“Ooby Dooby” Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings with Roy Orbison on Lead guitar (1956)
Honorable Mention: “Mona Lisa” Carl Mann with Eddy Bush on lead guitar, “Peggy Sue” Buddy Holly & The Crickets, “Blue Suede Shoes” Carl Perkins with Carl Perkins on lead guitar, “That’s Alright” Elvis, Scotty & Bill, “Rock This Town” Stray Cats with Bryan Setzer on lead guitar.
Ed Logan, hands folded and to the left of George Harrison, was a member of The Cavaliers in Memphis, Tennessee in 1960-61. The Cavaliers had worked their way from San Angelo to New Orleans and finally to Memphis in late 1959. After securing a 6 nights a week playing job at a Memphis Club this young sax player walks in one night wanting to play a couple numbers with the band. He told the band his biggest influence was Duane Eddy's sax player. Sid Holmes then tested him by kicking off "40 Miles Of Bad Road" in which Ed quickly impressed the paying crowd and the band with his great sax playing. In order to keep Ed coming around Sid traded in his Fender Telecaster for an orange Duane Eddy Gretsch. During the time Ed Logan was with the band numerous Duane Eddy numbers were recorded at Fernwood Studios in Memphis basically for fun. Ed would later join the Bill Black Combo and when The Beatles toured America for the first time in 1964 they wanted Bill Black Combo to open for them. So, this is how Ed got in this photo with The Fab 4. Notice on their jackets BBC. Too bad Bill couldn't be there as he had died earlier. Ed later joined The Memphis Horns. During his career he played on sessions with Elvis, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, B.J. Thomas, Al Green, Stephen Stills, Isaac Hayes to name a few.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - January 29, 2013
Originally run - September 25, 2012
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The original "Last Kiss" on Gala Records
The song idea, along with some of the lyrics, was first put down on paper by Wayne Cochran of Georgia back in 1956. Wayne lived in a small house near Highway 341 and got the idea for the song from the many car wrecks. After reading about one car wreck in particular on Highway 341 in 1962, that had taken the lives of 3 teens, Wayne completed the song. Wayne then cut a deal with small independent record producer Ed Perry from Vidalia, George.
In order to pay for recording time Wayne gave Ed the song publishing rights. According to the wife of Joe Carpenter, the lead guitar player on the recording, he was co-writer with Wayne never getting credit. Two others, Randall Hoyal and Bobby McGlon also claimed to have had a hand in writing the lyrics. Chuck Downs, a drummer, later claimed he had written the song for his girl friend who had died in a car wreck. He said when he presented his original sheet music in pencil to Wayne Cochran, he rushed out having it copyrighted.
After recording the song using only a bass, guitar and drums Ed Perry had a few copies printed on his Gala label. When the record failed to attract any attention Wayne then cut a deal with King Records in which Ed sold his contract with Wayne along with the publishing rights. Ed had no idea at the time he was dumping song publishing rights that would later be worth 2 million dollars.
After recording a new and more modern version of "Last Kiss" with studio musicians at King Records, Wayne took off around the country promoting it. When Sonley Roush, a small independent record producer in Midland, Texas heard the song he liked everything about it but Wayne's vocal performance. Sonley then offered the song to The Chevells, a Rock group he had been working with at Ben Hall Studio in Big Spring, Texas. When they turned it down he remembered booking The Cavaliers (featuring J. Frank Wilson from Lufkin, Texas) from San Angelo, Texas back in 1962.
It was during this time J. Frank had left the band returning back to his home in Lufkin. After being reinstated J. Frank & the band copied Wayne's King 45 at Ron Newdoll's small recording studio in San Angelo, Texas in July 1964. The master tape was shipped to Jay Gee Josie Records in New York City and then released on their Josie Label with national distribution. When the record began to climb the charts in August 1964 J. Frank Wilson went solo.
When Wayne's writer royalty checks began to arrive at his home base he was out on the road performing. It wasn't until he returned home that he discovered his manager had cashed and spent them all. It would be 9 years later in 1973 when Wednesday, a Canadian Rock group, would cover the song with the vocalist sounding much like J. Frank Wilson taking it to #2 in Canada and #34 in the U.S. selling 2 hundred thousand copies.
In 1998 Pearl Jam covered "Last Kiss" taking it to #2 in the U.S. RIAA Certified Gold. Over 25 different versions of "Last Kiss" have been recorded receiving over 21 million YouTube hits led by Pearl Jam's 11 million. When Pearl Jam's version hit in 1999 a front page story, based around home town Ed Perry, was featured in the Vidalia, Georgia newspaper.
Ed Perry had moved to Houston having died never receiving a penny from the publishing of "Last Kiss." Wayne Cochran earned most of his livelihood over the years from his song royalties. J. Frank Wilson died penniless in a nursing home in Lufkin, Texas at age 49 from alcohol abuse. Sonley Roush, whose brain storm led to the covering of Wayne's recording, died in a car wreck while on tour with J. Frank Wilson in October 1964. The female vocalist behind J. Frank Wilson on "Last Kiss" continues to be a mystery.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - January 22, 2013
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Rockabilly Heaven Spain in 2009 - (previously 9/12/12)
Joe Sonny West on-stage November 1st at the Ubangi Stomp Festival which is held each year in Benidorm, Spain in the ballroom of the Gran Bali Hotel. The town is a hot vacation spot located on the Mediterranean Sea.
