January 30

Superb Voice, Jerry Wallace in “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry”

Superb Voice, Jerry Wallace in “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry” 1

The Story of Jerry Wallace

Born December 15, 1933, Jerry Wallace displayed an affinity for country music during his youth. At a young age, he worked at music and acting. Not only that, he proved adept at impersonating other entertainers, an ability he often incorporated into his concerts.

Jerry Wallace first recorded for the Allied label in 1951. He emerged with Challenge Records in 1958 because he only reached No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart with “How The Time Flies”. A year later, “Primrose Lane” went to No. 8.

Sounds like Nat King Cole

In 1965, Jerry resurfaced in country music, but he failed to crack the Top Ten. It was until he performed a song for an episode of Rod Serling’s macabre television series “Night Gallery”. Universal Studios needed someone to record a piece called “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry”. It used to be in the episode “The Tune In Dan’s Cafe”.

The vocalist needed to sound like Nat King Cole and Wallace got the job. Cole had been one of the idols of Jerry Wallace. He was honored that Universal chose him as the one who sounded the most like Cole. The episode’s storyline was built around a song on a jukebox which mysteriously keeps playing even after the jukebox is turned off and unplugged. The needle on the record sticks at the line “til death…til death…til death”.

The Performance

Huge audience response to the episode and especially the song. It prompted Decca Records to issue the tune as a single from Wallace’s album “To Get To You”. “If You Leave Me Tonight I’ll Cry” quickly sold 800,000 copies and spent two weeks at the No.1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart.

Jerry’s follow-up “Do You Know What It’s Like To Be Lonesome” just missed the top spot and peaking at No. 2. Two more releases made the Top Ten – “Don’t Give Up On Me” and “My Wife’s House”. However, Jerry Wallace ran into litigation with his management in 1975 and wasn’t able to record for two years. He never regained his momentum.

Jerry supplemented his music career with acting jobs, appearing in character roles on several different television programs. He also recorded music for TV shows like “Flipper”, and Richard Boone’s series “Hec Ramsey”.

Who wouldn’t agree that this man’s voice sounds like Nat King Cole? I personally love this man’s voice. It’s just amazing! Like and share this post if you agree and if you want more country, visit us at Country Thang Daily. God Bless Your Heart!


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