The legendary Ollie Nightingale began his singing career in the early 1950's as lead singer of the Memphis based gospel group the Dixie Nightingales. Hugely successful around Memphis and all throughout the South, the Dixie Nightingales were heard every Sunday morning for years on their own popular gospel show on Memphis radio station WDIA. Moving into the secular world of R&B the group changed its name to Ollie and the Nightingales and were quickly signed to Stax Records. Their first hit was a huge seller "I Got A Sure Thing" featured Ollie delivering his own brand of unbridled soul. Other hits followed including "You're Leaving Me" and "Bracing Myself For The Fall" before the group disbanded and Ollie embarked on a solo career.
Ollie went on to record several records in the years that followed hitting again with "May The Best Man Win," as he continued to work concerts and nightclubs mainly in the southern region of the United States. His debut record on the Ecko Records label proves why he has had such longevity in the music world. "I'll Drink You Bath Water, Baby," produced by former Malaco songwriter John Ward, has something for everyone. The title song is a straight medium-slow blues which has quickly become a cult classic. Other outstanding cuts include the raucous blues, "I'm Ready To Party" and the sweetly seductive "She's In a Midnight Mood In The Middle Of The Day."
His second Ecko release "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do", is one of the best works of his career. Ollie's timeless tenor is the focus of this recording with songs like "If You're Lucky Enough To Have A Good Woman", "I Got A Sure Thing", and the hit song "You've Got A Booger Bear Under There". "Make It Sweet", the follow-up to Ollie's second Ecko release, was a hit with Blues fans everywhere. This recording showcases some stunning originals including the title track and the hilarious "I'll Take A Big Fat Woman", an answer to Bobby Rush's "I Ain't Gonna Sleep No More With No Big Fat Woman". It also features label mate Barbara Carr in a moving duet on the classic "God Blessed Our Love".
Unfortunately, just after the release of "Make It Sweet", at the highest point of his career, Ollie died suddenly and unexpectedly from heart failure resulting from complications from pneumonia. He was only 62 years old.
His last release on Ecko is the aptly titled "Ollie Style". This collection of all new material was recorded as he was enjoying one of the most productive periods of his career. This is the last recorded output from Ollie and the last release of new material of his on Ecko Records. Highlights include "I'm Gonna Turn This Bed Over", a medium, grinding Blues, and "That's What You Are To Me", featuring Barbara Carr. As always, Ollie turns out a rousing performance and gives each song his own unique treatment, Ollie Style!