"Sonny James" (born "James Loden" on May 1, 1929 in Hackleburg, Alabama) is an American country music singer and songwriter.
James Loden was born on a farm into a family of musicians. Nicknamed "Sonny", by age three he was playing a mandolin and singing and at age four joined with his "Mom" & "Pop" Loden and nine-year-old sister Thelma "Sis" Loden to perform on an area radio station. A musically inclined adopted sister by the name of Ruby Palmer also joined the group and the singing Loden family's popularity was such that before long they were playing theaters, auditoriums and schoolhouses throughout the southern United States. After years on the road, in 1949 the two girls married and the family band dissolved.
In 1950, James Loden joined a country band in Memphis, Tennessee but his desire for a full-time career in music was interrupted by service in the Korean War. After nearly eighteen months overseas he was shipped home and discharged in the late fall of 1952. Loden immediately headed for Nashville, Tennessee where, with the help of Chet Atkins whom Loden had met while touring with his family's band, he signed with Capitol Records. The company had him drop his last ...