Archive for November, 2016

An Encore Presentation………………#116 (the 60’s)

November 10, 2016
  • Willie Nelson and Friends

    Willie Nelson and Friends

Larry Burns was a loner,  Gary,  Jerry and Glenn  could be addressed as a group when on the road,  but the Untouchables reed player was solitary.   Wichita Falls Texas playing host to the four nocturnal covenant musicians at J.M. Carson’s Golden Coral Club  on the Seymour Highway west of town.   J.M. the Club’s owner was noted as the older brother of the late country singer Little Joe Carson who came on the recording scene in 1950  at the age of 16.  Little Joe tragically killed in an automobile accident two years earlier in 1964.

J M Carson

When arriving in Wichita Falls the first order of business was to secure lodging  accommodations,  the band inquiring at a motel convenience not to far from the club,  but the expense was unacceptable to all but Larry, the three continuing the search for an inexpensive room for three nights of refuge.   Venturing back across town, reconnoitering a previous unexplored part of the bounded city, stumbling upon a four-story hotel in what appeared to be the warehouse district on 7th Street.    The hotel being located in a detrimental area, a block from the bustling railroad switching activity, Gary, Glenn and Jerry having no problem accepting lodging location.   The three discovering a room with a kitchenette for $18 a night, the encampments location and the unkempt furnishings were somewhat precarious, but considering the insignificant monetary detriment the trade-off was acceptable.   A reminder of their location was prevalent especially when attempting to sleep, the constant sound of the train whistles giving notice of the locations shuffling labor.   The daytime hours would find them at Weeks Park Public Golf Course with the exception of Larry,  golf clubs always a stellar traveling  companion for the three on extended out-of-town engagements and when not researching their location for  new booking resources,  an ongoing competitive game of  three-handed pinochle fulfilled their idle time.

7th St Apartment Hotel

7th St Apartment Hotel

Weeks Golf Course Wichita Falls Texas

Glenn by far was the largest in stature of the three, having the appearance of never missing a meal and was well over two hundred pounds of drumming exponent.   The group would budget their dietary expenditures to one festive charcuterie feast per day.   Wichita Falls entrusted a renown favorite luncheon buffet,  Steers Cafeteria,  the establishment providing all you can eat for one dollar,  a single meat entrée inclusive,  with drinks and desserts extra.   Glenn never-failing to amaze those in attendance of his comestible capacity and ability to digest a capacious amount of the cafeteria’s  dividend asset for his single  dollar investment.  Gary concluding,  he and Jerry,  the one hundred forty pounder’s were  less partakers of the cafeteria’s culinary volume,  off-setting Glenn’s intake,  thus establishing Steer’s a margin of profit.

As the name implied the Golden Corral Club was primarily dressed in western decor,  but the Untouchables enlivened a diversified spectrum to the satisfaction of the clientele,  evoking other musical penchant.   The Saturday night after twelve intermission,   the musicians departing the bandstand lingering with customers the crowd beginning to dwindle and with the final bandstand appearance about to commence Gary and Jerry noticing a sudden influx of patrons arriving.  A copious number beginning accumulating, Gary curious about the sudden arrival of so many people, discovering that the traveling Country Music Review featuring Nashville recording artists performed  at the Municipal Auditorium and had concluded their show and the influx was those desiring a night-cap.  J.M. recognizing and greeting a particular group, the band being informed that among those being seated were celebrities of the  auditorium program,  including  Charlie Walker,  Wade Ray, Hank Cochran and Willie Nelson.  Gary discovering that Marty Robbins,  Stonewall Jackson and Jeannie Sealy were also featured in the Country Music Review, but retired for the night after their performance.

Willie Nelson

Willie

A return to the bandstand,  the band ready to conclude the night’s performance  when J. M. approached and asked to tender an announcement.  Gary was astounded to notice the club had suddenly accrued a cardinal amount of customers, J.M. with mic in hand garnishing an introduction of the  celebrities.  Gary wasn’t as apt as Jerry in name recognition of the country musicians,  save celebrated ones who songs frequented the top forty charts.   The Au Courant of Charlie Walker and Wade Ray were unknown to him,  but he recognized the Willie Nelson credit,  because of his current country hits,  One In A Row and The Party’s Over.  With the introductions,  those in audience could be heard wanting the visitors to sit in.

