I left Enid in 1957 headed for California with my friend and “local legend” Charley Allen, to see if I could make it as a singer. We made a stop in Woodward, OK to check out a local dance hall, and maybe have some fun. The band playing there was a very good western swing band, so Charley went up and asked if I could sit in and sing a song or two. They said NO, but Charley being Charley wouldn’t give up. They agreed to one song so I sang “Don’t Be Cruel”- an Elvis song. The place went nuts, so I sang another, then another. By the time I quit, I had sung 5 or 6 songs.
They offered me a job as the Rock and Roll singer in the band. So with Charley’s blessings, I said ‘YES’. The band was headed to California to do a tour with Country Music star Lefty Frizzel. So, in a month, Charley was watching me sing in a big night club in Riverside California. I traveled all over, living a dream, as I was getting paid to do what I loved to do: i.e. SING in front of a lot of people, and I was just 18. I ended up in Dodge City, Kansas.
Our band played a daily radio show and one day in the studio audience I saw 14 year old Barbara Israel. Two years later, we were married in Dodge City. My best friend Kent Simpson came up to be my best man. Other Enid friends attending including Pat McGugin, Stanley Hensler and Mike Duncan, to name a few. To say we had a party is putting it lightly. Barbara is still my biggest fan after 47 years and I am still singing, because that is what I do! Well tha [tha-tha-that’s all folks!!].