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Posts from April 2014
by JR posted Apr 30 2014 6:31PM
It's about time for a road trip! I need one I don't know about you. What better place to go when it's warming up than a good old fashioned Texas swimming hole. So turn on your GPS and Let's get going! Here are the ten best via Yes To Texas







1. Balmorhea State Park – Balmorhea, TX

2. Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, TX

3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX

4. Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX

5. Barton Springs – Austin, TX

6. Devil’s Waterhole – West of Burnet, TX

7. Blanco State Park – Blanco, TX

8. Las Moras Pool, Fort Clark Springs – Brackettville, TX

9. Garner State Park – Concan, TX

10. City Tube Chute – New Braunfels, TX


Find out more about each of these amazing swimming holes at Yes To Texas

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People : Barton Springs
by JR posted Apr 29 2014 3:12PM
Like many people, I will talk to my un-named roommate. I call her a roommate, because after several conversations, she has made it clear to me that I live “..WITH HER” not the other way around. In these conversations, sometimes we get to arguing. Or I get to arguing. I’m not sure how this works now exactly.


See Conversations With My Cat Pt. 1 Here

Be friends with my cat on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/JRsCat

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by JR posted Apr 24 2014 2:36PM
Start with Part One, here

J.R. here again, with Part Seven of Sky Corbin's account of the years when Waylon Jennings was at KLLL. When I talked with Sky on the phone a couple of years ago, he still seemed sad at this part of the story. Dealing with the loss of a friend like Buddy must have been one thing. Having supposed to have been on that plane like Waylon was, must have been a heavy cross to bear in the years that followed for Waylon. We are nearing the end of Waylon's Tenure at KLLL. Here is Sky with Part Seven-@JRKLLL

After the loss of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. (Big Bopper) Richardson in the tragic Iowa plane crash in the early morning hours of February 3rd, 1959, the booking agency in New York pleaded with Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup to continue the tour as "The Crickets". (drummer Charlie Bunch had dropped out earlier after suffering frost-bite on the poorly heated touring bus.) According to Waylon, HE just wanted to go home and "forget it". Not only was he distraught over the loss of Buddy...and tired and cold...but he knew that he and Allsup WERE NOT the Crickets. Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin, two of the original group, owned the name, as per their agreement with Buddy Holly when he left the group. The booking agency, against Buddy's wishes, and without his advance knowledge, had advertised his new act as "Buddy Holly And the Crickets", and it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to change all the advance advertising and already-printed promo material, so, for that tour, it stood. In a scramble to save the remaining dates on the Winter Dance Party tour, auditions were held in the Fargo area (Holly fan and sound-alike Bobby Vee was thus discovered) and several known rock and roll acts were sent by the agency...and, after serving as Pall-bearers at Buddy's funeral, the "real" Crickets, Jerry, Joe B. and new member Sonny Curtis claimed their rights as the real, legal Crickets, finishing the tour, which was fine with Jennings and Allsup. According to Waylon, when it came time for him and Allsup to settle with the agency, the firm wanted to settle with them for only what they had been receiving as backup for Buddy, though using them as headliners.

Waylon was soon back home in Littlefield and unemployed, after just two weeks as a traveling rock and roll musician. At KLLL, Lubbock, we didn't really need another deejay. Waylon had been replaced. But, because he needed the job...because I had started the chain of events that led to his quitting to go on tour with Buddy Holly, and encouraged it...and we'd had a "tacit/maybe" understanding...and because we thought his experiences would make him an even more interesting air-personality...and he was almost family, he was re-hired and squeezed into the schedule, and onto the payroll.

