Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bill Piatt

I posted this 45 record on the blog way back in December 2014. It created somewhat of a stir. People wanted to know more details about the record. I was fortunate to make contact with Bill Piatt a while back and he was gracious to write me about his career in the music business and to share his memories of traveling to Memphis in 1965 to record the 45. I hope you enjoy the story. Thank you Bill.

 
I WAS BORN IN 1946 IN THE NORTHEAST ARKANSAS CITY OF JONESBORO AND GREW UP 30 MILES EAST IN THE SMALL NORTHEAST ARKANSAS TOWN OF LEACHVILLE. I HAVE MANY HAPPY CHILDHOOD AND ADULT MEMORIES OF ALL MY SCHOOL CLASSMATES,TEACHERS,FRIENDS,FELLOW CHURCH MEMBERS,AND MY FAMILY THERE.I ALWAYS LOVED SEEING OUR FAVORITE COWBOY MOVIE HEROES AT THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON MATINE IN THE GRAND OLD“MELODY THEATER”,WHERE I GOT TO SIT NEXT TO MY“SWEET BETTY”BROUGHTON! AFTER THE MOVIE, ME AND MY TWO“TRUSTY SIDEKICKS”, JIMMY TURNBOW AND WESLEY (“BUBBY”) JONES, WOULD STRAP ON OUR“SIX SHOOTERS”, MOUNT UP ON OUR“BROOMSTICK HORSES”AND“HEAD OUT”! ON A HUGE DOWNTOWN VACANT DIRT LOT BEHIND OUR PARENT’S RETAIL STORES, WE COULD STIR UP MORE DUST THAN A“TEXAS WHIRLWIND”! OUR MISSION WAS TO PROTECT THE TOWNFOLKS FROM ANY LOCAL“NEIGHBORHOOD DESPERADOES”! BILLY, JIMMY AND BUBBY…..”LITTLE L.A.’s FEARLESS THREESOME”, ALSO CALLED,”THE THREE LITTLE MUSKETEERS”! MY PARENTS OWNED AND OPERATED THE“D & M VARIETY”STORE,ALSO REMEMBERED AS THE“DIME STORE”.THE WAREHOUSE BUILDING NEXT DOOR WOULD BE OPENED UP DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON WITH HOLIDAY DECORATIONS AND TOY SALES, AND KNOWN AS“TOY TOWN”.THEY ALSO OWNED AND OPERATED “LEACHVILLE MERCANTILE”, A CLOTHING STORE.BOTH STORES WERE IN BUSINESS ABOUT 35 YEARS IN LEACHVILLE.BEING RAISED IN A BUSY RETAIL ENVIRONMENT,THEY TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD FAITH-BASED WORK ETHIC,CUSTOMER SERVICE,AND THE ABILITY TO INTERACT DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC AT A VERY YOUNG AGE.IN ADDITION TO THEIR BUSINESS EXPERTISE,MY MOTHER (WINNIE),WAS A VERY TALENTED AND ACCOMPLISHED PIANIST,PROFESSIONAL PERFORMER,AND PIANO TEACHER.AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, SHE WAS ACCEPTED TO STUDY AT A MUSIC CONSERVATORY AND PERFORMED WITH VARIOUS LOCAL AND REGIONAL ORCHESTRAS.SHE TAUGHT ME THE KEYBOARD BASICS.MY FATHER (MATTHEW),WAS NOT A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN, BUT HE HAD PLAYED CLARINET IN HIS SOUTHEAST MISSOURI HOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND AT BERNIE.  I ALSO BEGAN PLAYING CLARINET IN MY HOMETOWN MARCHING BAND AT THE FORMER LEACHVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM,WHERE I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL IN 1964.THAT SUMMER,I ENROLLED AT ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY IN JONESBORO,ARKANSAS WITH A BUSINESS MAJOR IN MIND.I WAS ALSO ACTIVE IN THE R.O.T.C.(RESERVE OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS)PROGRAM WITH MILITARY SCIENCE STUDIES MY FIRST YEAR AT ASU.WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE, I BECAME INTERESTED IN SINGING AFTER BUYING AND LEARNING A FEW CHORDS ON AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR,PLUS A SET OF DRUMS I FINALLY TAUGHT MYSELF TO PLAY! I FIRST SANG AND PLAYED GUITAR BEFORE A CROWD WITH MY HOME- TOWN “METHODIST CHURCH FAMILY” IN LEACHVILLE, PERFORMING AN OLD GOSPEL/FOLKSONG TITLED,“MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE”. SHORTLY THEREAFTER,I GOT THE CHANCE TO MAKE MY “NIGHTCLUB SINGING DEBUT”,THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF A LOCAL ENTERTAINER, SINGER, MUSICIAN AND RECORDING ARTIST,BILL REEDER OF PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS.I WAS INTRODUCED TO HIM BY A HOMETOWN FRIEND,NORMAN MAYNARD OF LEACHVILLE,THE DRUMMER IN HIS BAND,AND WAS INVITED TO SING A FEW SONGS WHERE THEY WERE BOOKED TO PERFORM THAT EVENING AT “JODIE’S JET CLUB”,A SMALL DOWNTOWN TAVERN ON MAIN STREET IN THE LOCAL NORTHEAST ARKANSAS CITY OF BLYTHEVILLLE. THAT WAS AN EXTRA BOOST TO MY CONFIDENCE LEVEL AS I BEGAN PERFORMING WITH TWO OF MY TALENTED FORMER HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS,GENE REID AND SPENCER JOHNSON,PLUS SOME OTHER GREAT LOCAL AND REGIONAL-AREA MUSICIANS.I SOON HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM AGAIN IN BLYTHEVILLE AT THE FORMER “CASTAWAY CLUB”, THANKS TO A RECOMMENDATION FROM ENTERTAINER PAUL LOVELACE OF PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS. PAUL WAS A PERFORMING LEAD SINGER AND DRUMMER.HE INSPIRED ME TO BECOME A SINGING DRUMMER! AFTER GRADUATING COLLEGE AT ASU IN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS. HE WORKED IN BROADCASTING,AND WHILE HE WAS STILL PERFORMING,BEGAN A VERY SUCCESSFUL MUSIC CAREER IN RECORD PROMOTION WITH THE ”DECCA RECORDS” LABEL IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, THEN WENT ON TO WORK WITH THE “20thCENTURY FOX  RECORDS” LABEL IN LOS ANGELES AND LATER CAME BACK TO NASHVILLE AS VICE-PRESIDENT OF PROMOTION AT THE “CAPITOL RECORDS” LABEL BEFORE HE STARTED HIS OWN PROMOTION AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANY “CDX MUSIC” IN NASHVILLE. I WAS GRATEFUL AND APPRECIATED PAUL’S  ENCOURAGING SUPPORT WHEN I WAS STARTING OUT IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS! MY VERY FIRST RECORDING SESSION EXPERIENCE WAS AT JOE LEE’S “VARIETY RECORDING STUDIO” IN DOWNTOWN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS. JOE WAS STUDIO OWNER/ OPERATOR/ RECORDING ENGINEER/ GIFTED MUSICIAN/ VOCALIST/ RECORDING ARTIST AND OWNER OF THE “ALLEY RECORDS” LABEL THERE. “FOLK MUSIC” WAS VERY POPULAR AT THE TIME. ONE AFTERNOON BETWEEN CLASSES AT ASU, WITH JUST AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR, I RECORDED THREE (UNRELEASED) COVER SONGS: “MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE”,“500 MILES” AND AN OLDER COUNTRY TUNE CALLED,“HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU?”