Terry Fell (1921-2007) was an American country musician.


Childhood and adolescence:

Fell was born in Dora, Alabama on May 13, 1921 and got his first guitar at the age of nine. Later he learned mandolin and took singing lessons. When he was 13 years old, his father died; and three years later he moved alone to California, where he spent some time in a camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps. After he briefly lived in Alabama again, Fell and his mother moved to to the US West Coast. There he began playing in 1943 as bassist for Merl Lindsay.

Musical career:

Fell started his record career in 1945 as a member of Billy Hughes band. His first record was with Hughes on Fargo Records. He then began his solo career for Cortney and 4 Star Records, although none of his singles were hits there.

During his first session for RCA in Hollywood, he recorded a song that would become a hit. Although the A-side, "Don't Drop It", was underplayed, the B-side, "Truck Drivin Man", become a classic, especially in the trucker country music scene. In 1955, he made a guest appearance on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee.

Fell remained with RCA for the following two years; however, he never produced a single with the same success. RCA extended his contract in 1956. In 1959 he began military service in the U.S. Army and was stationed in West Germany. Along with Elvis Presley, who was at the same time a GI, he wrote the song "Mississippi River". The single was never released, but the rights were later sold for $30,000 in 1996.

Due to the lack of success and health problems his career fell short. Later, for a short time, he managed country star Buck Owens and wrote a song in 1961 with Bobby Edwards titled "You're The Reason". In 1962, Fell moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he was a songwriter for various publishing companies, until he went to board. Published in 1993 with Bear Family Records, the album Truck Drivin Man was released with his collected works. Terry Gordon noted that it was discontinued in 1998, but revised again. Because of his achievements in country music he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Fell died April 4, 2007 in Madison, Tennessee.