Little Joe Carson

The country artists having been acquainted with J.M.’s late brother, obliging Little Joe’s memory for the applauding fans ascended the bandstand,  Gary noticing but not surprised that their instruments materialized.  The four inclusive members of the Untouchable somewhat taken back at the opportunity to perform with true stars of country music, especially Willie.  The country icons brief appearance concluding, the band finishing a memorable night, Gary mentioning to Jerry the unique adroitness of Willie’s playing ability,  Jerry’s remark was one of resolve, ” He has the worst timing of any singer or guitar player I have ever experience.”  Gary agreeing that it was unusual but also unprecedented, something that sets him aside from all the other up and coming country artist.

Autarchical Destination………………..#117 (the 60’s)

November 8, 2016
Tornado beginning to form

Tornado beginning to form

The weather forecast was for severe thunderstorms,  but that was hastily updated to a tornado watch.   Most Oklahoma City residents were unconcerned about the forecast as was Gary until the second television weather interruption.   A cloud rotation and possible tornado was reported southwest of the Oklahoma International Airport by radar and observers reported it was tracking Northeast and about to enter Oklahoma City.   Apparently Gary wasn’t the only person ascertaining  the announcement, venturing outdoors, discovering several neighbors standing in their yards all attentively looking southwest towards the airport at the presence of  the greenish bellowing  thunderheads. The lightnings audible rumble providing an indelible warning  announcing of their approach and below the towering ordained profusion, the omnibus horizontal layer indicating  a wall cloud.

Young Scott Willson

Gary wasn’t alone, his three-year old son Scott standing by his side bucking the gusting wind, a sense of trepidation was beginning to evolve with the enveloping rush of the oncoming storm.   Vigilance prevailing,  the two on  continuance watch  for  a sign of a funnel,  but to no avail.   Gary and young Scott eyes fixed westward towards May Ave, then a sudden gesture,  the wind gust changing the elements, scattering the air with debris,  the sudden crackling, popping sound of electrical discharge,  the whirling wind spreading  rubble,  gathering  momentum.  Gary turning to access his neighbors who have earlier joined him to watch the display,  discovering they had vanished, returning to the security of indoors.  For an instant, the turbulence paused,  the boy and his Dad standing alone,  a brief  hesitant  silence arresting the scene underscoring an aura of their solitude.   Taking Scott’s hand,  abandoning the  outdoor environment for the structured sanctuary of the house.  The aftermath of the brief storm was negligible,  the tornado fleetingly touching the ground on its traverse across Oklahoma City,  the nearest damage assessment,  the sudden removal of a Diary Bar structure at 38th and S. May Ave,  a distance of eight blocks.

A  far more compelling and damaging storm was the one prevailing within the band  Gary having recognized the clouds on the horizon and understood their catechetical consequence,  Larry Burns the clarinet and sax aficionado having left the band after a dispute over Glenn and Gary’s booking travel expenses and now the coming transpiration of Jerry Willis.  Jerry, the bands accomplished guitar and tenor sax mentor having succumbed to full-time employment with DEMCO (Drilling Equipment Manufacturing Company)  a prominent oil industry manufacturing complex as a machinist and with this full-time commitment  could only avail himself for weekend engagements.   Another inconvenience and the most distressing one,  drummer Glenn Froman, Gary’s close’s friend and confident, the person who introduced the pianist to the music profession would be returning to Indiana.

Glenn Froman returning to Indiana

Gary’s thoughts were collected, logic would reign,  prioritization would be in order,  consternation kept in check.  First things first, an inquiry to Del City Music’s proprietor, Bob Woods about the availability of drummers, Bob acknowledging he was aware of  a drummer named Dewey Moore looking for a job, having heard he was good but knowing him in name only.   A phone call, Gary arranging to meet Dewey at his trailer park residence in Midwest City.  On arrival Gary discovering the drummer had some forethought, having assembled his trap-set  for a percussion demonstration and his expertise would compliment the band, Gary taking notice of Dewey’s two large dogs, who wouldn’t compliment anyone.  The first engagement with the new drummer the was at the Officers Club at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, a two night engagement, the second night hosting an added feature,  a magician performing two thirty minute shows.   Dewey  introducing his wife Elayne, Gary confident he made the right decision in  hiring the Midwest City musician, his performance on the bandstand bearing witness.  The second obstacle to overcome still remained, a revision of the band schedule would have to be undertaken,  Jerry’s  availability limited to  weekends presented a major problem, either play only weekends or hire another guitar player.

