Cliffie Stone Archives
L to R: A very rare photo of Cliffie Stone, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Nudie Cohn and Merle Travis. Nudie was a Ukraine-born American tailor. He designed decorative rhinestone-covered suits, popularly known as “Nudie Suits” and other fancy elaborate outfits for some of the most famous celebrities of his time (Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry, George Jones, Cher, Lefty Frizzel, Porter Wagoner, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Glen Campbell and the list goes on). He was a great self promoter who believed in his product. He talked a young, struggling country singer, Tex Williams, into buying him a sewing machine; in turn, Nudie would design a suit for him for free. He also gave one of his designs (a peach-colored suit with rhinestones) to Nashville singer, Porter Wagoner. Nudie believed that Porter (like Tex Williams) would serve as a billboard for his creations whenever they performed and he was right! His business grew rapidly and Nudie opened up a store called “Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors” in North Hollywood, CA. Nudie and his wife, Bobbie, did it all: from 3-piece suits to the more traditional western shirts that had been popularized by singing cowboys - Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, which helped to make Nudie famous. Among his most famous creations was Elvis Presley’s $10,000 gold lame suit, which was worn by the singer on the cover of his ‘50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong’ album. He designed the iconic costume worn by Robert Redford in the 1979 film ‘Electric Horseman.’ The Cohns’ also created Hank Williams’ white cowboy suit with musical notations on the sleeves. Nudie was equally famous for his garishly-decorated automobiles – mostly white Pontiac Bonneville convertibles. They had silver-dollar-studded dashboards, pistol door handles and gearshifts, extended rear bumpers, and enormous longhorn hood ornaments. Nudie certainly got attention whenever he drove it! A Bonneville convertible designed for country singer, Webb Pierce, is on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum in Nashville. In 1988, Dwight Yoakam’s first hit song was a duet with Buck Owens called ‘The Streets of Bakersfield.’ At the end of their music video, there’s a Nudie’s customized Pontiac Grandville, which now hangs inside and over the bar of Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CA.

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