An Entertainer’s Entertainer, Mr. Versatility, Mid America’s Number One Entertainer, A Nationally Unknown Superstar, Mid-America’s Country Music Legend, The Greatest Show On Earth…
These are a few of the cliches and phrases that have been used to attempt to describe what the name Sherwin Linton has meant to his fans, his friends, and his peers.
Sherwin learned to accompany his singing while chording on the piano and guitar as a child, and at sixteen, he had his own radio show on KWAT Radio in Watertown, South Dakota. Sherwin and his band “The Rocketeers” were soon in demand all over eastern South Dakota. Moving to Minneapolis in 1957, Sherwin formed the “Fender Benders” which became a very popular ballroom and nightclub act that rocked and rolled great audiences from Minnesota to the west coast in the early to mid-sixties. Having had several Rock-A-Billy records successfully released in the mid-west, Sherwin journeyed to Nashville in 1966 where he cut “Cotton King”, a song that catapulted him to the top of the Country music charts. Roy Acuff became aware of Sherwin’s talents when they toured together in 1968. Roy introduced Sherwin to his partner Wesley Rose, who had guided the careers of such illuminaries as the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Hank Williams.
Sherwin was signed to a long term management, recording, and songwriting contract. With the promotional arm of the Acuff-Rose Company of Nashville behind him, Sherwin was soon appearing on numerous TV shows and performing from coast to coast. This landed Sherwin Linton’s name among the top nominees for Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1972 and 1973. In the mid-seventies, Sherwin was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Best Male Vocalist by Music City News, the Academy of Country Music, and several other organizations and trade publications. In 1975 Sherwin’s record “When She Cries” won an award for Single of the Year. In the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, Sherwin’s show played everywhere from the Grand Ole’ Opry to the Las Vegas strip, as well as hundreds of state and county fairs from Canada to Texas. In 1981 at a special 25th Anniversary party held for Sherwin in Nashville, country music’s top show promoter, Harry “Hap” Peebles introduced Sherwin Linton as a Country Music Legend.
The legend continues to grow. In 1986, Sherwin wrote and recorded a major Christmas hit “Santa Got A DWI.” This novelty song with an anti-drunk driving theme has now become a perennial Christmas favorite. In 2000 Sherwin added movies to his list of credits appearing in the feature film “Totem Ree Call” with his long time friends Williams & Ree. In recent years Sherwin has been inducted into the South Dakota Musicians Hall of Fame, the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. He continues to receive industry awards and recognition for his many achievements.
In January 2015 Pioneer Public Television completed a two hour highly acclaimed documentary film of Sherwin’s life and career “Sherwin Linton – Forever On The Stage.” 1956 to 2016 – 60 years and Sherwin is still singing the songs of Elvis, Marty Robbins, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash with the same vitality that made them classics. He also performs many of his own hits and originals plus a great variety of Traditional Country, Folk, Gospel and Cowboy songs. With an estimated repertoire of over 5000 songs he can entertain any audience anywhere. With the release of his new CD, “It Happened In America”, and the re-release of the classic 70’s tribute “Hello, I’m Not Johnny Cash” Sherwin has developed a new fan base of college students and younger generation hipsters. Sherwin’s talents have been recognized by special articles and reviews in such far reaching sources as The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and NBC Nightly News.
An infectious smile, charming personality, and sincerity have won him a loyal legion of friends and fans all over the United States and abroad. Sherwin often plays over 250 dates a year and among his many unique accomplishments is a perfect attendance record. He has never missed a scheduled performance. Sherwin’s show is complimented by his lovely and talented wife and vocalist, Pam Linton, and his great band “The Cotton Kings.” As for the future, Sherwin is optimistic, saying, “I thank God for what he’s given me, and I feel the best is yet to come.”