Over his career, Sonny James amassed 23 #1 songs, including a legendary streak where he received 16 consecutive #1’s between April of 1967 and September of 1971. James was a pioneer in crossing over from the country realm to pop, and his career was decorated with many firsts for a country artist. James was the first ever country music artist to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957.
The idea of retiring from playing music seems like such a foreign notion on the surface. We like to think that artists make music because they have to—because it’s all they know and it’s in their blood. Some just happen to make money and get famous from it along the way. Quitting music would be like deciding to quit watching sunsets or eating ice cream with your family or something.
Finally one of the most under-appreciated, but wildly-influential lyricists in country music, one of country music’s forgotten Outlaw artists, and one of America’s most creative personalities is going to get his due on the silver screen. Shel Silverstein is slated to receive the biopic treatment in a film called A Boy Named Shel—a play on words of the song “A Boy Named Sue” made famous by Johnny Cash.