Gene Allison

Gene Allison (born Versie Eugene Allison; August 29, 1934 – February 28, 2004) was an American R&B singer.

Allison was born in Pegram, Tennessee, and he grew up in Nashville, Tennessee singing in the church choir with his brother Leevert. As a teenager, Allison was offered a chance to sing with The Fairfield Four and, later, The Skylarks. Record producer Ted Jarrett signed Allison to Calvert Records to record secular music; soon after Jarrett got a recording contract for him with Vee-Jay Records along with Larry Birdsong. Allison's debut single was "You Can Make It If You Try", written by Ted Jarrett and released in 1957; it became a hit in the U.S., where it entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1958.

Allison would go on to score two more hit singles at the end of the 1950s, and the success of "You Can Make It If You Try" allowed him to open a 24-hour soul food restaurant called Gene's Drive-In in Nashville. Allison continued to perform well beyond his brief period of fame. He died of kidney failure, in Nashville, at age 69 in February 2004.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 29th, 1934, Died February 28th, 2004

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1957 - 1966

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 101182 October 1966 Somebody somewhere Gene Allison vocalist  
Decca 101183 October 1966 You're my baby Gene Allison vocalist  
Decca NA 9641 1/29/1957 Hey, hey, hey, hey Gene Allison vocalist  
Decca NA 9642 1/29/1957 You can walk if you try Gene Allison vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Allison, Gene," accessed July 25, 2021,

Allison, Gene. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 25, 2021, from

"Allison, Gene." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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