Aug 032014

Dean also makes his own music, I think this is a songwriting demo aimed at the Nashville set:

Finally, to circle back to this song, “Obion Bottom Land,” by Sherry Dinning. I would guess that Sherry is the daughter of one of the men of the family – Mark, Ace, Wade or Donald. I guess this because it seems that the women in the family took their husbands’ names, even professionally, so for her name to have still been Dinning, I’m guessing this would be due to it being the paternal surname of an unmarried woman. But this is entirely speculative of my part.

I understand the song was recorded in 1968, written and produced by Fred Burch. The comparison to “Ode To Billie Joe” is apt and in fact, a listing of the single in a 1968 issue of Billboard has the description: “Unusual ballad material with a folk-country flavor gets an intriguing vocal performance and must be heard to the end. Much in the vein of ‘Ode to Billie Joe.’” The label, Shelby Singleton, seems to have been a music publishing and record company based in Nashville. Songwriter Burch’s biggest hit was for Perry Como, called “Dream on Little Dreamer,” but it seems he is more remembered for helping to start Buckthorn Music on Music Row, where Kris Kristofferson was a writer. The B-side of this single was called “They Were All So Young,” another Fred Burch composition. It seems Sherry made one more single, “Stop” (by “J. Byers”) b/w “Motel” (by J. Surrey – aka Jean Dinning). This one was produced by Billy Sherrill, who had great success with Tammy Wynette and George Jones.

Next time you think of a musical family, the names Wainwright, Finn, or Gibb might come to mind. But now you have one more name up your sleeve, Dinning.

This concludes our Mystery Date, thanks for reading!


  9 Responses to “Mystery Date Revealed!”

  1. ladymisskirroyale

    Interesting and informative. Thanks for doing all that research and broadening our horizons.

  2. diskojoe

    Shelby Singleton is actually the name of a country music label owner who bought the rights to Sun Records from Sam Phillips in the late 60s, as well as putting out records by Orion, who was alleged to Elvis performing under a mask. Great article.

  3. cliff sovinsanity

    Interesting story. Will we see a book in the future?

  4. cherguevara

    Definitely a book. Simply print this post, then staple the pages together!

  5. misterioso

    Standing ovation. Outstanding work, formidable research, quite a story or set of stories. Very impressive.

  6. THAT is some musical family roundup! Thanks, and thanks for reminding me of “Teen Angel,” a song I always dug as a kid.

  7. cher, I meant to ask you what spurred your deep interest in this family? Did you connect the dots starting at the beginning of the story, or did that Mystery Date clip lead you to work from the middle out?

  8. cherguevara

    Not sure how it began – I knew one song by the sisters, kind of at random. One day I had the songs “The Streets of Laredo” and “El Paso” in my head and while surfing around, came across “Teen Angel” and I wondered about the connection.

    The sisters’ wikipedia page also connects the dots. Everything I wrote here is really semi-unsubstantiated hearsay of the internet. I think they are still local heroes in Missouri and so I have a feeling that anybody over the age of 60 in MO could tell you more than what I wrote here.

  9. cliff sovinsanity

    Yeah, but I want more details. Besides my printer is having a tough time with those You Tube clips.

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