E- Leven Cum Leaven
I started in the recording & songwriting business while a student at Eastern New Mexico U in Portales,NM,only 20 miles from Clovis where the Norman Petty Studio was located.During that time Buddy Holly & the Crickets,The Fireballs,Jimmy Gilmer with the Fireballs,Buddy Knox,Stringalongs,& others were recording there.I was in the Ivy Jives & we had releases on Jaro out of NY,a susidiary of Top Rank label,but no hit. I became friends with Larry Parks,who was the drummer on 'Only the Lonely',& had toured with Roy Orbison.Larry knew the people at Acuff-Rose in Nashville & we were able to get some songs we'd written cut through them.The Newbeats'Bread & Butter' was the biggest.'Hey O Daddy O' & 'Birds Are For The Bees' charted for them with Bob Finnicum being a 3rd writer on those.The Newbeats (Larry Henley w/Dean & Mark Mathis) also did 'Oh Girls' on their 'Run Baby Run' album (Parks,JT writers). Henley later co-wrote the immortal 'Wind Beneath My Wings' with Jeff Silbar.Parks & I produced the Sparkles for Hickory label with a real high point being a session at Bradley's Barn in N'vlle.The late great Wes Rose helped with production.'No Friend of Mine' came out of that session & is still around thanks to being on Rhino's Nuggets set which is now offered by another label. Gary P.Nunn('London Homesick Blues'/ACL theme) was with the Sparkles at that time. After writing for Acuff-Rose for 5 years I moved to Houston,performed there for a few years then left the 'city' for the four corners area of NM.There I taught guitar at San Juan College for several years & got to perform with some great players from the Albuquerque/Santa Fe & Durango,Colo. Area,not to forget the faculty & students at SJC.I now have a studio near Alto,NM,& spend most of my time on original music with some performing during summers.I owe 'the debt you can never repay' to the late most distinguished & greatly accomplished Mr.W.R.Wheeler,band director at Levelland,TX,who started me on trombone at age 8 & inspired me to pursue music.I played horn through my sophomore year in college at Schreiner Institute,Kerrville,TX,then the rock bug bit & I took up guitar.Eternal thanks to the Almighty for all of the above & for the gift of music we all share.