Johnny Bond

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Johnny Bond
Background information
Birth nameCyrus Whitfield Bond
Born(1915-06-01)June 1, 1915
OriginEnville, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedJune 12, 1978(1978-06-12) (aged 63)
Burbank, California, U.S.[1]
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, composer
Years active1940–1977
LabelsColumbia, Starday

Cyrus Whitfield "Johnny" Bond (June 1, 1915 – June 12, 1978) was an American country music singer-songwriter, guitarist and composer and publisher, who co-founded a music publishing firm. He was active in the music industry from 1940 until the late 1970s.

Early years[edit]

Bond was born in Enville, Oklahoma, and grew up on several small farms in Oklahoma. As a youngster, he was influenced musically by records that his parents played. He learned basics of music as a member of his high school's brass band. While in high school he bought a ukulele, but soon he switched to playing the guitar.[2]


Bond first performed on radio in Oklahoma City when he was 19 years old. In 1937, he began performing with Jimmy Wakely and Scotty Harrell in the Bell Boys trio, named after the Bell Clothing Company, which sponsored the group[3] on radio station WKY in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He went on to join Gene Autry's Melody Ranch in 1940.[4]

He also performed with his own group, the Red River Valley Boys.

The Encyclopedia of Country Music says that the Bond-Wakely-Harrell trio "pulled a clever musical scam" by recording for two companies under different names: the Jimmy Wakely Trio (for Decca Records) and Johnny Bond & the Cimarron Boys (for Columbia Records).[3]

Bond also acted in more than 40 films,[4] beginning with Saga of Death Valley (1939)[5] and including Wilson and Duel in the Sun.[6]

Beginning in 1953, Bond and Tex Ritter were hosts of the syndicated country music television series Town Hall Party, which lasted seven years.[2]


Bond's first solo recordings came with Columbia Records in 1937.[2] He is best known for his 1947 hit "Divorce Me C.O.D.", one of his seven top ten hits on the Billboard country charts. In 1965 at age 50 he scored the biggest hit of his career with the comic "Ten Little Bottles", which spent four weeks at No. 2. Bond's other hits include "So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed" (1947), "Oklahoma Waltz" (1948), "Love Song in 32 Bars" (1950), "Sick Sober and Sorry" (1951), and a cover of Charlie Ryan's "Hot Rod Lincoln" (1960).

Composing and publishing[edit]

The hundreds of songs that Bond wrote include "Cimarron" and "Ten Little Bottles". He and Ritter formed Vidor Publications, a music publishing firm. He retired from performing in the 1970s to devote more time to publishing music.[2]


Bond died of a stroke in 1978, at the age of 63.


Bond was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999,[7] and to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In popular culture[edit]

Bond's song "Stars of the Midnight Range" was featured in the role-playing video game, Fallout: New Vegas. Another song of his; "Headin' Down the Wrong Highway" was on the radio in the game Fallout 76.



Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US
1960 Hot Rod Lincoln
1961 That Wild, Wicked but Wonderful West Starday
1962 Live It Up and Laugh It Up
1963 Songs That Made Him Famous
1965 Ten Little Bottles 12 142
1966 Famous Hot Rodders I Have Known
The Man Who Comes Around
Bottles Up
The Branded Stock of Johnny Bond
1967 Ten Nights in a Barroom
Sick, Sober and Sorry
Drink Up and Go Home
1968 Three Sheets in the Wind
1969 The Best of Johnny Bond
1970 Something Old, New, Patriotic and Blue
1971 Here Come the Elephants


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US
1947 "Divorce Me C.O.D." 3 singles only
"So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed" 5
"You Brought Sorrow to My Heart" 3
"The Daughter of Jole Blon" 4
1948 "Oklahoma Waltz" 9
1949 "Till the End of the World" 12
"Tennessee Saturday Night" 11
1950 "Love Song in 32 Beers" 8
1951 "Sick, Sober and Sorry" 7
1960 "Hot Rod Lincoln" 26 Hot Rod Lincoln
1963 "Three Sheets in the Wind" 30
1965 "10 Little Bottles" 2 43 Ten Little Bottles
1971 "Here Come the Elephants" 59 Here Come the Elephants


  1. ^ Erlewine, Michael (1997). All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music. Miller Freeman. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-87930-475-1.
  2. ^ a b c d Carlin, Richard (2005). Country. Infobase Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 9780816069774. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  3. ^ a b The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. 2012. ISBN 9780199920839. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Michael (1997). All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879304751. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Talevski, Nick (2010). Rock Obituaries – Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 44. ISBN 9780857121172. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  6. ^ "Gene Autry Comic At Buck Lake Ranch". Angola Herald. Indiana, Angola. September 16, 1949. p. 13. Retrieved December 23, 2017 – via Open access icon
  7. ^ "Johnny Bond". Country Music Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.

External links[edit]