Friday, October 1, 2010

Texas Tidbits : A Special Birthday & Country Music Month

Today is the first day of October and that means two things to me. One, today is my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Teri!!! We love you! The second thing about today is that it marks the beginning of Country Music Month. I was in the radio bidness for over 15 years and country music was my thing. I learned about country music from people that knew the music - Big Jim Russell being my main mentor. In the process, I soaked up information about country music like a sponge. I came to appreciate the honesty, simplicity, imagery and lyrics of country music as well as the availability of the artists. Ninety-nine per cent of them were just down home folks like you and me, willing and eager to talk the DJ's who played there music and the fans that bought their records. I was lucky enough to have interviewed, drank beer and whiskey with and picked the brains of some the greatest country artists of all time. Some names that come to mind are Hank, Jr, Willie Nelson, Reba, Ernest Tubb, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Garth Brooks  and dozens of others. In honor of these men and women, I plan on doing a post a day featuring them and their music throughout the month of October. It'll be a lot of fun to do and even more fun to learn about the people who, through their unique individual talents, have become the best at what they do. So, saddle up! It's Country Music Month on Three States Plus One!


  1. I will look forward to those posts as I am retired performer in in the country music world. I played great country sax ala Boots Randolph. Many many years ago when I working the clubs of West Texas there was this one waitress who always was telling me I sounded like Boots.

    At that time I had heard of him, but never had heard him play, until I caught him on the old Johnny Carson show. I thought, "I'll be danged, that guy copied me", kidding, of course.

    I had a music career covering some 50 years and played with some of the best musicians in the old big bands, jazz groups, but never had as much fun as I did when I came to Texas and got into country music.

    I am proud to say that I am in the West Texas Rock and Roll hall of fame. Not that I done much to deserve it. I was a member of the old Cavalliers, the band that backed J. Frank Wilson on his one and only number one hit single,"Last Kiss". But that's a story in itself.

    Anyway, I'll be watching for your stories.


  2. Bob...that's outstanding! It's an honor to communicate with a man of your musical pedigree. I'd love to hear some stories from you one day, when you get a little time. Have a great trip, amigo!
    PS. My Dad really liked Boots Randolph! Being compared to him, as you know, is a great compliment.

  3. Toby....Me, have a pedigree? Well maybe. But before jumping to conclusions, when the Cavalliers band backed up J. Frank Wilson for his hit single, "Last Kiss", it wasn't me on the sax on the record. I was unable to make the trip to Nashville, so a fellow sax man sat in for me. There went my claim to fame.

    But, for more stories, it would be a blast to tell all you wanted to know. On my wordpress blog, at the top click on About Me. There you will see one of old publicity photos. I think that was originally taken at a gig in Las Cruces, NM at a club in the Holiday Inn.

    I did appear briefly with Judy Lynn and then 10 year Brenda Lee at a Grand Ole Opry touring show in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I was in the Air Force at the time. They were appearing at the City Auditorium A friend of mine with connections, got me into the place when they were rehearsing, make that jamming. We wailed away for a couple of hours before the stage show. I can't remember who the band was, but they could really play come cool stuff. It was a blast, Judy wanted me to finish the tour with them. Yeah, right. I had just re-enlisted a week before. You see, whenever my ship comes in, I am always at the airport. By the way, Brenda and her mother just sat and watched. Of cours, I never had a clue what she was to become.

    By the way, I never did think that J. Frank was a great singer. To me he sounded like he always had a sore throat. Kinda raspy. But we, Sid Holmes, leader and lead guitar, the bass player Lou Elliot, and I auditioned him and Sid had the final word. But it turned out that the band could carry him and he blended in pretty well. But that record was just his only hit, and he died a pauper in a nursing home in south Texas a few years ago.

    More at a later time. I gotta get packed for our trip.

  4. Bob...great story! I look forward to hearing more when you return from your trip. Thanks again!


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