My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Leona Williams – ‘Yes Ma’am (He Found Me In A Honky Tonk)’

3 responses to “Classic Rewind: Leona Williams – ‘Yes Ma’am (He Found Me In A Honky Tonk)’

  1. Ken January 28, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Easy to see how Merle Haggard was smitten with her! Her inflections and phrasing on her early recordings are similar to George Jones.

  2. Paul W Dennis January 29, 2016 at 6:42 am

    The only time I ever saw Leona Williams live was at the NCO Club at Ruislip AFB near London in 1969 or 1970. She was performing with her then-husband Ron Williams, also a fine singer and the father of her son Ron.

    I thought Leona was terrific (her recent single was “Once More”) and I have no idea why she never made it big. She certainly had more talent than many of the more successful female artists

    • Ken January 29, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Leona had the unfortunate circumstance of being signed to Hickory Records as her first label. Hickory’s primarily focus was to get songs recorded from it’s publishing division so she did not have a wide universe of great material to choose from. From 1968 until 1974 she released 18 singles. Hickory lacked the promotional muscle to compete with Nashville’s major labels so only three of Leona’s singles charted in Billboard with none peaking higher than #52. Leona moved on to RCA in 1974 carrying a lackluster track record as her legacy. Two RCA singles never charted but to be fair RCA’s artist roster during that era could fill a baseball stadium. Leona’s singles probably received even less promotion that when she was with Hickory. By then the die was cast so later releases for MCA, Elektra and Mercury were overlooked by most radio programmers. One exception was a 1978 duet with her new husband Merle Haggard. “The Bull And The Beaver” became her sole top ten hit and a 1983 duet album with Haggard released for Mercury just prior to the end of their marriage was her most successful album.

      Leona is indeed a wonderful singer and had she been signed to a stronger record label early on her career might have had greater success.

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