Country music great Mel
Tillis started his performing career in the early 1950's
with a group called the Westerners while serving as a baker
in the United States Air Force, stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
In 1956, Webb Pierce's recording of Mel's song "I'm
Tired" launched his musical career.
In 1976, Mel was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall
of Fame, and that same year was named the Country Music Association's Entertainer
of the Year. Mel's songs have been recorded by such artists as Brenda
Lee, Charley Pride and Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys, George Strait,
and Kenny Rogers' version
of "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town".
One of Mel's albums, entitled "Beyond the Sunset", received the Great
Empire Broadcasting Album of the Year award in 1993. Now his most recent release, "Old
Dogs", recorded with Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed,
and Bobby Bare, has recently received a nomination
by the CMA as Album of the Year for 1999.
Born in Tampa and raised in Pahokee, Florida, Mel has
appeared in more than a dozen feature films including "Every
Which Way But Loose" with Clint
Eastwood,"W.W. & The
Dixie Dancekings", "Cannonball
Run" I and II, and "Smokey
and the Bandit II" with Burt
and the lead with Roy Clark in "Uphill
All the Way". Most recently
Mel filmed "Bandit: Must Be Country" which
is the first of four action comedies inspired by the blockbuster hit film "Smokey
and the Bandit".
He has starred in several television movies, among them "Murder
in Music City" and "A
Country Christmas Carol". Mel has also appeared
on such television shows as 20/20, The Tonight
Show, Music City Tonight, 60 Minutes, and countless