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