1962 Sue Thompson – James (Hold The Ladder Steady)
Eva Sue McKee was born in Missouri in 1925. She learned to sing and play guitar at a very young age and began performing in public by the time she reached seven years old.
Sue briefly married during World War II. She supported herself after the marriage failed by singing in nightclubs in San Jose. She then married Dude Martin and the pair began singing together and recording duets. She signed a recording contract with Mercury Records in 1950.
Her second marriage also ended in divorce. In 1953, Sue married Country singer/comedian Hank Perry. The pair hosted their own television show in Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas. Sue began recording solo Country songs and duets with Hank for Decca Records, but they never managed any hits.
In 1960, Sue signed with Hickory Records and began working with songwriter John D. Loudermilk. Wesley Rose produced her first album, and John wrote both of her first two singles. Sad Movies (Make Me Cry) and Norman each sold over a million copies and reached the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1961.
Sue’s best showing the next year came with the single James (Hold The Ladder Steady), another song John wrote. The single reached #17 on the Hot 100 in 1962.
Sue had one more hit with yet another song written by John. Paper Tiger reached #23 on the Hot 100 in 1964. The single nearly topped the Australia chart, but stalled at #2. She never again reached the Hot 100.
In 1965, Sue returned to her Country roots and began recording and releasing Country singles and albums with minimal results. Between 1971 and 1976, Sue recorded albums of duets with Don Gibson, and several of their singles reached the Country chart.
By the nineties, Sue had moved to Las Vegas. She continues to occasionally appear in shows in clubs and casinos.
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