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WEBB PIERCE and JIM DENNY!<br>EARLY Cedarwood Music Publishing Contract from 1956

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It's interesting to see these two signatures together on a Cedarwood Music Publishing contract because Pierce and Denny founded Cedarwood together in 1953. On this contract, Pierce has signed as the composer and Denny as the publisher (though technically Pierce is both composer and publisher in this agreement).

Webb Pierce was, as you probably know, a famed early purveyor of honky ton style country music and star of the early Grand Ol' Opry.

James R. Denny is a name that Nashville music historians will be quite familiar with. The website for the Country Music Hall of Fame has this to say about Mr. Denny:

"James R. Denny (1911-1963)

James Rae Denny, one of the most prominent business figures in Nashville's musical past, was born in Tennessee in 1911. By 1946 he was running the WSM Artist Bureau, which booked Opry acts, while also acting as Opry House manager. In 1953 Denny and Opry performer Webb Pierce organized the Cedarwood Publishing Company. Following a dispute with WSM management about this and other business interests, Denny left the station in 1956 and started his own talent agency.

Denny's publishing, booking and promotion efforts furthered the initial boom period of Nashville's music industry. He died in 1963, still in his prime. Election to the Hall of Fame came three years later, in 1966."

Mr. Denny also has an interesting footnote to his credit in the world of rock and roll.

In 1956 a very young Buddy Holly had signed his first publishing contract with Cedarwood. Decca Records' Nashville devision was more or less run out of Owen Bradley's studio (Bradley was the famed producer of Patsy Cline and many other country legends) - Cedarwood Publishing was directly across the street from Bradley's studio on 7th Avenue. When Holly got his first recording contract with Decca, the contract was given to Denny to forward on to Buddy.

As it turns out, whoever typed up the contract misspelled Buddy's name, dropping the "e" in "Holley". Young Buddy, who felt a bit intimidated by the big record company, decided to sign and return the contract with the wrong spelling. He was afraid that making the correction might anger the record executives into canceling the contract.

So, among his many great accomplishments in the history of country music, James R. Denny also gets credit for being the messenger who delivered Buddy Holly his new name!

The contract is for Webb Pierce's song, "Don't Leave Me Now".

To view a close-up of the signed section of the contract, please click the above image.

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