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Jeff Bates
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Jeff Bates

Jeff Bates songsMost popular Jeff Bates songs (see all 44 songs)
1Already Spent lyrics-
2Wayfaring Stranger lyrics-
3Life's Railway To Heaven lyrics-
4The Love Song lyrics-
5I Can't Write That lyrics-
6That'll Get You Ten lyrics-
7Dreaming lyrics-
8I Hurt So Bad lyrics-
9The Wings of Mama's Prayers lyrics-
10The Moment lyrics-

Jeff Bates albumsMost popular Jeff Bates albums (see all 1 albums)
1Rainbow Man [2003]8,674


Biography
Jeff Bates was given up for adoption as a baby. He later met his birth mother, though his natural father remains a complete mystery. Mississippi sharecropper Ed Bates and his wife Barbara adopted him. Barbara, the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher, raised the baby on gospel songs. Eight brothers and sisters came along, and Ed and Barbara also took in two cousins. Bates' father became a bulldozer operator in the Columbia, Miss. area.

By his teens, Bates was a self-described "geek." Poor and shy, he had few friends and was constantly picked on by bullies. When he fought back at age 14, he was suspended from school.

"Daddy said, 'Well, you're getting too big to go to school anyway.' He was having health problems and couldn't run the bulldozer anymore. So I was to stay home and help him. I'd already run his chain saw and driven his pickup truck by then," Bates says.

The family was so backwoods that at the age of 17 Bates had never been outside of Marion County, Miss. Hungry to see the world, he joined the National Guard. After that, he took a job on an oil rig. One night, a friend urged him to get on stage at the Colonial Steak House in Columbia, Mississippi. He sang Elvis' "Suspicious Minds," George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and Conway Twitty's "I'd Love to Lay You Down."

"The club owner came up to me and said, 'How would you like to work here six nights a week? I'll pay you $50 a night.' I went in the next morning and quit my oil rig job." That same year Jeff fell in love and married an older woman who was a waitress at the club. That stormy union lasted only a few years. After the breakup, he moved to Seminary, Mississippi and became a carpenter for a time, continuing to sing on the side. Later on he became a welder, but music continued to be his first love. Wanting to pursue his music more seriously, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. It was there that he met and later married his first manager and in 1993 he formed his own band, Southern Storm. Bates blossomed quickly once he began writing with Music City's tunesmiths. His wife/manager, however, told him he'd be better off back in Arkansas. So he moved back to his former hometown, a decision that would prove to be detrimental to him in more ways than one.

"Moved back to Little Rock, and it was all downhill from there. I hated it. I felt like I had thrown away all the progress I had made. I resented the whole thing."

As his marriage began to unravel, Jeff started commuting back to Nashville to write more songs. He was signed by Warner-Chappell Publishing and started doing showcases in hopes of landing a recording contract. He moved back to Nashville. Everything seemed to be looking up, especially after he met Connie, who he began to date and would later become his wife. But by then Bates had gotten caught up in using drugs. He had even sold all of his musical equipment to fund his drug habit. When that money ran out, he hit rock bottom, and the police eventually found thousands of dollars worth of stolen musical equipment at his home. He was sent to jail.

"I got arrested on March 14, 2001. They handcuffed me and took me to jail. I looked like death. I hated myself. I didn't believe there was a God. I didn't care if I lived or died. A couple of days later, when I woke up straight for the first time in months, it dawned on me what I'd done. I started calling everybody I'd stolen something from. I told my wife everything. I told her to leave me, divorce me. I didn't deserve her.

"I knew I'd lost it all. I'd wasted my life. That's when I met God and started talking to him. I prayed, 'I know I've messed up. And I'm not asking for anything except tell me what I'm supposed to do. Tell me to go back to Mississippi and I'll go.' The next day, I found out that Gene Watson had recorded two of my songs. And that Tracy Lawrence had recorded a song of mine and Kenny Beard's called "What a Memory." I cried like a baby.

"Here's how I got my life back. I called Kenny Beard while I was in jail. He had let me use Old Magic, his prize guitar that he'd written so many of his hits on. I phoned to tell him that I'd pawned it, to apologize and to tell him where it was. He said, 'When you get out, I want you to promise to come and see me.'"When I was released, I walked out and Connie was there. She'd stuck with me. The next morning, I went to Kenny Beard's. He met me at the door with Old Magic in his hand. He said, 'Here, take this and write songs with it. There's the case with the pawn ticket still in it. If you get the hankering to do drugs, there's the pawn ticket to remind you. I love you. Come on in and let's write.'"

Bates worked pouring concrete building foundations for houses by day and created new music by night. He got his songwriting contract back. In time, some of his tapes made their way to RCA. On January 29, 2002, he sang in person for the label's executives. The label signed him, and released his debut single "The Love Song" in 2003.
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15 Comments
16-04-2006 16:29 Whiteshadow
Whiteshadow
 
349 posts
Song comment
@ The Love Song

WOW, just amazing. I am surprised to see that only one post was posted.. Incredible song, you who don't know it are missing out on a lot!! TRUST ME! Just give it a shot, you got noth. to lose..
07-06-2005 18:06 KajunBaseballer
 
5 posts
Song comment
@ Long, Slow Kisses

Definately an awesome song..

I sung it for my g/f one day over the phone when I surprise called her. She cried.. one of my favorite songs. Yall should listen to Johnny Van Zant 'help somebody' thats another good song that guy has a deep voice too.. Good job, Jeff!

18-05-2005 05:06 erin216
 
77 posts
Song comment
@ Long, Slow Kisses

i love this song

my on again off again type guy played it for me and i just about died, ahaha.

it was just lovely, ahaha.

and then we shared some long slow kisses, and it was nice.
23-04-2005 14:49 Westvalady_n_TN
 
1 posts
Song comment
@ Long, Slow Kisses

I an the moderator of Conway Twitty fan club and someone stated that a friend said that he originally recorded this song - if he did could you tell me when and what album it is on? You can email me privately at Babyjane37717@yahoo.com. Thanks for your assistance
17-04-2005 18:54 ThIsIsYoUrTiMe
 
33 posts
Song comment
@ The Love Song

oh my gosh i LOVE this song. I have been looking for it for forever. oh man this song is so cute
10-04-2005 08:04 campoven
 
52 posts
Song comment
@ Country Enough

This is soo true! the only music I like loud is country!!!!!!!!
10-04-2005 08:00 campoven
 
52 posts
Song comment
@ Long, Slow Kisses

awesome song, this blokes got a good, deep voice its sexy!! one of the best voices out there I reckon
02-12-2004 21:49 fordgrl101
 
38 posts
Song comment
@ Long, Slow Kisses

omg this is a great song i love it
05-08-2004 03:52 lively3
 
1 posts
Song comment
@ The Wings of Mama's Prayers

This is the best song i have heard in a long time it tells the truth
18-07-2004 21:52 mattysmunchkin
 
20 posts
Song comment
@ I Wanna Make You Cry

my bf and i love each other so much i cried so hard just wanting to see him and when i did i hugged him for 20 mins he was carrying me around cause he didnt want to let go loves a beutiful thing when u reconize the true thing and when u find it dont let it slip threw ur hands