Sonny, looking cool with his stage jacket and shades, is playing his Silverton Fastback guitar and being backed by Uncle Charlie's band.
Sonny received a BMI Songwriter Award for "Oh Boy." This prestigious award is presented by Broadcast Music Incorporated when a song receives one million airplays.
"All my love, all my kissin', you don't know what you've been missin', Oh Boy, when you're with me, Oh Boy, I want the world to see, that you were meant for me."
Recorded in Clovis, NM at Norman Petty' Studios by The Crickets and then released as a 45 RPM record on the Brunswick label # 55035 the song climbed to #13 on the Cash Box Singles Charts on 11-16-57 and on 11-25-57 reached #10 in Billboard staying around for 20 weeks. "Oh Boy" continues today being one of Buddy Holly's most requested and popular songs. Every time it's played on the radio or on national TV...Sonny receives a royalty check.
Sonny lives in Abilene, Texas.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - January 03, 2013
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When you have song-writing talents like Ray Evans and Jay Livingston you never have to work a day in your life. This song-writing team won three Academy Awards in 1948 for "Buttons And Bows" from the movie The Paleface with Bob Hope. In 1946 the #1 hit "To Each His Own." In 1950 they wrote "Mona Lisa" for Nat King Cole. In 1956 "Que Sera Sera" for Doris Day. In 1957 the all-time top song from West Texas "Tammy" recorded by Debbie Reynolds. The Christmas standard "Silver Bells." TV theme songs for Bonanza and Mr. Ed. "Dear Heart" for the 1964 film. Ray Evans died February 15, 2007 he was 92. Jay Livingston studied piano and played local clubs while in high school meeting Ray organizing a dance band. He died October 17, 2001. After writing "Silver Bells" they became known as the Jews who wrote Christmas songs. Ray's brother Alan is best known for signing The Beatles to Capital Records. Interesting to note they wrote the song "Alley Oop" that kept Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely" out of the
#1 position in 1961.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - December 1, 2012
click to view --- Promo Photo
'Tis the Season
I assembled this list of amazing accomplishments of Big Crosby in December 2010 and sending it out again this year. In order for Bing to accomplish below he had to have great health, the drive, good looks, a brilliant mind, super talent, tremendous stamina and a great immune system etc. etc.
Since Bing Crosby continues to get air play during the Xmas holidays here are some facts on his singing career:
Bing has sold close to one billion records, tapes, CD's and Digital downloads around the world. Only The Beatles, Elvis & Michael Jackson can rival his sales figures.
He has scored 41 #1 Records. The Beatles (24), Mariah Carey (19) & Elvis (18).
His recordings hit the charts 396 times (more than Frank Sinatra (209) & Elvis (149) combined)
Bing found time to record commerically 2000 times holding the record.. Guiness Book of Records report White Xmas at 100,000,000 copies hitting the American Top Pop Charts 20 separate times. He was the vocalist on 4 Academey-winning songs & co-wrote 15 songs,
Besides making recordings he found time to make motion pictures coming in at #3 All-Time with ticket sales of one billion, 77 million 900 thousands Clark Gable #1 & John Wayne #2. Won an Acadedmy Award and nominated for 3 others.
Road musical comedies with Bob Hope...the most popular team in film history. He was big in Radio & TV. The first receipient of Grammy Lifetime Acievment Award. Found time to have 7 kids, concerts, into sports as owner of baseball teams, horse racing, played golf, smoked pot, drank heavy early in his career. His easy-going style might have been attributed to pot. His duet with David Bowie ""Peace On Earth"/Little Drummer Boy" became an annual holiday classic and TV Giuide list the duet as one of the 25 most memorable moments of 20 Century TV. Bing's son, Nathan, was a high level golfer the youngest to ever win the U.S. Amateur (19) later broken by Tiger.
An original photo of The Gatlin Brothers as they appeared on The Slim Willet Show in 1955 on KRBC TV Abilene, Texas. Rudy (3) Larry (7) Steve (5). They performed gospel and country songs and later had their own TV show in Abilene. In his senior year at Odessa High Larry (quarterback) led the Broncos football team to a district title. Larry enrolled at the University of Houston on a football scholarship where he majored in English. From 1973 to 1990 Larry would chart 42 times with Larry writing each and every song. Larry Gatlin recorded under various names such as Larry Gatlin with Family & Friends, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers and Larry, Steve, Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers. Back in the 50s Larry & his brothers entered a local talent contest in West Texas where they first met Roy Orbison who also had entered. In 1989 Larry recorded a duet with Roy Orbison entitled "Indian Summer." After winning numerous awards such as CMA Single of the Year, Album of the Year and a Grammy they began touring. They have performed at the Whitehouse for 3 different presidents. Larry has led a charmed life having the best of all worlds with talent, looks, family, friends, fans, wealth, awards and good health. Larry's biggest hit was "Houston" from 1983. Larry and his brothers continue to perform in 2012.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - November 6, 2012
click to view --- Photo Credits: Don Craven/TimeLife
RCA producer Chet Atkins (left) playing rhythm guitar behind Elvis in 1956. Although Elvis brightened millions of lives with his numerous hit recordings the producers at RCA dropped the ball numerous times in the early 60s. Below is a list of sub-par arrangements/recordings/vocal performances and bad decisions by RCA and Elvis that other artists took full advantage of.