I don't recall Waylon's talking much on the air about Buddy's death...or the tour. If he did, it was minimal..which was fine with me. Using Buddy for KLLL's promotional benefit would not have been the thing to do. Waylon was different, though. He'd been to New York, he'd toured with Buddy Holly and other famous entertainers and now he was back to being just another small-time deejay in an isolated West Texas medium market He was always one to bend the rules, and soon he and I began to have problems, small things such as his reluctance to follow the format..including music programming violations...and talking too much...usually about nothing which made much sense or was of interest. He'd talk himself into a corner, then say, "Oh, well..." and start a record. We were attempting to run a sharp, tight, format like the big-time pop stations, but with country and rockabilly music. Chatting more than l5 or 20 seconds about nothing just didn't get it. More than once, I called him into my office after his show and gave him a "bad review"...but soon we'd adjourn to the coffee shop like pals...maybe even toss around ideas for a song.

Soon after his return, I, while giving him a ride to pick up his car, told him I had a great title for a "Roger Miller type song". (We were very fond of George Jones' s record of Miller's ":Big Harlan Taylor".) My idea was to use the title of an old radio soap opera Called "Young Widow Brown". I suggested we both do some thinking on it and try to write it the next day. The following afternoon, we got together in the production room...he with the guitar, me with pen and paper. The song almost wrote itself as we had a good time and laughed at our own cleverness. The song was my idea and I probably wrote 75% of the lyrics...but the "Salvation Army" rhythm on the chorus and his line "That woman, she's crazy, if she thinks that I'll just keep on a-hangin' around" was 'the hook'...then I believe I suggested....."I'd leave in a minute...except for one thang...that one thang is young widow Brown." Waylon said "That's it! That's it!" And so it went for perhaps 20 minutes and then it was committed to tape and I typed it up. It wasn't Shakespeare or even Irving Berlin, but it was close to Roger Miller, and we thought we had something.


Everyone with interest in music who came near KLLL during the next couple of weeks was almost forced to listen to the song...including the friendly Columbia records rep from Ft. Worth, O. B. (Woody) Woodard. Woody had been in radio, then record distribution, for many years. He knew his stuff, knew some of the people AND had a little "back-pocket" music firm on the side, Heart of the Hills Publishing. He loved the song and asked if he could have the publishing rights. I told him he could, IF he could place it...maybe with George Jones...but Woody didn't get the song to Jones. Starday artist Frankie Miller (no relation to Roger) of Ft. Worth was actually almost as hot at that point in time as Jones. Frankie had hit big with "Blackland Farmer", "Baby Rocked Her Dolly" and one or two others in the previous year or so. He loved our song, Woody said, and wanted to do it for his next record. We would have preferred Jones, but...a bird in the hand...a hot artist...We agreed and signed the contract with Heart of the Hills..





Starday slipped back into it's old ways with Frankie's recording of our "masterpiece"....only fair sound quality, poor arrangement, much too slow. Apparently the producer didn't understand that it was a rowdy, humorous song and had Frankie sing it as though it was a tear-jerker.


The record did make the top 10 on the national charts, but was Frankie's poorest showing of his past 3 or 4 records...several years later, when he and I appeared on a show together at Floydada, not far from Lubbock, Frankie apologized for "ruining yours and Waylon's song." I said, "Maybe We should apologize for ruining your career!" It WAS Waylon Jennings first taste of success in the music business. At about this same time, with his Holly-produced tapes of "Jole Blon" and "When Sin Stops" accepted by Brunswick records (for whom the Crickets had recorded), the company sent a contract, which Waylon signed at my desk with my brother and partner Ray "Slim" Corbin and me leaning over his shoulders as we all posed for the camera. Had Waylon found success in the "music bidness"? Not by a long shot! Waylon faced more "character-shaping" trials and tribulations (many self-induced) on the road to fame..and George Jones (unknowingly) would be a factor in Waylon's being invited to leave KLLL.



