Lonnie Melvin Tillis, a gifted country baritone, parlayed his success as a respected Nashville songwriter in the 1950's and 1960's into a substantial recording career that flourished in the 1970's and early 1980's. Tillis is also famous for his chronic stutter, the result of a childhood case of malaria.

Tillis went to Nashville in 1957.  One of his first big successes happened that same year, when Webb Pierce's version of Tillis's "I'm Tired" hit number three on the country charts.  He also co wrote "Detroit City" with Danny Dill a huge hit for Bobby Bare in 1963. He also wrote "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" a big hit for Kenny Rogers.  But it was not until the 1970's that he became a significant player on the country charts.

Some of his credits include, "I Aint Never," "Coca Cola Cowboy" and "Southern Rains."  He won the CMA's Entertainer of the Year award in 1976 and that same year was inducted into Nashville songwriters Hall of Fame.

Mel is the father of recording artist Pam Tillis who rose to prominence in the 1990's.  Mel was born in Dover, Florida, August 8, 1932.  He was a football player and drummer while in high school.  Served in the US Air Force and appeared in several movies including, "Smokey and the Bandit II.  Tillis has six children and six grandchildren.

Sunday September 23rd Mel Tillis will be featured on the Sunday Morning Country Classic Spotlight at 11 a.m.  We get started at 9 a.m. on the Country Classic Show till 1 p.m. 98.1 FM 98 Country.