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