In 1964 the main thing I wanted was a go-cart, and I knew that's what I was going to get for Christmas. I new the racing season coming up I was going to get to start hot lapping a car, Al or Eddie's. I got a big surprise Christmas morning, it was a set of Kent drums. I think, to get my mind off racing, mama and daddy got me a set. It was a kick, snare and a cymbal, I really wanted a go-cart, but a set of drums was cool. I took um upstairs to my room and started playing them. I had a little record player up there that only played 45s,and I only had a few records, one of which was 'Last Date'. That's the song I learned to play drums on. I had been thinking about trying to get a bass guitar, later on after I got the go-cart. A good friend of my brother's and mine, Mike Lineberger got a bass for Christmas, and he was wanting a guitar, and life goes on. After a few weeks of practicing, we got together over at another friend's house. Victor Conwell play a little guitar and was a pretty good singer, and he had a great looking sister, Judy. That was the main reason I wanted to get him in the band, she was a 10.5 if you know what I’m saying. By early spring, we could play a couple of songs pretty good. So we decided to play on a friend's front porch, across the street from Victor's house on Hemingway . It came off O.K., it was a little cool and rainy. All and all, it felt good to play in front of people, we planned another outing a few weeks later, in Victor's back yard.
This time the weather was great, and we invited some friends. By the time we went through our songs, a lot of the kids that lived in the neighborhood were coming around. One of the main reasons I got more involved in music was about to happen. Just 6 months ago I was a very unpopular kid, I smoked cigarettes, talked bad, grease in my hair hoodlum. After we got through playing, the backyard was full of kids, everybody having fun. One of the most popular girls at school was there, Fran - and she was a good looking cheerleader. I had never talked to her, I was two years behind her in school. She came up to me and introduced me to her cousin. Somebody must have told her my name, she was looking me right in the eyes. I'm sure she could hear my knees knocking together, it was all I could do to talk to them. When she walked away with all her beauty, I told Mike, if music can open doors like that, it's for me. We knew we had to get a good guitar player. Victor couldn't do both very well, he was a good singer, but he would lose beat on guitar real bad when he started singing.
I really wanted to be in a band, but racing season had come and I wasn't going to have time. I had changed a little since the last time I had seen Al and Eddie, my hair was long and comb down in a Beatles cut. All a Beatles cut was, was box cut in the back in stead of duck tail and no grease. The first couple of races were cool, I knew I was fixing to get to drive. One afternoon on the way to the track Eddie said Al said if I didn't get my hair cut I couldn't ride with them any more. I could feel the blood coming up my legs to my head, it made me mad. When Eddie stop at the stop sign I got out, he ask what I was doing, I told him nobody was going to till me how to wear my hair. As bad as I hated it, I wasn't going to get to drive a race car. But on the good side, I had time to get in a band. I didn't go to races for over three years, music became my way of life.
Victor's mom came up with a friend of a friend, Larry Covington . I knew when he came in with a Country Gentleman he was going to be good, and he was. He was also a good singer too, so now we had some harmony and good guitar. Larry had 20 or so songs he wanted us to do. Almost over night it became his band, I didn't care as long as I was in it. We started working pretty hard on our sound and you could till it. Little did we know,with him came trouble.. Next story - The Arcels