The Untouchables playing their closing song, ‘That’s All’,  concluding their Weekend at the Broadway Club, in the basement expanse of the fourteen story Broadway Towers building on W. Main in Enid.     The band equipment packed into Gary’s car,  the Pianist and Jerry having agreed to retrieve Dewy who was riding with them and had left a little earlier, the Drummer saying he wanted accompany a waitress to her apartment, asking to be pick up at her place on their way out-of-town.  Address in hand the two arriving at the apartment, Gary announcing their arrival with a brief sounding of the horn, an expectation that the percussionist would appear, but after  waiting a reasonable time, the they decided to make an inquiry,  knocking on the door.   The door opening, both witnessing the waitress in a state of havoc, flustered and upset, screaming that Dewey had forced himself on her, physically attacking her.  Gary remained silent listening to the accusations and her exclamatory notice,  “that if he was ever in her presence again either here or at work,  she would notify the police and press charges of attempted rape”.  Upon leaving the scene, Gary was perplexed, the drummer was silent about the accusations and with the waitress’ indictment, the band scheduled to play the following weekend,  Gary left with no other alternative but to inform  Dewey George Moore  his services would no longer be needed.

( The headline 20 years later)

Jury Returns Guilty Verdict Midwest City Man Given Death in Girl’s Slaying

Published: Thu, September 12, 1985

Dewey George Moore, portrayed by his attorneys as a sick, tormented man unable to cope with his violent tendencies toward women, was convicted and sentenced to death plus 999 years in prison Wednesday for the murder of a 12 year-old Midwest City girl.

Moore, 49, was impassive as Oklahoma County District Judge James L. Gullett read the sentence, which was returned by a six-man, six-woman jury after 70 minutes of deliberation.

Uncomparable Chamberlin Rythmate

Incomparable Chamberlin Rhythmate,

It was a September day, the Oklahoma State Fair had arrived, Gary approached the Hammond Organ display in the large exposition building.  Seated at the console of the mammoth circular keyboard was Larry Flowers,  Gary well acquainted with  the Hammond Organ franchise dealer.   The displayed Hammond Organ, it’s boisterous sound augmenting the building structure with its tonal ascendancy.  Gary getting closer, noticing a familiar sound ,  the total rhythmic audio of a live  percussionist,  a drummer.   This was not the synthetic rhythm sound that normally accompanied an organ,  but the actual audio of a sideman, he could hear a snare,  a tom-tom, and bass drum,  high-hats and cymbals,  Gary was intrigued.  Larry volunteered,  pointing to what resembled a control box latched to  the side of the organ bench, explaining it was a Chamberlin Rhythmate,  providing continuous loop tape recordings of a live drummer.   Fourteen taped rhythms being performed, with three variations for each, a volume  and speed control producing the recordings, Latin,  Swing,  Shuffle,  Rock-n-roll,  Jazz,  the Waltz,  Two-step,  brushes and other rhythmic venues all-inclusive.  The discovery and exhibition of  the Chamberlin Rhythmate providing an insight to pianist admonition about the future and a possible solution to his dilemma.   The Pianist giving serious thought   maybe it was time to tailor his piano from the bandstand to a more congeal solitary format,  the piano bar.    Gary was hesitant, a decision to enter a new musical realm would be a major step,  the demanding exposition of a solo performer was a venue he had never experienced.

Interpreted Capriccio’s………………..#118 (the 60’s)

November 6, 2016
Sieber Hotel - Home to Bob and Jerrys Apartment Key Club

Sieber Hotel & Apartment Complex, home to Bob and Jerry’s Apartment Key Club

The accomplished half of the family, Gary’s wife Kaye,  making a reference to Gary’s inactivity following the demise of the band, although preparations for a musical change of venue had been discharged,  the securing of a Chamberlain Rhythmate, the invisible but audio percussionist would accompany Gary at the keyboard bass and piano.  Unbeknownst to his wife Kaye during her daily employment hours Gary had cultivated and compiling an impressionable piano consonance for his new solitary entertainment venue.  He realized a new professional pilgrimage would only come to fruition by acknowledging that first step.  The dormant musician finally taking the initiative calling  Ruth Sallee,  the agent not having any confirmed prospects, but hearing a rumor earlier that Jim Mullen who plays piano-bar at Apartment Key Club on N. Hudson was leaving.

