Leon Everette Biography

Leon Everette Baughman, 21 June 1948, Aiken, South Carolina, USA. Everette was raised in New York and had no particular interest in country music as a child. In the US Navy, he worked on an aircraft carrier in the Philippines. The servicemen passed the time by singing so he bought a guitar, learned by watching others and won a talent contest. Returning to South Carolina, he married, started a family and worked at the South Carolina Power and Gas Company. After an argument at work, Everette became a professional musician, working clubs in South Carolina and Georgia. He wanted success in Nashville and, in an extraordinary act of dedication, worked in the postal rooms of record companies while still playing in his home clubs. This involved commuting 500 miles a day! On top of this, he had to sleep and maintain a family life with his wife and three children. In 1977 the small True label gave Everette a chance - though not in the way he wanted. Within hours of Elvis Presley’s death, Everette had recorded ‘Goodbye King Of Rock And Roll’. Although True then wanted him to record some Elvis soundalikes, he was determined that he wanted to sing country and to be himself. After a small US country hit with ‘I Love That Woman (Like The Devil Loves Sin)’, a Florida businessman, Carroll Fulmer, formed a record label, Orlando, around him. He made the country charts with ‘Giving Up Easy’, ‘Don’t Feel like The Lone Ranger’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Lose’. When Everette moved to RCA Records in 1980, he became more involved in the production of his own records. ‘If I Keep On Going Crazy’, with its distinctive harmonica, made the US country Top 20 and it was followed by the pile-driving ‘Hurricane’, which prompted him to change his band’s name from Tender Loving Care to Hurricane. Everette himself is a hurricane on stage and is prone to leaping into the audience, occasionally injuring himself; at one memorable concert, he put his arm through a glass panel. Hank Williams Jnr. remarked, ‘No doubt about it. Leon Everette is a hard act to follow’. Among other successful singles were ‘I Could’a Had You’, ‘Midnight Rodeo’ and ‘Soul Searchin’’. His affection for old-time country music was evident in ‘Shadows Of My Mind’ and he revived Stonewall Jackson’s ‘Don’t Be Angry’. In a peculiar marketing exercise, RCA issued a six-track mini-album called Doin’ What I Feel in 1983 and reissued it in 1984 with the same packaging but three different titles. He then moved to Mercury and recorded Where’s The Fire?, but rejoined Orlando soon afterwards. He retired from country music in 1988.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results