Sunday, February 08, 2009

Buddy Holly - The Complete Buddy Holly

Label: Purple Chick, PC-91-100

Volume 1:
01. My Two Timin' Woman
02. I'll Just Pretend
03. Take These Shackles From My Heart
04. Footprints In The Snow

05. Gotta Get You Near Me Blues
06. Flower Of My Heart*
07. Door To My Heart*
08. I Gambled My Heart*
09. Soft Place In My Heart*
10. Gotta Get You Near Me Blues*

August 1955
11. You and I Are Through
12. Memories
13. You and I Are Through*
14. Baby It's Love*
15. Memories*
16. Queen Of The Ballroom*

Late 1955
17. Baby Let's Play House
18. Down The Line
19. Baby Let's Play House*
20. Down The Line*

December 7, 1955
21. Moonlight Baby
22. I Guess I Was A Fool
23. Don't Come Back Knockin'
24. Love Me

January 26, 1956
25. Love Me
26. Don't Come Back Knockin'
27. Midnight Shift
28. Blue Days, Black Nights

February-April 1956
29. Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight
30. I Guess I Was Just A Fool
31. It's Not My Fault
32. I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down
33. Changin' All Those Changes
34. Rock-A-Bye Rock
35. Because I Love You

* = overdubbed versions

Volume 2:
01. Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight
02. Because I Love You
03. Changin' All Those Changes
04. I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down
05. It's Not My Fault
06. Rock-A-Bye Rock

July 22, 1956
07. Rock Around With Ollie Vee (fragment)
08. Rock Around With Ollie Vee
09. I'm Changin' All Those Changes (fragment)
10. I'm Changin' All Those Changes
11. That'll Be The Day
12. Girl On My Mind
13. Ting-A-Ling

November 15, 1956
14. Rock Around With Ollie Vee
15. Modern Don Juan
16. You're My One Desire (false start)
17. You're My One Desire

November-December 1956
18. Gone (version 1)
19. Gone (version 2)
20. Gone (version 3)
21. Have You Ever Been Lonely (version 1)
22. Have You Ever Been Lonely (version 2)
23. Have You Ever Been Lonley (version 3)
24. Have You Ever Been Lonely (version 4)
25. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
26. Good Rockin' Tonight
27. Rip It Up
28. Blue Monday
29. Honky Tonk
30. Blue Suede Shoes
31. Shake, Rattle, and Roll
32. Bo Diddley
33. Ain't Got No Home
34. Holly Hop
35. Gone (version 3)*
36. Rip It Up*
37. Honky Tonk*
38. Blue Suede Shoes*
39. Shake, Rattle, and Roll*
40. Have You Ever Been Lonely (version 1)*
41. Good Rockin' Tonight*
42. Blue Monday*
43. Ain't Got No Home*
44. Holly Hop*

* = overdubbed versions

Volume 3:
December 1956-January 1957
01. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
02. Bo-Diddley
03. Brown-Eyed Handsome Man*
04. Bo Diddley*

February 25, 1957
05. I'm Looking For Someone To Love
06. That'll Be The Day

March 12, 1957
07. Last Night (undubbed)
08. Maybe Baby
09. Words Of Love
10. Last Night (master)
11. Maybe Baby*

April 8, 1957
12. Words Of Love
13. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues
14. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues*

May 29, 1957
15. Not Fade Away (incomplete alternate)
16. Not Fade Away (master)
17. Everyday

May-July 1957
18. Ready Teddy
19. Valley Of Tears
20. Tell Me How

June 30, 1957
21. Peggy Sue (alternate)
22. Peggy Sue (master)
23. Listen To Me
24. That'll Be The Day - Bob Thiele
25. That'll Be The Day - Murray Deutch
26. That'll Be The Day - Bill Randall
27. Oh Boy (undubbed)
28. Oh Boy (master)

July 1, 1957
29. I'm Gonna Love You Too

July 20, 1957
30. Send Me Some Loving (undubbed)
31. It's Too Late (undubbed)
32. Send Me Some Loving (master)
33. It's Too Late (master)

September 28-29, 1957
34. An Empty Cup (A Broken Date)
35. Rock Me My Baby
36. You've Got Love
37. Maybe Baby

Hightime - October 22, 1957
38. That'll Be The Day (fragment)

Ed Sullivan Show - December 1, 1957
39. That'll Be The Day
40. Peggy Sue
41. Interview With Ed Sullivan

