Marion Worth
Marion Worth

Born on the 4th of July in 1930, Marion Worth lived up to her patriotic origins as a  popular country singer and Grand Ole Opry regular with the endearing nickname, “Lady.” A pioneering country singer who helped bring women into the mainstream of country music, she had her first two hits, “Are You Willing Willie” and "That's My Kind of Love," on Guyden Records.

Described in her 1960 biographical sketch distributed by her publishing company, Golden River Publishing Company in Huntsville, Alabama, “Marion is a very attractive brunette with green eyes, a petite figure, standing on 5’2” and weighing 105 lbs. When she has the time, she enjoys reading, especially World History” The biography also notes (besides the fact that Huntsville is ‘the space capital of the world”) that on the strength of “Are You Willing Willie,” Marion Worth was voted in the Top Ten in Cash Box for “most promising female vocalist” of 1960.

Jack Stapp put her on the Grand Ole Opry Friday Night Frolic on the strength of "Are You Willing, Willie," which she also wrote, along with writing the followup, "That's My Kind of Love," a top 5 country, which was the biggest hit of her young career.

After starting as half of a duo with her younger sister, in 1952, Marion went solo and began appearing with Happy Wilson and his Golden River Boys on WAPI radio and WAPI-TV. In 1956, Marion started writing songs “as a hobby.”  

“Are You Willing Willie” originally came out on Cherokee Records and was bought by Guyden from Fred Stryker of Cherokee Records, who himself appeared on Jamie/Guyden affiliate Caldwell Records. Part of the agreement for “Are You Willing Willie” was that Guyden bought the 450 records Cherokee had on hand and had 400 delivered to National Record Distributors in Atlanta and 50 to Big State Distributors in Dallas, Guyden’s push for national exposure through its regional distributors in those areas.

She left Guyden to sign with Columbia Records, which had top producers Don Law and Frank Jones produce her. Her first Columbia single, "I Think I Know," went Top 10 but the next, "There'll Always Be Sadness," only went Top 25 and she remained off the country charts until 1963. Hits thereafter included "Shake Me I Rattle (Squeeze Me I Cry)" and a cover of Ray Price’s "Crazy Arms" in 1963, when she joined the Grand Ole Opry. In 1964 hits included "You Took Him Off My Hands (Now Please Take Him Off My Mind)," a duet with George Morgan, "Slipping Around," and "The French Song."
In 1966, Marion Worth went top 40 with "I Will Blow Out the Light” and then switched to Decca Records, where she had two songs top 40 records, "A Woman Needs Love" in 1967 and "Mama Sez" in 1968.

Marin Worth died of emphysema at age 64 on December 19, 1999.