Mel Tillis to Release Comedy Album
Mel Tills won the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award in 1976, the same year he also won Comedian of the Year from Music City News. In fact, he won six of those fan-voted awards throughout the 70s for his humor. Obviously, Mel did a lot more than just stand and sing during his concerts back then!
Mel is now taking his talent for telling funny stories and parlaying it into a comedy album, 'You Ain't Gonna Believe This,' which will be released on Toby Keith's Show Dog-Universal Music label in September.
The singer credits one of country music's top comedians, Minnie Pearl, with helping him overcome his fear of talking onstage. He joined her band in the 1950s and she immediately went about convincing him that he had to communicate with his audience. Although he initially objected because of his stuttering, she told him he had to do more than sing, then taught him the ropes of timing jokes for his audiences. Mel says he also drew inspiration from Roger Miller, Jimmy Dean and Porter Wagoner.
Mel was a popular guest on the 'Tonight Show" back when Johnny Carson was its host, and he also appeared on on television shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Dean Martin, Glen Campbell and Merv Griffin. He even guest-hosted a show for Griffin, with Lucille Ball as his guest, a highlight for him.
"Humor has very much been a part of my whole life," Mel confirms. "As a matter of fact, it's been my crutch. The stories that I tell on and offstage are 95 percent true. If they need a little help, I help 'em out now and again!"
On the new album, Mel presents some of his best live comedy routines, the ones that fill an auditorium with laughter when he tells them on the road. "I tell stories between songs; I do a show instead of a concert," Mel says.
Among the stories Mel tells on the new album are 'Biscuit in the Pocket,' 'Imogene and Henry' and He Ought-a Said Something." He also includes two of his off-beat songs, 'Huntin' Buddies,' 'Slowin' Down' and 'Who's Gonna Wear the Dress.'
In addition to his music, Tillis has written a number of country hits for others, including Kenny Rogers' 'Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town' and RIcky Skaggs' 'Honey, Open That Door.' He has appeared in a number of movies, starring with Burt Reynolds in 'Smokey & the Bandit II' and more recently, Toby's 'Beer for My Horses.' He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.
'You Ain't Gonna Believe This' will be released on September 21.