I recently moved back to Weatherford, Texas. It is a great feeling to be here. I have a lot of roots in this town. It is where all this Rockabilly business started for me and the first band I was ever with.
Jimmy and Ken Galbreaith and I practiced in their Dad’s Workshop and Storage space. Jim and I were in the same class in Weatherford High School. It was school in daytime and music practice at night.
We were basically a Billy Band. But it wasn’t long until we discovered we could do Rhythm and Blues and Boogie and Bop. One of the upbeat Billy songs was a Marty Robins recording of That’s All right Mama. Then one day we discovered a record on the jukebox at the Dairy Queen. An old friend of mine, Billy Cagle, actually called it to our attention. He thought it was the band and me. Wrong! Elvis Presley on Sun Records of course.
Most people didn’t know the difference between the two versions, but, man we did. The Elvis record was the kind of music we wanted to make. And so, we did.
Every Friday night in nearby Fort Worth there was a variety show. It turned out to be a cool place to meet and get to know other young and foolish musicians like ourselves. It was a major building ground for all of us. Young hopefuls don’t have those kinds of springboards in America today.
It sometime seems that we grew up together with Sid King and the Five Strings and Johnny Carroll. They were at the Friday night shows just about every time we were.
Sid and the guys were really cool. They were all decked out in their best Western Swing outfits. But, they were beginning to phase in some Hillbilly Bop( later known as Rockabilly). And it was great and they had some comedy in the act too. I do remember it was their drummer Davie Lee who broke the news one night that Elvis had been sold by Sun to RCA. And had signed with Col. Tom Parker. And you, and all of us, know the rest of that story.
In later years I had the pleasure of working together with ‘Ole Davie Lee at a radio station in Dallas.
Johnny Carroll on the other hand is another story for another day. Maybe, next time.
Keep on Rockin
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