Lee Bonds came on the hillbilly music scene in 1953 with a couple of
Capitol Recordings that were released on June 8 - "Okee-fi-no-kee Gal" and "Undecided Heart".
He was a native of Gadsden, Alabama. As a lad, he amused himself by
making his own guitar out of a cigar box, wire strings and a wooden neck.
Later, he got his own guitar, learned it well enough to where he was in
demand at the local square dances and parties.
When he was just 18, he left home to try his luck as an entertainer
with his newly formed band. They toured throughout the deep south - Alabama,
Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
But ironically, after doing this for five years, his first break came when
he returned to his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama and the local radio station
WGWD made him a member of their staff.
From there, he became the mainstay of the "Midway Jamboree" that had a host
of performers and guest stars.
He started his recording career on the Tennesse Record Company label out
of Nashville, Tennessee. Some of the recordings he did for that label included:
- You've Been Crying
- Uh-Huh, Honey
- Heart-Breaking Letter
- How About A Date
- For Sale, One Broken Heart
- Wild-Cattin' Woman
The last two of those listed tunes got top ranking on the Alabama charts
in 1952. That led to him signing a recording contract with Capitol Records
on March 20, 1953.
He also did some personal appearances on the west coast with "Walkin'" Charlie
Aldrich and Spade Cooley in the summer of 1952.
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Songs No.32; March-April 1954, American Folk Publications, Inc.;