I’m a natural born Texan, but just barely. My parents moved from Arkansas just a few weeks before my birth. I was born in December of 1934 in a little three room, shot gun house on the high plains of Texas. It was just a few miles to the north of a town called Brownfield, whose only claim to fame at that time was an excess of tumbleweeds and tremendous sand storms. It hasn’t changed much.
The family moved to the Houston area in 1949, but I spent that summer with an aunt and her family. I wanted some money, so I chopped Cotton under the west Texas sun to buy my first Steel Guitar and a course of lessons.
I started playing professionally at the age of 16. I paid my dues in a lot of dingy little dives on nearly every street corner in the Houston area. I was so young that my parents had to go with me or I couldn’t have gotten into those places.
Through the years I’ve shared a bandstand with such notables as Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and even played with Wayne Newton, Jimmy Dean and Gomer Pyle while I was with the Houston Rodeo Band.
Being a musician led to the writing of songs, and found I loved writing. I went from songs to poetry to short stories and finally my first novel.
Now I am retired from Shell Refinery and only play music just enough to keep my hand in. For the past 10 years or so, I worked on bass and vocals with Herb Remington and the Texas Playboys II band. Only got to play steel if Herb couldn’t make the job and asked me to substitute.
In 2003 I was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame in Seattle Washington. That was definitely one of the greatest highlights of my life.
Now I am what you’d call ‘semi-retired’ and play only every great once in a while, but I still love to hit the bandstand. Old musicians are like old fire horses I guess. They just can’t give it up.
I also do some custom woodwork. I have built dollhouses and furniture for my wife and children’s furniture for our grandchildren and steel guitars for Herb Remington’s steel guitar line.
Other than that, I loaf a lot, go fishing now and then, vacation with my wife, Kelly, and just enjoy life.
How did you hear about us
From Bobby Bowman
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