NOTE: Mickey Gilley passed away May 7, 2022 at the age of 86. I wrote the following article in 2016.

You can't talk about the phenomenal country music career of Mickey Gilley without spotlighting two words:

Urban Cowboy.

The 1980 smash movie hit was one of two things: 1) It was the best thing to happen to country music in decades, or 2) It was the worst thing to happen to country music in decades.

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We'll save that argument for another day, suffice to say the film that was set largely at Gilley's famous Honky Tonk in Texas was a major worldwide hit. But let's take a closer look at the artist, one Mr. Mickey Gilley.

Many of us were introduced to Jerry Lee Lewis's cousin Mickey Gilley in 1974 when Mickey topped the country charts for the first time with Room Full Of Roses.

It was the beginning to what could arguably lead to a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

By The Numbers:

17 Number One Hits overall, including six in a row in 1980-81.

34 Top Ten Hits overall, including a chart-topping duet with Charly McClain Paradise Tonight in 1983.

15 Top Ten hits in the 1970s.

17 Top Ten hits in the 1980s.

6 Academy Of Country Music Awards, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, Top New Male Vocalist, Top Male Vocalist, and the top honor, Entertainer of the Year

And of course, the mega-selling Urban Cowboy soundtrack album spawned a half dozen massive hits, including Mickey's chart-topping Stand By Me. A multi-platinum seller, it was both a country and pop music smash.

Are the numbers sufficient for Mickey to enter the Country Music Hall of Fame? I think they are.

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.


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