* = overdubbed versions

Volume 4:
December 17, 1957
01. Little Baby
02. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care
03. Look At Me
04. Look At Me*

December 1957
05-08. Mona (rehearsal)

Arthur Murray Dance Party - December 29, 1957
09. Peggy Sue

January 25, 1958
10. Rave On
11. That's My Desire (rehearsal)
12. That's My Desire (take 1)
13. That's My Desire (take 2)
14. That's My Desire (take 3)
15. That's My Desire (take 3)*

Ed Sullivan Show - January 26, 1958
16. Oh Boy

February 12, 1958
17. Well...Alright

february 14, 1958
18. Take Your Time (take 1)
19. Take Your Time (take 2)
20. Take Your Time (take 3)
21. Take Your Time (take 4)
22. Fool's Paradise (take 1)
23. Fool's Paradise (take 2)
24. Fool's Paradise (take 3)
25. Think It Over (take 1)
26. Think It Over (take 2)
27. Think It Over (take 3)
28. Think It Over (take 4)
29. Think It Over (take 5)
30. Fool's Paradise (take 3 - master)
31. Think It Over (take 5 - master)

Big Gold Record Stars Show - February 24, 1958
32. That'll Be The Day (fragment)
33. Everyday (fragment)
34. Drown In My Own Tears (fragment)
35. Hallelujah, I Love Her So (fragment)

London Palladium - March 2, 1958
36. That'll Be The Day
37. Peggy Sue
38. Oh Boy

BBC TV - March 14, 1958
39. Maybe Baby (fragment)

May 25, 1958
40. Heartbeat
41. Lonesome Tears
42. It's So Easy

June 2, 1958
43. Love's Made A Fool Of You
44. Wishing
45. Love's Made A Fool Of You*
46. Wishing*

* = overdubbed versions

Volume 5:
June 19, 1958
01. Early In The Morning
02. Now We're One (fragment)
03. Now We're One

September 1, 1958
04. Everyday KLLL Jingle
05. Everyday KLLL Jingle

September 10, 1958
06. Come Back Baby
07. Reminiscing
08. Reminiscing*

October 21, 1958
09. True Love Ways (stereo)
10. It Doesn't Matter Anymore (stereo)
11. Raining In MY Heart (stereo)
12. Moondreams (stereo)
13. True Love Ways (mono)
14. It Doesn't Matter Anymore (mono)
15. Raining In My Heart (mono)
16. Moondreams (mono)

December 3, 1958
17. That's What They Say (version 1)
18. That's What They Say (version 2)
19. What To Do

December 5, 1958
20. Peggy Sue Got Married

December 8, 1058
21. That Makes It Tough

December 14, 1958
22. Crying, Waiting, Hoping

December 17, 1958
23. Learning The Game

December 27, 1958
24. You're The One

January 1-20, 1959
25. Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie
26. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow #1)
27. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow #2)
28. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow #3)
29. Slippin' And Slidin' (fast)
30. Drown In My Own Tears (fragment)
31. Maria Elena
32. Dearest (version 1)
33. Dearest (version 2)
34. Love Is Strange
35. Smokey Joe's Cafe
36. Smokey Joe's Cafe (unedited)
37. Buddy's Guitar

* = overdubbed versions

Volume 6:
Jack Hansen's Overdubs
01. Peggy Sue Got Married
02. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
03. That's What They Say
04. What To Do
05. Learning The Game
06. That Makes It Tough

Norman Petty's Overdubs
07. What To Do
08. Peggy Sue Got Married
09. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
10. That makes It Tough
11. That's What They Say
12. Learning The Game
13. You're The One
14. Umm, Oh Yeah (Dearest)
15. Slippin' And Slidin' (slow #1)
16. Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie
17. Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie
18. Love Is Strange
19. Slippin' And Slidin' (fast)
20. Smokey Joe's Cafe

The Hollies' Overdubs
22. Peggy Sue Got Married

True Stereo Versions - For The First Time Anywhere!!
23. Got To Get You Near Me Blues
24. Memories
25. Baby Let's Play House
26. Last Night
27. Oh Boy
28. Send Me Some Loving
29. It's Too Late
30. That's My Desire
31. Fool's Paradise
32. Think It Over
33. Love's Made A Fool Of You
34. Wishing

Volume 7:
Jack Neal
01. I Saw The Moon Cry Last Night
02. I Hear The Lord Callin' For Me

