This week, Ira spoke with Mel Tillis.
Country music legend Mel Tillis, who will be performing at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas on Friday, June 26, started performing in the early ‘50’s with a group called The Westerners while serving as a baker in the United States Air Force, stationed in Okinawa. In 1956, Webb Pierce recorded a song written by Tillis entitled “I’m Tired.” and it launched his musical career.
Tillis has recorded more than 60 albums. He has had 36 Top Ten singles, with nine of them going to Number One, including “Good Woman Blues,” “Coca Cola Cowboy,” and “Southern Rain.”
In 1976, Tillis was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame, and that same year, he was named Country Music Association’s (CMA) Entertainer of the Year. Also, for six years in the 70’s, Tillis won Comedian of the Year.
On September 21, 1999, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) named Tillis the Songwriter of the Decade for two decades.
Tillis was the recipient of the Golden Voice Entertainer Award for 2001. He also won the 2001 Golden R.O.P.E. Songwriter Award
The Grand Ole Opry inducted Tillis as its newest member on June 9, 2007.
In October 2007, Tillis became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tillis’ home state of Florida honored him on March 25, 2009 — inducting him into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame.
2010 — The Academy of Country Music chose Tillis to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award.
2012 — Tillis received the National Medal of Arts from the President of the U.S.