Country music manager and songwriter. Born September 29, 1920. Died October 26, 2006. Played bass for several acts on the Louisiana Hayride. His songwriting credits include “How Far is Heaven” (recorded by Kitty Wells, 1949), “Honky Tonk Man” (recorded by Johnny Horton, 1956), and “When It’s Springtime in Alaska” (recorded by Johnny Horton, 1958). Manager for many country artists, including Webb Pierce, the Carlisles, Claude King, Slim Whitman, David Houston, and Johnny Horton.
1980 August 13
(2 hours, 18 minutes)
Tillman Franks discusses the country acts he’s managed and the shows he’s promoted. Topics include Jimmie Rodgers as an early influence; his close friendship with Jimmie Davis; his Louisiana Hayride days; broadcasting on the Voice of America while in the military; memories of Pete Seeger and his comedy; meeting Roy Acuff; writing and selling his own compositions; booking acts for the Hayride, including Hank Williams and Elvis Presley; recording sessions for Pacemaker Records; and managing Webb Pierce, David Houston, Claude King, Bill Carlisle, and Johnny Horton.