Ben Hall
03. All From Loving You
04. Rose Of Monterey

Sonny Curtis
05. Because You Love Me
06. I'll Miss My Heart
07. Queen Of The Ballroom
08. This Bottle
09. Dallas Boogie
10. One In A Million

Gary Dale
11. Go Boy Go
12. Gone
13. Go Boy Go
14. Gone
15. The Golden Rocket
16. I Overlooked An Orchid

Jim Robinson
17. A Whole Lot Of Lovin' (take 1)
18. A Whole Lot Of Lovin' (take 2)
19. A Whole Lot Of Lovin' (take 3)
20. A Whole Lot Of Lovin' (take 3 - dubbed master)
21. It's A Wonderful Feeling

Jack Huddle
22. Starlight
23. Believe Me

Fred Crawford
24. By The Mission Wall

Jim Robinson
25. A Man From Texas

Sherry Davis
26. Broken Promises
27. Humble Heart

Gary Dale
28. Look To The Future
29. Honey Honey

Charlie Phillips
30. Sugartime (version 1)
31. Sugartime (version 2)
32. One Faded Rose (version 1)
33. One Faded Rose (version 2)

Volume 8:
The Norman Petty Trio
01. Moondreams (album version)
02. Moondreams (single version)
03. Moondreams (alternate version)

Rick Tucker
04. Don't Do Me This Way
05. Patty Baby
06. Don't Do Me This Way

07. Real Wild Child (take 1)
08. Real Wild Child (take 2)
09. Oh, You Beautiful Doll (take 1)
10. Oh, You Beautiful Doll (take 2)
11. Oh, You Beautiful Doll (take 2 - dubbed master)

Carolyn Hester
12. Scarlet Ribbons
13. Wreck Of The Old '97

Jerry Engler
14. I Sent You Roses
15. What A' You Gonna Do?

Waylon Jennings
16. When Sin Stops (take 1 - instrumental)
17. When Sin Stops (take 2 - instrumental)
18. When Sin Stops (take 3 - instrumental)
19. When Sin Stops (take 4 - vocal)
20. When Sin Stops (take 5 - vocal)
21. When Sin Stops (take 6 - vocal)
22. When Sin Stops (take 2 - dubbed master)
23. Jole Blon

Lou Giordano
24. Stay Close To Me (false start)
25. Stay Close To Me
26. Don't Cha Know

Waylon Jennings
27. More And More
28. When You Are Lonely

Harry Nilsson
28. My Best Friend (My Baby's Coming Home)
30. My Baby's Coming Home (dubbed)

31. I Know I'll Have The Blues Again

Sonny Curtis
32. Monetta

True Stereo Versions - For The First Time Anywhere!!
33. A Whole Lot Of Cryin' - Jim Robinson
34. Moondreams #1 - Norman Petty Trio
35. Moondreams #2 - Norman Petty trio
36. Oh, You Beautiful Doll - Ivan
37. When Sin Stops - Waylon Jennings

Volume 9:
Interviews and Promos
01. The Paul Cohen Phone Call
02. Bill Randle WERE promo
03. Bill Randle WERE promo
04. Don Passerby promo
05. Don Passerby promo
06. Don Passerby promo
07. Don Passerby promo
08. Red Robinson promo
09. Red Robinson interview
10. Freeman Hover interview
11. Freeman Hover promo
12. Dale Lowery interview
13. Pat Barton interview
14. Bob Chesney interview
15. Bob Chesney/WTRL promo
16. KYSD Wichita Falls promo
17. Dick Arlen WACK promo
18. Alan Freed interview
19. Ronnie King interview
20. Dick Clark interview
21. Big Bopper Winter Dance Party
22. Richie Valens Winter Dance Party
23. Buddy Holly Winter Dance Party
24. Newscast about the plane crash
25. WNOE plane crash newscast
26. Newscast about the plane crash
27. Ella and Lawrence Holley
28. Norman Petty Defends Himself

Alternate Stereo Mixes
29. Raining In My Heart (1959)
30. True Love Ways (1967)
31. It Doesn't Matter Anymore (1967)
32. Learning The Game (1967)

34. Not Fade Away (complete alternate)

Jack Hansen's overdubs in stereo for the first time
35. Peggy Sue Got Married
36. Crying, Waiting, Hoping

Buddy's Record Collection continued...
37. Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie - Bing Crosby
38. Slippin' And Slidin' - Little Richard
39. Deearest - Mickey and Sylvia
40. Love Is Strange - Mickey and Sylvia
41. Smokey Joe's Cafe - The Robins
42. Leave My Woman Alone - Ray Charles

