Marvin Rainwater passed away

Marvin Rainwater passed


On September 17th.  He was born in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up in
the great depression.  As a child he did not listen to the Grand Ole
Opry which his father liked, he took classical music piano lessons,
which ended after he lost part of his right thumb to a work accident as a
teenager.  After returning from World War II, he took up the guitar. 
He was fascinated by Roy Acuff, and began playing and writing country
music, and formed a band with his brothers.  He sometimes wore a
buckskin jacket and a headband.  Publicists later said he was part
Native American, and even said he was part Cherokee, but Marvin denied
all of that.  Roy Clark worked with Marvin in his early days, and
together they recorded several demos.  Then Teresa Brewer recorded one
of Marvin’s songs “I Gotta Go Get My Baby” turning it into a big hit. 
Marvin got his first big break in the music business when he performed
on Arthur Godfrey’s program.  He one first place on the Talent Scouts
show in 1955, and joined the Ozark Jubilee that same year. He signed
with MGM records and became a household name.  He was inducted into
America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame during his appearance with
us at Missouri Valley. We have one of his guitars in the Pioneer Music
Museum, along with a lot of autographed photos and music, especially
“Gonna Find Me A Bluebird.:”  That song sold over a million copies by
1957, and gave Marvin his first gold record. In 1959 he added three more
gold records “My Love Is Real” “My Brand Of Blues” and “Half Breed.” 
He began to have voice problems in 1960 and parted company with MGM.  By
1970 he had throat cancer.  He went to doctors in Nashville who told
him he’d lose his voice.  He got a second opinion in Rochester,
Minnesota, at the Clinic there, and they not only did not cut his vocal
cords out, they healed him.  He moved out of Nashville and built a
beautiful home in Aitken, Minnesota, which is where he lived when he
died.  He performed many many times for us at our festivals and at our
Oak Tree Opry, and at the Walnut Opera House when we owned it.  He and
his wife Sherri took a great liking to our (at that time, little)
daughter, Bobbie Lhea, and would bring her presents whenever they came
to see and perform for us.  He has three daughters; Judi who lives in
Wenatchee Washington; Lora who lives in Columbia Hieghts, Minnesota; and
Barbara who lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  Two sons, Wade who lives
in Minnesota, and Jimmy who lives in Alabama.  We considered Marvin
Rainwater part of our family, and we will miss him dearly.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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