. JOE WAS MY FIRST PRODUCER AND I ENJOYED MY LEARNING TIME WITH HIM IN THE STUDIO THAT DAY. JOE LEE PASSED AWAY IN MAY-2013 AND IS GREATLY MISSED BY HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, PLUS  THE PERFORMERS WHO KNEW AND WORKED WITH HIM! YOU MAY REMEMBER THE HIT-RECORD HE PRODUCED WITH BOBBY LEE TRAMMELL’S,“ARKANSAS TWIST”, PLUS RECORDING LOCAL BANDS: THE ”FOLK SWINGERS”,THE ”ESQUIRES”, “TUESDAY BLUES”,”SHADY HILL”, LARRY DONN, RAY COBLE, TERRY RAY BRADLEY AND MANY MORE! IN THE EARLY SUMMER OF 1965,I WENT TO THE “SONIC RECORDING SERVICES STUDIO” ON MADISON AVENUE IN MIDTOWN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. THE STUDIO WAS OWNED AND OPERATED BY ROLAND JANES OF MEMPHIS. HE WAS A CLAY COUNTY, ARKANSAS NATIVE AND LEGENDARY RECORDING SESSION MUSICIAN/ RECORDING ENGINEER/ RECORD PRODUCER AND MUSIC PUBLISHER. BEFORE HE OPENED HIS OWN STUDIO, ROLAND HAD WORKED A LOT WITH SAM PHILLIPS AT“SUN RECORDS”. SAM PASSED AWAY IN 2003 BUT HIS SONS, KNOX AND JERRY, NEPHEW JUD AND GRANDDAUGHTER HALLIE ARE KEEPING HIS“PIONEERING/INNOVATIVE LEGACY”ALIVE TODAY AT THE SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIOS AND SAM PHILLIPS MUSIC GROUP IN MEMPHIS! SAM AND ROLAND BOTH GAVE US SO MUCH GREAT MUSIC STILL LOVED AROUND THE WORLD! ROLAND PLAYED ON MANY JERRY LEE LEWIS RECORDS WHICH INCLUDED,“WHOLE LOT OF SHAKING GOING ON”. MY FIRST RECORDING SESSION AT THE “SONIC STUDIO”IN 1965, FEATURED MYSELF DOING ONLY LEAD VOCALS,GENE REID OF LEACHVILLE,ARKANSAS ON LEAD GUITAR,SPENCER JOHNSON OF LEACHVILLE ON RHYTHM GUITAR,JERRY WARD FROM PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS ON LEAD GUITAR,BASS, AND ORGAN,WITH ROGER FREY OF PARAGOULD ON DRUMS. WHILE THERE, WE WERE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WHEN SANDRA AND DONNA RHODES CAME BY AND INTRODUCED THEMSELVES.WE GREATLY APPRECIATED THEIR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT! THE RHODES SISTERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SUCH TALENTED VOCALISTS AND MUSICIANS,HAVING WORKED WITH ELVIS PRESLEY,CONWAY TWITTY,AL GREEN,AND SO MANY OTHER GREAT ENTERTAINERS! SANDRA AND DONNA ARE THE DAUGHTERS OF “DUSTY”AND “DOTTIE”RHODES AND PART OF THE FAMOUS “SLIM RHODES COUNTRY MUSIC SHOW” FAMILY, WHICH AIRED NOT ONLY ON RADIO,BUT ALSO ON MEMPHIS, LITTLE ROCK AND JONESBORO, ARKANSAS TELEVISION FOR MANY YEARS! “SANDY”AND “DONNA”ARE STILL PERFORMING ALONG WITH BRENDA “BEAR” BARNETT AS“THE RIVER GIRLS” MUSIC GROUP IN THE SPRING RIVER/ HARDY, ARKANSAS AREA. ALSO, TRAVIS WAMMACK  STOPPED  BY TO SAY HELLO AND WISHED US WELL! WE WERE GREAT ADMIRERS OF HIS WORK TOO!  IT WAS A REAL“MOTIVATIONAL TREAT” TO MEET ALL THREE THERE IN THE STUDIO THAT SAME DAY! TRAVIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A FANTASTIC GUITARIST! HE GREW UP IN MEMPHIS, CUT HIS FIRST RECORD AT THE AGE OF 12 AND ALONG WITH ROLAND JANES IS A MEMBER OF THE “MEMPHIS MUSIC HALL OF FAME”! TRAVIS HAS PLAYED ON RECORDS WITH MAC DAVIS, BOBBIE GENTRY, LOU RAWLS, WILSON PICKETT AND ARETHA FRANKLIN, JUST TO MENTION A FEW! HE ALSO TOURED WITH LINDA RONSTADT AND JAMES TAYLOR. MY FIRST RECORDING SESSION THAT DAY AT THE“SONIC STUDIO” WITH PRODUCER ROLAND JANES INCLUDED THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF A SONG I WROTE CALLED,“IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME”,PLUS TWO“COVER SONGS”. ONE WAS A PREVIOUS HIT-RECORD BY RECORDING ARTIST,TRINI LOPEZ TITLED,“WHAT HAVE I GOT OF MY OWN”.THE OTHER SONG WAS ALSO A PREVIOUS HIT-TUNE RECORDED BY LEE DORSEY CALLED,“YA YA”. AFTER OUR SESSION THAT DAY, I DROPPED OFF A COPY OF OUR STUDIO RECORDINGS AT WHBQ-TV THERE IN MEMPHIS.GEORGE KLEIN, A DISC JOCKEY AT WHBQ-RADIO, WAS ALSO THE HOST OF A WEEKLY TV SHOW CALLED “TALENT PARTY”, WHICH FEATURED NATIONALLY-KNOWN CELEBRITY GUESTS, PLUS MANY PERFORMERS AND BANDS FROM THE MID-SOUTH AREA.THE SHOW PREMIERED IN 1964 AND WAS ONE OF THE MOST-WATCHED TV SHOWS IN THE MID-SOUTH FOR 12 YEARS ON WHBQ-CHANNEL 13 IN MEMPHIS! AFTER REVIEWING OUR STUDIO WORK, GEORGE CALLED ME SOON AFTER, INVITING US TO APPEAR ON HIS SHOW TO PERFORM THOSE TWO COVER SONGS HE LIKED. JERRY WARD (PASSED AWAY IN APRIL-2016) AND ROGER FREY (PASSED AWAY IN MARCH-2011),WERE NOT AVAILABLE ON THE DAY THE SHOW AIRED DUE TO PREVIOUS COMMITMENTS. MY FORMER HIGH SCHOOL “MUSICIAN BUDDIES”,GENE REID AND SPENCER JOHNSON APPEARED ON THE SHOW WITH ME, ALONG WITH ANOTHER FORMER HOMETOWN MUSICIAN FRIEND, NORMAN MAYNARD. HE HAD RECENTLY MOVED TO MEMPHIS AND FILLED-IN ON BASS. I DOUBLED-UP ON DRUMS AND LEAD VOCALS. WE HAD A LOT OF FUN DOING THE SHOW WITH THOSE GORGEOUS “WHBQTIES”DANCERS! I’LL ALWAYS APPRECIATE OUR “TV DEBUT” OPPORTUNITY, THANKS TO GEORGE AND ALL THE GREAT FOLKS AT WHBQ (NOW FOX-13) IN MEMPHIS THAT FABULOUS SUMMER OF 1965!

