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Francis Craig

b. 10 Sept 1900, Dickson, Tennessee, USA, d. 19 November 1966, Sewanee, Tennessee, USA. Craig learnt to try out the piano young. After his armed forces service in Globe Battle I, he produced a music group to play on the Hermitage Resort, in Nashville and remained there for over twenty years, broadcasting frequently. Personalities from the music group included Phil Harris, Dinah Shoreline and upcoming Casa Loma Orchestra vocalist Kenny Sargent, also Adam Melton, afterwards to sing tenor using the Metropolitan Opera. In 1947 he broke the parochial bonds and proceeded to go national, documented his own structure ‘Near You’ (lyric by Kermit Goell), offering his exclusive piano design and a vocal by Bob Lamm. It had been the initial hit for the tiny indie Bullet label, marketed over two million copies and was followed by best comedian Milton Berle as his personal tune. Finance in the disc contributed towards the setting up from the initial record pressing seed in Nashville. The next season, ‘Beg Your Pardon’, another Craig structure (with Beasley Smith), also bought from huge amounts and visited #3 3 in america graphs. After his period in the limelight Craig came back to comparative obscurity, but continued to be energetic until his loss of life in 1966. His additional compositions included ‘A Damaged Heart Must Cry’, ‘Tennessee Tango’, and his personal tune ‘Crimson Rose’.

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