From ‘Urban Cowboy’ to the Ramona Bowl: Mickey Gilley to perform in Hemet
By Deanna Gomez
It’s been a long time since country crooner Mickey Gilley has stepped into the California sun, but the urban cowboy is returning with a performance at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre on Saturday, Sept. 2.
Gilley began playing music at a young age with his two cousins who found fame in their own right — rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart.
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Gilley’s career began in the late ’50s while living in Texas and working construction he said in a recent telephone interview. Following the success of his cousin Lewis, Gilley decided to throw his hat in the music ring and recorded his first single, “Ooh Wee Baby.” The song would later be featured in a Yoplait yogurt commercial.
Although Gilley didn’t gain fame right away, things soon turned around. He had his first charted song and in 1974, reached the top of the country charts with “Room Full of Roses. He also opened the famous Gilley’s night club with his business partner in Pasadena, Texas, which at one point was so large it held a Guinness World Record.
The club caught the attention of Hollywood and in […]