Volume 10:
01. My Two Timin Woman - Hank Snow
02. I'll Just Pretend - Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers
03. Take These Shackles From My Heart - Pee Wee King
04. Footprints In The Snow - Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys
05. Baby, Let's Play House - Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill
06. Blue Days, Black Nights - Ben Hall, Weldon Myrick, Dena Hall
07. I Forgot To Remember To Forget - Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill
08. Ting A Ling - The Clovers
09. Gone - Ferlin Huskey
10. Have You Ever Been Lonely - Ernest Tubb
11. Brown-Eyed handsome Man - Chuck Berry
12. Good Rockin' Tonight - Elvis Presley
13. Rip It Up - Little Richard
14. Blue Monday - Fats Domino
15. Honky Tonk (Part I) - Bill Doggett
16. Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley
17. Shake, Rattle, and Roll - Elvis Presley
18. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
19. Ain't Got No Home - Clarence "Frogman" Henry
20. Ready Teddy - Little Richard
21. Valley Of Tears - Fats Domino
22. All Of My Love - Sonny West
23. Send Me Some Lovin' - Little Richard
24. It's Too Late - Chuck Willis
25. An Empty Cup - Roy Orbison and The Teen Kings
26. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care - Elvis Presley
27. Mona - Bo Diddley
28. Rave On - Sonny West
29. That's My Desire - Frankie Lane
30. Drown In My Own Tears - Ray Charles
31. Hallelujah! I Love Her So - Ray Charles
32. Early In The Morning - Bobby Darin
33. Now We're One - Bobby Darin

1 comment:

Johnny Hughes, author of Texas Poker Wisdom, a novel said...

Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Joe Ely, and the Cotton Club
by Johnny Hughes,
January 2009

Elvis Presley was leaning against his pink, 1954 Cadillac in front of Lubbock's historic Cotton Club. The small crowd were mesmerized by his great looks, cockiness, and charisma. He put on quite a show, doing nearly all the talking. Elvis bragged about his sexual conquests, using language you didn't hear around women. He said he'd been a truck driver six months earlier. Now he could have a new woman in each town. He told a story about being caught having sex in his back seat. An angry husband grabbed his wife by the ankles and pulled her out from under Elvis. I doubted that.
Earlier, at the Fair Park Coliseum, Elvis had signed girl's breasts, arms, foreheads, bras, and panties. No one had ever seen anything like it. We had met Elvis' first manager, Bob Neal, bass player, Bill Black, and guitarist Scotty Moore. They wanted us to bring some beer out to the Cotton Club. So we did. My meeting with Bob Neal in 1955 was to have great meaning in my future. I was 15.

The old scandal rag, Confidential, had a story about Elvis at the Cotton Club and the Fair Park Coliseum. It had a picture of the Cotton Club and told of Elvis' unique approach to autographing female body parts. It said he had taken two girls to Mackenzie Park for a tryst in his Cadillac.

Elvis did several shows in Lubbock during his first year on the road, in 1955. When he first came here, he made $75. His appearance in 1956 paid $4000. When he arrived in Lubbock, Bob Neal was his manager. By the end of the year, Colonel Tom Parker had taken over. Elvis played the Fair Park Coliseum for its opening on Jan. 6th, with a package show. When he played the Fair Park again, Feb. 13th, it was memorable. Colonel Tom Parker and Bob Neal were there. Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery were on the bill. Waylon Jennings was there. Elvis was 19. Buddy was 18.

Elvis' early shows in Lubbock were:
Jan 6th 1955, Fair Park Coliseum. Feb 13th. Fair Park, Cotton Club April 29 Cotton Club June 3: Johnson Connelly Pontiac with Buddy Holly, Fair Park October 11: Fair Park October 15: Cotton Club, April 10, 1956: Fair Park. Elvis probably played the Cotton Club on all of his Lubbock dates. He also spent time with Buddy Holly on all his Lubbock visits.

Buddy Holly was the boffo popular teenager of all time around Lubbock. The town loved him! He had his own radio show on Pappy Dave Stone's KDAV, first with Jack Neal, later with Bob Montgomery in his early teens. KDAV was the first all-country station in America. Buddy fronted Bill Haley, Marty Robbins, and groups that traveled through. Stone was an early mentor. Buddy first met Waylon Jennings at KDAV. Disk jockeys there included Waylon, Roger Miller, Bill Mack, later America's most famous country DJ, and country comedian Don Bowman. Bowman and Miller became the best known writers of funny country songs.

