Celebrating Seniors - Country Singer Mickey Gilley turns 79

[caption id="attachment_3251" align="alignleft" width="380"]mickey gilley, senior citizen, boomer music, jerry lee lewis, honky tonk, gilley's club, a room full of roses, urban cowboy, debra winger, scott glenn, john travolta, stand by me, pasadena, texas, your memory ain't what it used to be, branson, mickey gilley theatre Photo by[/caption]

Mickey Gilley was born March 9th, 1936 and grew up playing piano and singing boogie-woogie and gospel music with his famous cousin Jerry Lee Lewis (and another cousin, Jimmy Swaggart). Mickey's solo career didn't take off until quite a few year's after Jerry Lee's exploded in the late 50's....He opened a "honky tonk" club in 1970 called Gilley's Club with a partner, and performed regularly, but it wasn't until Mickey Gilley's 1974 cover of A Room Full of Roses  that he had his first #1 country music hit.

Below, Mickey Gilley performing A Room Full of Roses live on The Porter Waggoner Show.


During the 1970's Mickey Gilley had a string of hits, but his next big break came with 1980's Urban Cowboy movie, starring Debra Winger, Scott Glenn, and John Travolta. Urban Cowboy heavily featured Gilley's Club in Pasadena, Texas as well as Gilley's cover of Stand by Me, resulting in a crossover pop hit, and revitalizing his country music career. Below, Mickey Gilley sings Stand By Me in Urban Cowboy.

In the late 80's Mickey Gilley's music recording career was starting to wane. 1986's Your Memory Ain't What it Used to Be was one of Mickey Gilley's last #1 Country Music hits (17 in total). Below, Mickey Gilley sings Your Memory Ain't What it Used to Be.

Mickey Gilley moved to Branson, Missouri and opened the Mickey Gilley Theatre in 1989. Now a senior citizen and 26 years later, Gilley was still performing there in 2015, despite a forced 3 year hiatus in 2009 when he was partially paralyzed in a moving accident. Mickey Gilley is touring western Canada in March, 2015.

Happy 78th Birthday, Mickey Gilley!

Anita Hamilton

Baby boomer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family and 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.


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