Lonnie Melvin Tillis (born August 8th, 1932 in Tampa, Florida) is a country music singer/songwriter, and actor.
Tillis has scored nearly six dozen country and crossover hits from the years 1958 to 1988. His biggest country hit, 1972's "I Ain't Never" had been a major hit for Webb Pierce in 1959. He was honored as the Country Music Association "Entertainer of the Year" in 1976. As a songwriter, Tillis' song "Detroit city" was a number one hit on the U.S. country charts in 1963 for Bobby Bare, and has since been covered by a number of other artists, including Dolly Parton. He also wrote Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town, which became a hit for Kenny Rogers.
In addition to his musical talents, Mel Tillis has acted in a number of motion pictures, including The Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit II, as well as making guest appearances on a number of television series.
Tillis is known for a trademark stutter which disappears when he sings. A story about Tillis was that he would order "grits" in a restaurant he would frequent at as a struggling singer, because this was the only dish that he could pron...