It takes a lot of 'unmitigated gall' to step up and do this; I had the whole family to answer toHeartland -- UPI Arts & Entertainment Sep 05, 2002
A lot of people don't realize what an incredible career my dad has had and how many No. 1 hit songs he wrote, recorded and won awards forCountry Music News May 30, 2002
Lonnie Melvin Tillis (born August 8, 1932), known professionally as Mel Tillis, is an American country music singer. Although he recorded songs since the late 1950s, his biggest success occurred in the 1970s, with a long list of Top 10 hits.
Tillis's biggest hits include "I Ain't Never", "Good Woman Blues", and "Coca-Cola Cowboy". He also has won the CMA Awards' most coveted award, Entertainer of the Year. He is also known for his speech impediment, which does not affect his singing voice. His daughter is country music singer Pam Tillis.
Tillis was born in Dover, Florida in 1932. His stutter developed during his childhood, a result of a bout with malaria. As a child, Tillis learned the drums as well as guitar. At age 16 he won a local talent show and soon joined the United States Air Force and worked for the railroad. When young Tillis was stationed in Okinawa, he formed a band called The Westerners, which played at local nightclubs. Tillis attended the University of Florida.