With the lyrics to "Even Tho'," a songwriting triumvirate truly made a touch on how pathetic being in love can be when one is the subject of a country & western song: "Well even tho' you took the sunshine out of my heaven, even tho' you took the twinkle out of my eyes/Oh I will always be in love with you my darling, even tho' I sit and wonder if I'm wise." The team behind this singing sob was Webb Pierce, Curt Peeples, and Willie Jones. Pierce had a long, productive career and was one of the kings of the honky tonk sound as well as a superb balladeer. The relationship between Peeples and Jones stretches back to the early '50s, when the two men initiated an independent record label called Stampede out of Kemah, TX.
"Even Tho'" was a smash hit, leading to cover versions by a variety of artists, including guitarist Chet Atkins with an instrumental approach and Connie Smith telling the female side of the story. The songwriting team also came up with "Go Ahead and Make Me Cry," an even more miserable follow-up, even though the chances of another "Even Tho'" were slim. The Stampede recording enterprise also never really turned up a pot of gold, although country scholars will certainly wind up investigating some of the label's catalog. The fascinating country performer Glenn Barber cut his first side ever for Stampede in 1952, "You Took the Twinkle Out of My Stars." Smokey Stover burned through a total of three 78s on the label before starting up his own Ol' Podner imprint. As for Willie Jones, an artist with this name in country has more to worry about than just getting mixed up with another performer. Not only is the "Even Tho" Jones not the same guy as the German country and folk-rock performer of the same name, he also has nothing to do with the subject of a Bobby Bare song entitled "Willie Jones."