30 April 1940, New Jasper, Oklahoma, USA. Honky-tonk vocalist McCall was briefly successful both in the early 60s, as first a pop and then a country singer, and then again in the mid-70s when outlaw country was at the height of its popularity. Raised in Oklahoma, McCall moved down to Nashville in 1958 in an attempt to record as a duo with his childhood friend Johnny Paycheck. When this plan failed he found work as a studio harmony vocalist and band member for artists including George Jones, Ray Price and Faron Young. In 1959 McCall met Nashville producer Buddy Killen who persuaded him to join the Little Dippers, alongside Delores Dinning, Emily Gilmore and Hurshel Wigintin. They placed a Top 10 pop single in 1960 (Forever), but by 1961 McCall had signed a solo contract with Capitol Records, releasing two unsuccessful singles for the pop market (My Kind Of Lovin and Call The Zoo) before the label dropped him. Moving to Phillips Records in 1962, McCall switched back to recording country material, and immediately placed on the charts with the number 17 single A Stranger Was Here in January 1963. Unable to repeat this success, McCall temporarily abandoned music for a film career, appearing in Nashville Rebel (1965), Road To Nashville and What Am I Bid (both 1966), and also worked briefly as a cowboy. He returned to music in 1968, signing up to the independent label Wayside Records for whom he released several singles and an album. When his contract expired in 1971, McCall signed to Tree International as a professional songwriter (Hank Williams Jnr. had recently taken his Eleven Roses to number 1) before resuming his recording career in 1974 with Atlantic Records. By 1975 he had left Atlantic for Columbia Records where he enjoyed a brief period of chart success, achieving two Top 40 singles with Lily Dale (a duet with Willie Nelson) and the solo Dreams Of A Dreamer. His popularity soon faded and by 1980 he was back on an independent label, Hillside Records, before switching briefly to RCA Records for the minor hit Long Line Of Empties. McCalls final chart placing was with 1986s Memphis In May on Indigo Records. The same year, he released two albums. He has since recorded for the small Artap label. German label Bear Family Records released a comprehensive box set of McCalls recordings in 1996.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.