b. Thomas Wayne Perkins, 22 July 1940, Battsville, Mississippi, USA, d. 15 August 1971, Tennessee, USA. Wayne was a classic one-hit artist, the younger brother of Luther Perkins, the guitarist who developed and first played the trademark two-string guitar style behind Johnny Cash. Wayne attended Humes High School in Memphis, where a few years earlier the young Elvis Presley had come and gone with little fanfare. There Wayne formed a group called the De-Lons, which was recorded by Scotty Moore, guitarist for Presley, for the Fernwood Records label, which Moore co-owned. That first single did nothing, but Wayne’s second single for Fernwood, a weepy ballad titled ‘Tragedy’, made it to number 5 in the US national chart. The song had renewed life in 1961 as a hit for the Fleetwoods. Wayne recorded for other labels but was unable to follow that hit, although Presley recorded a song he had written, ‘The Girl Next Door Went A Walking’, in 1960. Wayne eventually moved into production work, but his life was tragically cut short when he was killed in a car collision near Memphis in 1971.
Share this page