MICKEY GILLEY
..:: AL EMBRY EXCLUSIVE ARTIST ::..

 

Mickey Gilley has accomplished what most Artists only dream of-a long and fulfilling career marked by loyal fans and financial success. Mickey hasn't had to reinvent himself to stay in the game. He has stayed current with the times while knowing what not to change. He has treated his fans with the same respect throughout the years, maintained his consistent high quality performances, selected classic songs that withstood the fickleness of trends, and tapped into business opportunities with an uncanny foresight. The landmark Texas nightclub that he helped create in 1971 is the perfect case in point.

Gilley's Club was the sensation of the era: "World's Largest Honky-Tonk", a launching pad for some of country music's biggest stars, and the dominating force behind the Urban Cowboy craze that swept the country in the early 80's following the release of the John Travolta movie filmed in the Pasadena, Texas nightclub.

Even as he was helping to build the original Gilley's Club into the landmark honky-tonk of the century, Mickey was also launching an incredible career as an entertainer and recording artist. He scored his first string of consecutive number one hits in the mid-70's - Room Full of Roses, I Overlooked an Orchid, Window up Above, and Don't the Girl's All Get Prettier at Closing Time.

In the 80's he became a smooth crooner of country love songs - That's All That Matters To Me, Headache Tomorrow, Heartache Tonight, I'm Just A Fool For Your Love, Put Your Dreams Away, and distinctive updates of such romantic classics as Stand By Me, True Love Ways, You Don't Know Me, Talk To Me, and You've Really Got A hold On Me.

In all Mickey has achieved a remarkable 39 Top Ten country hits, with 17 of those songs reaching the #1 spot. IN 1976 he swept the ACM Awards hauling home trophies for the Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, Song of the Year, Single of the Year and album of the year.

Mickey also guest starred on numerous popular television series, including Murder She Wrote, The Fall Guy, Fantasy Island, and Dukes of Hazzard as well as featured appearances on 20/20, The Grammy Awards Show, The American Music Awards, Solid Gold, The Tonight Show and several others. He is among the select few country singers who have achieved the honor of being recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition he has been a featured attraction in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City, which proves how universal his music is to American audiences.

Opening his Branson Theater in 1990 is another example of Mickey's visionary business ability. Just as he was a pioneer in the area if the country dance clubs, Mickey was among the first entertainers to recognize the potential of the Ozarks music mecca. Mickey expanded his business ventures further in 1993 by opening Gilley's Texas Café next to the Branson theater. Mickey's first musical influence as a boy growing up in Ferriday, Louisiana was his piano-pounding cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis. He grew up close to Jerry Lee and another famous cousin, Jimmy Swaggart, even as he snuck up to the windows of clubs to absorb the haunting sounds of Louisiana rhythm and blues.

Jerry Lee was the inspiration for Mickey's decision to entertain people for a living. At the age of 17, shortly before his cousin scored his first big hit, Mickey moved to Houston to work in construction. Mickey went to see Jerry Lee in concert in Houston and went with him to the airport after the show. "He pulled out a wad of hundred-dollar bills, and it made me decide right then that I was in the wrong business," Mickey says with a laugh. "The problem was, I was trying to be a Jerry Lee clone.

Then a guy named Jim Ed Norman came into my life. Jim Ed got me out of the shadow of Jerry Lee by giving me songs that appealed to a bigger audience. He helped me find my musical identity." Mickey continues to maintain a residence in Pasadena, Texas. His hobbies include golf, walking and flying his own airplane. "I enjoy performing and singing as much these days as I ever have," Mickey says. "I joke that I am semi-retired. Of course, I work just as hard as always.

The thing about experience is, it helps you keep your priorities straight. I'm interested in quality now, not quantity. I make sure my business and my life are set up so I can get the most enjoyment out of the things I love." "The thing I love most is getting on stage and performing a great show for people."