(July 4, 1933-October 12, 2005)
Born in Birmingham, Alabama
Birth name was Thomas Baker Knight Jr.
Formed Baker Knight and The Knightmares under the small Tennessee-based Kit label (1956)
Recorded 'Bop Boogie To The Blues,' 'Little Heart' 'Bring My Cadillac Back,' and 'I Cried'
Recorded 'Reelin' and Rockin (Bippin' And Boppin' Over You),' 'When The World Gets Around,' 'Just A Little Bit More,' 'The Value Of Love' 'Love-A, Love-A, Love-A,' and 'High School Days,' in collaboration with the Ray Ellis Orchestra (1957)
Collaborated with Rene Hall for Jubilee Records, recording 'Ain't Nothin' But Love,' 'My Heart Cries For You,' 'I Never Get To Kiss You Anymore,' and 'Wishing' (1958-1959)
Wrote close to 1,000 songs in a thirty year period, which were recorded by over different 40 singers
Best known as the songwriter of several Ricky Nelson hit songs, including 'Lonesome Town,' 'I Got A Feeling,' 'Never Be Anyone Else But You,' 'Sweeter Than You,' 'I Wanna Be Loved,' 'Mighty Good,' 'Right By My Side,' 'You Are The Only One,' and 'I Need You'
Also known for 'The Wonder of You,' 'Any Time at All,' 'Somewhere There's a Someone,' 'One Night Stands,' 'I'm Gonna Love You,' and 'Don't the Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time'
Published his memoirs, 'A Piece Of The Big-Time' (Oct. 12, 2005)
Why he might be annoying
He developed an all-consuming addiction to antidepressants.
He was an agoraphobic recluse who treated his condition with excess alcohol.
He was released from Ray Ellis' Orchestra after his songs failed to register on national charts.
He believed it was an omen that he arrived in Hollywood on April Fool's Day of 1958 (and it probably was).
He failed to make traction in Hollywood after losing a role offered to him in 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies,' after the project fell through.
His only credited movie role ended up being a walk-on part in a B-movie called 'Swamp Country.'
He botched a suicide attempt via gassing by lighting a cigarette, nearly blowing himself up but somehow surviving.
His one regional hit didn't make any national traction because stations felt it would be mistaken for an unpaid advertisement for General Motors' luxury division.
He chose to take a nap rather than help his friend & roommate, Eddie Cochran, write 'Summer Time Blues,' which turned out to be Top Ten hit for the year.
He failed in every other attempt to make a national name for himself, gaining success only as a songwriter for more successful musicians.
He refused to let Ricky Nelson record his song 'Just Relax,' which he instead released himself as a single with Cochran on guitar for Coral Records (1959).
Neither 'Just Relax' nor his next single, 'Pretty Little Girl,' sold well and Coral subsequently dropped his contract.
His eccentric behavioral issues resulted in Ricky Nelson holding him at arms length; no matter how many hit singles he wrote, he was never allowed in the Nelson family's inner circle.
Why he might not be annoying
He was known as 'the songwriter's songwriter.'
He surpasses Pete Best as the unluckiest musician in rock history.
He wrote some of Ricky Nelson's most beloved, fondly remembered singles.
He taught himself to play the guitar during his time serving in the Air Force.
He lived in the posthumous shadows of both Nelson and Cochran for decades, in a case of cruel irony.
He set the stage for Ricky Nelson to explore his artistry, introducing him to the 'rockabilly' genre.
He won the 1976 Song Of The Year Award, for 'Don't The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time.'
For most of his life everyone, including himself, believed he was certifiably crazy.
In reality, doctors just had virtually no understanding of how to treat agoraphobia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (he was diagnosed with both in 1985).
He wrote the hauntingly beautiful 'Lonesome Town' as a reflection of his depressed emotional state in Hollywood.
He was down to his last 36 cents when Ricky Nelson's manager called to put forth a $2,000 advance for 'Lonesome Town' and 'I Got a Feeling.'
'Lonesome Town' not only peaked at #6 in Billboard's Top 10, but brought Nelson onto a new level of seriousness as a musician.
He was one of the first musicians to start recording and releasing albums via his own website, operating out of his home in the 1990s.
Share this link with a friend:
Year In Review:
In 2016, Out of 8 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
In 2015, Out of 19 Votes: 52.63% Annoying
Featured in the following Annoying Collections: