Tennessee troubadour Little David Wilkins, who rivalled the late Johnny Russell as the biggest man in country music in the seventies, is alive and well.

We prematurely listed Wilkins, now 63, as a denizen of hillbilly heaven on our Ask The Guru segment of the Nu Country TV page.

Our thanks to eagle eyed reader Donnie Wade Branham from HealthyArkansas.com
for alerting us to Little David's longevity.

"Little David Wilkins is not dead, he is very much alive!!!!", was good news from Donnie on September 6.

When I interviewed Wilkins in 1978 he was in fine fettle, working the honky tonks and taverns throughout the south.

Little David was born in Parsons, Tennessee, and started on legendary Sun Records in Memphis at age 22 after learning guitar by mail order at age 15. Sam Phillips produced two recording sessions on Wilkins with only one release, "There's Something About You".
Wilkins had hits for Plantation, MCA, Playboy and Epic and is renowned for the title track of his 1976 MCA disc King Of All The Taverns."

"I'm king of all the taverns because I give them all a try," was the wry hook of the hit - one of many he wrote with Tim Marshall.

That disc was produced by Owen Bradley at the famed Bradley's Barn in Mt Juliet. It featured Harold Bradley on bass and electric guitar, Pete Wade on lead guitar, the late Pete Drake on pedal steel, pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins and Bob Moore guesting on bass.
Wilkins also penned hits for peers.

They included Coming On Strong (Brenda Lee), That's The Only Way Life's
Good To Me (Charley Pride), Cry Like A Baby (Ronnie Dove), Afraid I Want To
Love You One More Time (Billy "Crash" Craddock) Put A Little Loving On Me
(Percy Sledge) and Georgia Keeps Pulling On My Ring (Conway Twitty).

Wilkins's other albums include a self-titled 1974 disc, New Horizons for Playboy in 1977 and Live On The Road.

Eddie Kilroy produced New Horizons, featuring Robbins and Bobby Wood on piano, late drummer Larrie London, bassist Bobby Dyson, pedal steel player Russ Hicks and guitarists Steve Chapman, Dave Kirby and Bobby Thompson.

The singer won BMI songwriting awards for Coming On Strong and Georgia Keeps
Pulling On My Ring and an ASCAP Award for He'll Play The Music.

Among his other radio friendly cuts were Love In The Back Seat, Too Much, Butter Beans, Hold Back, Not Tonight, I've Got A Headache, Whoever Turned You On, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, Good Night Special, He'll Play The Music, It Took A Stranger To Change Her, Before It Begins and Hang Together.

And, of course, the aptly named It's A Long Way To Heaven.

Little David has recorded a new 17 song CD featuring 2 duets with the late Johnny Russell. It will be available in 2004.

You can visit David's web site here
Welcome back Little David - you outlived Sun Records founder Sam Phillips

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