Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b '37, St Petersburg FL) Singer- songwriter whose songs had much success for other artists. He performed on the Grand Ole Opry as a teenager and Buddy Holly recorded some of his songs; he was active in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early '60s and recorded on the FM label, then Bleecker And MacDougal '67 and Little Bit Of Rain '70 on Elektra, Fred Neil '66, Everybody's Talkin' '69, Other Side Of This Life '70 and Sessions '71 on Capitol. None sold well, though his twelve-string guitar playing was especially well regarded; the nearest he came to personal fame was when Harry Nilsson covered 'Everybody's Talkin'' (used in soundtrack of Midnight Cowboy, the producer allegedly preferring it to Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay') and had a top ten hit with it. He retired to Florida, but his songs have been covered by Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, Tim Buckley ('Dolphins'), Jos‚ Feliciano, Jefferson Airplane, others. He allegedly inspired the Airplane's 'Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil'.