GEORGE AND“ELVIS”HAD BEEN GREAT FRIENDS SINCE THEIR 8thGRADE SCHOOL DAYS IN MEMPHIS.IN FACT,GEORGE WAS “BEST MAN” AT ELVIS’ AND PRISCILLA’S WEDDING! GEORGE KLEIN’S “TALENT PARTY” SHOW WAS A REAL “JUMP-START” FOR PERFORMERS LIKE MYSELF! OUR FRIENDS, JIM “DANDY” MANGRUM AND RICKY REYNOLDS WITH “BLACK OAK ARKANSAS”, ALL GOT TO APPEAR ON “TALENT PARTY ”TOO! I WANT TO CONGRATULATE THEM FOR ALL THEIR HARD WORK AND  SUCCESS! JERRY WARD, ROGER FREY AND MYSELF, GOT THE CHANCE TO WORK WITH RICKY REYNOLDS! HE PLAYED BASS SEVERAL NIGHTS WITH US AT THE FORMER “C & R CLUB” IN THE NORTHEAST ARKANSAS CITY OF TRUMANN. ALSO AROUND THAT TIME, I WAS HOPING TO DO SOME MORE STUDIO WORK WITH PRODUCER ROLAND JANES AGAIN IN MEMPHIS! HE HAD ALREADY PRODUCED A VERY SUCCESSFUL INSTRUMENTAL HIT-RECORD WITH GUITARIST TRAVIS WAMMACK CALLED, “SCRATCHY”. A SHORT TIME LATER, HE PRODUCED A HIT-RECORD WITH RECORDING ARTISTS JERRY JAYE AND TOMMY BAKER FROM MANILA, ARKANSAS. BOTH ARE FORMER RADIO DJ’s, AND FRIENDS OF MINE. I HAD ALSO PREVIOUSLY PERFORMED WITH TOMMY. JERRY COVERED AN EARLIER, FAMOUS BIG HIT-RECORD BY “FATS DOMINO”CALLED,“MY GIRL JOSEPHINE”! ROLAND ALSO PRODUCED A RECORD WITH MY FRIENDS, DAVID YATES AND THE “BAR BOYS” FROM PARAGOULD, AROUND THE SAME TIME I WAS RECORDING AT THE“SONIC STUDIO”.THEY COVERED THE SONG CALLED,”HIT THE ROAD JACK” AND AN ORIGINAL TUNE WRITTEN BY OUR FELLOW PERFORMER/ SONGWRITER FRIEND, JAMIE HOLMES TITLED,”THAT’S THE SOUND OF MY HEART”. ROLAND BEGAN LEARNING THE STUDIO RECORDING PROCESS WHILE HE WAS A SESSION GUITARIST WITH SAM PHILLIPS “SUN STUDIO/ HOUSE BAND” PLAYING THAT LEGENDARY“ROCKABILLY GUITAR” AND BECAME A MEMPHIS MUSICAL “ICON”,WITH A BRAND OF STUDIO PRODUCTION “MAJIC” THAT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! WITH ROLAND’S PASSING IN OCTOBER-2013, I WANT TO EXPRESS MY LOVING APPRECIATION AND BEST WISHES FOR ROLAND’S WIFE, BETTY AND THE FAMILY. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING TOGETHER WITH ROLAND AGAIN TOO! WE ARE EXPERIENCING ONLY A VERY TEMPORARY SEPARATION FROM ALL OUR“SAVED”LOVED ONES WHO HAVE GONE ON AHEAD OF US TO BE WITH THE“LORD”.JUST REMEMBER, WE HAVE THE BLESSED ASSURANCE OF THE“GREAT FAMILY REUNION ”COMING VERY SOON! IT WILL BE A GLORIOUS  ETERNAL CELEBRATION! BE SURE YOU’RE READY FOR THE PARTY WHERE WE’LL BE “KICKIN UP GOLD DUST”! I CAN’T IMAGINE ANYONE WANTING TO MISS IT! SHORTLY AFTER OUR TV APPEARANCE ON WHBQ’S“TALENT PARTY” SHOW IN MEMPHIS, I WENT BACK TO THE“SONIC STUDIO”LATER THAT SUMMER IN 1965,AND RECORDED A REVISED VERSION OF MY OWN ORIGINAL SONG,“IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME”, ADDING BACKGROUND VOCALS AND ALSO RECORDED AN ORIGINAL SONG WRITTEN BY FELLOW MUSICIAN JERRY WARD TITLED,“FOOL THAT I AM”. IN ADDITION, I COVERED AN OLDER COUNTRY HIT-SONG PREVIOUSLY MADE FAMOUS BY RECORDING ARTIST, EDDIE ARNOLD CALLED,“MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY”. I HAD ALWAYS ENJOYED THE MELODY FROM A GREAT INSTRUMENTAL HIT-RECORD BY HERB ALPERT AND THE“TIJUANA BRASS” TITLED,“A TASTE OF HONEY” AND DECIDED TO COVER THEIR TUNE WITH A VOCAL ARRANGEMENT. SELECTED MUSICIANS ASSEMBLED FOR THE SESSION INCLUDED JERRY WARD OF PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS ON LEAD AND RHYTHM GUITAR, JIM HUDSON (PASSED AWAY IN 2010) FROM JONESBORO, ARKANSAS ON KEYBOARDS, DANNY HELMS OF TUCKERMAN, ARKANSAS ON BASS, TERRY ISHMAEL FROM JONESBORO, ARKANSAS ON DRUMS, JANET WOOD AND FRIENDS FROM THE MEMPHIS-AREA,ON BACKGROUND VOCALS. JANET WAS THE TALENTED WIFE OF MEMPHIS-AREA ENTERTAINER AND RECORDING ARTIST,BOBBY WOOD.“IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME”AND“TASTE OF HONEY”, WERE THE ONLY SONGS RELEASED FROM THAT SECOND “SONIC STUDIO” RECORDING SESSION IN LATE-1965 AND ON MY OWN  INDEPENDENT LABEL,”MAJESTIC RECORDS”AT LEACHVILLE, ARKANSAS, MY FORMER HOMETOWN RESIDENCE AT THE TIME. I CHOSE THE RECORD LABEL NAME TO ACKNOWLEDGE“GRACE”AS THE SOURCE OF MY “GOD-GIVEN” MUSICAL ABILITIES! OUR MEMORIES OF JOE LEE, ROLAND JANES, JERRY WARD, JIM HUDSON AND ROGER FREY WILL LIVE ON THROUGH THE MUSIC WE CREATED TOGETHER! THEY’RE ALL “JAMMIN WITH THE ANGELS” NOW! AFTER THE RECORD’S RELEASE, I DID NO TOURING. MY DAD PASSED AWAY MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL IN OCTOBER-1963, LEAVING ONLY MY MOM AND MYSELF TO LOOK AFTER THE FAMILY BUSINESS. HOWEVER, I WAS VERY PLEASED AND EVEN MORE ENCOURAGED BY SOME NATIONAL AND LOCAL RADIO AIR-PLAY, SINCE IT WAS MY FIRST TRY AT BREAKING INTO THE RECORD BUSINESS AT THE AGE OF 19, BUT “HAD A LOT ON MY PLATE” AT THE TIME. I WAS CONSIDERING MY MILITARY SERVICE OBLIGATION, WHETHER TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION AND MARRIAGE. AFTER A YEAR AT ASU, I CHOSE TO ENROLL AT THE FORMER JONESBORO BUSINESS COLLEGE IN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS AND CONTINUED PERFORMING WITH OCCASIONAL NIGHTCLUB WORK.IN 1966,I JOINED THE U.S. ARMY/ ARKANSAS NATIONAL GUARD (875th ENGR. BATTALION) AT JONESBORO, ARKANSAS. ALL OF MY FEDERAL ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING IN BASIC/INFANTRY PLUS ADVANCED COMBAT ENGINEER TRAINING WAS COMPLETED IN 1967 AT FORT LEONARD WOOD, MISSOURI. IN 1972. I CONTINUED WITH MY ENLISTMENT OBLIGATION FOR TWO ADDITIONAL YEARS OF INACTIVE-DUTY IN THE U.S. ARMY RESERVE AND WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED IN 1974. IN 1966, I MARRIED MY FORMER HOMETOWN HIGH  SCHOOL “SWEETHEART”, BARBARA GILPATRICK. WE LATER DIVORCED IN 1973 BUT ARE THANKFULLY, VERY BLESSED WITH TWO“WONDERFUL”DAUGHTERS AND FIVE “FANTASTIC” GRANDCHILDREN----PLUS! OUR OLDEST GRANDSON IS A VERY TALENTED MUSICIAN/ DRUMMER AND BECAME A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE BAND! IN 1968. I BEGAN A CUMULATIVE,25-YEAR BROADCASTING CAREER IN THE JONESBORO AND NORTHEASTERN ARKANSAS MARKET AREA. I RECEIVED MY “ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING” START AT A SMALL RADIO STATION WHICH WAS CLOSE TO MY HOME,THE FORMER “KBIB-AM”AT MONETTE, ARKANSAS. I WORKED IN “CHRISTIAN” TELEVISION AND RADIO BUT MOSTLY AS A DISC JOCKEY IN COMMERCIAL RADIO FORMATS THAT INCLUDED: GOSPEL/ POP/ TOP-40/ ROCK/ COUNTRY AND EASY-LISTENING GENRES.MY ADDITIONAL MEDIA-RELATED ACTIVITIES ALSO INCLUDED: NEWS-TALK RADIO/ PRODUCING/ DIRECTING/ WRITING/ ADVERTISING SALES/ MARKETING AND PRODUCTION-MANAGEMENT. I REALLY APPRECIATE EVERYONE FOR LISTENING DURING MY YEARS WORKING IN RADIO! IN ADDITION TO MY BROADCASTING ACTIVITIES,IN THE EARLY 1970”s. I OWNED AND OPERATED A 350-ACRE “WORKING CATTLE  RANCH”. LIKE ONE OF MY FAVORITE OLD WESTERN MOVIE CHARACTER ACTORS,GEORGE“GABBY”HAYES MIGHT HAVE SAID, I WAS A “REAL ROOTIN-TOOTIN-RIDIN-ROPIN-AND SHOOTIN COWBOY”! MAYBE THAT’S HOW I GOT THE NICKNAME,“WILD BILL”! ONE EVENING IN 1971, I WAS INVITED UP ON STAGE AS A GUEST VOCALIST AND A CHANCE TO SING WITH ENTERTAINER/ RECORDING ARTIST,NARVEL FELTS AND HIS BAND AT THE “AMERICAN CLUB” IN CARDWELL, MISSOURI. NARVEL WAS BORN IN KEISER,ARKANSAS.HE GREW UP AND STARTED PERFORMING IN MY DAD’S HOMETOWN OF BERNIE, MISSOURI. AFTER MY RANCHING DAYS IN THE LATE 1970’s, THROUGH THE EARLY TO MID-1980’s, I STARTED DOING A LOT OF NIGHTCLUB WORK AGAIN IN THE SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI “BOOTHEEL” AREA AT THE SAME CLUB WHICH HAD BEEN RENAMED THE “CARDWELL COUNTRY CLUB”. I WAS PERFORMING MOSTLY AS A DJ AND OCCASIONAL GUEST VOCALIST WITH SOME OF THE BANDS APPEARING THERE,WHICH INCLUDED