(Posted With Permission)
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by JR posted Apr 17 2014 3:42PM
Start at the beginning here: Part One

Well, we've reached the point in the story we all knew was coming, but it's sad again all the same. Here is Sky, with Part Six, The Day The Music Died-@JRKLLL


At KLLL, Lubbock, to the best of my recollection, we didn't hear directly from Waylon Jennings or Buddy Holly during the month of January, 1959...except for the brief good-byes in my office on January lst as they prepared to leave for "Noo Yawk City". We filled Waylon's deejay slot with Terry Belyeu (pronounced Ballew) my buddy and fellow deejay from early '57 at KLVT, Levelland. It was he who had brought Waylon to my attention almost two years earlier. We missed Waylon, though Terry did a fine job. He'd been working at a Lubbock pop station the previous year or so and was a much smoother, more professional deejay than Waylon...but not as colorful and unpredictable. The weekly 15 minute program broadcast from Morris Fruit and Vegetable Market which Waylon had been doing with "Hi-Pockets" Duncan, and on which Buddy had guested, continued with my brother and partner, Ray "Slim" Corbin doing the singing accompanied by his own rhythm guitar as Waylon had done. "Slim's" music, like Terry's deejaying, was actually technically better than Waylon's.. but maybe not quite as interesting. Waylon said, even after he hit the top, "Slim taught me to sing, man!". That was an exaggeration, but Waylon did manage to sound very much like "Slim" on many of his biggest records, which probably hampered "Slim's" own quest for stardom, as Monument, and then Columbia recording artist Ray Corbin in the late 60's and early 70's. I believe Buddy's Dad, L.O. Holley, who was a frequent coffee or lunch companion, probably gave us a status report on "Our Men in New York".

February 3, l959...THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED....began as just another morning at KLLL. At 11:l5, a record ended and I told my audience something like "Let's go out to Morris Fruit and Vegetable Market, where "Slim" and Hi-Pockets are waiting with a few songs and a lot of exciting news from the wonderful world of fruits and vegetables (and, borrowing a phrase from the Grand Ol' Opry) Let 'er go boys, let 'er go!" "Slim" and his guitar came on strong with one of our home-made jingles, "From th' garden spots around th' world, right into your home...at Morris Fruit and Vegetable, you just can't go wrong...." And he probably followed with his perfect imitation of the famous hillbilly laugh made famous by Ferlin Husky's alter-ego Simon Crum, whom the older fans will remember.) Hi-Pockets came on with his commercial pitch and invitation to the public to "Come on down!"   I was now at liberty to leave my chair between the turntables and in front of the mixing console, stretch my legs... maybe go down the hall to the "little boys' room"...check with the secretary/receptionist to see if I had any important phone calls, check the UPI teletype to see if there was any hot news...The first headline I saw as I rolled the newscopy from the machine...ROCK AND ROLL STARS DEAD IN IOWA PLANE CRASH. and my heart pounded and my knees went weak as I read the item. "Buddy Holly and his band died early this morning when their small plane crashed soon after taking off from Clear Lake, Iowa..."


Reluctantly returning to the control room and my microphone, I did my duty. I interrupted the broadcast from Morris Fruit and Vegetable. "Slim...Hi-Pockets...I'm very sorry to break in, but I have something here
that won't wait. Brace yourselves for some sad news." And I read the item just as it had come over the wire. There was a few seconds of silence, and, Hi asked, "Sky, did we lose Buddy AND Waylon?" "Is Waylon's name in the story?", Slim inquired. I said, "No, Waylon's name is not mentioned, but it DOES say "Buddy Holly and his band...so...I would assume Buddy and Waylon are both gone."   "Well, we can't continue this program, Sky, so we're coming back to the station", Hi said. Buddy's death had just been announced on the little radio show on which he had sung...for a Coke...just a month or so earlier.And Waylon's demise had just (erroneously) been announced on the same show...on which he'd been a regular for the past few months. But, that's not the end of my part of that unforgettable day.

