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 Allison “Al Terry” Theriot

Allison “Al Terry” Theriot

Birth
Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 23 Nov 1985 (aged 63)
Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 74222668 · View Source
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Al Terry was born on Jan. 14, 1922, in Kaplan, Louisiana, USA and he died on Nov. 23, 1985. An early country music performer, singer and guitarist Terry was among the first Louisiana artists to develop the rockabilly sound. He made an appearance at the age of 13 on radio KVOL (Lafayette, Louisiana) and formed his first band while still in high school. After graduation he spent a period in Beaumont, Texas to learn about radio broadcasting with KRIC. Terry's best-known recording is the self-penned 1954 hit Good Deal, Lucille, which often appears on compilations.

Throughout its life (early 50s-mid 70s) Nashville's Hickory label operated chiefly as a shop window for the copyrights of its publisher 'parent,' Acuff-Rose Music. Right from the start, almost every song that appeared on the label was from the artists and repertoire (A&R) catalogue, while most of the artists who recorded for the label were also signed to the publishing company. Although the label never really attempted to compete with music city's 'big boys' in terms of artist profile and chart records, it can still boast a number of genuine classic hits throughout its catalogue, not to mention a selection of artists who would have been an asset to any roster.

One of the first Hickory artists and, without question, one of the finest ever to record for the yellow and brown imprint was Allison Theriot better known as Al Terry. His original 1954 version of Good Deal, Lucille was one of Hickory's first releases and it was also the label's first ever chart hit. It was popular enough for Terry to re-cut it in 1957, in a rock n' roll influenced version.

Many of Al's recordings highlighted some of the finest pickers in 1950s Nashville, including Chet Atkins and Terry's steel playing brother Charles (known as Bob). Bob Terry wrote many of the tracks that Al recorded. His songs brought the best out of Al's warm, Jim Reeves-like, light baritone. Brothers Rusty and Doug Kershaw and pianist-vocalist Wiley Barkdull also feature strongly among the musical backup.

In 1955 Country & Western Jamboree magazine voted Terry No 1 in their New Male Country Singer category. In the mid-50s he was a featured guest on The Louisiana Hayride. Among artists with whom Terry worked was Jimmy C. Newman, appearing in several recordings in the late 40s and early 50s. Terry also worked as a disc jockey on KROF radio in Abbeville, Louisiana.
Al Terry never took his place among country music's elite. Not only could he have been a contender, he should have been one. Terry was immensely popular throughout the Southwest with widespread fan loyalty in Louisiana and Southeastern Texas. Unfortunately, not much has been written about his legacy and as his aging fan base diminishes, so does the Al Terry saga.


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  • Created by: Richard Joseph Bell
  • Added: 31 Jul 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74222668
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Allison “Al Terry” Theriot (14 Jan 1922–23 Nov 1985), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74222668, citing Cossinade Cemetery, Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Richard Joseph Bell (contributor 47403032) .