All these singer-songwriters recorded there, did live remotes with jingles, and wrote songs. Elvis went to KDAV to sing live and record the Clover's "Fool, Fool Fool" and Big Joe Turner's "Shake Rattle and Roll" on acetates. This radio station in now KRFE, 580 a.m., located at 66th and MLK, owned by Wade Wilkes. They welcome visitors. It has to be the only place that Elvis, Buddy, Waylon, and Bill Mack all recorded. Johnny Cash sang live there. Waylon and Buddy became great friends through radio. Ben Hall, another KDAV disc jockey and songwriter, filmed in color at the Fair Park Coliseum. This video shows Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis, Buddy and his friends.

Wade's dad, Big Ed Wilkes, owner of KDAV, managed country comedian, Jerry Clower, on MCA Records. He sent Joe Ely's demo tape to MCA. Bob Livingston also sent one of the tapes I gave him to MCA. This led to a contract. Pappy Dave Stone, the first owner of KDAV, helped Buddy get his record contract with Decca/MCA.

Another disc jockey at KDAV was Arlie Duff. He wrote the country classic, "Y'all Come." It has been recorded by nineteen well-known artists, including Bing Crosby. When Waylon Jennings and Don Bowman were hired by the Corbin brothers, Slim, Sky, and Larry, of KLLL, Buddy started to hang around there. They all did jingles, sang live, wrote songs, and recorded. Niki Sullivan, one of the original Crickets, was also a singing DJ at KLLL. Sky Corbin has an excellent book about this radio era and the intense competition between KLLL and KDAV. All the DJs had mottos. Sky Corbin's was "lover, fighter, wild horse rider, and a purty fair windmill man."

Don Bowman's motto was "come a foggin' cowboy." He'd make fun of the sponsors and get fired. We played poker together. He'd take breaks in the poker game to sing funny songs. I played poker with Buddy Holly before and after he got famous. He was incredibly polite and never had the big head. The nation only knew Buddy Holly for less than two years. He was the most famous guy around Lubbock from the age of fourteen.

Niki Sullivan, an original Cricket, and I had a singing duo as children. We cut little acetates in 1948. We also appeared several times on Bob Nash's kid talent show on KFYO. This was at the Tech Theatre. Buddy Holly and Charlene Hancock, Tommy's wife, also appeared on this show. Larry Holley, Buddy's brother, financed his early career, buying him a guitar and whatever else he needed. Buddy recorded twenty acetates at KDAV from 1953 until 1957. He also did a lot of recording at KLLL. Larry Holley said Niki was the most talented Cricket except Buddy. All of Buddy's band mates and all of Joe Ely's band mates were musicians as children.

Buddy and Elvis met at the Cotton Club. Buddy taught Elvis the lyrics to the Drifter's "Money Honey". After that, Buddy met Elvis on each of his Lubbock visits. I think Elvis went to the Cotton Club on every Lubbock appearance. When Elvis played a show at the Johnson Connelly Pontiac showroom, Mac Davis was there. I was too.

The last time Elvis played the Fair Park Coliseum on April 10,1956, he was as famous as it gets. Buddy Holly, Sonny Curtis, Jerry Allison, and Don Guess were a front act. They did two shows and played for over 10,000 people. Those wonderful I.G. Holmes photos, taken at several locations, usually show Buddy and his pals with Elvis. Lubbock had a population of 80,000 at the time. Elvis was still signing everything put in front of him. Not many people could have signing women as a hobby.
Many of the acetates recorded at KLLL and KDAV by Buddy and others were later released, many as bootlegs. When Buddy Holly recorded four songs at KDAV, the demo got him his first record contract. It wasn't just Lubbock radio that so supportive of Buddy Holly. The City of Lubbock hired him to play at teenage dances. He appeared at Lubbock High School assemblies and many other places in town.

Everyone in Lubbock cheered Buddy Holly on with his career. The newspaper reports were always positive. At one teenage gig, maybe at the Glassarama, there was only a small crowd. Some of us were doing the "dirty bop." The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal had photos the next day showing people with their eyes covered with a black strip. Sonny Curtis mentions that in his song, "The Real Buddy Holly Story." When Buddy Holly and the Crickets were on the Ed Sullivan show, the newspaper featured that. The whole town watched.