The phones were "ringing off the wall". Apparently we were the first station to broadcast the tragic news. We may have been the only UPI station in town at that time, and A. P. may not have released it yet. The Secretary commented that we certainly have a lot of listeners...and they were all calling. The local newspaper and several other radio stations called, too. Then, about two hours after I'd broken the news, the secretary/receptionist came to the control room window and motioned for me to pick up the phone.
And she had a big smile on her face...which I thought strange under the circumstances. "Sky, this is Waylon", said the subdued voice on the phone. Being a deejay, I responded with, "Waylon, WHERE are you callin' from?!" "Fargo, North Dakota. We lost Buddy, but I'm okay. The Bopper talked me out of my seat on the plane. He was about sick and was uncomfortable on that cold, crummy bus. I was havin' a good time keepin' warm singin' Hank Williams songs for Dion and the Belmonts...and I'm about half afraid of flyin', so....anyway, Mom heard you read that on the air and thought I was dead until I called Littlefield just a few minutes ago." I was stunned and very embarrassed...and more than a little angry. It is, of course, standard procedure for news of a death to be held until the families have been notified. I assumed this had been done, else it wouldn't have been on the teletype. That was, and is, a responsibility of the authorities. It had been about l0 hours since the crash and several hours since the plane and the bodies had been found. I, of course, apologized and Waylon assured me that his family would understand. We lost no time letting the listeners know that Waylon had NOT been on the fatal flight. I believe I talked to him on the air, but I'm not certain. As most music fans know, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. (Big Bopper) Richardson and the young Iowa pilot had been the actual victims of the crash. Valens had ended up with the seat originally intended for Buddy's guitar player, Tommy Allsup. 

A few minutes later, "Slim" said, "Sky, we ought to go and extend our condolences to the Holleys". I agreed, but I surely did dread it, as did "Slim". To lose a son would be a crushing blow under any circumstances, and the Holleys were very proud and supportive of their famous, talented son and
his music. When we arrived, not surprisingly, there were several cars in the driveway and along the street. Already there were Jerry (J. I.) Allison and Joe B. Mauldin (the Crickets) with whom Buddy had split, but they were still friends; Sonny Curtis, one of Buddy's musician friends, then a new member of the Crickets; the Holley's pastor, Dr. Ben Johnson of the Tabernacle Baptist Church, and a few others. We were greeted warmly. Mrs. Holley (Ella) said something about how helpful it was to have the support of Buddy's friends. Then she turned to me and quietly asked, "Sky, do you know how we heard about Buddy?" Nodding toward Dr. Johnson, I said, "I would assume and hope your Pastor came and told you." But I had a sudden sinking feeling. "We were just about to leave for the grocery store", she said "I was in the car and I told Lawrence that we'd left the radio on. He went back in and had just reached for the off-button when he heard you say you had some bad news. He waited and heard it, and came out to the car and told me."   "Oh no!", I said. "I know Waylon's folks got the word from me, but it really never entered my mind that YOU hadn't been notified either! I'm so sorry!" Mr. Holly said, "Oh, that's all right, Sky, don't worry about it." Mrs. Holly said, "We had just as soon hear it from you...one of Buddy's friends...as anyone." It was amazing and a relief to see how composed and in-control they were that afternoon.

Some fans may wonder about my account, since a version attributed to Mrs. Holly has a friend calling to ask her why all the stations were playing Buddy's records and Mrs. Holly's turning on the radio and hearing the tragic news. If Mrs. Holly told the story that way, she must have been relating a dream. I have also been told that a well-known deejay who was in Lubbock then (at another station) cast himself in my role during a broadcast in a different city years later. Fact is, in Lubbock, Texas in 1959, out of respect for Buddy and his family, any station or individual deejay who played even one of Buddy's recordings that day after the news came out would have been accused of bad taste and worse manners. Believe it or not, that's the way it was back then. I'm almost positive none of the Lubbock radio stations were playing Buddy's records that day...not after 11:30!

At KLLL, we held Buddy's records until after the funeral. Then we played them a lot. He'd strongly supported KLLL during the few months we'd been operating the station. We didn't play promotional jingles touting KLLL again for years.


