Al Downing (musician) bigraphy, stories - Chess

Al Downing (musician) : biography

January 9, 1940 - July 4, 2005

Al Downing (January 9, 1940 – July 4, 2005), later known as Big Al Downing, was an entertainer, singer, songwriter, and pianist. He received the Billboard's New Artist of the Year and the Single of the Year Award in 1979. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and was a frequent performer at the Grand Ole Opry. Downing was nominated as Best New Artist by the Academy of Country Music and appeared on Hee Haw, Nashville Now, and Dick Clark's American Bandstand television programs.


Big Al had also a tremendous experience as a producer, thanks to his mastering of so many music styles. During late '90s and early 2000 he worked, among others, with several European musicians as A&R man. In 2003 he produced the album "StraightBeat" (GreenRecords) with the Italian bluesman Edo 'Ndoss who sings some unissued Big Al numbers. Big Al plays piano too on one track: this seems to have been his last recording, since a year later - a little before the CD tour was scheduled - his health started to deteriorate.



Year Album US Country Label
1971 Big Al Downing and His Friends Collector
1982 Big Al Downing 22 Team
1987 Big Al Downing & the Poe Kats Jumble
1988 Rockin' 'n' Rollin Rollercoaster
1994 Back to My Roots Orchard
Rockin' Down the Farm Eagle
1996 Rockin' & Rollin' Schoolkids
1997 Classic Collection Crazy Music Austria
1998 Rockin' Down the Farm Vol. 2 Eagle
2003 US Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 Orchard
One of a Kind Hayden's Ferry
2007 Live at XM Radio Crazy Music Austria
2008 Best of the Early Years


Year Single Chart positions Album
US US Country CAN Country
1958 "Down On the Farm" singles only
1962 "The Story of My Life" 117
1963 "You Never Miss Your Water" 73
"If You Want It" 129
1975 "I'll Be Holding On" 85
1976 "I Love to Love" 107
1978 "Mr. Jones" 20 65 Big Al Downing
1979 "Touch Me (I'll Be Your Fool Once More)" 18 59
"Midnight Lace" 59 singles only
"I Ain't No Fool" 73
1980 "The Story Behind the Story" 33
"Bring It On Home" 20 Big Al Downing
1982 "I'll Be Loving You" 48
"Darlene" 67
1983 "It Takes Love" 38
"Let's Sing About Love" 64 singles only
1984 "The Best of Families" 45
"There'll Never Be a Better Night for Bein' Wrong" 76
1987 "How Beautiful You Are (To Me)" 69
"Just One Night Won't Do" 67
1989 "I Guess By Now" 82
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