Ral Donner took "Girl Of My Best Friend" to #19 (first recorded by Elvis April 3rd 1960 and released on the "Elvis Is Back" LP). With a better studio mix and production RCA and Elvis had a potential Top 10 hit. Listen to YouTube below and hear an Elvis sound-alike slightly out perform the real Elvis by singing with more feeling.
"Suspicion" recorded by Elvis on 3-19-62 in which the master tape was later spliced from different takes. First released on the Pot Luck LP June 1962.
Terry Stafford from Amarillo, Texas recorded "Suspicion" for the Crusader label. Bob Summers produced, recorded and played all the instruments on the record. Song was a potential #1 but ran into The Beatles who were holding down the Top 5 at the time. Song eventually reached #3 RIAA Certified Gold in 1964. RCA then rush-released Elvis' version on a 45 that reached #103.
"Wooden Heart" English version of a German folk song by Elvis from his G.I. Blues movie became a #1 hit in the UK in March of 1961. RCA refused to release it in the U.S. fearing it would harm his image. Joe Dowell rushed to record it for Mercury Records (Smash) having to learn the lyrics in just a few hours taking it to #1 in the U.S. in June 1961. Elvis (Gladys Music) had the publishing rights.
"Always On My Mind" by Elvis ended up on the B-side of "Separate Ways" that reached #20 in 1972. In 1982 Willie Nelson recorded the song taking it to #1 in Country, #5 in Pop, RIAA Certified Platinum, Grammy Song of the Year, CMA Song of the Year in 1982 & 1983, CMA Single of the Year, Grammy Best Country Song & Grammy Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
Roy Orbison in the early 1960s with his Gretsch White Falcon guitar. This early photo and YouTube video was before he began coloring his hair black like Elvis, wearing shades like Buddy and Beatle boots. Roy would later comment: "The Gretsch White Falcon wasn't much of a guitar, so I took a hammer and knocked the neck off." "I had some professionals put a Gibson Super 400 neck on it along with steel guitar pickups and it was sprayed black." "This was a new creation, a great guitar." Sometime later when a couple of executives from a guitar manufacturer from Japan saw Roy playing the hybrid at one of his concerts they conned him into letting them have it. They convinced Roy they would take it to Japan making copies of it in which he would receive royalties. Roy never got it back, no royalties, no guitar, no nothing. Roy owned 12 different model guitars during his career. In 1956 he played a Les Paul Gold Top on his first charted release "Ooby Dooby" recorded at Sun Records.
"Only The Lonely" (Grammy: Hall of Fame co-written by Roy & Joe Melson from Midland, Texas) YouTube video is around 1960 in which the song reached #2 being kept of out of #1 by "Alley Oop" a silly number by prolific producer/performer Gary Paxton released as The Hollywood Argyles.
Roy's first wife, Claudette (24), died in a motorcycle accident in 1966, two young sons Roy Dewayne (10) Anthony (6) died in a fire in 1968, Roy died of a heart attack in 1988 from years of heavy smoking and his second wife Barbara Orbison (60) from Germany died in 2011 of cancer on the 23rd anniversary of Roy's death. She was 60. Roy's co-writer Bill Dees (72) from Borger, Texas on his biggest hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" died October 24, 2012 of a brain tumor.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - October 24, 2012
(re-issue: originally run June 27, 2012)
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Waylon Jennings stage-worn jacket from 1967 plus 3 RIAA Certified Gold/Platinum LP awards that includes "We Are The World" with Michael Jackson.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - October 15, 2012
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An early photo of Country Music Hall of Fame star Faron Young after being drafted in the Army in 1952. With his great talent, looks and charisma Faron could have been a rock star much like Elvis. Facts are he was a long-time friend of Elvis along with writing "Is It So Strange" that Elvis recorded in 1957. Faron fronted Webb Pierce's country band when he was just a senior in high school and it wasn't long before he became a solo artist on the Louisiana Hayride in 1951. After the shows Faron and Webb were a popular duo spinning records on 50,000 watt KWKH-AM being heard around the country. Faron was in basic training when his first hit "Going Steady" was climbing the country charts eventually reaching #2. The Army then moved Private Young into the U.S. Army Band replacing pop singer Eddie Fisher on tours…its very first country singer around the time his follow-up release "If You Ain't Lovin'" hit the charts. After serving a tour of duty he was discharged in 1954. From 1953 to 1974 Faron Young charted 43 top 10 hits. In 1958 he had the top song of the year "Alone With You" 13 weeks at #1. His recording of "Hello Walls" in 1961 written by Willie became RIAA Certified Gold receiving a Grammy: Hall of Fame plus crossing over into the pop field at #12. One of Faron's finest recordings "It's Four In The Morning" released in 1971 was his last #1 hit, also became a success in the UK peaking at #3. By the mid-70s his records were becoming overshadowed by his behavior as he began drinking heavily. In the early 1990s Faron withdrew from public view. His despondency over his deteriorating health and inability to get his records played is said to be the possible cause of him committing suicide in 1996.
