Marijohn Wilkin

Induction Year: 1975

Birth Name: Marijohn Melson Wilkin
Birth Date: July 14, 1920
Place of Birth: Kemp, TX
Deceased: October 28, 2006
Place of Death: Nashville, TN


Former Occupations:
Public school music teacher


Grade School--Sanger (Texas) Elementary
High School--Sanger High School (from 1932 to 1936)
College--Baylor University (from 1937 to 1938)
College--Hardin-Simmons University (from 1939 to 1941); graduated with a BA degree in English

Discography / Career Highlights

Career Milestones:

late 1930s - accepted into the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboy Band (1st female member)
1955 - sang as part of Red Foley's touring package show
1956 - first cut "Take This Heart" recorded by Mitchell Torok
1956 - top 20 hit, "No Wedding Bells For Joe," recorded by Wanda Jackson
1958 - moved to Nashville; worked at piano bar in Printer's Alley
1958 - signed 1st publishing contract, an exclusive with Jim Denny at Cedarwood Publishing Company
1958 - first #1 hit "Waterloo" recorded by Stonewall Jackson; song was a #1 country hit for 5 weeks and and was a top 5 hit on the pop charts; sold over 1 million copies; one of the top moneymakers in country music in 1959
1958 - hits "Long Black Veil" and "Grin and Bear It" recorded
1960 - sang backup on hundreds of hit records, some free-lance, some in connection with the Jordanaires and the Anita Kerr Singers
1960 - signed an artist deal with Columbia Records; first album "The Blue & The Gray" (album of Civil War songs)
1962 - release of Jimmy Dean's recording of "PT 109" about President Kennedy; song got national media coverage
1962 - Award of Merit from the Confederate High Command for the album of Civil War songs, "The Blue & the Gray"
1964 - started own publishing company, Buckhorn Music; company's first hit was "GTO" (by son, Bucky Wilkin)
1965 - signed Kris Kristofferson to Burkhorn Music as a writer (his first publishing contract)
1965 - formed backup vocal group, The Marijohn Singers
1965-1967 - The Marijohn Singers appeared as a regular vocal group on Opry television shows
1970 - received Executive Recognition award from Women's Professional International
1973 - signed recording contract with Word Music
1973 - 1st major success in gospel music with song "One Day at a Time" (performed by Marilyn Sellars)
1974 - made an Honorary Member of the University of Tennessee Singers
1975 - 1st songbook\folio (songs recorded on first two Word albums)
1979 - "One Day at a Time" #1 in seven different countries and by seven different artists; went on to be recorded over 500 times
1991 - United Nations World Children's Day Foundation honor for use of "We Are One" as theme song at the World Children's Day event in April 1991; the song was performed at the United Nations Children's Assembly
1992 - "Women in Country" television appearance, video presentation and book
1993 - cover recording of "Cut Across Shorty" by Rod Stewart on his "Unplugged and Seated" album (sold 4 million plus to date)
1994 - "Distinguished Alumni Award" given by Hardin-Simmons University



1959 - BMI\Country Award\Waterloo
1959 - BMI\Country Award\Long Black Veil
1959 - BMI Country Award\Grin & Bear It
1975 - Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award\One Day at a Time

Catalog Highlights:

"Waterloo" Co-writer: John D. Loudermilk - Artists: Stonewall Jackson (1958)

"Long Black Veil" - Co-writer: Danny Dill - Artists: Lefty Frizzell (1958), The Band, The Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, John Anderson, Chris Ledoux

"One Day at a Time" - Co-writer: Kris Kristofferson - Artists: Marilyn Sellars (1973), Christy Lane (1980)

"Cut Across Shorty" - Co-writer: Wayne Walker - Artists: Nat Stuckey (1960), Rod Stewart (1993)

"I Just Don't Understand" - Co-writer: Kent Westberry - Artists: Ann-Margret (1961), The Beatles (released on The Beatles Live at the BBC 1994)

"Scars in the Hands of Jesus" - Artists: Florida Boys

"I Didn't Stop Dancin'" - Artists: Fox Brothers

"Grin & Bear It" - Artists: Jimmy C. Newman

"Take Time" - Artists: Webb Pierce

"P.T. 109" - Artists: Jimmy Dean


"Waterloo" and "One Day at a Time" awarded BMI One Million Performance Awards

Received 10 BMI performance awards

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