As country legend and Hall of Famer, Mel Tillis was known for an incredible legacy of songs and albums and music he wrote, he was also known as being one of the most famous people with the speech impairment known as stuttering. It is an unintentional motor skill disorder, affecting the enunciation of vowels and semi-vowels. It often hinders a person’s speech. Due to the social gawkiness, the stammering often surfaces in the speaker. Mel Tillis was no different. Did you know that a TV burger commercial helped him overcome this?
Early Struggles of Mel Tillis
Throughout his childhood, Mel was laughed at for his stuttering. It also affected his chances to get a job. After serving in the Air Force, Mel returned home in Florida to look for a job, where he had struggles due to his disability. Having to deal with this is one of the motives Mel Tillis sank towards singing for a career, where his disorder was not present. Talking is controlled by the left-brain portion, and singing is handled by the right brain portion. Even if stutterer’s speech is impaired, they are able to sing clearly. Randy Travis is one proof of this incredible result, who was incapable to use complete sentences after suffering a stroke, but was still able to sing.
Despite everything, Mel’s stuttering is what made him choose to become a songwriter in country music first. Later on, Mel began to perform a side role who does not directly talk to the crowd. One of Mel’s first performing sessions was singing backup for Grand Ole Opry legend Minnie Pearl, in 1957.
A local, but nationally famous fast food chain called “Whataburger” down in Texas, portrays a stuttering-type of a commercial. Mel Tillis was once an ambassador for the commercial. He was fighting through overcoming his stuttering issues instead of making fun of them. In a later commercial, Mel is seen stopping himself before stuttering and speaking out the words. It was not the stuttering which made the commercial persuasive, it was the viewers watching Mel Tillis pursuing to perfect over his issues. And. Yes, with no background music or other accompaniments so your focus is strictly on Mel and Whataburger. Watch the full video. At the latter part, Mel stammers,
“Hey, you know there’s a big big difference between a Whataburger and all the other, b-b-b-burgers. Whataburger c-c-c-c….”
The reason why Whataburger is so beloved in Texas, and why Mel Tillis is adored in country music, is not just because of the burgers and songs. It is because they both showed incredible personality.