b. 31 August 1918, Eula, Texas, USA. Nichols grew up in San Angelo and gained his first interest in cowboy songs when his grandfather taught him some guitar chords. In his early teens, he sang in local venues. After first gaining a programme on KGKL, he moved, in 1935, to the larger KNEL Brady and in 1937, as the Roaming Cowboy, he was regular on the powerful border radio station XEPN, at Eagle Pass, Texas. He served in the US Navy during World War II and on his return to civilian life, he relocated to California. He toured with several west coast stars including Gene Autry and Spade Cooley and on his own and appeared in minor roles in films. He first recorded for Memo in 1946, achieving enough local success with ‘That Wild And Wicked Look In Your Eye’ to attract MGM, where he also recorded the song. (In 1948, the song became a Top 10 hit for Ernest Tubb). He also recorded ‘I’m Telling You’ that was later recorded by Audrey Williams. Among his other noted recordings was ‘Sows, Cows And Plows’. He retired from the music in 1972 to a farm near Sonora, Texas. In 1987, the German Cattle label released a compilation album with musical backing supplied by a group listed as the Melody Rangers, who were, in fact, studio musicians and featured top guitarist Porky Freeman.
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