from Caddo Parish, Shreveport, LA
August 10, 1940 (age 80)
Jerry Kennedy worked for over 30 years as a guitarist, producer, and A&R man for Mercury Records, attaining success in all three endeavors. Born in Shreveport, LA, Kennedy became a teen idol in his local school after he was offered a singing contract at age 11. Although he never became a vocal star, throughout his teens he lent background vocals to several Mercury acts. After doing session work around Shreveport and East Texas, Kennedy was persuaded to move to Nashville by Mercury Records' Shelby Singleton. His arrival in 1961 coincided with country music's boom period of the '60s, and he was soon called upon to not only scout talent for Mercury, but to play and produce sessions as well. Kennedy produced on all, and played on most, of Jerry Lee Lewis' country records, as well as playing guitar for Elvis, Ringo Starr, and Kris Kristofferson. He also became vice president of Mercury Records' Nashville division in 1968 when his mentor Shelby Singleton left. Kennedy himself left Mercury in 1984 and created his own company, producing the Statler Brothers and others. ~ Steve Kurutz, Rovi
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