Born Bonnie Buckingham, 25 March 1923, Seattle, Washington
Bonnie learned several instruments as a child, was a talented guitarist and began to write songs before she completed her education. During much of the 50s she recorded for Fabor Robinson's labels (Fabor, Abbott, Radio). Robinson also employed her services as a session guitarist, working with such artists as Dorsey Burnette, Ned Miller, Jim Reeves and the De Castro Sisters. When she first heard the song "Dark Moon", which was intended for Dorsey Burnette, she liked it so much that she told Robinson she was willing to give up her royalties if he would let her record it. (Robinson took her at her word!) "Dark Moon" (written by Ned Miller) first came out on Fabor in 1956, but didn't become a hit until it was rereleased on Dot, peaking at # 6 in the spring of 1957. The follow-up, Mister Fire Eyes", got no higher than # 71, however, and Bonnie decided to try her luck in the music business in a different way. In 1958 she started her own record label in Seattle, Dolphin Records, soon renamed Dolton, with a refrigerator dealer, Bob Reisdorff. They began to record various local acts, including a pop trio called the Fleetwoods, who in 1959 had two # 1 records on her label with "Come Softly To Me" and "Mr Blue". She arranged the Gary Hodge rocker "Not For Love Or Money" (1959), had her own hit on Dolton with "Candy Apple Red" (# 97) and recorded a version of BORN TO BE WITH YOU, with the song's writer, Don Robertson, which came out under the name The Echoes. She didn't get on with Reisdorff and left the label just before it started having hits with the instrumental group the Ventures. Dolton was later sold to Liberty, now part of the EMI empire. Guitar went on to work for Dot and ABC-Paramount, both on A&R and production and as a recording artist. In the 60s she had Top 10 country hits with "I'm Living In Two Worlds" (1966), "(You've Got Yourself) A Woman In Love" (her biggest hit, 1967) and "I Believe In Love" (1968). In 1969 she also had a minor hit with "A Truer Love You'll Never Find (Than Mine)", a duet recording with Buddy Killen issued as Bonnie And Buddy. She was a popular touring artist in the 60s and early 70s, often working with Eddy Arnold. During the 70s, she recorded for Columbia and MCA and her last chart entry was a minor hit entitled "Honey On The Moon" in 1980, by which time she had moved to the 4 Star label. In 1986, after a long absence, she doubtless pleased her fans by releasing two albums, called "Yesterday" and "Today", on the Tumbleweed label. She has continued to record and change record labels with alarming regularity, until her retirement in 1996. Compilation: Dark Moon (Bear Family BCD 15531).
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