Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm So Grateful

The Lollipops

I'm So Grateful 

(Robert Riley, Tree Pub. Co. BMI)  

Mixed-Up 2 Production

Miki 1017
Nashville, Tennessee

Songwriter Robert Riley was a member of The Prisonaires on Sun Records. ( 'Just Walking In The Rain').  The song was written in 1952 with Johnny Bragg.  Both were then hosts of the Tennessee State Prison in Nashville.  Released in 1957, Robert Riley wrote songs for Excello Records in Nashville and for the King and Todd labels who held sessions in Nashville, his hometown.
He would work on musical arrangements for Ernie Young at Excello, and he had an income-generation role too: blues singer Jerry McCain told interviewer David Nelson how Young, ''had this black dude there. His name was Robert Riley... What he would do is sit there and listen at the songs and everything, then he'd pick out a verse that he says is not strong enough. But in turn he writes him a verse that he want to insert in there so he can get writer's royalties. So Mr. Young says 'Jerry, Robert said it was a good song but the second verse ain't strong enough'. I said 'I ain't changing nothing', and Mr. Young said, 'well Jerry, see, there you go again. You supposed to go along with me'''.

Then he was signed by Tree Publishing (Jack Stapp and Buddy Killen) as writer and, later, employee..
Buddy Killen had mixed feelings about whether he did right to hire Robert Riley for Tree Records and for his Dial label. On the credit side Riley did write some good songs and, crucially, he introduced singer Joe Tex to Killen at the start of the singer's career. But then, on the debit side, Killen remembered: ''When Riley was released from prison he started coming around to Tree hoping to get some of his songs recorded. I signed him to Tree as a writer and ultimately hired him to work for the company. One day I asked him to take a check to Jack Stapp over at the radio station. The check for $1000 was for royalties from a Roger Miller song. Later that day... both the check and Riley were nowhere to be found. He had forged a signature, cashed the check, and gone to a convention in Chicago... I was furious. I'm going to have you arrested', I said. Riley began to cry and said that I was only going to prosecute him because he was black. That was utter nonsense and he knew it... I later found out that he had sold some of his songs for pocket change while under contract to write for Tree''

Other artists on the Miki label includes Lynn Britt, The Downbeat Seven and Hal & Jean Gilbert.The label was possibly owned by Riley or by Tree Music.

No comments:

Post a Comment