The following day he was cremated and his ashes were spread over Old Hickory Lake near Nashville.
Faron Young was one of the most talented, successful and colorful stars in the history of country music.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - October 6, 2012
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An early autographed 8x10 b/w photo of Jimmy Gilmer purchased from Bill Griggs in 2004. Gilmer, raised in Amarillo, Texas, had been studying at the Musical Arts Conservatory along with fronting his own Rockabilly band, The Jimmy Gilmer Combo. His band played local high schools and college dances. Gilmer would eventually hook-up with Norman Petty and become a studio piano/solo vocalist. In 1961 he became the lead vocalist for The Fireballs, an instrumental group from Raton, New Mexico. In 1963 Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs recorded a song at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico entitled "Sugar Shack" co-written by singer/guitarist Keith McCormack and his aunt Fay Voss of Dalhart, Texas. McCormack was a member of The String-A-Longs having a major instrumental hit "Wheels" in 1961 also recorded at Norman Petty Studios. "Sugar Shack" became the #1 Song of the Year in Billboard and #2 Song of the Year in 1963 in Cashbox RIAA Certified Gold.
Rosie Dalton took this photo while visiting Graceland
Spotlight Photo of the Week - September 1, 2012
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Steve Bonner-Roy Orbison...Granny's Dinner Playhouse in Dallas 1981
A few weeks before this show Steve Bonner and Sid King (Rockabilly pioneer and band leader of The Five Strings) headed out to Bill Bob's Texas in Ft. Worth where Roy was scheduled to perform. Since Sid King knew Roy Orbison as both had recorded a version of "Ooby Dooby" back in the 1956 plus both having performed on the same show in Dallas they had hopes of getting back stage. After talking with Roy's brother, Sam, they were escorted backstage where they would wait on Roy to make the scene. A short time later Roy arrived in his limo and was right on time. Roy then proceeded to tear the house down at Billy Bob's with the crowd going wild and according to Bonner the best performance he'd ever seen him do. A few weeks later Bonner and King decided to see Orbison once again and this time at Granny's. When they arrived the first thing they noticed was everything was totally different from Billy Bob's with everything being very laid back? Although Roy was at his best the crowd was not into it as after all it was a Sunday afternoon gig. Bonner and King did get to converse with Roy having only good things to say about him as not only a great talent but a fine person.
Some facts on Roy Orbison: Had heart surgery in 1978 in which he contributed to smoking, lack of exercise, being overweight and a bad diet. Sam Phillips was very impressed with Roy's guitar skills (playing a 1956 Les Paul Gold Top on "Ooby Dooby" at Sun). Roy hit the mother load when he was hooked-up with the A-Team (top session players in Nashville) on Monument Records. Roy's greatest success was in the UK and much like Buddy Holly he was also a prolific songwriter.
Back in 1959 Sid and Tommy went backstage at the San Angelo Municipal Auditorium in order to say hello to Johnny Horton. They were shocked when they saw the new Johnny Horton all decked-out in a velvet tux as after all he was a country star. After hitting the pop charts with "Battle Of New Orleans" in 1959 that stayed #1 for 8 weeks (Grammy Song of the Year) Johnny Horton had gone Pop. Horton was raised in Tyler, Texas and the following year died in a car wreck
being hit by a drunken student from Brady, Texas who been attending Texas A&M. The student was charged but walked.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - August 20, 2012
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John Beecher-Steve Bonner-J.I. Allison
John is the co-owner of Rollercoaster Records in the UK that specializes in Rockabilly records/books/photos/posters with emphasis on Buddy Holly & The Crickets. Steve is an avid collector, researcher, and photographer of Rockabilly music with emphasis on Elvis, Scotty & Bill, Buddy Holly & The Crickets and Roy Orbison & the Teen Kings. J.I. is the founding member, with Buddy Holly, of The Crickets. He is also the co-owner of Rollercoaster Records with John.
Photo taken at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico in 2005.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - August 15, 2012
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Jerry Naylor and Peggy Sue in 2001. Recording with "The Roses" doing background vocals on "Think It Over" and a couple of other tracks for The Rockabilly Legends LP at Patrick McGuire Recording Studio in Arlington, Texas. Jerry and The Roses then flew to Nashville performing at a Rockabilly Hall of Fame special concert event paying tribute to Brenda Lee. Jerry is presently in the mastering stage of his much anticipated new album that will soon be released.
