Dominated by gospel music and radio, and was taught guitar by a childhood friend of their mother. Began playing and writing songs at 12 with a high-tenor voice, later becoming a bass-baritone. During high school years sang on a local radio station later, he released an album of traditional gospel songs called My Mother’s Hymn Book. Being played weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program. Enlisted in the Air Force 1950-1954, was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile in West Germany, worked as a Morse code intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. While there, created his first band, “The Landsberg Barbarians”. One of the best-selling music artists of all time, sold more than 90 million records. Music that embraced country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel sounds. Earning the rare honour of being inducted in Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.