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A singer/songwriter with local ties--who made it big on the national circuit--is making an international resurgence.
Royce Porter was born on April 1, 1939 in Roscoe but was raised in Sweetwater. He graduated Newman High School in 1957 and immediately pursued his dream, moving to Houston to record some albums with his friend and fellow Sweetwater resident, the late Ray Doggett.
However, in 1958 he was drafted into the Navy and served for the next two years. Following his military service, Porter returned to Sweetwater and then attended college at Hardin-Simmons University from 1964-1968.
A year later, Porter moved to Nashville, Tennessee and has been there ever since. During his 35 years of writing country music for artists like Kenny Chesney, Tanya Tucker, and Keith Whitley, Porter shared that he has been responsible for writing 13 #1 hits, which have resulted in selling 65 million records.
Among his biggest successes has been co-writing #1 hits for the "King of Country", George Strait, during the late 1980s and early 90s. They include the popular songs "It Ain't Cool to be Crazy about You", "Ocean Front Property", and "What's Going on in Your World"--the 1991 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Song of the Year.
But as of late, his older works are getting some attention. Porter noted that a rare copy of the first record he made in Sweetwater on the Spade Records label, "A Woman Can Make You Blue", recently sold for $2,259 on E-bay.
"Pretty good for a 39 cent 45-RPM record," Porter said.
In addition, he has also come out of retirement, following contact made by Las Vegas and European promoters from his "rockabilly" music--a cross between country and rock n' roll.
"It seems I have been a big star overseas since the 70s and didn't know it," Porter said in a statement.
Prior to his comeback, Porter came to Sweetwater in 2010 and performed at the Sweetwater High School (SHS) Class Reunion of the Century at Lake Sweetwater. During this appearance, he was also presented with the West Texas Music Hall of Fame's "Pioneer Award" and was announced as an inductee into the group's Honor Roll of Songwriter.
Starting in February of this year, he picked up performing and played in London; one of his performances--at the Boston Arms in London--can be found on YouTube.
In April 2012, he returned Stateside and performed in Las Vegas. This month, he has been in Copenhagen, Denmark and later, Porter will continue his European tour by heading to Sweden and then Barcelona, Spain.