When Buzz Cason saw the movie "Circus of Horrors" in 1960 hearing the track "Look For A Star" performed by Garry Mills from England, he ran out recording the song himself under the name Gary Miles. This confusion led record buyers in the U.S. to buy Buzz Cason's 45 cover that ended up at #16 in Billboard. The photo is backstage in Memphis where Cason had performed the song while on tour with Duane Eddy. Cason would later hook-up with the post Holly Crickets. Tommy Ruble became one of Memphis' most popular night club acts from 1960 to 1990. Go to YouTube for Cason's version. Both Buzz Cason and Duane Eddy attended the Crickets bash in Nash July 21, 2012.
Tommy Ruble, Jerry Lee Lewis & Sid Holmes at the Starlite Club in Memphis in 1960. Tommy was the lead vocalist and Sid was the lead guitarist for The Cavaliers from San Angelo, Texas who had recently moved to Memphis. After opening for Jerry Lee this night, Sid was offered the lead guitar spot for Jerry's band. Since Sid had already committed The Cavaliers to 6 nights a week at a popular club in Memphis...he had no choice but to decline.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - July 27, 2012
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Jean-Pierre Chapados, of Canada, an avid Rockabilly record collector with emphasis on Buddy Holly. JP enjoys skiing and going to record shows and conventions. A photo taken from his music den in Quebec.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - July 22, 2012
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Steve Bonner and Joe Ely (singer/songwriter/guitarist from West Texas). Photo taken by Steve's friend Sid King during Joe's break at Nick's Uptown in Dallas where he was performing. Joe Ely would play this same venue a few months later on October 31st 1981 opening for Carl Perkins on Halloween.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - July 14, 2012
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The Poor Boys from Odessa, Texas. Richard Porter-Eddie Williams-Bob Hardwick-Ronnie Smith-Carl Bunch (other members Brent Clark & Roy Licon). The band took their name from the song "Poor Boy" from "Love Me Tender" Elvis' very first movie in 1956.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - July 11, 2012
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The Great Pretenders
This imposter group formed in Long Island, New York around 1965. Although they had no connection with J. Frank Wilson nor "Last Kiss" they managed to fool New Yorkers for over 40 years with an estimated 2000 bookings. They had so much arrogance they next managed to fool the U.S. Patient & Trademark getting the name registered. Their recorded version of "Last Kiss" was featured on a Doo wop CD LP in 2003. Their last known performance was at the Summer Arts Festival in New York in 2010 that included The Coasters, Ink Spots and The Duprees.
Spotlight Photo of the Week - July 6, 2012
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Sonny West posing in front of Buddy Holly's display at the temporary West Texas Music Hall of Fame-Museum in Abilene, TX in 1999. Sonny had earlier jammed with Charlie Dalton and his friend Buddy who also played guitars. The 60's Fender Jazzmaster Sonny is holding belonged to Charlie Dalton who sold it a short time later not realizing the value. Sonny continues traveling to Europe in 2012 for Rockabilly shows that include Tommy Allsup.
Spanish movie poster for the 1963 movie, "Just For Fun," shot in London. Photo Sonny Curtis (guitar) and Jerry Naylor (vocalist). Movie soundtrack released as an Extended Play 4 song vinyl that included Crickets (with Jerry) "My Little Girl" (YouTube) & Bobby Vee's "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" Jerry would have been about 24 years old. Ketty Lester had hit big (#5) a year earlier with "Love Letters" later covered by Elvis.
West Texas Spotlight - March 17, 2012
Rockabilly Heaven a book about West Texas in the 50's and The Untold Story of the Cavaliers 1956-1964 is NOW ON SALE!
A few days ago, my husband, Charlie Dalton, received his Official Guiness World Record Certificate for being one of the 1867 Guitar Pickers who met at Luckenbach, Texas on August 23, 2009. They joined together under the trees to help raise money for "The Welcome Home Project", a nonprofit organization that puts out albums to raise awareness about veteran issues and uses music to help injured Vets recover while finding a creative outlet for them (if you were there and would like a certificate,go to their website thewelcomehomeproject.org). The Guiness World Record Officials were on hand in Luckenbach as Charlie and 1866 other Guitar Pickers joined together and played in unison, "Luckenbach Texas" and "This Land Is Your Land" (written by a West Texan, Woody Guthrie) for 5 minutes each to break the world record. The previous record was 1,803 held by Germany. I guess you could say, America has another Gold Medal, of which we are very proud. It all was for a good cause. The West Texas Music Hall Of Fame even has an official guitar signed by a lot of the pickers. This was also a very patriotic event.
