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Given Name: Glen Darrell Speck
Place of Birth: Livingston, Tennessee (1938)
Musical Syle: Rockabilly-Country-Gospel
Talents: Singer, Songwriter, Guitar

Way down in the country where I came from, there lived a red-headed boy who carried a big guitar under his arm, the first time I seen ol' Red, he was standing over there in the courthouse yard, he was picking and a singing oh so hard ...

That's the first few lines of a tune, a true story, that songwriter Robert Higginbotham wrote about his friend, Darrell Speck, the red-headed kid from Tennessee, as the song continues. Darrell was taught to play guitar by his mother at an early age, and learn it he did, quickly becoming reknowned for his finger-pickin' style. Not only could he play, but he could also sing and write his own songs, too.



In 1958, Darrell formed a group known as Darrell Speck & The Rebel Rousers, a little four piece combo, that soon found itself at the Al Vic Studio at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, recording the single, How I Love You, backed by Take Me Back. And, that was just the beginning for Speck.

At the same time that was going on, his father was building a radio station to, in his words, keep his son off the streets. Darrell would go on to have a broadcast career that lasted 30 years, before he was stricken with emphyzema.



During those years, Speck continued to write, sing and record. In 1965, a song he co-wrote a very successfulle song, I Love Country Music (And I'd Rather Fight Than switch) was recorded by Grand Ole Opry star Jack Barlow. Speck helped write four more songs for Barlow, who recorded for Dial Records. Speck also garnered DJ Of The Year awards in 1964.

A few short years later, Speck and his songwriting partner, Gene Coulter, wrote the title track of The Singing Speer Family's "Big Singing Day" album.



Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Speck was a song writer for Tree Publishing Company in Nashville. He used the radio station to record his music; specifically, a Wollensak reel-to-reel recorder and two Shure 55 "Elvis" microphones, looping one of the radio station's "cart machines" into the reel-to-reel for an added "echo" effect.

If you listen to How I Love You and Take Me Back, you can clearly hear the styles of Elvis and Buddy Holly. In 1973, Speck and two of fellow DJ's, Sid Scott and the late Ray Mullinix, formed The Singing DJ's and recorded a single that's still in demand today.



Darrell Speck loved music and everything about it - singing, playing and writing, and he was good at it. He was gettin' up and down that neck like Johnny B. Goode, and hittin' chords that I'd never seen, oh yeah, Big D, that's what they call him, Big D, the red-headed kid from Tennessee.










Rockabilly Songs:

1. "How I Love you"(AV-45-101) (Written by D. Speck/BMI) Al Vic Records (45-500) (June 1959)
Cedarwood Publishing
Recorded by Darrell Speck & The Rebel Rousers.
Released on these Collector-Oriented Compilation LPs and CDs Containing Tracks
A. Bison Bop Bb-LP 2014 (lp) The Bop That Never Stopped, Vol. 11
B. Buffalo Bop Bb-LP 2014 (lp) The Bop That Never Stopped, Vol. 11
C. Buffalo Bop Bb-CD 55072 (cd) Campus Cutie
D. Club 022 (lp) Grab This And Dance, Vol. 22
E. White Label WLP 8830 (lp) Primitive Sound

2. "Take Me Back"(AV-45-100) (written by D. Speck/BMI) Al Vic Records (45-500) (June 1959)
Cedarwood Publishing
Recorded by Darrell Speck & The Rebel Rousers.
Released on these Collector-Oriented Compilation LPs and CDs Containing Tracks
A. Buffalo Bop Bb-CD 55071 (cd) Teen Town
B. White Label WLP 8830 (lp) Primitive Sound




Posted January, 2006




Rockabilly Hall of Fame