RECORDING ARTIST TERRY RAY BRADLEY. ONE OF THE GROUPS I ENJOYED WORKING WITH FEATURED RODDY HOLMES, THE LEAD SINGER AND FRONT-MAN WITH “TROUT-MCGHEE”. HE AND HIS COUSIN IN THE BAND, JAMIE HOLMES, PLUS THEIR FELLOW MUSICIANS,“WHIZ” PARKER, MICKEY WEBB AND TERRY DEES, ALL SORT OF TAGGED ME WITH MY OTHER NICKNAME,“MISTER BILL”. ACTUALLY, IT WAS JUST A CRAZY LITTLE “SPIN-OFF” FROM THE EARLIER NBC-TV ”SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” SHOWS THAT INCLUDED THOSE VERY FUNNY, SATIRICAL/ CARTOON SPOOFS IN THE “OH NO,…..MISTER BILL!” FEATURETTES. THE LIVE-AUDIENCE INTERACTION WAS GREAT FUN! TO ALL WHO WERE THERE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN,A VERY SPECIAL“THANK YOU” FOR THE GOOD TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER! ALSO AT THAT TIME, I WAS DEALING WITH MY MOM’S WORSENING CONDITION FROM A TERMINAL ILLNESS,AND CHOSE TO TAKE A TOTAL“CAREER-BREAK”TO BE HER “HOME-CARE” PROVIDER UNTIL SHE PASSED AWAY IN NOVEMBER-1984. LATER IN 1986, I BEGAN WORKING IN RADIO ONCE AGAIN AT JONESBORO, ARKANSAS AND ALSO OPERATED A SMALL PART-TIME RECORDING STUDIO, DOING COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER WORK, PRODUCING SOME LOCAL AND REGIONAL RECORDING ARTISTS INCLUDING A GOSPEL ALBUM WITH LOCAL JONESBORO-AREA RECORDING ARTIST, DOUG MCQUAY AND FAMILY TITLED “BEHOLD THE LAMB”. IN ADDITION, I OFTEN PRODUCED PROGRAMS FOR BROADCAST WITH VARIOUS LOCAL-AREA PASTORS AND BIBLE TEACHERS.I CO-PRODUCED AND CO-HOSTED WITH BOB HESTER OF JONESBORO,ARKANSAS,WHO WAS AFFILIATED WITH THE“AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION”,A BROADCAST-AIRED PROGRAM TO INCREASE PUBLIC AWARENESS REGARDING THE DANGEROUS AND DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF DRUG-ABUSE AND PORNOGRAPHY-RELATED ADDICTIONS.IN 1987,WITH THE WORST STOCK MARKET CRASH SINCE 1929,THE TERRIBLE RECESSION THAT FOLLOWED,INCREASING JOB-MARKET INSECURITY,DETERIORATING ECONOMIC CONDITIONS,PLUS THE CHANGES OCCURRING IN BROADCASTING AND THE MUSIC BUSINESS,I DECIDED IT JUST MIGHT BE TIME TO CONSIDER AN OPTIONAL , MORE RELIABLE SOURCE OF ADDITIONAL INCOME. IN 1990, I CLOSED THE STUDIO. THANKS TO A FORMER HOMETOWN TRUCKER FRIEND AND HIS FAMILY, WHO OWNED AND OPERATED A COMMERCIAL TRUCKING COMPANY, BERT PUCKETT OF LEACHVILLE, ARKANSAS PROVIDED THE REQUIRED TRAINING NEEDED FOR ME TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL “BIG-RIG” TRUCKDRIVER! FOR A COMBINED PERIOD OF TEN YEARS, I WAS DRIVING CROSS-COUNTRY/ COAST-TO-COAST/ BORDER-TO-BORDER AND CANADA. I FELT VERY FORTUNATE AND HONORED WHEN I RECEIVED A “SAFE-DRIVING AWARD” FROM THE“ AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATION” IN 1991.MY MOST RECENT WORK ACTIVITIES THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS,HAVE BEEN IN REAL ESTATE ”TURN-A-ROUND” INVESTMENT PROPERTIES.I’M ALSO HOPING TO GET BACK IN THE STUDIO TO RECORD SOME REVISED VERSIONS OF MY EARLIER WORKS,PLUS SOME SONGS I’VE ALWAYS LOVED PERFORMING “LIVE” THROUGH THE YEARS AND SOME NEW PROJECTS AS WELL! I LOOK FORWARD TO THE POSSIBILITIES AVAILABLE WITH THE AMAZING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IN THE RECORDING ARTS TODAY! ALWAYS REMEMBER TO “HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR DREAMS” TOO! YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO UNTIL YOU TRY! “GIVING UP” IS NEVER A GOOD OPTION! MANY THANKS ALSO TO NUMEROUS SINGERS AND MUSICIANS WHO NOT ONLY HELPED ME GET STARTED IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS,BUT PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME TO CONTINUE PERFORMING AS AN  OCCASIONAL GUEST VOCALIST  WITH THEIR BANDS.IN THE BEGINNING,ONE OF MY FORMER HOMETOWN MUSICIAN FRIENDS,MIKE BEARDEN OF LEACHVILLE,ARKANSAS WITH THE“FOUR SPEEDS”GROUP,INVITED ME TO SING WITH THEM AT ONE OF THE LOCAL”MISS LEACHVILLE BEAUTY PAGEANT”VENUES.LATER ON,ONE NIGHT AT THE FORMER“RAMADA INN”OF BLYTHEVILLE,ARKANSAS,I GOT THE CHANCE TO SING WITH“ELVIS”TRIBUTE- SHOW ENTERTAINER,BILL HANEY AND HIS BAND! JUST PRIOR TO MY NIGHTCLUB WORK AS A DJ,I WAS INVITED UP ON STAGE TO SING WITH THE “JESSIE MAC” BAND AT THE FORMER “25 CLUB” IN PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS. I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE PERFORMERS WHO HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SHARE THE STAGE WITH ME! IN ADDITION, I’LL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL FOR THE “GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES” TO HAVE WORKED WITH SUCH TALENTED PEOPLE LIKE JOE LEE, ROLANDJANES, JERRY WARD, JIM HUDSON, ROGER FREY ,DANNY HELMS, TERRY ISHMAEL, GENE REID, SPENCER JOHNSON, JANET WOOD AND FRIENDS,PLUS ALL THE DJ’s FOR PLAYING MY MUSIC, MY BROADCASTING COLLEAGUES, MANY OTHER FRIENDS AND MY LOVING “FAMILY”, FOR ALL THE INSPIRATION, ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT THROUGH THE YEARS! ALSO,SPECIAL THANKS TO THE“ARTYFACTS IN WAX” WEBSITE, ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER “SOCIAL MEDIA” SITES FOR PRESENTING MY MUSICAL WORK! EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO MY HOMETOWN PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE, KASU/91.9 FM, FOR SHARING MY LIFE AND MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD BY“STREAMING LIVE”AT KASU.ORG FROM THE HOME/ CAMPUS OF ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY IN JONESBORO! MY LIFE-LONG LOVE FOR THE GREAT GIFT OF MUSIC COMES FROM HOW IT CAN LIFT OUR SPIRIT WITH A THERAPEUTICALLY-SOOTHING EFFECT FOR THE SOUL! A GREAT SONG LIGHTENS A LOAD OF ANXIETY AND HELPS US DETACH FROM THE DAILY “RAT RACE”! IT’S SIMPLY AN AMAZING WAY TO DRAW US ALL “TOGETHER”, NOT“APART”! WITH THE CHAOS OF CURRENT WORLD EVENTS, I TRULY BELIEVE WE ARE LIVING IN VERY PERILOUS TIMES OF“GLOBAL MASS DECEPTION”! I MUST SAY TO AMERICA AND OUR FRIENDS,”BEWARE”! OUR “LORD JESUS” WARNED US TO NOT BE DECEIVED OR AFRAID DURING THESE DIFFICULT LAST DAYS OF“THE AGE OF GRACE”!“HE’S”GOT OUR BACK! I RECALLTHE LYRICS FROM SOME OF MY FAVORITE SONGS, BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE POETS,BOB DYLAN, REMINDING US OF A“SLOW TRAIN COMING”! BE SURE YOU’VE GOT YOUR TICKET TO BOARD! OUR DEPARTURE TIME IS VERY CLOSE!“WHEN ARE WE GONNA WAKE UP AND STRENGTHEN THE THINGS THAT REMAIN?” THE CHOICE IS, EITHER “GET RIGHT” OR “GET LEFT”!”GOD” BLESS THE USA AND WHERE YOU ARE! HOWEVER,IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE STOP SHAKING OUR FIST IN “HIS” FACE AND TEARING DOWN OUR “HEDGE OF PROTECTION”! IT’S TIME TO PRAY FOR“THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM”!”SHALOM”!THE“LORD”CAN AND WILL RICHLY PROVIDE ALL WE NEED!
ADDITIONAL NOTES: MY FIRST JOB IN RADIO, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER,WAS WITH KBIB-AM IN MONETTE, ARKANSAS  FOR FOUR YEARS, WORKING WITH SOME OF MY OLD“BROADCASTING CRONEYS”,DUB ARMSTRONG AND MUSICIAN-FRIENDS,BEN BROGDON AND TOMMY BAKER. AFTER MY DIVORCE IN 1973, I WENT ON STAFF AT KNEA-AM RADIO IN JONESBORO,ARKANSAS IN JANUARY-1974, AND MOVED FROM MY HOMETOWN OF LEACHVILLE,ARKANSAS AND LIVED IN JONESBORO DURING 1974 AND 1975.THE STAFF INCLUDED VETERAN MEDIA-PERSONALITIES JAY ALLEN (COLEMAN),DUB ARMSTRONG AND THEN NEWS DIRECTOR TERRY WOOD, JUST PRIOR TO TERRY’S MOVE TO KAIT-TELEVISION IN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS. I MOVED BACK TO LEACHVILLE IN LATE-1975 TO BE CLOSER TO MY YOUNG CHILDREN AND MY “GRACEFULLY-AGING”MOM.