  The evening hour finding the musician venturing to the Sieber Hotel & Apartment Complex at 13th and N. Hudson Oklahoma City.  The club occupying space next to a corner dry cleaners occupying the north end of the apartment complex,  its entry portal plaque labeled  “The Apartment Key Club”.   Engaging  the push-button buzzer for entry, a return buzz opening the door, entering taking stock of his surroundings.  To his immediate right a console piano  stationed at a circular piano bar able to seat six and a dance floor.  To his left was a row of booths the length of the room.  The bar extended across from the booths, with tables positioned between the bar and the dance floor,  Gary estimating that the quaint club would seat about 60.  Gary questioning the bartender about management,  being directed to a person seated at the bar.  The musician introducing himself to Bob Francisco one of the owners,  conveying what he had heard about a change in the clubs entertainment.  Bob acknowledging that it was true, their conversation continuing, the pianist attempting to explain that besides the piano and his vocals, he also played keyboard bass and had an electric sideman drummer.  He could tell from Bob expression that he wasn’t getting through to him, but Bob cleared the air with a statement, his partner and co-owner Jerry Gross was somewhat of a musician and did the entertainment hiring.  Jerry was out-of-town but would be back tomorrow afternoon if the pianist wanted to set up and audition, he would contact Jerry.  The two agreeing on 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.

Gary and his two keyboards

Arriving for the audition,  Gary having no difficulty setting up at a circular piano bar, the  Wurlitzer  Electric designated for keyboard bass resting atop the console piano.   With the Rhythmate electric percussionist adjoining the piano bench, everything was in place for the solo person trio’s performance.  Gary providing a scenario of songs that he deemed appropriate to enlighten the two owners of his versatile repertoire.  He had a suspicion that his trio sound would impress the two, the owners alertly taking notice of the piano, bass and drum sound.   The audition completed the pianist leaving the club with a feeling of accomplishment,  being given a start date for six night per week, but the real satisfaction would come later with a success of his first attempt as a solo performer.

Gary recognizing that Jerry Gross and Bob Francisco were entrepreneurs, the Key Club a result of their vision.   The club a discreet bastion for singles to gather,  providing an intimacy and also an intermediary place for couples to meet before descending “on the town” and in the same respect assembling at the conclusion of an evening.   A boon to the club was the proximity  of Mercy Hospital with its ample supply of nursing and healthcare personnel, the club accommodating the hospital employees with a short-wave  radio receiver tuned to the hospital frequency enable off duty staff member to keep abreast of any activity .

Gary’s introduction to a solo performance was pragmatic,  the Key Club provided an acknowledgement, enabling an interpreted capriccio’s, his new-found platform and  music to blossom beyond the presence of delectation,  its satisfying acceptance authentic.

Mutation Of Atmosphere………..#119 (the 60’s)

November 4, 2016

The 1966 – 67 Oklahoma City Blazers

Gary was not apropos with this sport,  hockey was new to Oklahoma City and somewhat distant from his knowledge of  the athletic contest.   His erudition from his high school sports calligraphy era and heralding from the west coast, he lost interest in a number of major professional sporting events,  save the National Football League.   It wasn’t until his senior year at Castlemont High did the Dodgers and Giants arrive on the west coast giving carriage to major league baseball.   For some reason a sundry perception of hockey  lingered,  an event produced on a rink was more for entertainment rather than contest,  much akin to the Ice Capades and Roller Derby.   But with a witnessing,  this perception all  changed, hockey acquiring his total respect with its athleticism and the discerning expertise of the combatants.

Bob and Jerry’s Apartment Key Club provided a secluded place of assemblage,  acquiring  little attention from Oklahoma City’s bedlam of nightlife aspirants, but a congress for many professionals seeking anomalous proprietary.   The Oklahoma City Blazers, a farm team of the Boston Bruin (NHL) National Hockey League, components of  the Central Hockey League introducing professional hockey to the city at the Fairgrounds Arena to an overwhelming attendance of admirers.  The Blazers also introduced to an admiring residency in Bob and Jerry’s Apartment Key Club, able to  experience diversion from the discipline rigors of their profession without publication or notoriety.

