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 Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
 
Buddy Knox 
Buddy Wayne Knox
 February 14, 1999
Age 65
Lung Cancer 
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OBITUARY 
        
       
 
Buddy Wayne Knox 

          BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) -- Buddy Wayne Knox, a rockabilly singer 
          and songwriter who hit the top of the charts with ``Party Doll'' in the 
          1950s, died Sunday of cancer. He was 65.  

          Knox penned his biggest hit, ``Party Doll,'' as early as 1948. Seven years 
          later, he formed the Rhythm Orchids with Jimmy Bowen on bass and 
          Don Lanier on guitar. Studio owner Norman Petty cut ``Party Doll'' and 
          Bowen's ``I'm Stickin' With You'' on the local Triple-D label in 1956, 
          using a cardboard box instead of drums.  

          The tunes were later picked up by Roulette's then-new NYC label, 
          which split the songs onto two records, each with a ``B'' side.  

          Each sold a million copies and ``Party Doll'' became a No. 1 hit.  

          Knox had a string of other songs on the charts in the '50s, including 
          ``Hula Love,'' ``Rock Your Little Baby To Sleep,'' and ``Somebody 
          Touched Me.''  

          In 1997, Knox joined The Crickets, Bobby Vee and The Shirelles at a 
          Buddy Holly Tribute concert to mark the 38th anniversary of the singer's 
          death. Concerts commemorating ``the day that music died'' -- as 
          singer-songwriter Don McLean put it in his 1972 hit ``American Pie'' -- 
          have become an annual event.  
 

 
 Note from visitor
    March 8, 2000    
    I was a member of Buddy Knox's band when 
    he died last year. Quite a story about Buddy...everyone else in the band 
    was in Mexico for the Valentines Day wedding of one of the members. Buddy 
    couldn't make it. We took over a club in town that night and played a bunch 
    of his tunes, wishing he could have attended. Two weeks later I was 
    checking my e-mail from Puerto Vallarta and got a note saying Buddy had 
    died the morning of the wedding. He'd gone in for a check-up and the docs 
    told him he had inoperable lung cancer.  Nine days later he was history. The 
    band continues today as Los Orchids, as a tribute to Buddy and the name of 
    his original band, the Rhythm Orchids.  A Los Orchids CD will be out shortly 
    which includes a tune called "One For Buddy." ~ Jef Jaisun
 
       
 

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BIOGRAPHY
 
 
born: July 20, 1933 in Happy, TX 
died:  February 14, 1999, Washington State 
  
                 Buddy Knox: "Rhythm Orchid Racket"   Buddy Knox's solo career would have never come into being had not the label bosses at the newly formed Roulette Records decided to get some extra mileage out of a recent master lease. Knox--along with bass player Jimmy Bowen--recorded "Party Doll" and "I'm Stickin' With You" under their original sobriquet of the Rhythm Rockers and had it pressed it up on their own Triple-D label back in Texas.  

They had recorded both sides along with a couple of other tunes ("Everlovin' Fingers" and "My Baby's Gone") at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico. However, when Roulette leased the session, instead of releasing the single in its original form, they opted instead for two separate singles, assigning "My Baby's Gone" to be the new b-side of "Party Doll" and "Everlovin' Fingers" to be the flip of "I'm Stickin' With You." The old group name was now relegated to backup band status as "Party Doll" came out as Buddy Knox with the Rhythm Orchids and "I'm Stickin' With You" was issued as Jimmy Bowen with the Rhythm Orchids. Even more confusing was the simple fact that the b-side of "Party Doll"--the bluesy "My Baby's Gone"--was in fact, Bowen singing lead! 

No matter, "Party Doll" shot to the very top of the charts in March of 1957, becoming the very first self composed rock'n'roll song to make number one hit, a point not lost on old time Tin Pan Alley songwriters, the rockabilly handwriting on the wall, so to speak. It also fostered cover versions left and right from R&B star Roy Brown, Sinatra wanna-be Steve Lawrence and jazz trumpeter Wingy Manone, all of whom took the song into pop charts top 100. 

"I'm Stickin' With You" fared almost as well, into the top 20 for a couple of months and beating out a cover version on Dot by the Fontane Sisters, who seemed to be making a career out of doing vanilla milk shake cover versions at that time.  

Knox stayed with it long enough to end up on the oldies circuit while Bowen went behind the glass, becoming one of the top producers in both country and pop music, bringing both Reba McIntyre and Garth Brooks to mainstream audiences.  But the real rockin' (and the very beginnings of Roulette Records; these were their first two releases--both can be heard on Westside's The Roulette Story) starts right here.  

~Cub Koda

                 Copyright © All Music Guide. 

 
 
  
 
 

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