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Lee Roy Parnell

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Part of a long line of Texas roots music eclectics, Lee Roy Parnell's music was a blend of hardcore honky tonk, barroom rock & roll, blues, boogie, Western swing, blue-eyed soul, and occasional gospel. Unlike many other hard-to-pigeonhole artists, Parnell actually enjoyed a run of success on the country charts in the early '90s. He was born in Abilene, Texas, on December 21, 1956, and grew up on his parents' ranch; his father had toured with a teenage Bob Wills in traveling medicine shows, and his first public performance came on Wills' radio show at age six. As a teenager, he played drums in a local band and soon picked up guitar as well, eventually concentrating on slide playing. He joined Kinky Friedman's Texas Jewboys in his late teens and moved to Austin in 1974 to join the city's budding music scene. Parnell spent over a decade playing clubs in Austin, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth, honing his style and songwriting; he also married and held down a day job in radio. He moved to Nashville in 1987 and quickly landed a publishing contract and a regular spot at the famed Bluebird Café. He signed to Arista's Nashville division in 1989 and the next year released his self-titled debut album, a collection of horn-driven country-soul. It received good reviews but didn't break him commercially; that would happen with 1992's Love Without Mercy, which mostly dispensed with the horns and emphasized Parnell's slide guitar. "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am" and "Tender Moment" both went to number two on the country charts, and the title track also made the Top Ten. Released in 1993, On the Road produced two more Top Tens in its title track and "I'm Holding My Own," and his duet with Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn) on Hank Williams' "Take These Chains from My Heart" made the Top 20. Arriving in 1995, We All Get Lucky Sometimes found Parnell tailoring his sound to country radio a bit more and featured duets with Trisha Yearwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Tex-Mex accordionist Flaco Jimenez. It also spawned two Top Five hits in "A Little Bit of You" and "Heart's Desire." However, 1997's commercially disappointing Every Night's a Saturday Night proved to be Parnell's last new album for Arista, which issued the compilation Hits and Highways Ahead in 1999 to coincide with his departure. Parnell next wound up on the rootsy Vanguard label, debuting for them with 2001's Tell the Truth. He returned to the studio in 2006 with Back to the Well, which hit number ten on Billboard's blues chart. Parnell took a decade-plus hiatus after Back to the Well, finally returning to action in August 2017 with Midnight Believer. ~ Steve Huey
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Stations Featuring
Lee Roy Parnell

    '90s Country

    '90s Country
    2 songs

    Classic Country

    Classic Country
    2 songs

Albums by
Lee Roy Parnell

Top Songs by
Lee Roy Parnell

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am?)
  3.   On the Road
  4.   I'm Holding My Own
  5.   Tender Moment
  6.   All That Matters Anymore
  7.   A Little Bit of You
  8.   Done Deal
  9.   The Rock
  10.   Saved by the Grace of Your Love
  11.   Mama, Screw Your Wig on Tight
  12.   Love Without Mercy
  13.   Back in My Arms Again
  14.   You're Taking Too Long
  15.   When a Woman Loves a Man
  16.   Takes What It Takes
  17.   She Won't Be Lonely Long
  18.   Road Scholar by Delbert McClinton
  19.   One Foot in Front of the Other
  20.   Long Way to Fall
  21.   Honky Tonk Night Time Man
  22.   Heart's Desire
  23.   Every Night's a Saturday Night
  24.   Daddies and Daughters
  25.   Crocodile Tears
  26.   Back to the Well
  27.   You Can't Get There from Here
  28.   Just Lucky That Way
  29.   Old Soul
  30.   Cool Breeze
  31.   Some Time Ago
  32.   Tied Up & Tangled
  33.   Too Far Gone
  34.   Midnight Believer
  35.   Hours in Between
  36.   You Can't Lose 'Em All
  37.   Where Is My Baby Tonight
  38.   The Power of Love
  39.   The Hunger
  40.   That's All There Is
  41.   Something Out of Nothing
  42.   Saving Grace
  43.   Red Hot
  44.   Knock Yourself Out
  45.   I Had to Let It Go
  46.   I Declare by Keb' Mo'
  47.   Fifty-Fifty Love
  48.   If the House Is Rockin'
  49.   Take These Chains from My Heart
  50.   Nashville Casuality and Life
  51.   Rise and Shine
  52.   Oughta Be a Law
  53.   Ain't No Short Way Home
  54.   Want Whatcha' Have
  55.   Hair of the Dog
  56.   Sunny Days by The Fairfield Four
  57.   Wasted Time
  58.   Tender Touch
  59.   Tell the Truth
  60.   Straight and Narrow
  61.   Straight Shooter
  62.   Squeeze Me In
  63.   South By Southwest by Delbert McClinton
  64.   Right Where It Hurts
  65.   Lucky Me, Lucky You
  66.   Love's Been Rough On Me
  67.   Let's Pretend
  68.   John the Revelator
  69.   Guardian Angel
  70.   Fresh Coat of Paint
  71.   Family Tree
  72.   Don't Water It Down
  73.   Crossin' Over
  74.   Baton Rouge by Guy Clark
  75.   Better Word for Love
  76.   Brand New Feeling by The Mississippi Mass Choir
  77.   Breaking Down Slow
  78.   Breaking the Chain
  79.   We All Get Lucky Sometimes
  80.   They Don't Know You
  81.   Country Down to My Soul
  82.   Going Uptown
  83.   Pontchartrain
  84.   Forgotten But Not Gone
  85.   Roller Coaster
  86.   Down Deep
  87.   Night After Night
  88.   Cat Walk
  89.   Givin' Water to a Drowning Man
  90.   Mexican Money