Cindy Walker, Great Texas Songwriter
In 1940, aspiring Texas songwriter Cindy Walker showed some good, old-fashioned Texas sticktoitiveness when she went to Hollywood with her parents and tried to sell some of her songs. In that year, Cindy, then 22 years old, accompanied her parents on a business trip to Los Angeles. As they were driving down Sunset Boulevard she asked her father to stop the car near the Bing Crosby Enterprises building. Walker later recalled: "I had decided that if I ever got to Hollywood, I was going to try to show Bing Crosby a song I had written for him called 'Lone Star Trail'". Her father said "You're crazy, girl", but nonetheless stopped the car.
Cindy went inside the building to pitch her song and emerged shortly afterward to ask her mother to play the piano for her. Bing Crosby’s brother, Larry Crosby, had agreed to listen to the song; Walker sang “Lone Star Trail” to him, accompanied by her mother. Larry Crosby was both impressed and aware that his brother was looking for a new Western song to record. The next day Cindy played guitar and sang “Lone Star Trail” for Bing Crosby at Paramount Studios (where he was making a movie). Crosby arranged for her to record a demo with Dave Kapp of Decca Records, who was also impressed and offered her a recording contract."Lone Star Trail" was recorded and became a top-ten hit for Bing Crosby.
Walker remained in Los Angeles for 13 years. In 1940 she appeared as a singer in the Gene Autry Western Ride Tenderfoot Ride. The Decca recording contract led to Walker recording several songs with Texas Jim Lewis and His Lone Star Cowboys, including “Seven Beers with the Wrong Man” in 1941, which was also filmed as an early "Soundie" (a precursor of music videos). In 1944 Walker recorded a song (not her own) which became a top ten hit, “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again".
Cindy was born near Mexia, lived her 87 years there, and wrote top-10 hit songs in five different decades. "You Don't Know Me,' of course, has been covered by everybody from Ray Charles to Michael Buble.
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.