AUBREY CAGLE (Revised version)

Born 17 September 1934, Lexington, Tennessee
Died 3 January 2004, Marion, Indiana

Aubrey Cagle recorded only a handful of singles, without any commercial success, but his recordings are generally held in high regard by fans of rockabilly music and have been reissued on quite a few compilations since the 1970s.

Born in 1934, Cagle spent the early years of his life on his parents’ farm. He purchased his first guitar at the age of eleven and formed a regular band six years later. One of his first engagements was a radio show spot in Jackson, Tennessee. Later on, he secured his own radio show on WDXL, in his hometown of Lexington, Tennessee. During 1955, owing to lack of work, Aubrey moved to Indiana, where he would reside until the end of his life. In 1957 he cut his first single, “Real Cool”/“Want To Be Wanted Blues” (House of Sound 504), an excellent double-sider and probably his best known record. It was recorded in Memphis, with Chips Moman on lead guitar.

In 1959 Cagle started his own label, Glee Records, in Indianapolis, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Johnnie James. The first release on the label was Aubrey’s own “Be-Bop Blues”/“Just For You” (Glee 100), issued in August 1959. His next single came one year later and coupled “Come Along Little Girl” with “Blue Lonely World” (Glee 1001). This was a more commercial record, featuring an unknown vocal chorus. It received a belated release in the UK in May 1962 on the Starlite label. A five-song session at the RCA Victor studio in Nashville in 1961 resulted in two singles, “Sweet Talkin’”/“Oh What A Memory “ (Glee 1005) and “I’ll Find My Way”/“My Empty Arms” (Glee 10010). By this time Cagle had decided to adopt the stage name of Billy Love and both records were released under that name. The back-up musicians were members of Aubrey’s regular band.

Another release on Glee was “Real Cool” by Ted Russell and his Rhythm Rockers (1960), probably the only Glee single by someone other than Aubrey Cagle / Billy Love himself. I expected this to be a remake of the House of Sound recording. Instead it is a guitar instrumental and a completely different song. Cagle continued to perform at local clubs throughout the 1960s and 1970s, switching from rockabilly to country. But he never was a full-time musician.

In 1977, Cagle found the masters of two previously unissued titles that he had recorded in 1959, “Rock-a-billy Boy”and “Bop & Stroll”. Both were cut in a garage in Indianapolis, owned by a friend of Aubrey’s, named Jan Eden. The two tracks were coupled for single release on Glee 10013 in 1978. This was his last release until most of his recordings were assembled on a CD titled “Real Cool” (Solid Gold SGR 102), issued in 2000. It has only nine tracks. Three B-sides were omitted, but it does include the previously unissued song “Cindy Lou”, the fifth track from the 1961 session. Aubrey Cagle died in 2004, of unknown causes, at the age of 69.

More info : - Includes a discography (not entirely reliable). -

Discography (by Terry Gordon) :

CD : Aubrey Cagle, Real Cool (Solid Gold, 2000). 9 tracks. Now hard to get.

Acknowledgements : Derek Glenister.

YouTube :
Real Cool :
Want To Be Wanted Blues :
Bop & Stroll :
Rock-A-Billy Boy :
Be-Bop Blues :
Come Along Little Girl :
Blue Lonely World :
I’ll Find My Way :
Sweet Talkin’ :

Dik, December 2016

These pages were originally published as "This Is My Story" in the
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