Rest In Peace, Louis,
You are with God now.
1931 - 2012

Diginity Memorial  - Louis Nunley
Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home
660 Thompson Ln,
Nashville, TN 37204 | 615-383-4754 | MAP

Louis Nunley was a veteran of the music industry in Nashville. As the Bass Singer with The Anita Kerr Singers since February 1953, he was one of the twenty or so performing musicians, including The Jordanaires, whose contributions to recordings were the basis of what has become known the world over as "The Nashville Sound".

Louis was born October 15, 1931, in Sikeston, Missouri, and was raised in Anderson, Indiana. In 1948, he moved to Nashville to attend David Lipscomb College, where he made his first commercial recordings in 1949, and was graduated in 1952, with a major in Mathematics.

 Louis is survived by his wife Mary Ann, and two sons: Louis, Jr. and Lee

In the early years of the recording industry in Nashville, there were two active vocal groups: The Jordanaires and The Anita Kerr Singers. Since vocal groups are a basic element in almost all Nashville recordings, both groups worked unbelievably busy schedules in the studio, on television and on the radio. The two groups were doing three to four, 3 hour recording sessions per day, 7 days a week. Consequently, they are collectively and individually, among the most recorded voices in the history of music.

In 1956, The Anita Kerr Quartet won the popular "Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts Show". That began a relationship with Godfrey that continued until he retired from his daily CBS radio and television shows. The group had an open invitation to come to New York and appear on Godfrey's shows, so they arranged their schedules of background recordings in Nashville, as often as possible to clear small blocks of time for him. It was an opportunity to promote their growing reputation as a featured recording act and that recognition culminated in the quartet's winning two "Grammy's" in 1965: "Best Recording By A Vocal Group" and "Best Religious Recording" with George Beverly Shea.

Meanwhile, Louis had stayed busy in the " background singing business" through the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and is still going strong.  Louis has recorded with hundreds of artists, some of whom are: Red Foley, Brenda Lee, Burl Ives, Jim Reeves, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Floyd Cramer, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Perry Como, Dolly Parton, Engelbert Humperdinck, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, Garth Brooks, and, yes, Elvis Presley -- and the list goes on.

In addition to recordings, Louis was active in commercials, movie and television soundtracks, and has appeared on the vast majority of major network television specials originating in Nashville, including The CMA Awards Shows and The Music City News Awards Shows, as well as being a regular on the "Statler Brothers Show", among the countless others. He is also an outstanding arranger, both for vocals and for instruments, from one piece to symphony.

Louis  filled in with "The Jordanaires" when needed for over forty-five years, subbing for everyone in the group at one time or another. When illness forced the retirement of Duane West in 1999, Louis was tapped for replacing him as baritone and as a regular member of the group. With the passing of Neal Matthews in the year 2000, Louis was pressed into his role as arranger for the group.

Quoteth Louis: "The first 50 years as a professional singer has been a great warm-up and now I'm looking forward to meeting all the new challenges in today's music industry and to many more pleasant, productive years with Gordon, Curtis and Ray: "The Jordanaires".


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