b. 12 May 1937, Lambasas, Texas, USA. While attending Lubbock’s Hutchinson High School, this rhythm guitarist was partnered by Buddy Holly as a ‘Singer of Western and Bop’ when entertaining at parents’ evenings, parties and, indeed, ‘anywhere we could get to a microphone’. Sometimes augmented by the younger Larry Welborn on double bass, they were heard regularly on local radio with Montgomery as main vocalist in a repertoire that embraced his (and Holly’s) own compositions. Among these were ‘Flower Of My Heart’ and other items taped as demos in the mid-50s. With superimposed backing, these would be released after Holly’s death giving them historical importance. It was Holly who was singled out by Decca Records in 1956 as the most commercial talent. However, not begrudging him his luck, Montgomery continued to write songs with his friend, among them ‘Wishing’, ‘Love’s Made A Fool Of You’ and other Holly hits.
After serving as engineer in Norman Petty’s Clovis studio, Montgomery moved to Nashville in 1959 where, as a songwriter, he provided Wilma Burgess with ‘Misty Blue’ (revived in 1976 by Dorothy Moore), ‘Two Of A Kind’ (written with Earl Sinks) for Sue Thompson and Roy Orbison, and 1965’s ‘Wind Me Up’ for Cliff Richard. Among other recipients of Montgomery pieces were Bob Luman and Mel Tillis. In 1966, he became a United Artists Records staff producer. His most enduring labours in this sphere were for Bobby Goldsboro (including ‘Honey’ and ‘Summer (The First Time)’) but other ventures into what was to be named ‘country pop’ included records by Bill Dees, Johnny Darrell, Buddy Knox, Del Reeves and Earl Richards. In the early 70s, Montgomery founded House Of Gold, one of Nashville’s most respected music publishing concerns.