minutes
later, she ran back to the car to get her mother to play the piano
for her: Crosby's brother, Larry, had agreed to listen to the
song. With her mother accompanying her, Walker sang "Lone
Star Trail." Larry Crosby told her that Bing was looking
for a Western song to record and might like it. The next day,
she accompanied herself on the guitar and sang it for Bing at
Paramount Studios, where he was making a movie.
Crosby, who called her "Sis," liked the song, and the
unknown songwriter from Texas made her first sale.
In addition to her song writing, Walker also sang on stage and
recorded a number of albums. Some of her best recording work was
produced by Fred Foster at his Monument Records.
In 1970, she became a charter inductee to the Nashville Songwriters
Hall of Fame. In 1997 she was inducted into the Country Music
Hall of Fame and in 1998 into the Texas Country Music Hall of
Fame. Her induction to the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame
in 1997 by singer Barbara Mandrell featured Walker accepting the
award in an old evening gown. She then read
a poem she'd written for the show: "In
the 1980's my mother bought me a dress...for a BMI affair... and
she said, "When they put you in The Hall Of Fame...that's
the dress...I want you to wear"...and, I said, "Oh,
mama...The Hall Of Fame...Why, that will never be"...and
the years went by...but my mother's words...remained in my memory...and
I know...tonight...she'd be happy...Tho she's gone now...to her
rest...but I think of all...that she did for me...and, tonight...
I'm wearing that dress!.." The speech was followed by a thunderous
standing ovation and Walker left the stage after softly blowing
a kiss in tears.
In 2006 American music
icon Willie Nelson released a CD album featuring 13 of Walker's
well-known songs. The album title is You Don't Know Me: The Songs
of Cindy Walker.
Walker died in her hometown of Mexia, Texas, on March 23, 2006,
of natural causes, just one week after the above-mentioned album
Bearcat Getaway Resort
PO Box 65, Lesterville, MO 63654