While we're on that subject, my brother Armando Cantu has just finished his fourth Music Video which concerns the American flag. Go to youtube.com and in search put in americantu then click on "Indignity Of Freedom". It is a very touching video and features Charlie's 90 year old uncle Gordon Dalton, who is a Vet and lives in San Angelo, Tx. He is also in the video Armando did with Charlie. I guess you could call this a "REAL WEST TEXAS MUSIC VIDEO. It has the dance hall, country music, and the boots. To see this video go to Pioneers, click on Charlie's name or go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKDpWkB9Aww
Charlie wrote and sang the song, "The Old Man In His Tennis Shoes" . Charlie's 90 year old uncle is the star in this video. The music recording session was done at Patrick McGuire's Studio in Arlington with Buddy O'Bannon's help on the guitar. The video was all filmed exclusively in San Angelo, Texas. You will see the park on the Concho River, West Texas railroad tracks, and the familiar "Twin Mountains". Charlie used an old Martin guitar that he borrowed from Lewis Elliott. The dancing scenes were at the VFW while Snake Atkinson and The Country Showmen band were playing. Let us know if you see any more youtube videos that have West Texas connections.
See you next time--Rosie Dalton
February 19, 2010
Songwriter Susan Gibson (“Wide Open Spaces”), was in a car accident last Saturday February 13th.
Susan broke her arm in three places, including her wrist. She had surgery on February 18th. She is looking at a four to six-month expected recovery time. Unfortunately, like most musicians she doesn't have any insurance.
In 2009, Charlie and I went to a family reunion in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We stayed with a good friend of mine (who also lives in Jonesboro), who does some singing with Charlie at the Canton Flea Market "First Monday" each month. They asked Charlie to bring his guitar so they could do some jamming. One of the side trips we made was to Elvis' Graceland in Memphis. The first thing that struck us about Memphis was the size of the Mississippi River as we crossed the bridge coming into town. It looked more like an ocean than a river. As we drove downtown Memphis, to the corner of Marshall and Sam Phillips Ave, Charlie saw something that caused him to yell out loud--"Sun Records". There on the right was a extra large guitar hanging from a sign. On the windows of the building it said "Sun Records". Charlie said" we've got to stop!". We did and what a thrill! This was where it all started for Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and a bunch of other big Rock & Roll entertainers. There were pictures and vinyl records by the original artists covering the walls. Most were autographed. Charlie felt he was on "hollowed ground". We left with some advertising along with some Sun guitar picks...a great start to a big memory. But the biggest memory will always be Graceland. Charlie was especially taken by the original 1955 pink Caddy. He remembers when Elvis drove it to San Angelo in 1955 for his appearance at the City Auditorium, where he sat on the hood and watched Elvis sign autographs for all the "frenzy & crazed" girls. I think this was when all us were teenagers, including Charlie, became indoctrinated into Rock & Roll music. What an entertainer! There will never be another one like ELVIS.
Just a reminder of how big a roll West Texas played in the 50's & 60's concerning Rock & Roll music? I recently read an article in which they had rated the Top 100 Rock & Roll Ballads of All-Time. The list was chosen for their lasting popularity. West Texas singers held down 6 spots with #4 Crying by Roy Orbison,#6 Only The Lonely by Roy O, #26 Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers, #27 Running Scared by Roy O, #54 It's Over by Roy O and #73 True Love Ways by Buddy Holly. Not only Rock & Roll but there are many country music hitmakers from West Texas.
Charlie Dalton says he feels fortunate having grown up in West Texas where both Country and Rock & Roll was big. In 1955 Charlie got to see Elvis live at the San Angelo Municipal Auditorium. Also in attendence, that same night, was Carroll Smith who would help form The "Legendary" Cavaliers the following year. Charlie also tells about the night he and his band were playing a small "gig" in San Angelo in which Slim Willet (lived in Abilene) came up and introduced himself in which Charlie then invited him to sing a number or two. He obliged singing his #1 hit "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes".
Speaking of West Texas Charlie & I just recently drove to San Angelo from Lewisville visiting friends and relatives. While there, we visited with Lewis Elliott bass player on the 1964 hit recording "Last Kiss". Lewis said he doesn't play music much anymore but still dabbles in Farm & Ranch Real Estate in the San Angelo area. After visiting with Lewis we drove over and visited with "Snake" Atkinson, the drummer on "Last Kiss" at his transmission shop on North Cadbourne Street. Snake said he still plays music locally from time to time.
When Saturday rolled around Charlie & I decided to go dancing at the VFW in San Angelo that featured live music. We didn't learn until later that "Snake" Adkinson just happened to be the bass player and one of the singers in the band that night. Charlie didn't recognize him since he was wearing a cowboy hat and not his usual "mechanic's cap". We had a good time dancing to a good ole West Texas band and just like old times live music appears to be still going strong across West Texas.
Until next time, Rosie Dalton
(roving reporter for The WTMHOF web site)
January 6, 2010
We finally got the pictures from the Country Music Hall of Fame showing Weldon being entered into the "Nashville Cats Series" this past August. If you would like to see them, go to www.weldonmyrick.com
and click on the Gallery and you will see the Nashville Cats Album, click on that and all of the photos will come up.
Hope you enjoy seeing the photos....it was a special day for a special guy.
My name is Rosie Dalton. My husband, Charlie Dalton, had the privilege of being inducted into the West Texas Music Hall Of Fame Pioneer/Sidemen Section along with other West Texas music talents such as Sonny West. Charlie and Sonny are Board Members of the WTMHOF. Sid Holmes, the director, has asked me to write some articles for the NEWS section for the website.
