Ted Daffan

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Ted Daffan (real name: Theron Eugene Daffan , born September 21, 1912 in Beauregard Parish / Louisiana , † October 6, 1996 in Houston ) was an American country singer and important composer of national importance.



After graduating from high school in 1930, Theron Eugene Daffan taught himself to play the guitar and opened a radio workshop in which he experimented with the electrical amplification of musical instruments. From 1933 he was a member of the Blue Islanders , which appeared on the radio station KTRH in Houston. He became a professional musician as a steel guitarist in 1934 when he played with the Blue Ridge Playboys with his friend Floyd Tillman ( Moon Mullican was also a member ).

He delivered his first composition in 1939 with Truck Drivers' Blues , the first title ever written about truck drivers. The song was recorded by Moon Mullican with the western swing band Cliff Bruner ’s Texas Wanderers for Decca on August 26, 1939. Daffan got the idea as a guest in a truck stop restaurant when he observed how almost all truckers were the first to throw coins into a jukebox when they got out of their truck in the restaurant, before they even ordered anything. The trucker title became a national hit with 100,000 copies and brought its composer Ted Daffan a record deal with Columbia Records. At that time he played an amplified steel guitar, which he developed in his radio workshop and which earned him the reputation of one of the pioneers of the electrified steel guitar, and for the first time posed with Buddy Buller (guitar), Chuck Keeshan (vocals / guitar), Elmer Christian (Bass), Ralph Smith (piano) and Harry Sorensen (accordion) formed their own band, which was then called Ted Daffan's Texans .

Record career

Ted Daffan's Texans - Born To Lose

Columbia's producer and talent scout Arthur Satherley brought Daffan to the subsidiary label OKeh Records , where he delivered a very productive first recording session with 12 recordings on April 25, 1940. The first single from the session was I'm A Fool To Care / Put Your Little Arms Around Me (OKeh # 5573), released in June 1940. In July 1940, Worried Mind / Blue Steel Blues (# 5668) followed, which sold 350,000 copies became despite massive 12 cover versions by Bob Wills , Roy Acuff or Wayne King. The Blue Steel Blues was a distinctive instrumental recording in typical western swing. In February 1942 the band had changed personnel. In addition to Leonard Seago (vocals and fiddle), Johnny Johnson (bass), Spike Jones (drums) and Freddy Courtney (accordion) now played. This formation played on February 20, 1942 the title Born To Lose , written by Daffan under the pseudonym "Frankie Brown", which appeared in October 1943. In Billboard's first Country & Western hit parade on January 8, 1944, the song appeared with its A-side No Letter Today , which stayed in second place for 3 weeks.

Born To Lose was released a week later and climbed to third place. Born To Lose in the original version by Daffan received one of the then rare gold records for country songs for over a million copies. All of the following singles that made it from the Texans to the C&W charts made it into the top ten. So also the great success Headin 'Down The Wrong Highway / Shadow On My Heart , which was also listed at number two for 3 weeks after its release in July 1945.

Compositions for other performers

Just as important for the development of country music were, in addition to his own records, the cover versions of other artists. On September 1, 1939, Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers recorded another Daffan composition with Singing The Lowdown Blues . His first single Worried Mind was covered on November 8, 1940 by Jim Lewis & His Lone Cowboys . I'm a Fool to Care made it to sixth place in the pop hit parade in the version by Les Paul & Mary Ford in 1954. Born To Lose has been covered in many musical styles. The spectrum ranges from Ray Charles (February 15, 1962) to Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two (April 27, 1962), the Everly Brothers (October 1963), Dean Martin (August 1965), Jerry Lee Lewis (April 1969) Conway Twitty (August 13, 1973). I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night , published by Daffan in March 1950 , reached fourth position on the country charts in April 1954 in the version by Faron Young .

In 1955 Daffan founded his own record label Daffan Records and signed his friend Floyd Tillman or Dickie McBride . The label continuously expanded its country catalog with artists such as Eddie Noack, Johnny Bundrick and Jerry Irby and remained in the market until 1971. In 1958 Daffan founded a music publishing company in Nashville with Hank Snow , but moved back to Houston in 1961, where he also died.

