| Floyd Tillman was born in Ryan, Oklahoma
on December 8, 1914, but raised in Post,
Texas, Floyd was drawn to playing music
by the fact that two of his brothers
were earning $5 a night playing dances
at a local skating rink.
Floyd developed his own style of
performing at an early age. He was
always just a little off from the beat
of the other musicians. He would rather
sing his own compositions than the
common hits of the day.
Floyd's first major hit, "It Makes No
Difference Now," which he sold for $300,
established him as a songwriter in 1938,
and led to his own Decca recording
contract. Jimmie Davis purchased the
song from Floyd. Floyd would retain the
ownership of the song once again after
twenty eight years.
Floyd's only number one song as a singer
was the jazzy "They Took The Stars Out
of Heaven." It reached the top of the
charts in 1942.
His 1944 hit, "Each Night At Nine,"
captured the feelings of lonely
servicemen so well that both Axis Sally
and Tokyo Rose played it heavily to
In 1948 "I Love You So Much It Hurts"
was a huge hit for Floyd and also for
Jimmy Wakely. His 1949 "Slippin'
Around," one of the first cheating
songs, was a hit not only for Floyd, but
also for Ernest Tubb, Texas Jim
Robertson and the duo of Margaret
Whiting and Jimmy Wakely. Tillman had a
smash with his own answer, "I'll Never
Slip Around Again," as did the Whiting/Wakely
Other classics written and recorded
by Floyd include "I Gotta Have My Baby
Back" "Small Little Town" "I'll Take
What I Can Get" "and "This Cold War With
Floyd slowed down on his performing in
the early 1950's relying on his past
sonwriting hits to provide an income.
"It was a daily rat race," Floyd said.
"I was sleeping in my car-a bus was out
of the question, too expensive-and
making $200-$500 a night, more money
than I could pay taxes on, and I got
tired of it. I told the band they could
go on and keep playin' but I was going
to retire. That kind of life can get to
Floyd would become a very honored
songwriter and performer especially out
of the "outlaw music craze" that swept
Texas. Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard,
Ray Price, Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall
and so many others regarded Floyd as one
of their major influences.
He returned to work occasionally in the
1970's primarily throughout Texas. He
did enjoy a part in several of the
"Legends" or "Pioneer Reunion" shows in
Nashville. Floyd continued to work
until he reached his 88th birthday, just
months before his death.
Floyd was inducted into the Songwriter's
Hall of Fame in 1971. His greatest
honor was bestowed on him in 1984 when
his protege Willie Nelson inducted him
into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Floyd returned to the studio in
2002-2003 to record his final album.
The project titled "The Influence"
paired Floyd with some Country Music
artists that were influenced by his
style and performing. 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 recorded some of Floyd Tillman's
masterpieces with the creater himself.
The project, released in April of 2004,
features liner notes by Dr. Bill Malone,
Bill Mack, Hank Thompson and Willie
Nelson. It was produced by Justin
Trevino on Heart of Texas Records.
"We were so delighted to bring Floyd
back into the studios after a twenty
year absence," Heart of Texas Records
President Tracy Pitcox said. "We were
just very dissapointed that Floyd could
not hear the final project. He loved
his vocals and smiled 'ear to ear' when
I first played them for him."
"The Influence" is a fitting tribute to
a great Country Music Legend.
Floyd Tillman passed away peacefully at
his home in Bacliff, Texas, on August