Floyd Tillman is Texas original and a beloved music icon in an around Central Texas….especially by Austin music lovers….as Tillman was an American country musician…..who in the 1930’s and 1940’s helped create the Western swing and honky tonk genres. Tillman was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970….and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1984.
Floyd Tillman grew up in the cotton-mill town of Post, Texas as a sharecropper’s son….as one of his early jobs was with Western Union as a telegraph operator….when in the early 1930’s he played mandolin at local dances and eventually took up the guitar…..then Tillman moved to San Antonio to play lead guitar with Adolph Hofner, a Western swing bandleader….and soon developed into a songwriter and singer. He took a job with Houston pop bandleader Mack Clark in 1938….and played with Western swing groups fronted by Leon “Pappy” Selph and Cliff Bruner, the legendary fiddle player…..as he also worked with Ted Daffan….and singer and piano player Moon Mullican. Tillman recorded as a featured vocalist with Selph’s Blue Ridge Playboys in 1938….which was also the same year Floyd scored his first major songwriting hit, “It Makes No Difference Now”….thus giving him his own Decca recording contract….when Jimmie Davis purchased the song from Floyd for $300….the rights to which he got back 28 years later.
Tillman’s only # 1 one song as a singer was “They Took the Stars Out of Heaven”…..as It reached the top of the charts in 1944. Previously, he had reached # 2 with “I’m Gonna Change All My Ways”….then his 1944 hit, “Each Night At Nine”, struck a chord with lonely servicemen during World War II….of which Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose played it heavily to encourage desertion. A big hit for Tillman and also for Jimmy Wakely was 1948’s “I Love You So Much It Hurts”….and his 1949 song “Slippin’ Around” ….which is credited as the 1st country western “cheating” song….as it too was a hit for Tillman as well as Ernest Tubb,….and is performed in this video herewith at a 1980 taping of Austin City Limits Country Classics program. Tillman had another successful song with his own answer, “I’ll Never Slip Around Again”. Tillman’s final album, recorded in 2002–2003 titled The Influence….paired him with country music artists who were influenced by his style and performing including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Leona Williams, Dolly Parton, Justin Trevino, Ray Price, Frankie Miller, Hank Thompson, Connie Smith, Lawton Williams, Mel Tillis, Darrell McCall, Johnny Bush and George Jones. The project, released in April 2004, featured liner notes by Dr. Bill Malone, Bill Mack, Hank Thompson and Willie Nelson….and was produced by Justin Trevino (country singer) on Heart of Texas Records.
Pure and simple, Floyd Tillman is a Texas country and music legend….and we at ImaSportsphile are overjoyed at having this recording of him singing country music’s 1st cheating song…..as a “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.