During his last trip home, we'd talked to Buddy about doing a show in Lubbock. He had done none since his ascent to stardom. He didn't believe he could pull an auditorium crowd in his home town. We convinced him that, if he did bomb in his home town, he surely wouldn't be the first. We'd add to the show the other young local talent (Sonny Curtis, Terry Noland, Jimmie Peters and the Four Teens, Niki Sullivan, Hope Griffith, and of course Waylon) who had made records, and we'd have a great time and spotlight the young "stars" whether we had a big crowd or not. "Okay! We'll do it early next summer!", he promised. I've always wondered how the show would have done.   The old adage, "A prophet is without honor in his own country" certainly applies to entertainers. Ask almost any of them. You must become a super star before you're a minor star at home, in most cases. Buddy's frequent presence in Lubbock in l958 at the peak of his career caused little or no excitement, no newspaper or TV interviews, and, though his funeral in l959 was well-attended, it was not the huge event one would assume. He was just a "local boy doing pretty good in the music business." I'm certain no fans requested an autograph or approached him during our coffee breaks and lunches at the Top of the Plains Restaurant down the hall from KLLL, or the bowling alley or other places we went. But, come to think of it, I can remember drinking coffee or eating lunch at the restaurant with many celebrities, and very rarely did anyone approach our table or even acknowledge Jimmy Dean, Charley Pride, the Everly Brothers, Bob Wills, Webb Pierce, etc etc. Lubbock was that kinda town...cool,calm and collected and hard to "shake up", though almost everyone in the area loved country and rock-and-roll music.   In fact, several top artists FROM OTHER PLACES enjoyed much of their early success in the Lubbock area, but no local talent..

And, being a "local yokel", it would be at least a decade into his major-label career before WAYLON could pull a crowd in Lubbock. More about that later.


-Buddy Holly's funeral was held on February 7, 1959, at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Lubbock.

(Posted With Permission)

Click Here for Part Seven
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by JR posted Apr 16 2014 3:19PM

Part Four
Part Three
Part Two
Part One


I've always thought I was born about twenty years too late. Reading Sky's story the past few days makes me wonder if I should make that 30-40 years late. Making me old enough to appreciate who they were when they were. If you've been keeping up with the story, we are getting closer and closer to the "Day The Music Died," but first, Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly have to get going out of Lubbock. Here's Sky Corbin with Part Five. -@JRKLLL

The day of Waylon Jennings' first recording session, in September '58 at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico, was historic in more ways than one. Not only was it Buddy Holly's final Clovis session, and the beginning of Waylon's professional recording career, but, coincidentally, later that day, or perhaps that night, Charlie Phillips recorded the first version of his composition, "Sugartime". Charlie's record was a moderate success, but The McGuire Sisters later made the song a classic. "Old-pro" bass player George Atwood performed on Waylon's songs, Phillips' numbers, and two songs which Buddy Holly recorded himself (in addition to producing and playing guitar on Waylon's sides) and, as mentioned earlier, King Curtis, the world's hottest rock and roll sax player was on hand, all the way from NooYawk City!

According to Waylon, Norman was obviously not happy about Buddy getting into producing, and was not helpful or encouraging to Waylon. "I felt like an illegitimate child at a family reunion!" he said. (in those approximate words) Petty's attitude was, to some extent, understandable, He was the one with the money, know-how and reputation invested in the studio, the one who had produced and recorded hits on Buddy Holly and the Crickets after Nashville was unable to do so. In addition to Buddy and the Crickets, The Norman Petty Trio, an easy-listening instrumental act, had recorded some hits of their own, most notably "Almost Paradise" and "Mood Indigo". Things were happening, and now, after only a year or so, his biggest act, Buddy Holly, was producing records himself and planning to open his own studio in
Lubbock, drawing basically from the same pool of West Texas and eastern New Mexico talent. (Buddy's next session would be in New York with Dick Jacobs producing and leading the orchestra).   



