Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday plus other memories

Today the wife heads for Lubbock for a week to (she says) babysit two of our g'girls while the other one goes to a church camp.  She and Christine are going while I stay behind with the dogs.

I have a dance job (+ rehearsals) coming up.  I feel obligated to stay here and do the band thing.   I do enjoy the band thing.

The dance is a Senior Prom.   No, not for H.S. seniors.  It is for the elderly types - "seniors" prom.   The Corsicana Swing Orchestra fits right into that group.  I did have a thought though.  Swing was popular in the 40s....that would be people in their 80s.   My group of swingers    -  in our 70s  -   grew up with the beginnings of rock and roll, Elvis, that bunch.  I wonder if they shouldn't be having a rockabilly 50s band to play for this prom.

Y'know, in my home town of Levelland, my class didn't really have a senior prom.   It was not like it is today.  Dancing was considered such a sin by many of the Levelland powers - make that POWERS - that dancing was not allowed for kids too much in public.    Now in the spring of 57, there was a dance down in the big room of the new hotel.   The group I played with in high school - doc, jimmy, and a few others, played for that dance.   We played a while then another group, a guitar type group, played a while.  We shared.  The guitar group was known as the Sparkles - and I still see their name in and around Lubbock playing for things even now.  I don't know if it is the same group, but the name is the same.  I want to say Jimmy blakely was their boss.  I forget.

I remember our group (cutely called The Saints - semi dixieland music & so forth)  had this little riff we would play - then take solos, making up whatever possessed us.  We played that fairly on in the job.  A bit later, kids started coming up to us and requesting we play Tequila again.  We had no idea what Tequila was. We figured it out.  Yep, we figured it out.  Our riff was the Tequila rhythm.  I bet we played that thing 5 times during the night.  The Sparkles had nothing like it in the book.  We were so groovy.

Reminds me of another Levelland job about that same time.  We were booked to play a dance - it seems to me out at the rodeo arena or inside a bldg at the arena.  Jim, Doc, & Me - may have Bob (guitar) or that "funny" kid playing the piano - and a strange man that I had never met who played a guitar.   I think he was suppose to be our 'steady' factor to keep us going in the right direction.

Doc McKay was our drummer, good friend of brother Jim.  His parents had influence in and around town.  They booked us for more than one job.   Well we had our songs - I had my fake book and could play any song that came around.  But this man - let's call him Billy Bob - tall, lanky, tough skin, rough,  played guitar in the key of E.   I had never faced the key of E with such regularity.   (little band stuff here - on trumpet, that would be the key of F # - and unbearable number of sharps).  We survived the night even though it must have  lacked  some professional-lity - maybe for Levelland, it was quite good.  Nobody yelled.

I have one lasting memory of that night.  The guy said, "Do y'all know The Shriek of Arabie"?   (is that spelled Arabie or Araby or Aire-uh-beeee ?).  We had never heard of that song.  Doc could play it, drummer and all.   Our other guitar player (bob) could - after all it was in E.   Before the night, I had learned that song - played it over and over and over.  I know the Shiek - just noticed I spelled it Shriek up above - Or  is it Sheik?   My speel chek dudn't lake it any durection I goe.   Looked it up on spell check - it prefers Shrek - modern spell check I suppose.

Nuff of the above.  I enjoyed the night.  We got paid something.  The crowd danced.  No eggs were thrown.  Never saw that long legged lanky stranger and his lonely guitar again.  Quite a guy.  Doc's parents started looking for another gig for us.  

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