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August 12, 2020

Rex Griffin

12 Aug. Birthday of Rex Griffin (12 Aug 1912-7 Oct 1958), one of the most talented singer/songwriter/guitarists of his era and a fine yodeller whose career was tragically cut short by ill health. Several of his compositions became country standards including Just Call Me Lonesome (Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb,Elvis Presley), Everybody’s Tryin’ To Be My Baby (Carl Perkins, The Beatles both of who bizarrely gave Perkins the songwriting credit) and the extensively covered The Last Letter, recorded by everyone from Jimmie Davis to Willie Nelson. A few years back Bear Family put out a superb box set with all his studio recordings plus bonus tracks from son Buddy, also a fine musician. For BACM’s compilation we focussed on his Decca recordings from the 1930s as we have them all here in the BACM archive on 78 rpm. They include a couple of tracks from his very first session (1935) as well as his original cut of The Last Letter and a fine version of Rodgers’ Sweet Mama Hurry Home. Ernest Tubb’s liner notes on his album of Griffin songs included these words: “Not only did Rex write many great songs but in my opinion his singing was second only to Jimmie Rodgers” – we agree!  http://country-music-archive.com/?s=rex+griffin

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