When Buddy played the demo tape of Waylon's "Jole Blon" and the "flip" side, a thing called "When Sin Stops" (Love Begins") for us at KLLL, my brother "Slim" and I were not impressed, thrilled or optimistic. Producing a hit record is not as easy as the layman might assume. A talented artist recording a fine song can come up with a bomb...or a poor-to-mediocre artist singing garbage can come up with a smash. (Haven't we all heard plenty of those?!) Recording, in 1958, was still mostly one-track. The countless re-dubs and re-mixes done today were not practical...or even possible. When we had heard the tapes, all we could say was something like "Well, it's different. The radio stations and the public will have the say-so when it's released." Actually, Buddy's own performances during this record session also failed to produce anything notable. As we "cowboys" say, "Some days it just don't pay to saddle up!"

One morning during this period, the last weeks of '58, Buddy accompanied Waylon and fellow deejay Hi-Pockets Duncan to Morris Fruit and Vegetable Market, a modest grocery store in east Lubbock. Hi and Waylon made the visit every Tuesday morning to tell the radio audience about the current food specials. Hi emceed and did the advertising while Waylon, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar, would sing a couple of songs...or more if time permitted on the 15 minute program. On this "momentous occasion", Buddy Holly, internationally known recording star, sang a song and harmonized with Waylon on the bluegrass favorite "Salty Dog Blues" When the program was over, Morris shook Buddy's hand and thanked him for coming out. Hi said, "Morris, Buddy gets at least a thousand bucks anytime he sings even one song. I suppose you'd take a check, wouldn't you, Buddy?" According to Hi, Morris turned pale, then red, and sputtered, "My God, Hi-Pockets, you should have checked with me first! You know I can't afford a lick like that!" Fortunately, the ensuing laughter made Morris realize he'd "been had"...though not financially. Buddy settled for a soda pop.


Waylon continued to deejay at KLLL while waiting for his job with Buddy to begin. Trying desperately to learn to play the new electric bass Buddy had presented him with, Waylon discovered that the four strings on a bass were the same as the strings on a guitar, and he was making some progress. Buddy and his wife, Maria Elena, were spending the holidays in Lubbock with Buddy's family. One morning (while I was doing my deejay show) Buddy, Waylon and Slim were in the production room nearby. Buddy was demonstrating some excellent new songs he had just written, or was still working on. "Help me with this one," he said. and began strumming and singing, "You're the one...and I wantcha to know..." Between the three of them, they rapidly knocked off a pretty nice little song, putting it on tape with Waylon and Slim accompanying Buddy and the guitar with some rather ragged goof-off hand-clapping for extra rhythm. After one quick run-through so they could remember the song. Buddy laid down the guitar and the three left for the coffee shop down the hall. Somehow the tape wound up in my desk for safekeeping, and was almost forgotten, even by me, until Buddy's Dad asked me about two years later if there was anything at the station that Buddy had recorded.   I'm glad I saved that tape "for sentimental reasons."

Unfortunately, another tape made that month disappeared. It featured Buddy, Waylon, Sonny Curtis and Ray "Slim" Corbin having a great time singing harmony, and, as I recall, each taking a solo on "Salty Dog Blues"...a favorite of the young Lubbock musicians at the time. That would be something to hear now 44 years later! (Only Sonny survives of that fearsome foursome.)

On New Years Day, I was doing some paperwork in my office. The station was deserted except for me and the deejay who was on the air. Buddy and Waylon came in. Waylon wanted to pick up his guitar and a few other personal effects. He, presumably, had wound up his deejay days at KLLL, though there was a tacit understanding that he might be rehired if the music thing didn't work out...or he might do some fill-in when he wasn't on tour. On the way out, they came to my office door. (And I remember as if it were last month) "Well, 'Sky', we're off!", Buddy said, with a wave. I responded with my usual "brilliant wit", "Of course you're OFF! You're musicians, aren't you?" Buddy said, "You've got a point there!" I told Buddy, "Take care of our boy." Buddy's response (ironically) was, "Hunh! HE may have to take care of ME! See you about the middle of February. We gotta go make some money!"

That was the last time I'd see Buddy, but certainly not Waylon. HE'D be back...


(Posted With Persmission)

Read Part Six Here

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