Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in McKinney, Texas, Joe Allison worked as a commercial artist before embarking on a career in the entertainment industry, first as a disc jockey on a Paris, Texas radio station. In 1945, after a few years on radio, Allison took a job as the emcee for the North American tour of country music singing star Tex Ritter. While working on tour, he offered Ritter a song he had written which the singer turned into a No. 1 hit on the country music charts. This success ultimately led to Allison moving to a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee where he remained until accepting an offer from a station in Pasadena, California.
While working on radio and television on the West Coast, Allison continued writing music, many of which were co-authored with his first wife, Audrey. He scored a success with a song recorded by country singer Faron Young and a major hit when teen idol Tommy Sands recorded his song, "Teen Age Crush." In 1959, Allison wrote his most famous song for Jim Reeves. "He'll Have to Go" would become not only a platinum record for Reeves, but a song that would be recorded successfully by more than one hundred other artists including Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Tom Jones, Eddy Arnold and even big band leader Guy Lombardo. That same year, Allison was hired by Liberty Records to create their country music department. At Liberty he signed Willie Nelson to his first recording contract.
In 1965, Allison returned to Nashville as head the country music department at Dot Records. After two years with the Dot label, he took over as the head of Capital Records' country music department where he stayed until 1974. Semi-retired, he then set up his own part-time business to produce records while dabbling in a passion with his wife as a dealer of paintings and antiques.
During his time in the music business, Joe Allison won seven ASCAP awards for record producing and five BMI performance awards. In 1976, he was elected to the Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and two years later was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. An active promoter of the industry, Joe Allison was a founding member of the Country Music Association and served as President of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).
Joe Allison died in Nashville in 2002 and was interred there in the Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
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