Royce Porter

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Royce Porter (born April 1, 1939 in Sweetwater , Texas ) is an American country and rockabilly musician and songwriter.


Childhood and youth

Royce Porter was born in Sweetwater, where he grew up in a musical family. Porter was interested in music as a child and gained his first experience in the Saturday Night Jamboree , a country show that took place in a theater in Sweetwater.


As a teenager, Porter started a career as a rockabilly musician. With a demo tape that he sent Bennie Hess , he was able to sign a recording contract with Hess' label Spade Records in Houston . His first single, A Woman Can Make You Blue / I End Up Crying , was recorded at ACA Studios in Houston in late 1956 and released by Spade in January 1957. Since Spade had no financial means to market the record widely, Porter and fellow musician Ray Doggett moved from radio station to radio station in Texas to market the single. Even so, Porter couldn't get past local sales.

While Porter and Doggett, who was also under contract with Spade at the same time, were touring in Doggett's 49er Ford, they met Pappy Daily , who at the time was still co-owner of the Starday Records label . He liked Porter's Spade single and organized a session in Fort Worth , Texas with Dean Beard on piano and the Kounts as backing choir. The session produced the two tracks Yes I Do and Our Perfect Romance , which were released on the Look label, a sub-label of Mercury Records . Due to the good local sales figures, Porter got the opportunity in the spring of 1958 to record a record at Mercury himself. Guest appearances in the Louisiana Hayride and the Ozark Jubilee were promising, but Beach of Love / Good Time could not enter the charts, despite the major label, which was probably also due to Porter's entry into the military. In December 1958, Daily's new label D Records followed Porter's last single Lookin '/ I Still Belong to You .

During his time in the US Navy , Porter did not give up music and played in various bands, but gave up his career after his release. He worked as a pastor in Sweetwater for the next several years. It wasn't until 1965 that he returned to the music scene with the Nat King Cole song Looking Back on the FED label. With his brother-in-law Bill Funderbunk, a few pop singles followed on the tear-drop label before Funderbunk was drafted into the army. Porter then moved to Nashville , Tennessee to try his luck as a country musician.

In Nashville, Porter performed in small bars and clubs for a few years until 1973, when he and the songwriter Buck Jones founded the music publisher Porter & Jones Music , which later belonged to Reeves Enterprises. With Dean Gillion, Porter wrote four hits for country star George Strait , including the number one hit Ocean Front Property . Through his music publishing, Porter finally got prosperous and bought a house on Old Hickory Lake, where Johnny Cash lived for years.


Discography is not exhaustive. Tear Drop 3189 Hush Broken Heart / Wanderlust , released as The Brothers-In-Law , is likely a single by Royce Porter and Bill Funderbunk.

year title Label #
1957 A Woman Can Make You Blue / I End Up Crying Spade 1931
1957 Yes I Do / Our Perfect Romance Look Y-1001X45
1958 Beach of Love / Good Time Mercury 71314X45
1958 Lookin '/ I Still Belong to You D 1026
1965 Looking back /? Fed
Unpublished titles
  • A Woman Can Make You Blues (old version)
  • Love is made of this
[Status unknown]

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