Mickey Gilley ( born March 9, 1936 in Natchez, Mississippi) is an American country music singer and pianist.
As a child, Mickey has played together with his cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart. With appearances in churches to gospel music played at school parties Boogie Woogie. He married early, dropped out of school and took to menial jobs. After Jerry Lee Lewis had risen to become one of the biggest stars of rock and roll, Mickey decided to try it also as a professional musician. Following the example of his famous cousins Gilley played a piano dominated by rock'n'roll.
1957 appeared Gilleys debut single Tell My Why / Ooh Wee Baby at Minor Records, but sold only locally good. In the next few years he played a variety of singles for small labels, but could not be placed in the charts. A session for Sun Records in 1958 also did not yield any results so that Gilley was oriented from the mid- 1960s towards Country. In the club scene of Texas and Louisiana, he reached a certain level of recognition, but never managed to get out of the shadow of his famous cousins. A first small success he succeeded in 1968 with Now I Can Live Again.
In 1970 he opened in Pasadena with a partner " Gilley's ", a club of giant proportions ( "The World's Biggest Honky Tonk "). Supposedly to place its own single in the local jukebox, 1974, in his own Astro label the cover version of an old George Morgan hits, Room Full of Roses, recorded. Hugh Hefner's Playboy label took over the sales. To general surprise, the song moved up to number one on the country charts and even listed in the pop charts.
There was a long series of other top sellers. In 1978, the Playboy label to the record store and Gilley moved to Epic. 1980 movie Urban Cowboy was ( with John Travolta ) is rotated, the moved the hitherto isolated country scene overnight in the focus of public interest. The key scenes of the movie were filmed at Gilley 's Club, Mickey even got the opportunity to gigs. For a short time he achieved the status of a superstar. His single Stand By Me managed in the same year at the top of the country charts, as well as True Love Ways and That's All That Matters To Me He got his own radio show, " Live From Gilley 's" and has received numerous awards.
His success streak continued until the late eighties. Then Gilley ran into financial difficulties and had to give up his club ( the little later burned down ). In Branson, Missouri, he ran a theater and later a cafe. He also sat down for various disadvantaged and marginalized groups, among others, for Hank Snow 's " Child Abuse Fund". In the summer of 2009 Gilley fell from a staircase and was partially paralyzed by the fall, so he was briefly confined to a wheelchair.