Joe Dowell was born on January 23, 1940, and died on February 4, 2016.
He was an American pop singer.
He moved to Bloomington, Illinois, as a child.
Joe first performed at a ninth-grade talent show, and later attended the University of Illinois.
Following the first recording session, he had (backed by organist Ray Stevens), he sang the tune “Wooden Heart”, which had been a hit for Elvis Presley in Europe, but which was never released as a single stateside.
The song “Wooden Heart”, became the first single released on Smash Records to shoot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.
Which ended in selling over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
In the heights of his career, Joe Dowell wanted to become a songwriter in his own right, but due to contractual obligations, he was required to sing music owned by Smash’s parent company, Mercury Records.
Following that he had 2 added hits, “The Bridge of Love” (US #50) and “Little Red Rented Rowboat” (US #23), but after struggles with his management he was dropped from the label.
Joe Dowell then records one single for Monument Records and a folk album in the 1960s, and a number of singles and a gospel album for his own Journey label in the 1970s and 1980s.
Joe also recorded a bicentennial EP for the Boy Scouts of America and radio jingles.
After, the Bear Family Records released a CD of Joe Dowell’s music, including unreleased recordings.
Joe Dowell passed away at a heart attack on the prior weekend.