Home #Hwoodtimes Interview with EXILE band member Marlon Hargis

Interview with EXILE band member Marlon Hargis

NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 10: Marlon Hargis of Exile attends the Ray Stevens CabaRay Showroom VIP Celebration on January 10, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

By Judy Shields

Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) 10-14-2020


The Hollywood Times has the pleasure of catching up with one of the long-time band members of Exile, Marlon Hargis. Exile has 11 #1 hits, 3 Gold Albums and 8 Million Records sold worldwide.

Listen to our interview here:


2020 celebrates the 57th anniversary for the band, which formed in Richmond, Ky. Since beginning in 1963 the band has had No. 1 hits on both the pop and country charts, achieving ten No. 1 hits on the country chart.

ACM & CMA Nominated

They have several new CDs and a Christmas CD as well to purchase online for yourself and they would make great holiday gifts, it’s time to go shopping!  Check all of them out on Exile’s website

Exile on stage (Photo Rebecca Bauer)

Pop/country crossover hit-making band, Exile, is celebrating the 42nd Anniversary of “Kiss You All Over.” Sept 30, 2020 was the 42nd Anniversary of “Kiss You All Over” which hit #1 in 1978 and stayed  #1 for four weeks and charted for 23 weeks. It was the  #5 Song of 1978 and ranked #9 in the 50 Sexiest Songs by Billboard Magazine. Currently the song has amassed over 15.7 million Spotify streams. As 2020 has evolved and changed the landscape of fan interaction, the band has released a new Covid-19 mask with the well recognized “Kiss You All Over’ lip logo to commemorate the anniversary and keep fans safe. For more information, please visit the official website for updates and order the mask here.


“Kiss You All Over” has recently been included in the Soundtrack for Major Motion Picture of The Big Ugly, starring Vinnie Jones, Ron Perlman, Malcolm McDowell. It has also been included in thirty-two other productions including Happy Gilmore, Man On The Moon, Zookeeper, Wild Hogs, Employee Of The Month, Hello Ladies, American Swing and miniseries Mindhunter (Netflix), Pose (FX), Red Oaks (Amazon) and Imposters (Bravo).


Exile has enjoyed much unexpected demand for the 30 song, two CD compilation released by Big Horse Records late summer 2019. Watch the video to learn more about The Garage Tapes from the voices that made the songs famous here.

“Exile – The Garage Tapes” released on July 13, 2019 with 30 of the original “demo” songs from 1979 – 1982.


Garage band (noun) A group of people who play rock music together and typically practice in a garage

On the cover is a picture of a garage… unremarkable to be sure. But inside the transformed interior of that little building, a remarkable part of the Exile musical legacy was recorded. Until now these recordings have remained unheard by anyone outside the small circle of the band. These demos, (demonstration recordings), or garage tapes, were recorded between 1979 and 1982 at LEMCO studio in Lexington, Kentucky.

LEMCO, an acronym for Lexington Music Company, owned and operated by our dear late friend, Cecil Jones. As reimbursement for playing and singing on many recording sessions for regional artists and commercials, Cecil allowed us to free use of his studio to record demos of newly written songs. We would often work until the sun came up, recording the songs that would later be re-recorded in various studios in Los Angeles, California. Much of this music subsequently appeared as master recordings on several of the bands pop albums.

We have been asked many times in interviews to define what kind of band we were. We can honestly and proudly say that we are a garage band. No pretense, no frills, just hard-working musicians, learning and honing our craft in a building meant for cars, tools and junk. And now you are listening to those garage tape songs … very fitting.

This compilation includes pop songs as well as several country songs. Capturing these songs from the original source taped required a process known as “baking” to recover each song. Unfortunately, we could not recover the song “Take Me Down” in its entirety. What you are listening to is an actual rehearsal version recorded on a boom-box in 1980 prior to leaving L.A. to record it for the album, Don’t Leave Me This Way.

Since there are no demo versions of “Give Me One More Chance,” we have also included a rehearsal version recorded in the same manner on April 24, 1984. You will notice how the song morphed between this version and the final album version.

We thought it would be interesting for our fans to hear a song in the early stages of creation. We have included J.P. and Sonny performing a very early version of “Keep It In The Middle of The Road from a songwriting cassette tape.

Lastly, in rehearsal, we had worked up a version of an iconic song, “Sixteen Tons.” It was all but lost until someone found it on a cassette tape, labeled Exile Rehearsal, April 1987.” It was never performed live.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Buzz Cornelison and the late Mark Gray were members of the band during much of the LEMCO sessions. Their contributions were invaluable. Our thanks also go to Dwight Dunlap, who provided a superb percussion parts to several tracks.

So, here it is folks – garage music in its most classic form brought to life after four decades of obscurity. We hope you enjoy!       Exile

Released “Hits” in Fall 2018 on Exile’s label, Big Horse Records, and contains 11 No.1 hits, spanning the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and four additional top ten hits. The tracks are in the chronological order of the hit songs, and includes a couple of extra surprises.

Track Listing:
Kiss You All Over
Woke Up In Love
I Don’t Want To Be A Memory
Give Me One More Chance
She’s A Miracle
Crazy For Your Love
Hang On To Your Heart
I Could Get Used To You
She’s Too Good To Be True
Super Love
It’ll Be Me
I Can’t Get Close Enough
Keep It In The Middle of The Road
Nobody’s Talking
Fun Bonus Track


Exile formed in 1963 looking to play small clubs in Richmond, Kentucky, but managed to top both the pop and country charts during their over 55 year-long career. Their most successful hit, “Kiss You All Over” spent four weeks at the top of Billboard’s pop chart in 1978. In the early 1980’s Exile started to focus on country music. During their run on the country charts Exile has successfully had ten No. 1 singles including “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory” and “Give Me One More Chance.” The hit song “Kiss You All Over” was used in the 1996 Adam Sandler movie “Happy Gilmore” and in the 2006 film “Employee of the Month.” They have toured with acts including Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers and The Judds. The 5 original Exile members re-formed in 2008 and continue to tour today.

Current members of the band include J.P. Pennington, Les Taylor, Sonny LeMaire, Marlon Hargis and Steve Goetzman. 2020 celebrates 57 years for the band and 42nd anniversary of the hit song “Kiss You All Over.”

L-R: Exile: Steve Goetzman, JP Pennington, Sonny LeMaire, Marlon Hargis and Les Taylor (Photo Credit: Mark Conner)

The book –50 Years of Exile: The Story of a Band in Transition written by musicologist Randy Westbrook chronicles the band’s five decades as a band. The band has toured with everyone from Aerosmith to Merle Haggard.

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