33 comments on “The Gentrys – Don’t Send Me No Flowers

  1. Larry,
    have you checked out the what-knots post over at my page…???
    total rip of this tune called “i aint dead yet”…. and credited to others….
    how do you dig up all this info?
    great tunes!

    • THANKS LARRY 4 YEARS LATER I READ THIS . And yes this lousy loser group the whatnots not only stole the words and music from DON”T SEND ME NO FLOWERS I AIN”T dEAD YET” the dickwad producer buddy killen long dead i’m sure is the one who must have p[layed it for them and told them to write around the original song. what pigs. I wish I could find DONNA WEISS and let her know about this. I bet she’d sue their lame asses right off of their putrid skeletons.

      • Hay guess what? She knows now…and she remembers Buddy Killen, a d-head old man with his little crap office on music row in nashville 100 years ago, who also attempted to steal the publishing on several songs that she co-wrote with the writers of son of a preacher man. She will nail their asses. You don’t steal from a grammy award winning songwriter such as Weiss and get away with it. Trivia: She wrote the lyrics to Bette Davis Eyes and if you think about it she had balls in her writing even as a teenager when she wrote Don’t Send Me No Flowers. She also wrote Rita Coolidges first chart record titled I Turn Around And Love You when she was 17 years old. She also opened for Bob Dylan on his rolling thunder tour after Ronee Blakely quite the year before.
        She also sang with Dylan throughout the entire Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid soundtrack. It’s her you hear singing background on his Knocking On Heaven’s Door.
        By the way she sang the demo of son of a preacher man for Hurley and Wilkins to play for Springfield and Jerry Wexler.
        She is a southern treasure no one really knows about.

    • who wrote this song ripped from don’t send me no flowers? the groups name is the whatnots? whats the name of the song they ripped?

    • how did the dickbags/what knots get away with stealing Dont Sen Me No Flowers I Aint Dead Yet virtually verbatim???? what stinking balls these assholes had huh?

  2. You should listen the cover version of this song by the Indikation (a Swedish band i think). Keep up the good work! Greetings from Greece

  3. Hi Larry,

    The Breakers is definitley the original – issued on Amy 936 in August 1965
    the same month the Gentrys’ “Keep On Dancing’ was issued on MGM.
    The Gentrys’ album was issued in November ’65 and seems to have a real rush job judging by the number of covers recorded. My guess is that the Breakers version got some airplay in Memphis and that prompted the Gentrys to do their version –
    for me there’s no competition The Breakers win hands down.
    I didn’t know about the Sir Henry and the Butlers version so that’s another one i’ll
    have to hunt for.

    Re Donna Weiss – she also wrote the flip of the Breakers’ single but that’s another one I’ve yet to hear. Donna had nothing to to do with “Stay With Me’ – Jerry
    Ragavoy’s lyricist on that one was George David Weiss a guy I usually have
    very little time for as he was the lyricist for all those schlocky songs the
    Stylistics recorded after Thom Bell stopped working with them – stuff so sickly it’d make your teeth fall out. I did some rearch on Donna Weiss’ credits for Spectropop
    – if I can find my notes I’ll send you a copy – a very talented lady.

    Hope you’re having a great weekend – it’s a beautiful sunny day here in Scotland.

    • THANK YOU DAVIE for your comment re Breakers version on DONT SEND ME NO FLOWERS I AIN’T DEAD YET.
      the Breakers consisted of Donna Weiss and Mike Ladd who played the great guitar lick on DSMNF I aint dead yet. The guy who sang the song was basically “hired” for the session and did a good job. Any recordings after that were covers. Weiss never played it in public and the above was the first time it was released.
      WEISS wrote the song around that guitar lick and taught it to Ladd. Song was recorded by them in Nashville in Bill JustIce’s little hole in the wall studio. Right down the street from Tree Music where Buddy Killen worked and stole/ripped this song and put it out as I aint dead yet”. Some balls that ass had.
      MIKE LADD went on to open 4 guitar centers in memphis, one right across from GRACELAND. He made custom guitars for legends. Among them Jimmy Paige and keith richards.
      Oh…and as far as it being weird that a female could write such a song…Donna Weiss was a baby at the time and from Memphis AND preparing to be one of america’s HITTERS when it comes to writing.
      don’t send me no flowers I ain’t dead yet
      don’t put no headstone on my grave
      she/he belongs to me and I intend to keep her/him
      Im used to getting everything I crave
      I ain’t run across yet a girl/boy I couldnt get
      If I wanted her/him
      don’t send me no flowers I ain’t dead yet
      you can’t fool me with you bogus lies
      she/he aint about to leave me for you
      she/he wants me now take a look in her/his eyes

  4. I just stepped in from a search I did on Google, and read this article.
    I have to say — “incredible, unbelievable – factual — unreal writing.”
    Who the fuck are you, man?
    I wanta read more of this guy!!!

    Keep it up, dude!

    …and thanks! that did this old rockNroll “wildman” Memphian, during the era of which you speak. Congratulations on “getting it right.”

