Leona Williams: Yes, Ma'm, He Found Me In A Honky Tonk (3-CD)
3-CD digipac (8-plated) with 48-page booklet, 82 tracks. Total playing time approx. 217 mns.
Contains 82 classic country tracks, including her top ten hit duet with Merle Haggard, The Bull And The Beaver!
Includes many previously unreleased recordings and a 'lost' album produced by Tompall Glaser!
Contains a biography based on extensive personal interviews!
48-page booklet with many rare photos from Leona Williams' personal collection and a detailed discography!
Some colleagues and friends about Leona Williams:
"Leona Williams is a great singer. She sings with a lot of soul. I
know her family must be very proud of this Bear Family box set. I wish
her a lot of happiness and success." - Willie Nelson
I listen to Leona Williams sing it goes right to my heart; I can feel
every emotion that she puts in a song. In my opinion Leona Williams is
one of the greatest songwriters of our time. My only regret is that I
don't get to see her enough, but when I do it's an honor to be in her
presence. I am so excited because I'd like to do a whole damn album of
her songs, even though I am a little scared I couldn't do them justice,
but guess what?.....I'm gonna try!" - Tanya Tucker
Williams.....the purest voice this side of the Mississippi and beyond!
Skillfully crafts songs from a woman who has lived through the lyrics
she writes. My heart-felt thanks for creating this traditional country
music collection! I love your music and the honesty it brings." - Rhonda Vincent
Williams is the greatest female country singer that has ever stepped up
to a microphone. She can make a grown man cry with her sad songs. I
love the lady and her music. What a nice lady!" - George Jones
will always be one of my very favorite people in the world. She was
the first artist that ever thought enough of one of my songs to record
it. And that feeling of having one of your own songs recorded by
someone else has lasted a lifetime."- Vince Gill
ever in the annals of country music there was a 'singer's singer' it
would have to be Leona Williams. She is regarded as one of the finest
'pure country' vocalists and continues to tour the world entertaining
her loyal fans. Her personal singing hero, George Jones, has referred to
her as "one of the greatest country singers that has ever stepped up to
the microphone."And Merle Haggard was so taken with her vocal abilities
that he married her (a union they would both come to regret.) Williams
began her career as a teenager in her home state of Missouri with her
own local radio show, before moving to Nashville and signing with
Hickory Records in 1968. She recorded such classics as Once More, Yes
Ma'm (He Found Me In A Honky Tonk) and Country Girl With Hot Pants On.
She moved on to RCA Records and then MCA, where she worked with future
husband Merle Haggard, and top-notch producers like Porter Wagoner. This
set features 82 classic tracks – all of her studio recordings,
including several previously unreleased tracks, for Hickory, and a
complete unreleased LP produced in 1986 by Tompall Glaser. A detailed
discography and liner notes by Randy Fox, drawn from extensive
interviews with Williams, tell the story of her incredible life and
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Article properties: Leona Williams: Yes, Ma'm, He Found Me In A Honky Tonk (3-CD)
Shortly after Leona Williams signed with Hickory Records in 1968, label head Wesley Rose explained his philosophy of nurturing new artists to her. As Leona recalls, "Wesley said, 'It doesn't make a difference if it's a big hit record. We're building a foundation. You can work the rest of your life once you do that. Otherwise you're just gonna have a hit record that will jump out there and that'll be it.'"
It's a philosophy very far removed from today's standard in Nashville – artists are best advised to grab what they can, while they can, before the short expiration date runs out on their career. Leona Williams never achieved a number one hit single, and only one of her albums ever placed on the 'Billboard' Country charts, but 45 years later Wesley Rose's advice stills hold true. Leona Williams still plays live for adoring country music fans almost every weekend, her new records still sell in respectable numbers and most of all, she's still regarded as one of the all-time great pure country vocalists by her fans and peers.
It's been a long and rocky road for the Missouri farm girl who began singing along with the country music idols she heard on the radio. But it's been a road that led to some classic country music.
Music had long been a central part of the Helton household when Leona Belle Helton entered the world. Leona's parents, Vernon A. Helton and Dorothy Green Helton first met through their mutual love of music.
"My dad had six kids with his first wife," Leona said, "and she was pregnant again. She wound up having twins. The first week the little boy twin died, the second week the momma died, and the third week the little girl twin died. Daddy said he had a funeral every week for three weeks and didn't hardly know what to do with himself."
Vernon Helton cared for his children the best he could with help from neighbors and relatives. Then he met Dorothy Green at a local dance. "Daddy was playing the fiddle at the dance where he met momma," Leona said. "Momma played piano, organ and the four-string banjo. They got to liking each other and got married not long after. He was 34 and she was 17. She raised his six kids and started having us six. I don't like to say half-brothers or sisters because we were all real close."
The Heltons were living on a small farm in the community of Argyle, in Maries County, Missouri when Leona was born on January 7, 1943 – the ninth of what eventually would be twelve Helton children. Three months after her birth, Vernon Helton moved his family to a house in the county seat of Vienna. Vernon A. Helton secured a job as an equipment operator for county road maintenance, but continued to play the fiddle in whatever spare time he could find.
With seven brothers and four sisters there was little time for being alone, as Leona jokingly recalls, "We lived in a little bitty house, and I didn't know what it was like to sleep alone until I got married."
By the age of five, Leona was learning to play the mandolin, and by the age of nine, she graduated to the guitar. Although neither of her parents pursued music professionally, her father and other siblings would often perform at local fiddling contests, fairs, church suppers and school functions
The Helton family couldn't afford a phonograph or records, but they did have a radio, even before they had electricity. "We had a battery radio," Leona said. "Daddy would let us listen to the 'Grand Ole Opry.' I knew exactly what time of day it was on. I even wrote Roy Acuff a letter once."
Even though the King of Country Music never replied, Leona was not discouraged in her love for country music. A love that only grew greater when she first heard Kitty Wells.