Rusty Draper (Farrell H. Draper)
BiographyKirksville, Missouri, USA
Singer Farrell "Rusty" Draper was one of the biggest American singing stars of the 1950s, pioneering a pop/country crossover sound that scored him a string of million-selling hit singles. A sometime actor and radio presenter, he worked at a radio station at Des Moines, Iowa, where he often filled in for sportscaster--and future U.S. president--Ronald Reagan. He established himself on the 1950s music scene with such songs as "Gambler's Guitar" and "Shifting Whispering Sands". His biggest hit in the UK was "Mule Skinner Blues" in 1960. Read more... the radio in his home state of Missouri at age 12. As a teenager he worked his way to San Francisco. In 1952 he signed with Mercury Records and the next year he had a million-seller with "Gambler's Guitar", a song that reached #6 on both the pop and country charts. Further hits came over the next 10 years, as well as guest appearances on TV shows Laramie (1959), Rawhide (1959) and 77 Sunset Strip (1958). In the 1980s he suffered severe heart trouble and a mild stroke, and later he lost his voice to throat cancer. He died in Bellevue, Washington, on March 28, 2003, at age 80.