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Mickey Gilley

One of my favorite country music songs is sung by the great Mickey Gilley, who died Saturday at 86. He and Jerry Lee Lewis were cousins. Send me some genes, please

Mickey Gilley shows off his piano-playing dexterity, smooth baritone vocals, and effortless stage presence in this May 1974 clip from “The Porter Wagoner Show.” Gilley sings “Room Full of Roses,” a country and pop classic written in the 1940s by Tim Spencer of the Sons of the Pioneers. Gilley’s version was climbing the country record charts when he did this TV performance. It became the first of his seventeen #1 country hits on June 29, 1974.

If Gilley’s style reminds you a little of Jerry Lee Lewis, there’s good reason. Lewis is Gilley’s cousin, and the two budding entertainers often played and sang together growing up in Ferriday, Louisiana.

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