The Life and Times, Page 7
As Told to Dan Reddell
formed a band that played all over. I bought my first guitar off a bum on the street for $5, and then I got a Dobro for $25. I still have it.
Nobody paid us much money to play, but if we had a nickel for every drink we were offered, we'd have gotten rich.
One of our band members worked at the local Ford garage and they sponsored us on an experimental TV radio station called W6XIA in 1934. Television hadn't even come on the market, but the station also broadcast on the radio.
We were called the Oklahoma Night Riders; Joe Dunn, me, and J.D. Nixon, one of Gilbert's cousins that lived near us in Texas, and the guitar player that worked for the Ford company. After he died, we lost our sponsor and didn't broadcast anymore.
After we left, Cousin Herb and Buck Owens played on that station and later became very famous. We got fan mail from as far away as the state of Washington.
I've enjoyed playing that Dobro for the rest of my life. My kids and grandkids enjoyed the old songs I used to play in the band.
One song everyone always got a kick out of was called the Burglar Boy, which I learned from my wife, Dorothy. The words went like this:
I will sing you a song about a burglar boy who went to rob a house. While raising up the window, he crept in quite as a mouse.
He was thinking of all the money he would gain while under the bed he lay.
About nine o'clock he saw a sight that turned his whiskers gray.
About nine o'clock the old maid came, "I am so tired," said she.
While thinking everything was all right, never looked under the bed to see.
She took out her teeth and one glass eye, and the hair off the top of her head.
The burglar boy had seventeen fits when he looked from under the bed.
Well, the burglar boy crept out from there, he was a total wreck.
The old maid, being wide awake, she grabbed him around the neck.
She never screamed or hollered at all, she was just cool and calm.
"Thank God my prayers have been answered, for now I've got me a man!"
She pulled out her revolver, and to the burglar said, "Young man, you're going to marry me, or I'll blow off the top of your head."
Well, the burglar boy looked around the room, he saw no place to scoot.
He looked at her teeth and one glass eye, and said, "For God's sake, shoot!" CONTINUED...