Country singer Tommy Overstreet, who had eleven top ten hits during the 70's, died Monday night at his home in Oregon at the age of 78.
Overstreet was raised in Houston and Abilene, TX and decided to become a singer after getting to know his uncle, 20's and 30's country star Gene Austin.
Tommy got his professional start at the age of 17 performing on Houston area radio stations while pursuing a Broadcasting degree at the University of Texas. He also made his first record in the late-50's at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, NM and later recorded for Roulette Records.
After a time in the Army, Overstreet moved to Los Angeles where he became a songwriter but moved back to Abileen where he became a regular on a local television show hosted by Slim Willet, singing with his group The Shadows. In 1967, he moved to Nashville where he became the regional manager for Dot Records but the singing bug was still eating at him and he began recording for the label. After a couple of minor hits, he finally broke big with Gwen (Congratulation) (1971 / #5 Country). Over the next seven years, the singer hit the top ten on the country charts an additional ten times including his biggest hit, Ann (Don't Get Runnin') (1972 / #2) with his popularity spurred by his frequent appearances on Hee Haw.
Even though his last charting record came in 1986, Overstreet used his business acumen to move to Branson, MO where he became one of the first popular country performers in the town.
In early 2014, Overstreet issued his autobiography, A Road Less Traveled.
The top ten hits of Tommy Overstreet:
- Gwen (Congratulations) (1971 / #5 Country)
- I Don't Know You (Anymore) (1971 / #5 Country)
- Ann (Don't Go Runnin') (1972 / #2 Country)
- Heaven is My Woman's Love (1972 / #3 Country)
- Send Me No Roses (1973 / #7 Country)
- I'll Never Break These Chains (1973 / #7 Country)
- (Jeannie Marie) You Were a Lady (1974 / #3 Country)
- If I Miss You Again (1974 / #8 Country)
- I'm a Believer (1975 / #9 Country)
- That's When My Woman Begins (1975 / #6 Country)
- Don't Go City Girl on Me (1977 / #5 Country)