"Amarillo By Morning" The Life and Songs of Terry Stafford
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In the early months of 1964, on their inaugural tour of North America, the Beatles seemed to be everywhere: appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, making the front cover of Newsweek, and playing for fanatical crowds at sold out concerts in Washington, D.C. and New York City. On Billboard magazine's April 4, 1964, Hot 100 list, the "Fab Four" held the top five positions. One notch down at Number 6 was "Suspicion," by a virtually unknown singer from Amarillo, Texas, named Terry Stafford. The following week "Suspicion" - a song that sounded suspiciously like Elvis Presley using an alias - moved up to Number 3, wedged in between the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" and "She Loves You." The saga of how a Texas boy met the British Invasion heads-on, achieving almost overnight success and a Top-10 hit, is one of the triumph and disappointment, a reminder of the vagaries that are a fact of life when pursuing a career in music. It is also the story of Stafford's continuing development as a gifted songwriter, a fact too often overlooked when assessing his career.