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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA
Birth NameMickey Leroy Gilley

Mini Bio (1)

Country western star Mickey Gilley was born on March 9, 1936 in Natchez, Mississippi, the cousin of future rockabilly legend Jerry Lee Lewis and disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. In their childhood, all three would play the piano together when they got together and sing gospel and boogie-woogie songs. After Lewis became a chart-topper in the 1950s, Mickey turned professional himself and cut some singles before becoming a session player in the Big Easy. He had a minor hit "Call Me Shorty" in 1958, but it would be years before he came out from under Jerry lee's shadow and established himself as a star.

He didn't release his first album, "Down the Line", until 1967. The album yielded a minor hit, "Now I Can Live Again". Three years later, he became a nightclub owner when he opened his Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas. The club, billed as the "world's biggest honky tonk," became famous when it was used as the setting for Urban Cowboy (1980) (1980). A song of his was featured on the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack, and the exposure boosted his popularity. By the 1980s, Gilley was experiencing cross-over success when he mellowed his C+W with a more pop orientation. He managed to put songs on the charts in each of 15 years, enjoying 17 #1 country hits.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (2)

Vivian Gilley (1962 - 1989) (2 children)
Geraldine Garrett (1953 - 1961) (divorced)

Trivia (11)

In 1970, he opened his first nightclub in Pasadena, Texas, called Gilley's Club, which later became known as the "world's biggest honky tonk".
In 1990, his nightclub in Pasadena, Texas, Gilley's Club, was closed down (after an out-of-court settlement with the owner Sherwood Cryer).
Prior to becoming a country superstar, he worked in the construction field, and had his own recording label, Astro Records.
Has 17 No. 1 hits on Billboard magazine's country singles chart -- 16 solo from 1974-1983, and one duet. The duet hit, "Paradise Tonight", came in 1983 with fellow country singer Charly McClain.
Many of his No. 1 hits, including the first four, were all cover versions of older country and pop hits -- "Room Full of Roses" and "I Overlooked an Orchid" (1974); "City Lights" and "Window Up Above" (1975); "Bring it on Home to Me" (1976); "True Love Ways" and "Stand By Me" (1980); "You Don't Know Me" (1981); and "Talk to Me" (1983). Two other hits, "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Candy Man" (1984) (the latter another duet with Charly McClain) were also covers.
Among his other No. 1 hits were "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closin' Time" (1976); "She's Pulling Me Back Again" (1977); "That's All that Matters" (1980); "A Headache Tomorrow or a Heartache Tonight" (1981); "Lonely Nights" and "Put Your Dreams Away" (1982); and "Fool for Your Love" (1983).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6930 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 14, 1984.
Has four children: Michael, twins Keith and Kathy, and Gregory. Has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Mickey, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart were inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame on March 2, 2002.
Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2011.

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