Darrell McCall is known throughout the country as a real country singer who sings and writes country songs. It even says so on his mailbox, “Darrell, the Real McCall.”
Darrell began in the music business when he was fifteen and had a Saturday morning country deejay show on WSRW in Hillsboro, Ohio. He also played local dances as a musician. Darrell then moved to Nashville with a boyhood buddy, Johnny Paycheck, in 1958. They worked briefly as a duo, the Young Brothers, but Darrell ended up as a harmony singer, sitting in on sessions for George Jones, Faron Young, and Ray Price. He also went on the road as a member of Price’s Cherokee Cowboys, and later with Faron Young, and Hank Williams Jr. Darrell’s ability to play the bass and sing somewhat high harmonies was a rather rare combination of talent abilities.
In 1968, Darrell signed for Wayside, the label under which he released his debut album, Meet Darrell McCall. Darrell penned a No. 1 hit in 1972 via Hank Williams recording the Darrell McCall /Lamar Morris song, “Eleven Roses.” In 1974 Darrell had a chart single with his Atlantic recording of “There’s Still a Lot of Love in San Antone.” Darrell signed with Columbia Records and recorded a song he wrote titled “Pins and Needles,” in 1976. A year later, he was the first ever to team up with Willie Nelson for the Top 40 single, “Lily Dale,” He followed that with “Dreams of a Dreamer,” and in 1978 he gave tribute to his dad in “Down the Road to Daddy’s Dreams,” which has since become the theme song of Darrell’s Fan Club. After a duet with Curtis Potter, “San Antonio Medley,” Darrell released “Long Line of Empties” on RCA, which at the time was considered by the new breed of country deejays as “TOO COUNTRY.”
Darrell and his band, the Tennessee Volunteers, cut an album in 1986 entitled Reunion. That same year, Darrell teamed up with Johnny Bush and cut an album for Step One records titled Hot Texas Country. Darrell and his manager, Sam Bardin, founded a new label Artap Records, which, in 1992, released Darrell’s first CD, All She Did Was Fall in Love. In 1995, Darrell released Way to Survive, a truly great traditional country music offering, featuring such fantastic remakes as “Way to Survive,” an old Ray Price tune, and “Wall of Pictures,” a song that truly highlights Darrell’s singing ability. Later, in the fall of 1996, Bear Family Records released a 143 song CD collection of Darrell’s work from 1960 .. 1980, entitled The Real McCall, a “must have” for any fan of true country music.
Darrell continues to stay busy playing his brand of country music. He and Mona live on a six acre horse farm abot1t 40 miles west of Nashville. He travels to dance halls and honky tonks around the country, and performs in several Nashville venues, such as Ernest Tub’s Midnight Record Shop Jamboree and the Grand Ole Opry. His latest recording for Artap, titled “Pictures Don’t Talk Back” features a duet with Johnny Paycheck and also a tune with son, Cody. His wife, Mona, wrote and sang one tune on the release, and daughter, Guyanne, wrote several of the songs. Darrell recently re-released a country favorite vinyl LP, Lily Dale, for Earnest Tubb Records. Darrell was honored in October ’97 with the Living Legend Award presented in Fort Worth, Texas, then in October of ’98 he was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and in May of 1999 Darrell was inducted into the Texas Swing Hall of Fame.
Darrell is real country and most likely always will be. He has never compromised his true traditional country roots, although many people wanted him to go with the big city sound. He combines the talents of a musician, a songwriter , and a singer along with a stage presence that makes you feel like you have known “this ole’ country boy” all your life. He is truly one of the great country music entertainers of this century.