Buddy was fighting with his manager Norman Petty over money before he died. They were totally estranged. Larry Holley told me that Norman said to Buddy, "I'll see you dead before you get a penny." A few weeks later, Buddy was dead. When Buddy Holly died in a plane crash, it was headline news in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Over 1000 people attended the funeral on February 7, 1959. Buddy was only twenty-two years old. His widow, Maria Elena Holly, was too upset to attend. The pall bearers were all songwriters and musicians that had played with Buddy: Niki Sullivan, Jerry Allison, Joe B. Mauldin, Sonny Curtis, Bob Montgomery, and Phil Everly. Elvis was in the Army. He had Colonel Tom send a large wreath of yellow roses.
In 1976, I was managing the Joe Ely Band. They had recorded an as-yet -to-be-released album for MCA Records. I was in Nashville to meet with the MCA execs. They wanted Joe to get a booking contract and mentioned some unheard of two-man shops. Bob Neal, Elvis' first manager, had great success in talent managing and booking. He sold his agency to the William Morris Agency, the biggest booking agency in the world, and stayed on as president of the Nashville branch.

I called the William Morris Agency and explained to the secretary that I did indeed know Bob Neal, as we had met at the Cotton Club in Lubbock, Texas when he was Elvis' manager. He came right on the phone. I told him the Joe Ely Band played mostly the Cotton Club. He said that after loading up to leave there one night, a cowboy called Elvis over to his car and knocked him down. Elvis was in a rage. He made them drive all over Lubbock checking every open place, as they looked for the guy. Bob Neal invited me to come right over.

Bob Neal played that, now classic, demo tape from Caldwell Studios and offered a booking contract. We agreed on a big music city strategy: Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, London, and Austin. Bob drove me back to MCA and they could not believe our good fortune. The man had been instrumental in the careers of Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Johnny Rodriguez, and many others. The William Morris Agency sent the Joe Ely Band coast to coast and to Europe, first to front Merle Haggard, then on a second trip to front the Clash. The original Joe Ely Band were Lloyd Maines, Natalie's father, steel guitar, Jesse Taylor, electric guitar, Steve Keeton, drums, and Gregg Wright, bass. Ponty Bone, on accordion, joined a little later. The band did the shows and the recording. The recorded tunes were originals from Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

However, some of the William Morris bookings led to zig zag travel over long distances to so-called listening clubs. When I complained to Bob Neal, he'd recall the 300 dates Elvis played back in 1955. Four guys in Elvis' pink Cadillac. When Buddy made some money, he bought a pink Cadillac. Joe Ely bought a pristine, 1957 pink Cadillac that was much nicer than either of their pink Cadillacs.

When I'd hear from Bob Neal, it was very good news, especially the fantastic, uniformly-rave, album and performance reviews from newspapers and magazines everywhere. Time Magazine devoted a full page to Joe Ely. The earliest big rock critic to praise Joe Ely was Joe Nick Patoski, author of the definitive and critically-acclaimed Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. After one year, MCA was in turmoil. Big stars were leaving or filing lawsuits. We were told they might not re-new the option to make a second record. MCA regularly fired everyone we liked. Bob Neal thought the band should go to Los Angeles for a one-nighter.

He booked the Joe Ely Band into the best known club on the West Coast, the Palomino, owned by his dear pal, Tommy Thomas. We alerted other record companies. They drove back and forth to L.A. in a Dodge Van to play only one night. Robert Hilburn, the top rock critic for the Los Angeles Times, came with his date, Linda Ronstadt.

The Joe Ely Band loved to play music. They started on time, took short breaks, and played until someone made them stop. Robert Hilburn wrote that Ely could be, "the most important male singer to emerge in country music since the mid-60s crop of Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson." The long review with pictures took up the whole fine arts section of the biggest newspaper in the country. Hilburn praised each of the band individually. He was blown away when they just kept playing when the lights came on at closing time. After that, several major record companies were interested.

The last time I saw Bob Neal was at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco on February 22, 1979. Little Pete, a black drarf who was always around Stubb's Bar-B-Q, was traveling with the band. To open the show, Little Pete came out and announced, "Lubbock, Texas produces the Joe Ely Band!" Then he jumped off the elevated stage and Bo Billingsley, the giant roady, caught him. Bob Neal, the old showman that had seen it all, just loved that.

This comment originally appears on Anyone may make copies of this one article or post it on any web site. Thanks to Chris Oglesby and Larry Holley.

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