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Leon Payne
and his Lone Star Buddies
Born:  June 15, 1917
Died:  September 11, 1969
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970)
KRLD Big D Jamboree
KWKH Louisiana Hayride
WSM Grand Ole Opry
KWET Palestine, TX

About The Artist

Leon Roget Payne was born in Wood County, Texas - a small town named Alba. His sight was impaired at an early age and when he was seven years old, he attended a school for the blind. He developed an early love and enjoyed singing. Then he learned to play the guitar. He continued to learn and began entertaining friends, too.

He graduated from high school when he was 18 and started then to strive for a life in the music business.

Leon was quoted in one magazine article in 1951 of his start:

"My first job was with a small carnival. It wasn't the best paying job in the world, but it was a start."

But his talent was such that his first job led to others and more offers. In fact, he got offers to appear on radio stations in St. Louis, Dallas, Houston and other cities.

He had some aims as an entertainer - one was said to play the Palace as most 'vaudeville' entertainers wanted to in New York. Another was to appear on WSM's Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

Leon became a songwriter of note. One of the all time country music classics was his tune, "I Love You Because".

By 1951, he was playing and entertaining folks in the Houston, Texas area with his band, the Lone Star Buddies.

Leon got married along the way - married his childhood sweetheart - whom he first met when he was in grammar school. One of Leon's aims was to make enough money from his songwriting to eventually retire from live performing and have his wife read a good book to him once in a while.

He recorded for the Bullet, Capitol and Decca record labels that we know of along the way.

Timeline and Trivia Notes

Group Members included:

  • Leon Payne, guitar, vocals
  • Frankie Jurisek, steel guitar
  • Ernest Hunter, fiddle

    Peter Burke, Bass

  • Joe Reesideau, piano and accordion

Credits & Sources

  • Country Song Roundup No. 15; December 1951; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  8735 A Down Where The Violets Grow
  8735 B Ten Thousand Tomorrows
  8788 A When Sun Sets In Sierra
  8788 B Neath Indian Summer Moon
  8812 A Arizona Lullaby
  8812 B Teach Me To Forget
  8837 A Neath The Old Pine Tree
  8837 B Let It End This Way
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  671 A What’s The Need
  671 A What’s The Need
  671 B Rolling Stone
  671 B Rolling Stone
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1093 A You Still Got A Place
  1093 B I Couldn't Do A Thing
  1164 A I Miss That Gal
  1164 B Did I Forget To Tell You?
  1321 A My Daddy
  1321 B Because You Love Me
  1338 A The Great American Eagle (W/Tex Ritter)
  1338 B The Fatal Letter
  1405 A I Don't Know Why
  1405 B If I Could Only Live My Life Over
  1463 A Empty Dreams
  1463 B Farewell Waltz
  1580 A Lonely And Blue Over Someone
  1580 B A Million Years Ago
  1782 A Teach Me To Forget
  1782 B It's Many A Mile Back Home
  1872 A Gentle Hands
  1872 B He's The Light Of The World
  1910 A I Want You To Love Me
  1910 B How Can I Help It?
  2055 A Polk Salad Green
  2055 B Weeping Willow
  2295 A Lyin' To My Heart
  2295 B Mailman
  2454 A I Need Your Love
  2454 B Wouldn't It Be Wonderful?
  2561 A If I Took The Time
  2561 B Sister Sue Polka
  40238 A I Love You Because
  40238 B A Link In The Chain Of Broken Heart
  40270 A Find Them, Fool Them, And Leave Them
  40270 B I Hate To Leave You
  57-40238 A A Link In The Chain Of Broken Hearts
  57-40238 B I Love You Because
  920 A I'm A Lone Wolf
  920 B I Just Said Goodbye To My Dreams
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1108 A Brothers Of A Bottle
  1108 B Mitzie Mc Graw
  1138 A There's No Justice
  1138 B With Half A Heart
  1150 A Blue Side Of Lonesome
  1150 B Things Have Gone To Pieces
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  28851 A Pedro The Hot Tamale Man
  28851 B Don't Be Afraid
  29046 A The Face In The Crowd
  29046 B You Haven't Got A Heart
  29333 A A Lifetime To Regret
  29333 B The Moon, Your God And You
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  211 A You Are The One
  211 B We're On The Main Line
  255 A 2 x 4
  255 B You Can't Lean On Me
  312 A One More Chance
  312 B All The Time
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  208 A We're On The Main Line
  208 B I Die 10,000 Times A Day
  215 A Christmas Everyday
  215 B Christmas Love Song
  220 A Doorstep To Heaven
  220 B You Are The One
  232 A Two By Four
  232 B You Can't Lean On Me
  250 A All The Time
  250 B One More Chance
  267 A Sweet Sweet Love
  267 B A Prisoner's Diary
  620 A Joe Lopez
  620 B You Stood Me Up This Morning
  637 A Close To You
  637 B Log Train
  666 A September Memory
  666 B Six Foot Six

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