In the last session I mentioned that Johnny Carroll played a big part of the beginning of developing Mac Curtis and the Country Cats in 1955.
We had just come off a talent contest at the FFA (Future Farmers of America) Texas State Convention in Houston, Texas in the summer of that year. When we got back home
We were determined to get into the business. Translation: We need to make some money!
It was determined that we would frequent as many regular shows as possible. By this time we had added a number of songs. There were no new songs. Thus, as today, we would be referred to as a Cover band. A live jukebox.
One day Johnny Carroll came to the High School to offer us a proposal. He had an idea for us to ally with his band and he would book us as a two band show anywhere we could find a place that would hold a few people…school auditoriums, rec halls, tabernacles, etc.
Johnny had a similar band to ours. Simply a trio. Jay Salem on lead guitar. And Bill Bunton slap bass. The crazy thing was that on the shows... both bands played almost all the same songs on each others sets. But, it was crucial experience for all of us. And we did make a few bucks.
At the Friday night shindig in Fort Worth one night Johnny introduced us to a guy named Jack Tiger. He was some character. He had long hair and a beard and a Yankee accent. He claimed to be an ex-Wrestler, got injured and became a Wrestling manager and promoter. Oh, and by the way, a music producer with a recording studio in Dallas.
Jim and Ken and I decided to take Tiger up on an audition at his Top Ten Studio. We went on a Saturday with the idea of staying around for a visit to the Big D Jamboree that night.
Tiger really laid it on thick. First he pitched us a song called Hot Rocks that he had written. Then he insisted that we should record it as well as change the name of our band
to The Hot Rocks. We did neither. As for the tryout session…it was awful.
You may already know that Johnny Carroll bought into Tiger’s idea. It turned out to be a memorable tune for him.
I end this session with a big thank you to all that have sent notes to me about these blog sessions. Hope you enjoy ‘em also.
Keep on Rockin
Many thanks to the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame