BIOGRAPHY of Wynn Stewart
The Vegas Years
In 1961, he moved to Las Vegas. He was a partner in a club, called the Nashville Nevada. He owned 33% in exchange for being the regular attraction. It was more of a honky tonk than a Vegas showroom. It was designed for dancing and was open 24 hrs. He played 6 nights a week.
(click on pictures for larger view)
He bought a house and brought his mother, his sister Beverly and her daughter, Kathy, to live with him. His father, Cleo had died of a heartache at age 48 in 1959.
The Nashville Nevada band
WYNN STEWART-lead vocals,
Carl Mortensen-club owner
Jackie Burns was a female singer who also sang with the band. While in Vegas, Wynn also landed a TV show and worked as a DJ.
Wynn (on guitar), Jackie Burns (at the microphone), Ralph Mooney (on steel)
In 1962, Bobby Austin left the band to pursue a solo career, leaving Wynn without a bass player. Merle Haggard sat in with the band while Wynn was out of town. Wynn came back unexpectedly and was standing in the crowd when he heard Merle sing some songs. He liked him and hired him to be his permanent bass player. Merle was working on a singing career himself. He really liked one of Wynn's self-penned songs, "Sing a Sad Song". Being the generous guy that he was, Wynn gave it to him and it became Merle's first hit, peaking at #19 on the country charts. Merle played with Wynn for about a year.
Wynn's first marriage was to Claire Anne Douthit on 6/24/62. They had a little boy, Greg, born on 4/23/63.
(marriage certificate, compliments of Greg Stewart)
By the early 60's, Wynn's reputation was considerable and he had a string of moderate hit singles. Wynn continued to record for Challenge until 1963. "Big Big Love" was released on 12/25/61, spending 7 weeks on the charts and peaking at #18. "Another Day, Another Dollar" was released on 11/24/62 and spent 3 weeks on the charts, peaking at #27.
In 1963, Wynn and Claire were divorced. Then he met and married his 2nd wife, Dolores, while singing at the Nashville Nevada Club. They had a daughter, Wren Dee, born in March, 1964.
(Click here to read the story of how
Wynn and Dolores met, in her own words)