IN 1976, I BEGAN MY ON-AIR WORK AT THE FORMER KTMN-AM STATION IN TRUMANN, ARKANSAS.THE STATION’S CALL-LETTERS WERE LATER CHANGED TO“KXRQ”. I WAS EMPLOYED THERE APPROXIMATELY SEVEN YEARS AND ENJOYED WORKING AGAIN WITH MY FRIENDS, JAY ALLEN (COLEMAN) AND DUB ARMSTRONG, PLUS TREY STAFFORD,WHO AT THE TIME, WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL AT HIS HOMETOWN OF MARKED TREE, ARKANSAS. AFTER MY MOM PASSED AWAY IN NOVEMBER-1984, I REMAINED IN LEACHVILLE.IN SEPTEMBER-1986, I CAME BACK TO WORK AT KNEA-AM/ “GOSPEL 97” FOR ABOUT 3½ YEARS. MY FELLOW STAFF-MEMBERS INCLUDED PAUL BODEN,JERRY JAY,AND BOB CHAMBERS.KNEA’S OWNER, JOHNNY SHIELDS OF JONESBORO,ARKANSAS,WAS ALSO PLANNING TO PUT A NEW FM STATION ON THE AIR AND INVITED ME TO JOIN THE ON-AIR STAFF TO DO A MORNING SHOW BEGINNING IN JANUARY-1987,ON KDEZ-FM/“EASY 100”,AND KNOWN TODAY AS KEGI-FM/“THE EAGLE”.WORKING BOTH STATIONS PROMPTED MY MOVE BACK TO JONESBORO IN JANUARY-1987 WITH MY DAUGHTERS. JENNY,MY OLDEST DAUGHTER, HAD BEEN  ATTENDING ASU IN JONESBORO,AND MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER, CHRISTIE, COMPLETED HER SENIOR YEAR STUDIES AND GRADUATED FROM JONESBORO HIGH SCHOOL.THEY BOTH STILL RESIDE IN THE JONESBORO AREA,ALONG WITH THE REST OF OUR GROWING FAMILY OF“FOURTH GENERATION GRANDCHILDREN”! MY LAST RADIO “GIG” WAS IN THE MID-1990’s, WHEN I WAS OFFERED AN ON-AIR JOB OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH MY LONG-TIME FRIEND, CLYDE BASS AND STAFF: DAVE AUSTIN, TERRY BILL, CHRISTIE MATTHEWS, JIM FRIGO, MICHAEL STEELE AND “ENGINEER BOB”OWENS. THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY OTHERS I’VE WORKED WITH THROUGH THE YEARS I HAVEN’T MENTIOND BY NAME, BUT WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED, LOVED, APPRECIATED AND ARE ALSO INCLUDED HERE AS I ACKNOWLEDGE ALL MY FORMER “BROADSCATTERING COHORTS” BY SAYING,”THANKS FOR THE GUSTO”! CREATIVE TEAMWORK WAS THE KEY!   JERRY WARD, BACK IN THE EARLY 1960’s, PERFORMED VERY OFTEN WITH HIS HOMETOWN MUSICIAN FRIEND,PAUL LOVELACE,WHO HAD RECORDED TWO COVER SONGS ON JOE LEE’S “ALLEY RECORDS” LABEL IN JONESBORO, ARKANSAS TITLED, “SUMMERTOWN” AND “THIS IS DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE”. JERRY PLAYED ON THE RECORD AND WORKED MANY “CLUB GIGS” WITH PAUL.JERRY WAS ALSO A SINGER/ SONGWRITER. HE RECORDED AND RELEASED AN ALBUM OF ORIGINAL MATERIAL IN THE EARLY 1970’s TITLED,“JERRY GLENN  WARD FOCUS”. HE HAD WRITTEN SOME HIT-TUNES RECORDED BY OTHER ARTISTS WHICH INCLUDED “SIX PACK OF TROUBLE”, RECORDED BY O.B.McCLINTON. JERRY PASSED AWAY IN APRIL-2016 WHILE LIVING IN AUGUSTA, ARKANSAS. JIM HUDSON WAS FORMERLY FROM JONESBORO, ARKANSAS AND PERFORMED A LOT WITH PAUL LOVELACE AND JERRY WARD.JIM WAS BLINDED FROM GLAUCOMA IN HIS YOUNGER YEARS, BUT WAS A GIFTED MUSICIAN ON KEYBOARDS.WORKING WITH JERRYAND JIM AT“CLUB GIGS”AND IN THE STUDIO,WAS A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME! AROUND THE EARLY 1960’s, JIM HAD ALSO PLAYED IN A LOCAL JONESBORO, ARKANSAS-AREA BAND CALLED “THE COUNTDOWNS”.THAT GROUP INCLUDED FORMER JONESBORO RESIDENT AND FRIEND OF MINE, KENT VIVRETTE, CURRENTLY LIVING IN THE PHILLIPINES,WHO IS THE OLDER BROTHER OF JONESBORO, ARKANSAS RESIDENT, KEITH VIVRETTE, WHO OPERATES A RECORDING SERVICE CALLED,“STUDIO V” IN JONESBORO. OTHER MEMBERS OF THE “COUNTDOWNS” GROUP ALSO INCLUDED LONG-TIME,LOCAL JONESBORO ATTORNEY, WARREN DUPWE. JIM HUDSON HAD BEEN RESIDING IN THE LITTLE ROCK,ARKANSAS-AREA FOR SEVERAL YEARS WHEN HE PASSED AWAY IN 2010. DANNY HELMS, AT THE TIME I BEGAN PERFORMING WITH HIM AT OUR “CLUB GIGS”AND IN THE STUDIO, WAS LIVING IN TUCKERMAN, ARKANSAS.HE CURRENTLY RESIDES IN PIGGOTT, ARKANSAS AND  ALSO WORKS AS A COMMERCIAL/ CHARTER-FLIGHT PILOT. HE HAS ALWAYS PLAYED “GREAT BASS”! HE RECENTLY TOLD ME ABOUT HIS OPPORTUNITIES TO FLY JERRY LEE LEWIS AROUND THE COUNTRY FOR SOME SHOW-DATES AND PLAYING WITH HIS BAND.TERRY ISHMAEL,FORMERLY OF JONESBORO,NOW LIVES IN NEW ORLEANS,AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY TALENTED DRUMMER,AND STILL PERFORMS QUITE OFTEN IN THE“FRENCH QUARTER”AREA.TERRY IS THE YOUNGER BROTHER OF LONG-TIME, JONESBORO ATTORNEY,THE LATE RANDALL (RANDY) ISHMAEL.THROUGH THE YEARS,TERRY HAS WORKED WITH MANY BIG-NAME MUSIC ACTS,INCLUDING JEANNIE C. RILEY OF“HARPER VALLEY PTA” RECORD FAME,AND TOURED WITH HANK WILLIAMS,JUNIOR.I REMEMBER THE TIMES JERRY WARD,DANNY HELMS, TERRY,AND MYSELF, GOT TO PLAY AT THE FAMOUS,OLD“SILVER MOON CLUB”IN NEWPORT, ARKANSAS! ROGER FREY, FORMERLY OF PARAGOULD, ARKANSAS,WAS ALSO A VERY GIFTED AND ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN/ DRUMMER AND I REALLY APPRECIATED THE OPPORTUNITIES TO PERFORM WITH ROGER AT “CLUB GIGS”AND IN THE RECORDING STUDIO! HE HAD PLAYED WITH SEVERAL BANDS IN THE MIDWEST-AREA OVER THE YEARS. ROGER HAD BEEN RESIDING IN THE PENSACOLA,FLORIDA-AREA SINCE 1980 AND PASSED AWAY THERE IN MARCH-2011.DOCTOR GENE REID,MY FORMER HOMETOWN ”MUSICIAN BUDDY” FROM LEACHVILLE, ARKANSAS, HAS BEEN RESIDING IN THE LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS- AREA AS A PRACTICING PSYCHIATRIST FOR MANY YEARS,AND IS STILL AN OCCASIONAL PERFORMING GUITARIST! MY OTHER FORMER HOMETOWN/ HIGH SCHOOL “MUSICIAN BUDDY”, DOCTOR SPENCER JOHNSON, RESIDES AND PRACTICES MEDICINE IN CONWAY ,ARKANSAS, SPECIALIZING IN OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY. THANKS TO GENE AND SPENCER,THE VERY TALENTED CO-FOUNDING MEMBERS OF OUR ORIGINAL ”GARAGE BAND”,THEIR COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS CONTRIBUTED GREATLY TO MY INITIAL-START IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS! I ALSO WANT TO EXPRESS MY APPRECIATION FOR JONESBORO’S OWN,”HAIRY LARRY” HEYL WITH “THE DELTA BOOGIE NETWORK” AND KEITH VIVRETTE AT “STUDIO V”, FOR THEIR DIGITAL AUDIO/TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE! I’M THANKFUL FOR THEIR ”BROTHERLY” SUPPORT OF MY WORK!   


