Madison's Music Man

Retired singer Youngblood
still popular with fans

The pianist plans to release a new CD

By Michelle Hicks
Contributing Writer

MADISON, Ind. (June 2005) – Don Youngblood of Madison, Ind., began playing music before his feet could reach the peddles on his family’s piano.

Don Youngblood

Youngblood began his music career after co-workers at the Charlestown, Ind., Powder Plant heard his rendition of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” at the 1963 company Christmas party. They encouraged him to aim high and even helped him raise the money to record his first single, “Window Pane,” in 1964. The recording took place at Jewel Recording Studio in Cincinnati and became a “regional hit,” said Youngblood, 63.
Youngblood didn’t stop there. He’s recorded 14 albums and plans to record his 15th this summer. Lee Neely, who owns Sunnyside Recording Studio in Hanover, Ind., and occasionally accompanies Youngblood on guitar, plans to record Youngblood’s new album this summer. Neely planned to open his recording studio in Clarksville or Jeffersonville, but decided to set up shop in Jefferson County after Youngblood suggested the possibility.
Neely says Youngblood is a “helluva songwriter” and that he’s “still got it.” Youngblood plans to redo some of his previously released songs for the new album, such as “Window Pane,” “Newly Made Grave” and “Dreams.” The album will also include “a few cover songs” and the rest will be new releases, he said. Youngblood’s mother wrote “Newly Made Grave,” and it is an especially meaningful song to him.
During the 1970s, Youngblood worked with a booking agent from Midwest Productions and had the opportunity to play with such big names as Dicky Lee, Billy Crash Craddock and Bobby Helms. In the 1990s, he played with Stonewall Jackson and Faron Young.
Youngblood played “all over” Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Unlike his older brother, Robert, who played at Shipley’s Tavern for 13 years, Youngblood enjoyed the traveling life and playing new gigs.
After retiring for health reasons in 2000, Youngblood now plays only at private parties and some clubs upon special request. In summer 2004, Youngblood played for Cheryl Campbell’s surprise 60th birthday party.
“He had my ole piano jumpin,” said Campbell. Her husband, Tom, who hired Youngblood for the party, was in the Madison High School Class of 1959 with Youngblood. Campbell said Youngblood was fantastic and that he played a variety of music and “could play anything by ear.” Youngblood made the party “very personal” by inviting Campbell’s grandson to play her piano, and many of the guests got up to dance.
Youngblood recently enjoyed another kind of fame. In 1999, while playing at the Broadway Hotel & Tavern in downtown Madison, a man approached him about appearing in the movie “Madison.”
Movie director Bill Bindley said to him, “I want you to be in my movie; you would be perfect for the part,” Youngblood recalled of the encounter.
It resulted in Youngblood appearing in two movie scenes. Look closely and you’ll see him playing in the band during the Belle of Louisville scene, then again in the crowded gym scene when he stands up and shouts his one-liner amid other townspeople assembled.
Youngblood and his wife, Mary, live on First Street in Madison and are enjoying retirement. They recently remodeled their home and spend time in their garden.
And of course, Youngblood still enjoys playing his music – “everything from Big Band to present day.”

Back to June 2005 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta