Saturday, February 6, 2016


"I often wondered why Clayton, who seemed so good to me, never took his guitar and made it down in Tennessee." - Tom T. Hall (The Year Clayton Delaney Died)

Cecil Pryor once told me about the time that he - fresh out of the Army in 1966 - my dad and Gene Coulter went to Nashville and dad and Gene pitched some songs to Tom T. Hall. It was a pretty bold move to pitch songs to a writer such as Tom T. Hall, author of such hits as "Harper Valley P.T.A.," “The Year that Clayton Delaney Died,” “Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine” and “I Love,” but this was just after he had been hired as a writer for New Key Publishing in Nashville, in the days before Tom T. made a name for himself. According to Cecil, dad and Gene didn't take a back seat to anyone when it came to writing songs. Dad co-wrote "I Love Country (And I'd Rather Fight Than Switch) with singer Jack Barlow, who took it to #21 on Cashbox in 1965. Dad and Gene wrote "Big Singing Day." The Speer Family not only recorded it, they made it the title of their album, considered by many to be their best work. They also wrote "What'll I Do (If My 'Baccer Don't Sell) and "Duvall Valley," two very popular songs by the Singing DJ's. Cecil said if you listen to a lot of songs from back in the earl days of dad and Gene's songwriting partnership, a lot of their ideas were definitely stolen. Jerry Perdue likes to say there was Lennon-McCartney, there was Henley-Frey and there was Speck-Coulter.

Darrell Speck, left, and Gene Coulter

1 comment:

  1. I have little doubt that if Darrell Speck and Gene Coulter had spent most of a year or so in Nashville they would have found a connection that would have put them into the business in a big way.


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