BRIEF RECORD SUMMARY: “IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME” AND “TASTE OF HONEY”,WERE RECORDED DURING THE SECOND    SESSION AT THE“SONIC RECORDING STUDIO”ON MADISON AVENUE,IN MIDTOWN MEMPHIS,TENNESSEE IN MID- SUMMER-1965,AND RELEASED ON A DOUBLE-SIDED/45 RPM/VINYL RECORD IN LATE-1965, ON BILL PIATT’S PRIVATE COMPANY-OWNED INDEPENDENT LABEL,”MAJESTIC RECORDS”, LEACHVILLE, ARKANSAS.(MY RESIDENCE AT THE TIME)              

“IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME”:  
LYRICS AND MUSIC: BILL PIATT
PRODUCER/RECORDING ENGINEER: ROLAND JANES/SONIC STUDIO/MEMPHIS,
PUBLISHER: ROLANDO MUSIC, MEMPHIS,
LICENSE: BMI (BROADCAST MUSIC,INCORPORATED)


“TASTE OF HONEY”:  
AUTHOR: BOBBY SCOTT AND RIC MARLOW
PRODUCER/RECORDING ENGINEER: ROLAND JANES/SONIC STUDIO/MEMPHIS

PUBLISHER: SONGFEST MUSIC CORPORATION NEW YORK, NEW YORK
LICENSE: ASCAP (AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS, AND  PUBLISHERS 





MUSICIANS
BILL PIATT : LEAD VOCALS
JERRY WARD : LEAD AND RHYTHM GUITAR
JIM HUDSON : KEYBOARDS
DANNY HELMS : BASS
TERRY ISHMAEL : DRUMS
JANET WOODS AND FRIENDS : BACKGROUND VOCALS ON "IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME 


I HOPE THIS PERSONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY HAS BEEN A”GOOD READ”.MY SINCERE APPRECIATION AND VERY BEST TO  ALL FOR YOUR INTEREST, BILL PIATT (aka:“MISTER WILD BILL”).…..”STILL A COWBOY AT HEART” : DECEMBER 25, 2017                                                                                                                                                             






Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Skavengers (MAYN)

In a continuing attempt to remember and honor some of the lesser known groups from the 1960's, today I would like to feature The Skavengers. Rhythm Guitarist Randy Souviney was very gracious to shared a brief history of the group which I present for you on the Artyfacts In Wax blog. Thank You Randy.