Blazer and friend – Bill Goldsworthy

Gary making the acquaintance of Harry Sinden,  the player coach and the likes of Gerry Cheevers,  Wayne Cashman,  Dallas Smith, Bill Goldsworthy and Derek Sanderson ,the teams disciplinarian who upheld the motto,  “if you can’t win the game,  at least win the fight.”    The musician discovering the Canadians to be deferential and magnanimous of their Oklahoma City surroundings and not without distinction in appreciation of his melodious application.  Gary’s wife Kaye also becoming addicted to the skilled combative sport, happening upon a high school friend Ron Norick who besides having a prestigious father serving as Mayor of Oklahoma City since 1959, was the publicity agent for the Blazers.

The Clubs attendance continued growing, other known personage inhabiting the piano presence in the evening hours included local television personalities and their guest, Bob and Jerry’s Key Club a discrete unpublished  accommodation of opportunity.   A sense of accomplishment flourishing, the musician discovering a certainty in his solo playing environment not missing the activity of the road,  but as time progressed a sense of lassitude began to infiltrate with the challenge removed.   The of six nights of continuous ascension beginning to reach a crescendo,  the accommodation starting to become  complacent,  Gary questioning his resolve,  searching for accessible solution.  His quest for an answer arriving, his best friend, the incomparable guitarist and sax player band member Jerry Willis,  who’s performing having been idled by his day job agreeing to return to the euphonious world of music on weekend nights.

Jerry Willis and Gary

The addition of Willis on Friday and Saturday nights soon assured a major capacity.   The financial realm of the club was ascending, but the nightspots’  quiescent aura that once prevailed was capitulating its flavor, its soft glow atmosphere diminishing.  Bob and Jerry new-found financial windfall,  venturing to enlarge the seating capacity,  rendering the removal of an office wall and disposing of the ambient circular piano-bar.   An extension to the bar counter subsequently embracing room for the piano and other instrumental accord.   The musician was complacent  with the clubs success  but disconsolate with the mutation of its new atmosphere,  his conjecture being of no consequence falling on deaf ears.

With the clubs expansion completed a celebrated luau was provided  with over hundred congratulatory  participants.   The field of endeavor featured a suckling pig and all the trimmings with those in attendance dressed appropriately for the occasion and with it the joyous anticipation of an increasing prospect.  It was evident, Gary could sense the uncertainty about the future vacillating, the pianist questioning the change with a wonderment if the saying ” a bird in the hand is worth  two in the bush” might be true.

Applicable Contingencies…………….#120 (the 60’s)

November 2, 2016

The resonance which represented its euphoric atmosphere was no longer present,  Bob and Jerry’s Apartment Key Club on N. Hudson St.  having progressed from a quiescent ambiance opportunity to a financial gifted asset.   Gary was hospitable to the adjustment because of financial acceptance and displayed a deficiency of meaningful involvement in the divisiveness that developed between the two owners.   The ascendancy of sit-in guest entertainers with the pianist,  Donnie Dickson, a  Bobby Goldsboro duplicate,  Frankie Val a City renown Oklahoma City Elvis clone  was taken with notice.

The adjoining business to Apartment Key Club was a long-established laundry and dry cleaners,  according indulgence to the Sieber Hotel complex and the local community was in process of abdication.   A constabulary finding Jerry Gross again interest in an expansion of the clubs domain,  a financial ascendancy reason becoming subjective, a subsequent controvert becoming apparent.   Bob Francisco,  his quiet demeanor and  prospective,  a differential from the guitar disporting vocal personality of Jerry Gross,  Bob aspiring for the quiescent era of the past but caught up with the execution and expansion for the second time..

