You have to give a lot of credit to Wesley Tuttle. He enjoyed a pretty good career as a country music performer, racking up several hit records and even enjoying a chart-topper on “With Tears in My Eyes” in 1945. He also wrote some good songs, worked alongside stars like Merle Travis and Tex Ritter, appeared in a number of Western movies, and for many years was part of a popular singing duo with his wife. Not bad for a guy who lost several fingers as a child.
Although he was born in Colorado, he actually grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California, where his father was a butcher, and it was in his shop that young Wesley had his accident. He was just four at the time, but as part of a musical family had already learned to play the ukulele. Showing a lot of determination and courage for someone so young, he somehow managed to relearn to play and soon added the guitar too.
He was still in his teens in the mid-1930s when he began to appear professionally, bouncing around in area clubs and shows and at times singing with the newly-established Sons of the Pioneers. Over the next decade he gained experience, often playing rhythm guitar in studio bands and occasionally getting some movie work, as both a musician and an occasional actor in ‘B’ Westerns. By the mid-1940s he was also making some records of his own, doing well with songs like “Detour” and “I Wish I Had Never Met Sunshine” in addition to his big #1 hit.
Another significant event occurred along about then in the life of Wesley Tuttle. He met and married Marilyn Myers, who’d been part of the Sunshine Girls, a lesser-known group that had once included Mary Ford, later to be part of a famous duo with her husband, Les Paul. Marilyn and Wesley teamed up in a very similar way, even though Wes was no Les, instrumentally. (But then, who was?) In any case, the Tuttles became a very popular twosome, appearing on TV for years and selling a lot of records along the way, although things changed a little in the late 1950s. After the tragic death of their young daughter, they rededicated themselves to gospel music and it provided their focus until retirement. Wesley Tuttle was 85 when he died in 2003, survived by his wife of 56 years and two children.
Wesley Tuttle – “With Tears in My Eyes”