Allan Pelletier     Nick Forest          Randy Souviney      Peter Trott
 
The Skavengers
                                                      (Maine & New Hampshire Band)

 The original Skavengers were formed in the early 1960s by Erlon Bailey, a fine guitarist and songwriter from central Maine, Chet Hinkley (bass guitar and vocals), Allan Pelletier (drums and vocals), and his brother Claude Pelletier (rhythm guitar and vocals). Randy Souviney joined the band in 1964 when Erlon left to join another group named The Things, and Chet and Claude soon followed. Nick Forest and Peter Trott were recruited as new members and the band continued performing as The Skavengers for more than a decade. When the group recorded its single, And She Lied / Lend Me Your Love at Ace Studios in Boston in 1965, the line up was of Nick Forest (lead guitar), Allan Pelletier (bass and vocals), Peter Trott (drums) and Randy Souviney (rhythm guitar and vocals).
  The band played hundreds of concerts throughout Maine, including the popular summer venue, the Merry Barn in Boothbay, the PAL Sock Hop in Lewiston, the Rosedale Barn in Bath, and the Capitol Theater in Augusta. The group stayed together in various configurations in Maine and New Hampshire well into the 1970s. Music has remained an important part of the lives of the four band members. They continued to write and record songs and perform in local groups as they pursued independent careers in public service, programming, retail and academics.
 
Recently, The Skavengers reunited in Dresden, Maine to record a new CD, Eastern River Blues, which was released in 2016 (available on iTunes, CD-Baby and most online services, including
                                                The Skavengers on Soundcloud

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Liberty Street (Freedom)

I would like to go back in time to 1973 and highlight a 45 by a group called Liberty Street. The record has two original songs "Free People" and "Ride The Train". I decided to post "Ride The Train" to showcase how talented the band was. The label shows that the 45 was recorded and pressed at the Mus-I-Col recording studio which was located in Columbus, Ohio. I'm assuming the group was from the Midwest area but so far I have not found any information about the band to know for sure. Maybe you might be able to help with this and provide more details about the group.
                                                                              Liberty Steet - Ride This Train

On the other side

Hi Everyone. To start the new year off I would like to feature the B side of a couple 45's that I think you will find enjoyable.  Both are instrumental and both were released in 1969.  The first of these is a record by Glenn Scott with Lee Kyles Indy Three. The label shows that "The Pill" was recorded live at the Idle Hour Club in Indianapolis , Indiana.
                                                            Glenn Scott with Lee Kyles Indy Three - The Pill

The second 45 is by a group called The Depoe Drifters. The record was pressed by Southern Plastic (SO) in Nashville, TN. The group's "Soul On Fire" has a garage / psych sound.
                                                                             The Depoe Drifters - Soul On Fire

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Wisdoms (Paris Tower)

Hello Everyone. First I hope that all of you have a Happy New Year. Thank you for all your comments that was made to help to better remember the groups featured. For the final entry this year on the blog I have decided to highlite a extremely obscure 45 by a Florida band called The Wisdoms. In 1967 the group released their one and only record on the Paris Tower label.
                                                                                    The Wisdoms - I'm all right

                                                                              The Wisdoms - Outer Limits 67

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Midnite Sun Band

Hello to everyone. I have a record by a group called the Midnite Sun Band that I was hoping those who follow this blog might be able to provide some information. I believe I found this gem on a trip to Tampa Bay, Florida earlier this year. Looking at the label it's a private pressing with the bands name at the top and has 1975 as year it was released below. The group's song "You've Got To Have Music" has a real nice early ZZ Top sound. If you can provide more details about the band that would be great.
                                                              Midnite Sun Band - You've Got To Have Music

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Double Spin from 1967

Hi to all. I decided to highlight two lesser known bands from 1967. The Canadian Legends who were actually from Louisiana released a couple of 45's. The record featured today was groups first release in April 1967. "Just One Girl " has a catchy sound similar to The Outsiders "Time Won't Let Me". The Huntingtons from Hoquiam, Washington release there one and only 45 in May 1967. Both songs on the 45 are good. "You Better Mend Your Ways" has a garage sound . The group changes it up on flip side with the ballad "I Told The World".  A brief history of the group can be found on the Pacific Northwest Bands website. All comments about these two bands are welcomed.
                                                                    Canadian Legends - Just One Girl





Marty Martinson,  Mike Sturm,  Lee Smith, Bob Dalyrymple,  Gary Mclaughlin,  Dick Brown
                                                                     The Huntingtons - I Told The World



Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Beautiful Apollo (Barra-Donna)

The Apollo’s Apaches from Chicago, Illinois  released their debut 45 in February 1966. Both sides of the 45 have appeared on compilation albums and the group's "Cry me a Lie"has become a garage classic. The song would later be picked up and released on the  Barra-Donna record label in April 1967.


The Apollo’s Apaches change their name to The Beautiful Apollo and release two more records on
 Barra-Donna. The 45 featured  on the blog is the second release as the The Beautiful Apollo. It has the bubblegum sounding song "Spring Timey". I think it came out in 1969 but more info is needed to know for sure. The song writers for the song are original band members Ray and Richie Mallow. One more thing , the ending of "Spring Timey"is a little different.

                                                                    The Beautiful Apollo - Spring Timey

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Crimson Shades (Cinemasound)

The Crimson Shades were from Toledo, Ohio. In late 1964 the band released their only record on the Cinema sound label. "Don't Chase Me Away" and "I Wrote My Love A Letter" are original songs by the group. Both have a swirling organ sound. Nice record.
                                                            The Crimson Shades - Don't Chase Me Away

                                                       The Crimson Shades - I Wrote My Love A Letter

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Ghost Riders (Newland)

The Ghost Riders were from Indianapolis, Indiana. The record was release in 1971. The group does a faster rock cover of Mel Tillis's  1966 song "Mental Revenge". The flip "Ghost Rider Theme" is the band's version of the Ramrods "Ghost Riders In The Sky"
                                                                  The Ghost Riders - Mental Revenge

                                                                  The Ghost Riders - Ghost Riders Theme

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Checkmates ( Audio Recording)

Hello and happy new year. I wish you all the very best. I would like to start off 2016 with a instrumental record by a group called The Checkmates. The band recorded a couple of cool songs. "Work Song" has a Mod/Garage beat and the flip "Blue Star" has a really nice surf sound. Looking at the dead wax numbers it seems that the 45 was released in 1964. I think the group might have been from Canada , but more info is needed to know for sure. I don't think either song has appeared on a compilation album but I'm sure someday that will happen.
                                                                       The Checkmates - Work Song

                                                                       The Checkmates - Blue Star

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The 1960's Sound

The 1960's was a great decade for Rock 'n 'Roll. So many different sounds and types of music to enjoy. This month as always I would like zero in on some of those lesser known bands that had their part in making the music of the 1960's so interesting. Your Comments are welcomed.
 