Statistics and awards

In addition to the gold record for his own recording of Born to Lose , Daffan received a platinum record in 1982 for over a million performances of the Ray Charles version. According to the BMI , there are 184 compositions registered for Ted Daffan , of which Born To Lose , which has been covered 16 times , received a BMI Award. 6 other Daffan compositions were also honored with this award. Due to his success as a songwriter, Daffan was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 .

Discography (selection)

OKeh Records (Columbia; 1940 to 1950):

  • I'm A Fool To Care / Put Your Little Arms Around Me (# 5573), June 1940
  • Worried Mind / Blue Steel Blues (# 05668), July 1940
  • Where The Deep Waters Flow / Crying The Blues Again (# 05741), August 1940
  • I Told You So / She Goes The Other Way (# 05918), December 1940
  • Down Hilo Way / Strip Tease Swing (# 06126), April 1941
  • Too Late, Little Girl, Too Late / Weary, Worried And Blue (# 06253), June 1941
  • Weary Steel Blues / Always Alone (# 06311), August 1941
  • Car Hops Blues / Breakin 'My Heart Over You (# 06452), October 1941
  • Born To Lose / No Letter Today (# 6706), October 1943
  • Look Who's Talking / The Bluest Blues (# 6719), April 1944
  • Time Won't Heal My Broken Heart / You're Breaking My Heart (# 6729), January 1945
  • Shadow On My Heart / Headin 'Down The Wrong Highway (# 6744), July 1945

Conqueror Records:

  • Worried Mind / (Brownie McGhee) (# 9564) December 1940
  • Put Your Little Arms Around Me / I'm A Fool To Care (# 9697), April 1941 (re-release)
  • She Goes The Other Way / Gray Eyed Darling (# 9698), April 1941 (re-release)
  • Worried Mind / Blue Steel Blues (# 9699), April 1941 (re-release)
  • Rainy Day Blues / Let Her Go (# 9700), April 1941 (re-release)
  • I'm Sorry I Said Goodbye / I Told You So (# 9701), April 1941 (re-release)

Columbia Records:

  • Trouble Keeps Hangin 'Around My Door / Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt (# 36917/20015), February 1946
  • Shadows On My Heart / Headin 'Down The Wrong Highway (# 37044/20067), August 1946
  • Shut That Gate / Broken Vows (# 37087/20077), October 1946
  • Baby, You Can't Get Me Down / You Better Change Your Ways, Baby (# 37267/20103), January 1947
  • Are You Satisfied Now? / My Fallen Star (# 37501/20181), July 1947
  • Because / Those Blue Eyes Don't Sparkle Anymore (# 37657/20256), July 1947
  • Long John / Lonesome Highway (# 37823/20358), September 1947
  • Go On, Go On / Poor Little Bar Fly (# 37959/20383), November 1947
  • Bury Me Deep / The Straight And Narrow Way (# 38092/20407), February 1948
  • Deep Down Inside / Too Far Gone (# 20427), May 1948
  • Just Born This Way / Two Of A Kind (# 20462), August 1948
  • Now I Must Reap / You'll Always Be Around (# 20506), October 1948
  • Got Money On My Mind / Among Your Souvenirs (# 20530), January 1949
  • Flame Of Love / I'm That Kind Of Guy (# 20567), April 1949
  • That's A Dad Blamed Lie / Take That Lease Off Me (# 20628), October 1949
  • So Dissatisfied / Strangers Passing By (# 20668), February 1950
  • I'm Gonna Leave This Darned Old Town / I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night (# 20679), March 1950
  • Kiss Me Goodnight / Ain't Got No Name Rag (# 20707), June 1950

Daffan Records:

  • Bottom Of The List / Tangled Mind (# 102), December 1955


  • Tony Russell: Ted Daffan . In: Ders .: Country music originals. The legends and the lost . University Press, Oxford 2007, ISBN 978-0-19-532509-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=18079
  2. ^ William H. Young / Nancy K. Young, Music Of The World War II Era , 2008, p. 168, to be found virtually as "Google Book Search"
  3. Ivan M. Tribe, Country: A Regional Exploration , 2006, p. 91
  4. Joseph Murrells, Million Selling Records , 1985, pp. 37 f.
  5. with whom Daffan performed as a duo in 1936. Irby recorded for the Daffan label Tangled Mind in December 1955 .
  6. Kurt Wolff / Orla Duane, Country Music: The Rough Guide , 2000, p. 109
  7. BMI entry for Ted Daffan  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / repertoire.bmi.com  

Web links