Not long ago, Charlie & I had met with Sonny West, at the temporary WTMHOF-Museum located in Abilene, where Charlie presented Sonny with his 2007 Entertainer of the Year plaque. Sonny is best known for writing two hit songs for Buddy Holly- OH BOY and RAVE ON. While there, Charlie and his guitar-playing friend, Buddy O'Bannon jammed with Sonny and they did both his songs and what a fun time!
Sonny's "still got it". He has several albums, "West Texas Wind" and "Sonny West Rave On". Visit his website: email@example.com
While talking to Sonny, we learned he still travels around the world performing at concerts that includes the UK and Europe. Sonny says 50's style Rock & Roll is still "alive and rockin" as in August 2009 he performed before a sold-out crowd in Senigallia, Italy at their "10th Annual Jamboree" that was held inside an ancient castle. Some of the other Rock & Roll All Stars that appeared included Hayden Thompson (Love You Baby), Ray Sharpe (Linda Lu) and Dale Hawkins (Suzie Q). Sonny performed his early recordings of Oh Boy, Rave On, Rock-Ola Ruby and Sweet Rockin Baby. According to Sonny of the thousands that attended many were in their 20's. Quoting Sonny: "While not actively seeking out these gigs..I suppose we all should stay in the game as long as we are able"--AMEN!
For many years Charlie and I have set up a booth, once a month, at the world's largest flea mart located in Canton, Texas near Dallas. We are located on Row 55 selling toys. On Thur, Fri, Sat nites, several musicians including Charlie, get together from 7 til 10 for a jam session. Bring your guitar and join us. "stay in the game". For more info on the flea mart: www.cantonfleamarket.com.
Everyone have a good Holiday!!
Congratualtions to Tony "Ham" Guerrero & Tortilla Factory for receving a 2008 Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Tejano Albium" (for his web site go to the Pioneer section clicking on Tony.
I was shocked to learn that Jerry Reed had died (2008)? Just recently, I had been wondering why we haven’t been seeing any music news on Jerry?
Although he seemed to have gotten caught-up in the movie thing much like Elvis…I was hoping he would find the time to get back in the recording studio. What a unique guitar player, songwriter and performer. “When You’re Hot You’re Hot” (Grammy) “Amos Moses” etc. Seems great guitarist start young and Jerry not being the exception began playing at 8 years old when his mother bought him a $2.00 kid guitar. The CMA voted him “The Instrumentalist of the Year” in 1970. In 1992 he and Chet Atkins got together in the studio on “Sneaking Around” winning another Grammy. In the 90’s he was doing over 90 shows a year. In 1999 he had quadruple by-pass surgery. A life of cigarette smoking took its toll on another great talent.
The “Baby Boomers” returning home to retire in San Angelo & Abilene are making it almost impossible for the WTMHOF to find a permanent building for the museum. With their retirement along with selling their homes in California they return home with big bucks in which they then get involved with local activities. Some of these activities include purchasing/renting buildings in prime areas in order for them or their wives to have something to do. This not only creates a shortage on choice historical buildings but also runs up the price.
Sad to say the only thing Americans seem to relate to is…money.
Eddy Arnold, Country Music Hall of Fame singer, died on May 9th 2008 just a few months shy of his 90th birthday. After receiving encouragement from friends and fans he recorded his 100th album just a couple of years ago. Before he decided to record this LP he responded to these folks by saying he didn’t know if he could sing any more? After singing in the shower practicing up he decided he sounded pretty good for his age.
Eddy Arnold was extremely popular in the 40’s when country wasn’t cool. With first-rate pop-oriented material and a friendly smooth voice, much like Bing Crosby, he won approval from listeners around the world. For starters here are some examples: “I’ll Hold You In My Arms” #1 for 21 weeks staying on the charts 46 weeks. “Anytime” #1 for 9 weeks staying on the charts 39 weeks. “Bouquet Of Roses” #1 for 19 weeks staying on the charts for 54 weeks. It’s no wonder he’s the #1 singer in Country music history.
One of his many fan favorites was “The Cattle Call” #1 in 1955 in which he later sang on Le Ann Rimes “Blue” LP. He was doing pretty well health-wise until he fell. Eddy invested his money wisely purchasing property around Nashville now worth millions. He’s survived by a son and a daughter.
The West Texas Music Hall of Fame Annual Awards
Thanks to our new web-designer, Dani Shaw from Garland (www.galiper.com), we are now able to pick up where we last left off in 2005…concerning annual recognition awards. We hope the recipients, who will be receiving these award plaques, will understand the delay.