 
                                                                              The Pretenders -You Don't Fool Me

                                                                         The Spartas- House Of The Rising Sun

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Newcomers (Gigolo)

The Newcomers were from New York City. In 1965 the group released this record on Gigolo Records. Both songs are great. "Alladins Lamp" has that moody garage sound . On the flip side the groups "She Was There" rocks with a crude Mersey  garage beat.
                                                                       The Newcomers - Alladins Lamp

                                                                       The Newcomers - She Was There

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Steve Robbins (Lemco)

Lemco records out of Lexington , Kentucky released many recordings of lesser known artist. This record by Steve Robbins is one those, it was released in 1970. I like his tribute to astronaut Neil Armstrong with the song "Armstrong". The flip side "Natural to be gone" has a slight Glen Campbell sound accompanied with heavy banjo.
                                                                           Steve Robbins - Armstrong

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Worthy Finds

Hello, after looking thru the stacks of vinyl, I decided to feature a couple of artists whose music has fallen thru the cracks over the years that are worthy to be heard again . The first of these is by a group called The Swivel Hips. They recorded a version of the Ventures "Walk Don't Run" on the Top Hit Tunes record label. Top Hit Tunes records were sold mostly in the Woolworth's five and dime stores. They featured six low budget recordings of the popular songs from the day performed by different artists. As far I could find this was the only song the group recorded. My guess is that this was a studio group. The second song is by Jack Fraley. He wrote and recorded  two songs "Trust in Me" and "Wanderer" on Westland Records in 1966. I highlighted "Wanderer" which was the B side of the 45.  It's a catchy ballad. I think for the time period it certainly had the potential to be a hit.
                                                                        The Swivel Hips - Walk don't run

                                                                          Jack Fraley - Wanderer

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mopptops

The Mopptops were a rock-n-roll group that resided in the Hawaiian Islands. The band recorded several very good 45’s and was extremely popular locally, but for the most part their music was isolated to that region of the United States. I was pleased when Jesse Morgan, the lead singer of The Mopptops, contacted me and was gracious enough to provide photos and to share his memories of the time he spent with the group. Thanks Jesse.
Ronny Payton      Michael Payton       Jesse Morgan
Michael Nakasone 

JESSE MORGAN: AN ORIGINAL MEMBER OF THE MOPPTOPS  1965 to 1969 
  The Mopptops originated in the mid 1960's in Honolulu, Hawaii and rocked the Hawaiian Islands right into the early 70's. For many years the Islanders favorite Rock/RB band, and the longest lasting local rock group in Hawaii. Originally when the Mopptops began there were three members already assembled when I was asked to join the band as lead singer/front-man: Michael Payton (Drums), Ronny Payton (Bass Guitar/Tenor Sax), and Michael Nakasone (Piano/Alto Sax). The three of them just recorded an instrumental 45rpm on Teen Records “Flipper” and on the flip side “Mop Top”. The band was looking for a singer to complete the group and that was me.
  There were many good bands in Hawaii back then. However, most of the groups would not last long, for some maybe a year or two before disbanding or disappearing from the music/band scene. Most of the bands back in the day catered to local people's interest in music and cover songs played on the radio stations. The Mopptops were different from other local bands of that era, we played more progressive long hair rock/r&b and moved around on stage with lots of energy that produced a show that would captured the audience's attention, The band was more in with the mainland style of music. Typically the pop music scene in Hawaii lagged behind what was a year ahead on the mainland and around the world. The Mopptops were an alternative to the other groups on the Island, and because of this, it took longer for us to reach our own audience. Our biggest followers consisted mostly of people from the mainland and those serving in the military; the military presence in Hawaii was very large due to the many military bases throughout Hawaii. The original MOPPTOPS fame grew because of the band’s zany showmanship on stage, our long hair, drums on fire and me dancing the latest moves on stage was helpful. We couldn’t even go to the grocery store without getting mobbed by fans. Once I joined the band, Michael Payton and I collaborated to write most of our songs. . The Mopptops recorded mostly original material and very little cover songs. The Band worked the nightclub circuit, enabling us to make a living at what we love doing. The group’s second record featured a couple of songs that Michael Payton and I wrote “I Want You to Stand by Me” and “I Tried”. The record was released on the Dee Jay record label.

The Mopptops performing at the Honolulu International Center in 1965
  Our music got air play from the local radio stations, and The Mopptops were always considered first to perform at the HIC (Honolulu International Center) concert arena to either open or perform alone with the well-known recording groups coming to Honolulu to perform back then. The bands we performed with were all major recording groups and/or artists from around the world. After the first 2 record releases ran their course, Ronny Payton and Michael Nakasone decided to leave the group and pursue their education. Years later Michael Nakasone taught music at the University of Hawaii, then he later was tapped as music conductor for Hawaii's prestigious Royal Hawaiian Band (what an honor). Shortly after, Randy Aloya joined the band replacing Ron Payton on Bass. Randy was already a friend of mine. Then we asked Randy’s cousin Bernard Deseo to join and play lead guitar to replace Michael Nakasone. The next generation of The Mopptops consisted of: Michael Payton (Drums), Randy Aloya (Bass Guitar), Bernard Doseo (Lead Guitar) and myself (Lead singer/Rhythm Guitar).  This line-up recorded the Who’s song “The Kids Are Alright” and “Never Change Your Mind “. It was released on a record label called Fantastic Records.

Jesse Morgan       Michael Payton        Bernard Deseo        Randy Aloya


                                                       The Mopptops - Never change your mind 

  Later on Michael Payton left the group and pursued his education at the University of Hawaii and was replaced by Bert Dejesus. The Mopptops next lineup included Bert Dejesus (Drums), Randy Aloya (Bass Guitar), Bernard Doseo (Lead Guitar) and myself (Lead singer/Rhythm Guitar). This lineup was more about the music and getting our own sound. We recorded two 45’s; one on the Fantastic Label and Lemon Tree Records. There was another lineup of Mopptops that I was not part of and included no original members. I’m unsure who was in the band. I think Bernard and Bert were members of this group. They recorded one 45rpm record and the songs were “Rule of My Mind” and “Our Lives”. All the Mopptops 45’s were released on local Hawaiian record labels (Teen, Dee Jay, Lemon Tree and Fantastic Records). I don’t recall which record was the biggest seller, we did have one of our singles in the top 10 in Hawaii. I do know that none of them charted outside of Hawaii. With the exception of the first record, I mostly was involved in the productions and writing of all the group’s records. In 1969, I released a solo record, a song I wrote called "I Gotta Get Back". It has recently been reissued by Tramp Records a German record label. Since then I’ve went on to record several more singles and an album, and most recently came out of a five year contract with Universal Music Publishing Group Library & Film division, and now with Tramp Records out of Germany. I’m still active in music, and can be reach at my web page: www.jessemorganmusic.com or jesmor47@hotmail.com for updates and latest activities. Living in Los Angeles, Ca. and writing music (Words & Music). Hope you enjoyed this short story of the The Mopptops Band from the mid 60’s – it was a great time for all of us that remember.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bob London and the Bobbies (GEE - BEE)

Featured on the blog this month is a obscure record by a group called Bob London and the Bobbies. The matrix numbers on the record shows that the 45 was released in 1966. The group was talented, both songs are very good with nice vocals."Times in my life" is exceptional with it's jangle folk garage rock sound. It certainly had the potential to become a hit. So far I have not found any information of where the band might have hailed from. It is a mystery. I'm hoping that someone might have information/ knowledge about the group that would help to better remember them.
                                                          Bob London and the Bobbies - Times in my Life

                                                    Bob London and the Bobbies - Don't know where to start

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bill Poe (Dean)

I was reading various stories recently about the Vietnam war and the people who fought in that conflict. When I was growing up in the 1960's the war was on the TV most every night. It was on everyone's mind. My friend Joe served and was severely injured in 1968. Although missing half a leg from those injuries he has rode motorcycles for years. Last year Joe took a long road trip on his motorcycle to encourage and support other disabled Veterans. He is an amazing person. I say all this because it leads to the latest record posted on the blog. In 1967 Bill Poe from Martinsville, Indiana wrote and recorded the song "Twenty Brave Men". The song was released on the Dean record label. It is a powerful and haunting ballad about war.To say the Vietnam War had an impact on the music scene in the 1960's would be an understatement. I hope you enjoy the record.
                                                                           Bill Poe- Twenty Brave Men