Among Gary’s subjection to attribution of the clubs expansion,  another acquaintance reemerged, his good friend and drummer Glenn Froman having returned from Indiana.  With a disposition initiative,  Gary promoting Glenn, to accept an opportunity to display his percussion expertise,  joining Jerry Willis, the once piano bar Key Club now sporting a trio on weekends.   The capacity amplitude was exceeding well over the hundred mark on weekends but a major discourse,  the parking accessibility becoming a major problem, discerning  the nearest parking expanse location was at Mercy Hospital which was problematic.   Then a change, like migrant birds the nightlife populace beginning a declination, Gary deciphering it was the numbers, the  expansion decimating the anonymity of the once ambitious but abeyance melodious community.   Jerry Gross, his personality no longer a club fixture extending his appetite for an additional opportunity, promulgating a new acquisition,  the Tempo Club at N. W. 23rd and Portland.   The fissure between Bob and Jerry was inevitable,  the two entrepreneurs discovering  singular directions,  one captive with ambiance,  the other with ambition.

The musician finding himself in the proverbial ‘victim of circumstance’,  the expanded Key Club in demise and ameliorating with a concern.   Gary refusing to be a victim, not expecting a notice,  but not giving a notice, a wait and see period all options remaining open.  It was a suggestion from the Oklahoma City Blazer hockey team directing the musician to explore another piano-bar lounge.  The Dugout club was situated on N.W. 10th  St. across from the fairgrounds complex and All Sports Stadium.   It was as the name implies,  a sports bar facility,  catering to and frequent by the professional athletes of the seasonal activity.  The club was deficient of quality, a harsh enveloping resolve could be detected and the local clientele was of an obstreperous description interested in the sports association.   A commitment was installed,  Gary accepting an offer but soon discovering his presentation was not compatible with the climate and  clientele of the club giving notice after 30 days.

1958 Olds released from captivity

Helen, Gary’s mother in-law mentioning if she could ask a favor,  then inquiring if he would drive her to Houston to retrieve her 58 Oldsmobile Fiesta Wagon.  Helen having purchased and loaned it to her ex-husband Frank Grider whom she had been seeing, for use in constituting a Oklahoma City painting business.  Frank having dropped out of sight the past couple of weeks and Helen’s concern being answered with a call from the Houston Texas police department that the Olds had been impounded.  Gary’s wife Kaye deciding her and young Scott would encompass Gary and Helen to the reaches of Houston.  The four leaving Oklahoma City traveling in  Gary’s 1963 comet,  discovering the five hundred mile drive to be very arduous, but  with the completion of the all day venture, the four welcoming the advent of Houston and its surroundings.

The beach at Galveston Texas

The evening stop, the four enrolling a motel room giving the travelers some needed rest.   The beginning of a new day, the family entertaining a luncheon tour of  Galveston,  the overcast wind-driven waters of the gulf preventing a very much desired stroll to feel the delicate sand and consume  the semblance of the gulf.   The afternoon finding Helen completing her transaction with law enforcement, a trip to the impound garage, her Olds being released, Gary electing to pilot the paroled 1958 Oldsmobile Station Wagon back to Oklahoma City, Kaye to drive the Comet.  Both cars to caravan the return  by way of Waco,  Helen desiring to have a fleeting look at a town bearing many memories.   Continuing on, with a stop in  Arlington to  reside the night with  Kaye provincial cousin, Gary still somewhat confused at the actual relationship,  as Helen was also an only child, the relative being Helen’s cousin’s daughter, Mary Ogier, unable to meet her husband Paul, a pilot for Delta Airlines  who was on a flight.  The morning found the convoy of two autos making application from Arlington to Interstate 35 and a welcomed return to Oklahoma City.  Gary’s only comment about the venture was the world of family and relationships never-ceasing to amaze one.

The unemployed musician making a call to the Sallee booking agency, Ruth communicated an overture received from a Holiday Inn representative soliciting a Piano Bar entertainer for a series of engagements.  The road bookings would entail engagements at subsequent Inn’s,  providing wages,  room and discount meal privileges, Gary finding the offer interesting but realized extended travel was out of the question.  A further inquiry revealing it would commerce with the Holiday Inn in Chickasha, a 45 minute drive on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike, lasting for a duration of four weeks with the subsequent place of assurance a Holiday Inn at Harlingen Texas,  a venture of over eight hundred miles.  Gary tentatively accepting the agents offer but with something else in mind,  the thirty days of commuting to Chickasha would provide an opportunity for the musician to search for a more applicable contingency in Oklahoma City.