John D. Loudermilk

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John D. Loudermilk
Also known asJohnny Dee
Ebe Sneezer
Born(1934-03-31) March 31, 1934 (age 80)
Durham, North Carolina
GenresCountry, pop
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
RCA Victor
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John D. Loudermilk
Also known asJohnny Dee
Ebe Sneezer
Born(1934-03-31) March 31, 1934 (age 80)
Durham, North Carolina
GenresCountry, pop
OccupationsSinger, songwriter
RCA Victor

John D. Loudermilk (born March 31, 1934) is an American singer and songwriter.


Born in Durham, North Carolina, Loudermilk grew up in a family who were members of the Salvation Army faith and was influenced by the church singing. His cousins Ira and Charlie Loudermilk were known professionally as the Louvin Brothers. Loudermilk is a graduate of Campbell College (now Campbell University), a private North Carolina Baptist Convention-owned college in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

As a young boy he learned to play the guitar, and while still in his teens wrote a poem that he set to music, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth". The owners of the local television station, where he worked as a handyman, allowed him to play the song on-air, resulting in country musician George Hamilton IV putting it on record in 1956. After Eddie Cochran had his first hit record with Loudermilk's song, "Sittin' in the Balcony", Loudermilk's career path was firmly set.

Loudermilk recorded some of his songs, including "Sittin' in the Balcony", under the stage name Johnny Dee (reaching No. 38 on the pop charts in 1957). His 'Johnny Dee' records were recorded for the North Carlina based Colonial Records.

In 1958, he signed with Columbia Records and recorded five unsuccessful singles through 1959.[1]

In 1961, he signed with RCA Victor, where he had a number of hits:

But it was as a songwriter that he made his mark. In 1963 he wrote another all-time hit for George Hamilton IV, Abilene. Working out of country music capital Nashville, Tennessee, Loudermilk became one of the most productive songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s, penning country and pop music hits for the Everly Brothers, Johnny Tillotson, Chet Atkins, The Nashville Teens, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Johnny Cash, Marianne Faithfull, Stonewall Jackson, Sue Thompson and others. For example, he wrote "The Pale Faced Indian", later known as "Indian Reservation", a hit in the 1970s, and "Tobacco Road", a hit in the 1960s and 1970s for, among others, The Nashville Teens, Blues Magoos and Eric Burdon & War.

"Midnight Bus" was recorded by several singers, and he commented that the best was by Betty McQuade in Melbourne, Australia.

Loudermilk was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1976[2] and was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011.[3]

Indian kidnapping story[edit]

A well-known story surrounding one of Loudermilk's songs is that, when Loudermilk was asked by the American Top 40 radio show about the origins of the Raider's hit song "Indian Reservation", Loudermilk invented a story that he wrote the song after crashing his car in a blizzard and being kidnapped by Cherokee Indians. He claimed that they tortured him for days by piercing his spine with thin needles and only let him go after he promised to write a song about their plight. American Top 40 DJ Casey Kasem later announced this story while playing the "Indian Reservation" song on air. The story was later confirmed to be false, and attributed to Loudermilk's imagination rather than an actual event.

Notable compositions[edit]



1961Language of LoveRCA
1962Twelve Sides of John D. Loudermilk
1966A Bizarre Collection of the Most Unusual Songs
1967Suburban Attitudes in Country Verse
1968Country Love Songs
1969The Open Mind of John D. Loudermilk
1970The Best of John D. Loudermilk
1971Volume 1-ElloreeWarner
1979Just Passing ThroughMIM


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryUS
1957"Sittin' in the Balcony"38single only
1961"Language of Love"32Language of Love
1962"Thou Shalt Not Steal"73singles only
"Callin' Dr. Casey"83
"Road Hog"65Twelve Sides
1963"Bad News" (b/w "Guitar Player(Her and Him)")23singles only
1964"Blue Train (Of the Heartbreak Line)"44132
"Th' Wife"45
1965"That Ain't All"20
1966"Silver Cloud Talkin' Blues"A Bizarre Collection of the Most Unusual Songs
"You're the Guilty One"single only
1967"It's My Time"51Suburban Attitudes in Country Verse
1968"Odd Folks of Okracoke"single only
1969"Brown Girl"The Open Mind of John D. Loudermilk
1971"Lord Have Mercy"Volume 1-Elloree
1979"Every Day I Learn a Little More About Love"Just Passing Through

Guest singles[edit]

YearSingleArtistUS Country
1967"Chet's Tune"Some of Chet's Friends38


  1. ^ "John D. Loudermilk - bio, songs". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Nashville Songwriters Foundation". Nashville Songwriters Foundation. 1934-03-31. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  3. ^ "2011 Inductees". North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 10, 2012. 


External links[edit]