Billy Lawson (Studio Owner)

 

Billy Lawson was born and raised in the Muscle Shoals area of Northwest Alabama in a little town called Zip City. His next door neighbor was studio musician, Junior Lowe, who played on some of the early R&B classics by artists such as Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter and Aretha Franklin. When Billy was nine or ten years old, Junior would let him sit in and sing with his band at the Ponderosa Club on the Alabama-Tennessee state line. This club was owned by W.R. Morris, the author of a biography on the legendary Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser, which was later made into a motion picture titled “Walking Tall.” W.R. still likes to brag about being the first person to “discover” Billy’s talent.

Another friend of the family who influenced Billy was Carl Montgomery, the co-author of the truck driver hit “Six Days on the Road.” Carl was the brother of Earl “Peanut” Montgomery, writer of 38 singles by George Jones, and Melba Montgomery, star of the Grand Ole Opry.

Billy knew three chords on his Silvertone and could sing along with Charley Pride, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard by the time he entered grade school. Wherever there was live music, that’s where you could find Billy soaking it all up like a hungry sponge.

After high school Billy started working the Alabama-Tennessee state line club and dance hall circuit with his band. One night Larry Hamby a CBS representative came to a Muscle Shoals Club and signed Billy “on the spot” to an album deal on Epic records. The legendary Sam Phillips was there that night to put in a good word. But, as luck would have it, Billy’s key man at Epic was moved to the West Coast and put in charge of the Pop and Rock division of the label. Along with several other acts, Billy was lost in the shuffle. Meanwhile, Muscle Shoals film maker Tonya Holley was casting for Orion Pictures. She had Billy to come down and audition in Selma, AL, for an up-coming movie starring Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones and Powers Boothe. Billy and his band got the part and Jessica Lange got an Oscar for best actress in “Blue Sky.”

During all of these experiences, Billy continued to write songs--songs that were good enough to get the attention of Sony/Tree publisher and producer, Don Cook. Don signed him one week and by the next week, Billy had cuts on three major artists. Within a little over a year Billy had two..#1 hits...”Learning As you Go” by Rick Trevino and “I Left Something Turned On At Home” by Trace Adkins also “Irresistible You” A..#20 by Ty England. Billy's song "He Ain't Even Cold Yet" recorded by Gretchen Wilson was played in an episode of HBO's The Sopranos this past season.

Billy was one of the 14 John Rich handpicked songwriters for CMT's "Gone Country" Hosted by John Rich & Starring Jermaine Jackson, Taylor Dane,Bobby Brown, Maureen McCormick, Sisqo, Dee Snyder, Diana DeGarmo, Carnie Wilson & Julio Iglesias Jr.

The following is a list of some of the other artists that have recorded Billy's songs: 

T.G. Sheppard

Darryl Worley
Chalee Tennison
Mel McDaniel
John Anderson
Lonestar
Daryle Singletary
Lee Ann Womack
Daron Norwood
Shenandoah
Delbert McClinton
Confederate Railroad
George Strait
Sammy Kershaw
Lori Morgan
Tim McGraw
Travis Tritt
Ken Mellons 
Gretchen Wilson
Ty England
Charley Pride
Bryan White 
Oak Ridge Boys
Ronnie Milsap
Rick Trevino
Trace Adkins 
Angela Hacker
Zac Hacker
Blake Shelton
Billy Bob Thornton

Kenny Rogers

Jermaine Jackson

Taylor Dayne

Maureen McCormick

Tyler Dickerson

Gene Watson

 

To book your next project, contact Bill at 256-443-9482 or brlawson62@yahoo.com