21 December 1956, Abilene, Texas, USA. Bob Wills was a close family friend and Parnell sang on stage with him when he was only six years old, an incident he mentions in his 1993 song Country Down To My Soul. Growing up in a household that loved western swing, Parnell found that his own tastes included blues and rock n roll. He formed his own band when he was aged 19 and spent 10 years playing Texas honky tonks. In 1987 he moved with his family to Nashville and built up a reputation at the Bluebird Cafe. His first album was produced by R&B producer Barry Beckett and mixed soul with country. It did reasonably well but his career took off when he recorded Love Without Mercy with a small rhythm group. It included his US country hits What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am) and The Rock (I am your rock, but Im rolling away) as well as a duet with Delbert McClinton, Road Scholar, a pun in...
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