By Katelyn Marshall
Volunteer State Community College will present a tribute concert for music composer Albert Brumley Tuesday, April 16 at 7-9 p.m., in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall. The tribute is free and open to everyone. No tickets are required. Jackson Brumley, the son of Albert Brumley, will be a special guest.
Brumley was born in Spiro, Oklahoma in 1905, in what was then Oklahoma Territory. According to Jackson Brumley, at a young age Albert Brumley attended the Hartford School of Music and went on to teach music throughout the south.
Jackson Brumley said his father, Albert Brumley, first got the idea of what is perhaps his most famous song, “I’ll Fly Away,” while picking cotton in an Oklahoma cotton patch, and it was first published in 1932.
Albert E. Brumley is considered one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, according to Jackson Brumley’s written information. With more than 800 compositions and more than 3,000 recordings of his song, Albert Brumley is world-renown for such gospel classics such as “I’ll Fly Away,” “Turn Your Radio On,” “If We Never Meet again,” “I’ll Meet You in the Morning,” “Jesus Hold My Hand,” and the bluegrass standard, “Rank Strangers to Me,” according to Jackson Brumley.
His compositions have been recorded by many people from different musical genres, including Aretha Franklin (Princess Di tribute album), Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Andy Griffith, The Boston Pops Orchestra, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Billy Gaither, and many other singers in country, bluegrass, and gospel music.
His songs have been featured in many motion pictures and TV series, including, “The Apostle,” with Robert Duvall, “O Brother Where Art Thou,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons,” and, “The Life of Billy Graham.”
Albert Brumley’s songs have been translated into many languages. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame in the very first year that it existed. He was also one of the first inducted into the Gospel Music Association (GMA) Hall of Fame.
Jackson Brumley is a forty-year veteran of the music industry. He was born and raised in the gospel music business.
In 1966, he became a director of talent for OMAC Artist Corporation in Bakersfield, California, a talent agency owned by Buck Owens and Jack McFadden and then represented such as Freddie Hart, Wynn Stewart, and Ray Price. He later managed the Wilhelm Agency in Nashville where he represented Loretta Lynn, according to Jackson Brumley.
After a stint in Europe presenting stateside entertainers to U.S. Military bases, he reunited with Merle Haggard in Bakersfield. He then established his own artist-management company in Los Angeles representing artists like Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band, as well as David Frizzell and Shelly West before and after relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, according to Jackson Brumley.
While still involved in artist-management, Jackson Brumley operated Memory Valley Records, a gospel music record label where he produced and marketed a highly successful direct-response television album, “Albert E. Brumley Jr, Sings Albert E. Brumley Sr.,” Another CD album, “The Love of the Lord,” by The Albert E. Brumley Congregation produced two number one singles in the Christian market place, according to Jackson Brumley.
From the dust bowl to the Hollywood bowl and all around the world millions of people have heard and been impacted by Albert Brumley’s music, Jackson Brumley said.