Fulfilling Aspirations…………#105 (the 60’s)

ra69

The wedding of Gary and Kaye on October 18th was imminent.  Gary recognizing his future bride as a sterling treasure, complementing and fulfilling his world.        The subject of residency being discussed, whether to seek a place of their own or wait and see what the future holds.  Their understanding with Deana was congruous,  the couple seeing no reason to advance permutation, Deana’s hospitality was prevalent, animosity was nonexistent, the relationship thrived.

Kaye being slight in stature, all of 95 lbs. her automotive choice reflected in her proprietorship, the proud owner of a 1961 Triumph Herald.   A four passenger, two door,  4 speed,  39 horsepower British model with a top speed of 70 mph, befitting her countenance.   She was vocal in informing Gary that she found it very uncomfortable ensconced in the driver seat of his demonstrative sized push-button drive DeSoto.   Gary could identify with her reasoning, having listening to Glenn in jest referring to the specious two-tone, swept fin Chrysler product as a carriage befitting a hustler, a perfect pimp-mobile.   Gary having never thought of his prodigious car in that light but accorded to his bride-to-be that the hallmark DeSoto would soon find another to christen its protocol.

From a musician’s perspective,  Oklahoma City continued as a boom-town,  displaying a bustling nightlife commerce of live entertainment, enhanced from the products of fermentation and distilling.  The competition between these enterprising aggregations was intense, management discernment was ascertained by the financial  bottom line at the conclusion of the evening.   The Untouchables prodigious appearance, sporting formal array,  and socializing with the  audience during  intermissions provided entertainment both on and off the bandstand.  Gary concluding that music arrangements could sell a song,  but actions and presence embolden a performance.

The private clubs marshaling,  a 2:00 a.m. closing time as prescribed by the City,  but a persistence prevailed,  there were several unincorporated areas beleaguered by Oklahoma City,  and like earthworms after a rain, unregulated after-hour clubs began to surface.   One night,  after an appearance at the Excuse Club on South Pennsylvania,  the band followed the owner Hobart,  and his bi-speckled manager Don, to a surreptitious afterhours  attraction,  just south of the North Canadian River and east of Eastern Avenue in a secluded no mans land,   between Oklahoma City and Del City.  The band turning off Eastern onto a ill-kept two lane road,  arriving at an almost windowless building, surrounded by an array of cars on a make shift parking area.

Mary’s Hideaway  flourished with after-hour patrons, the already induced partying fray finding the indifferent operating hours with great satisfaction.  In addition to the blaring jukebox,  Mary accomplished a 24 ounce charred sirloin with fries for a reasonable gratuity,  complementing the unmitigated inducements served from the bar.  Glenn and Gary soon realized, this early morning rendezvous could model as a supplementary income provider.  The two approaching Mary inducing the idea of live entertainment,  the Untouchables finding an added after hours weekend  engagement.

Gary recognized few musicians as true Icons in his melodious world, but one such Icon was making an appearance in Oklahoma City.  Ray Charles and his orchestra was to perform at the Municipal Auditorium and the Untouchables just happen to be off that night,  the pianist suggesting to Kaye that they attend.  The soon to be matrimonial united couple looking forward to a live performance of  ‘I can’t stop loving you’, what I say, Georgia on my mind, Born to lose’,   a never-ending list of current gold-record songs.  Gary purchasing advance tickets for seating in the lower part of the Mezzanine Section,  the couple looking forward to the coming event, but then someone brought up the subject of going to an all-black performance.  Most everyone in the country was aware of the ongoing civil rights demonstrations with Martin Luther King having organized marches throughout the south.

Gary having never correlated skin color with music, the performer wasn’t black or white,  but a musician,   and those in attendance weren’t there to patronize the color of skin,  but to absorb the ambiance of the performance.  The night of the concert having arrived, Gary and Kaye both dressed appropriate for the orchestrated occasion as were almost all those in attendance.  The musician was aware that Ray Charles’s songs were overwhelmingly  received in his all white nightclub environment,  and taking notice before Ray was introduced, half of those in attendance were white.  Ray Charles was unbelievable, the only two downsides that only the musician perceived,  was his use of a Concert Grand piano in playing  ‘What I Say’,  instead of the  Wurlitzer electric as on the recording.   the other somewhat disappointment was the missing of the prominent string sections that set the artistry for his country songs,  but then again,  it was understandable when on the road, and in all probability he supplemented his basic orchestra with local musicians from an Oklahoma city symphony contingency.

The couple concluding their likeminded moment together,  Gary, recognizing the Ray Charles concert as an iconic occasion,  but knowing it would never match Kaye’s.   His bride to be, still in high school, attending the april 19th 1956  Oklahoma City municipal  auditorium performance by the un-anointed king of rock & roll,   Elvis Presley.

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