    Piece & LUV

  5. Pingback: The Thoughts - All Night Stand « Iron Leg

  6. Interesting, but Davie has it right. The Gentrys covered the Breakers “Don’t Send Me No Flowers.” As the lead singer of the song, I can assure you the Breakers recorded the song first. We were a Memphis band, who recorded the song in Nashville in the summber of ’65 and it was on the Memphis radio (WMPS, WHBQ) all that summer. Donna Weiss was indeed the author of “Bette Davis Eyes.” There’s a good YouTube video of the original Breakers song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxStSc4pCQY

  7. This is fascinating – I have a bunch of songs from the Pebbles albums on my MP3 player, and “Don’t send me no flowers” stands out (along with “Green Fuz” and “Feathered Fish” and so on). It’s bizarre to think it was written by the same person who did “Bette Davis Eyes”. And a woman!

  8. Hi Larry
    I enjoyed reading a bit of history re dont send me no flowers. However…The Breakers recording…which consisted of guitarist Mike Ladd (who to this day has music/guitar stores in Memphis, one acroos the street from Graceland) and the rest of the track was simply recorded one instrument at a time (studio nashville guys) was recorded in a little studio in Nashville, produced by a man named Bill Justice (he also owned the studip)and the songwriter Donna Weiss.
    This was without a doubt the first recording of the song because it was actually meant to be a demo of the song. Donna Weiss was there. Demo turned out so well that Bill Justice a big man at the time in Nashville got it put out I think on Bell records.
    The gentrys came later. They heard the sog and THEN recorded it.
    Do you really think its hard for a female to write a silly song like dont send me no flowers as a male??? All you have to do is sound like a ten year old boy and waalaah!! you get dont send me no flowers.

    • The guy above was right the Breakers label for dont send me no…was AMY. I think it might have been bill justice’s own label.
      I don’t remember who was singing the lead. Im sorry I wish I could tell you.
      The b side was (I think) Love Of My Life. And it was a song written by a very very young/just starting out Donna Weiss.

    • You’ve got some facts straight about Bill Justis, Donna Weiss and Mike Ladd, but there’s one glaring error. No Nashville studio guys. No recording one instrument at a time. The band played all the music. As lead singer of the Breakers, I was there.

      • hi
        Would you mind telling me your name and a little more info? I was also there. basically there was Mike’s guitar and drums
        and vocal. It was a long time ago and memory fails…tiny studio tho

      • Bill, the Breakers was a band made up of me, Stew Lewis lead singer on DSMNF, Mike Ladd on guitar, my brother Richard Lewis on rhythm, Gary Johns singer (he sang the B side), Eddie Tatum on drums, and Tom Keckler on bass. We went to Nashville with our producer Sy Ross, who was also Charlie Rich’s manager, to record and then came back to Memphis and performed for the next few years as a group. It was a small studio and we all just fit into it to record. No studio musicians were used. Just us. Donna Weiss didn’t make the trip to Nashville with us.

      • hello stewart
        Now hear this:
        I too was there. I also know sy rosenberg and his ditsy wife natalie. He was a full blown thief. He signed dumb underage naive kids to publishing and artist contracts and treated them as if he owned them. Kept every thing they created. I hope he’s buying in hell and I hope his wife natlie will soon do the same.
        he has some really talented people pass through his stinking grip.
        He and Justice were two of a kind.
        No need to argue with me buddy. I was there. I was treated like a servant…I baby sat natalie and her rotten kids.
        The ONLY reason don’t send me no flowers sounds like it does is due to MIKE LADD who copied the writer’s exact guitar lick perfectly using fuzz tone. everything else fell into place. And NOT because of bill justice or stinking sy rosenberg OR any of the HIRED kids who rosenberg brought to nashville to Justice’s studio to make the record that he and Justice were very careful to make sure that why ownd lock stock and barrel.
        So be proud of your contribution if you need to be but the above is true.
        I was there. The “studio” was barely big enough to hold the drums. The vocal booth was as small as a telephone booth. The driveway was gravel.
        My memory is CLEAR,
        so long pal.

  9. that’s great reading about a song that I always loved. Better yet, we have a comment from the singer (You guys did a great job !)
    Thank you so much.
    PS : I have the Butlers version, the BREAKERS one end the recent cover by the Indikation … Never heard the GENTRYS.

  10. The first version of this I knew was probably the most obscure, by the What-Nots, on another TN label, Dial. After hearing the other versions I used to wonder if this was the first, only because it has a very “frat rock” sound, with murky production and horns – and frat rock singles tend to pre-date garage ones. But I feel like Dial wasn’t around until at least ’65, so it’s probably just another local band getting in on the action post-Breakers.


  11. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ahha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha tony r you are hilarious. never read so much bs about such a pouty teenage song. One thing for sure the female who wrote this sure sold it to you posting males. I guess you are only young once. And you’d have to be young to listen to don’t send me no flowers i aint dead yet. She nailed what a dumb southern teenage pimple faced high schooler would say…all the male groups who have recorded this song didn’t have a clue that it was just a joke written on a bet.

  12. Stew Lewis was the lead singer. I was there. I played keyboard. Stews story is correct. Gary Johns sang the flip side. “Love of my Life”

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