b. Jacob Landers, 14 August 1938, Lawrence County, Alabama, USA. Landers is well respected in bluegrass music not only as a performer but also as a songwriter. He learned guitar and during the 60s, along with Herschel Sizemore and Rual Yarbrough, he played for several years as a member of the Dixie Gentlemen. During this time they recorded five albums which contained almost 20 songs either wrote or co-wrote by Landers including ‘Soldier’s Return’ and ‘Your Heart Tells The Truth’. When Sizemore and Yarborough moved to other groups, Landers played with other combinations but concentrated more on his songwriting. This received a boost, in 1969, when Bill Monroe recorded ‘Walk Softly On My Heart’ and ‘Beyond The Gate’. In 1970, he and banjoist Tom McKinney each recorded one side of an album on Tune, a label owned by Yarborough.
In the early 70s, he and Yarborough formed the Dixiemen, with whom they recorded four albums. Landers’ song ‘Down By The Waterfall’ became very popular and was covered with considerable success by the Country Gentlemen. After they disbanded, in 1976, he began to record albums for Old Homestead, including one that comprised all gospel material but all contained several self-penned numbers. In the 80s, Landers’ daughters became involved in the music when he formed the Jake Landers Family Band and recorded for Old Homestead. He also appeared in a reunion of the Dixie Gentlemen, which resulted in an album release on Rutabaga. In 1989, the Kentucky Headhunters, charted at number 25, with their rock country version of his song ‘Walk Softly On My Heart’, retitled ‘Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine’.