Bobby Barnett was one of thirteen children born to George and Berls Barnett and
soon discovered his love for Country music. When he graduated from high school
in 1953, he moved to El Paso and worked at the El Paso Natural Gas Company as an
engineer, but decided that he wanted to perform. In 1960, he cut Eddie Miller’s
This Old Heart, his second single for
the Muskogee, Oklahoma, label, Razorback, reached No. 24 in the Country charts
and was picked up by Republic in the U.S. and Sparta in Canada. Republic
released the next single, Please Come Home/It Makes No Difference in 1961, but
without success. Bobby then moved to Boyd Records;
then Reprise bought the masters in 1962 and Bobby became only the second Country
artist on the label, behind Dorsey Burnette. He released a pair of singles,
Crazy Little Lover/Last of the Angels and Same Old Love/Temptation’s Calling.
Bobby’s success now began to happen. In 1963, he signed to Sims. He had a major
hit with She Looks Good To The Crowd, which made it to No. 6 on one of the
Country charts. He followed this up the following year with the Top 50 success
Worst Of Luck. Although his next single died, Bobby started the following year
in fine form with a Top 30 record, Mismatch, which had been released at the end
of 1964 and had Moaning The Blues on the flip-side. He returned to the charts in
1967 on John Capps’ K-Ark Records with Down, Down, Came My World, following that
later in the year with the low-level, The Losing Kind. When George Richey (who
later married Tammy Wynette) went to A & R at Columbia, he called Bobby. They
had met in Tucson when George was a deejay and bandleader. Richey was impressed
with Bobby’s soulful style and as a result signed him to the label in 1968.
With his first release, Bobby had a major hit with Love Me, Love Me. It marched
up to the Top 15 and reached even higher in certain charts. The next single,
Your Sweet Love Lifted Me, was also a Top 50 success and this was followed by a
record that deserved to be a bigger hit than it was, Drink Canada Dry. Then all
went quiet and it was not until 1978 that Bobby’s name appeared in the hit
lists; he scraped in with his Cin Kay recording Burn Atlanta Down. Three years
later, he again reached the foot of the charts with a single on Marshall, Born
In Country Music (Raised On Dixieland).
"Bobby Barnett at the World Famous Crystal Palace, Tombstone, Arizona" (Sims) "Lyin’,
Lovin’ & Leavin’" (Columbia) "Heroes, History & Heritage of Oklahoma Volume 1"
(Heritage)(1974) "Heroes, History & Heritage of Oklahoma Volume 2"
(Heritage)(1985)) [About historical Oklahomans; produced by Dave Kirby]
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