The Catching-Up List:
2005 Pioneer Award:
Richard Porter/Eddie Williams & The Poor Boys (Odessa)
2006 Pioneer Award: The Picks (John Pickering, Bill Pickering & Bob Lapham)
2007 Pioneer Award: Junior Pelzel (San Angelo)
2005 Entertainer of the Year: The Sundown High School Band (State Champs)
2006 Entertainer of the Year: The Tim Kreitz Band (Midland)
Entertainer of the Year: Joe “Sonny” West (Abilene)
2008 Entertainer of the Year: Cory Bevins Band (Abilene)
Special Recognition Award:Paul Davidson (Levelland)
Special Recognition Award: William “Bill” Griggs (Lubbock)
Special Recognition Award: Maggie Scales (Amarillo)
Special Recognition Award: Lynn Massey (San Angelo)
Special Recognition Award: Michael Henry Martin (Abilene)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Mack (Shamrock)
Since we’ve made every effort to contact the above recipients including sending them e-mails…if we fail to receive a response (needing an address) their award plaque will be put on hold.
Jodie Nix & The Texas Cowboys
Jody & band continue to amaze as they travel all over West Texas week after week, month after month and year after year performing in clubs and for special events. Be sure and check-out www.jodynix.com and while you are there click on their Schedule. From Big Spring to Lubbock, San Angelo, Snyder, Midland, and then all the way to Amarillo and back to Big Spring then for good measure throwing in Wichita Falls and Ft. Worth? You would think that schedule would warrant a break for Jody possibly basking in the sun in Hawaii? Guess not, as he’s now scheduled to play in Washington, DC for almost a week. When you go to his site be sure and listen to the opening song before you click on “Enter” as bands work very hard making records and always appreciate you taking a listen. For some of you who don’t know…Jody is the son of Hoyle Nix (The West Texas Cowboys from Big Spring 50’s 60’s). Hoyle was not only a friend of Bob Wills but patterned his music after Bob & The Texas Playboys. Jodie & The Texas Cowboys continue carrying on the Bob & Hoyle tradition…out there preserving Western Swing. Jody Nix was the WTMHOF’s 2001 “Entertainer of the Year” and continues to perform at the Stampede in Big Spring…the club his dad made famous. At one time a young and inexperienced singer, named Lefty Frizzell, was across town at the Ace of Clubs on Highway 80 doing his thing. The discovery of oil, along with a refinery being in Big Spring, was a big factor in these two historical clubs attracting some big crowds.
Buddy Holly Street Sign on e-Bay
After finally “waking up” with only 2 minutes remaining on an e-Bay auction we jumped in bidding $100.00 in which other bidders had run it up to $46.00. After bidding $100.00 others came back the last 2 minutes trying to outbid me but time ran out on them. The final bid was $76.00 + shipping. The BH street sign is an original and had gotten broken during installation in which the city let one of the employees have it.. Had I bid $100.00 earlier most likely we would have been out-bid. Go to e-Bay searching #330234986386 if you might want to view it. If it had not been for the small crack (damage) we would never have gotten a shot at this one-of-a-kind piece of WT music history.
Oil Prices and Tourism in 2008
The high price of crude oil has caused a boom in housing and business development in Midland (read early HISTORY on this site). Abilene has been on a tare for some years now having 5 foundations who have shared their kindness and money with many area non-profit organizations in order to preserve historic downtown. Behind this was the idea that historic Abilene, along with other local attractions, would rate high on the list of Texas tourist attractions. The high price of gas will surely throw cold water on that plan.
Disappearing e-mails addresses & Web Sites
Quite a few from the Honor Roll & Songwriter section have just up and disappeared? Yes, it’s true as time continues to march on no one can stay young forever. The highest per cent of folks now living in West Texas are in their middle 40’s. Since time is of the essence we have been doing everything we can in order to have a permanent WTMHOF-Museum building in Abilene. We won’t be depending on others as our motto has always been: “If you want something done you gotta do it yourself”.
Rolling Stone Magazine Top 100 Albums
Out of all of Elvis’s albums you might be surprised which one was rated the highest?
“The Sun Sessions” #11. John Lennon was quoted saying: “Before Elvis There Was Nothing” Later Lennon said: “The Sun sessions were Elvis’ best work”
The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Museum
We visited the National Cowgil Hall of Fame's multimillion dollar facility ($8.00 person) located near the Will Rogers Coliseum on a Sunday afternoon in May. This all-new brick building is about ¾ of a block long and possibly 3 stories high with 33,000 sq ft. of space. Out front is a life-size bronze statue of a gal on a horse along with a large painted mural on the side of the building of 5 gals on horses. I was overwhelmed by the expensive door handles, glass cases, carpet, the interior, stair cases, railings etc. The place is a prime example of too many people with too much money spending it foolishly…the blind leading the blind. Instead of concentrating on the cowgirls and their memorabilia they put most of their efforts on trying to impress people. There were a few Roy & Dale items such as a lunch kit, a kid miniature guitar, afew historical cowgirl boots, chaps, saddles & hats that are displayed in high-dollar glass cases. All in all the National Cowgirl HOF is a joke when it comes to being a museum. If you want to see a list of the Hall of Fame inductees (you won’t find it on any wall) just ask one of the folks at the reception booth and they will hand you one on paper. Want to hear a song from the past by Dale Evans (Uvalde) or Louise Massey (Midland)? No problema as you can drop a quarter in miniature juke box putting on a pair of ear phones. This is one of those places, much like Frontier Texas, where you go one time never to return.