1973, the Oakgrove Tavern in Redding, California. We were a fill-in band for one weekend here. It was Friday night and the place was packed.
A tour bus drives up out front and some people get off and come into the place to eat. We had done a couple of sets and were getting ready to
take a break. A guy comes up to the band and asks us if we let musicians join in at all? Gary replied that we do if they know how to play. To that
he said to us, "That young girl over there is the new California State fiddle champion". Pointing to a dark headed girl about 21 years old. He
then pointed to another younger girl, and said that she just recorded a new record. So Gary said "Yeah we would love to have them come up"
So we took a break while they got their stuff together and we came back up on stage and introduced them. The fiddle girl started out with "The
Orange Blossum Special" which we all new. She played about 3 more songs and then turned the stage over to the other girl. She handed us
the music with the guitar chording on it and we quietly went thru a verse and then went live. We were blown away by her singing.
We took a short break to talk to them a little before they got back on the road. The fiddler was a girl named "Jana Jae". Now you might not have
ever heard of her but your parents probably have. She married Buck Owens and was on the old TV show, "Hee Haw".
The little girl was a then unknown, "Tanya Tucker". The song she sang that night was "Delta Dawn". She became a big country star.
Years later Gary and I played with "Sam the Sham" for a week.
In 1981 my wife and I were going from Reno to California in our RV when a big bus pulling a boat passed us. Later on down the mountain we saw
the bus on the side of the road with smoke coming out of the rear of the bus. I decided to pull over and see if we could help. (No Cell phones then)
a couple of guys were back there and I asked them if we could lend a hand. So two of the fellas got in with us and we were going to take them to the
nearest town to get help. Then another guy got out of the bus and ran back to our RV. One of the guys opened the door and talked to him for a
second and then turned to ask me if it was okay for him to ride with us also. I said sure. So we got going and about 30 miles later we saw this big
gas station with some diesel stuff around and they said it would be okay to let them off there. They said thank you, but the third guy came up to me
and my wife and said he really appreciated the help. I turned to shake his hand and it was none other than Merle Haggard.
Two years later, his guitar player was in Salem Hospital where I worked and I took his chest x-ray. I told him about meeting Merle that day in the RV.
It turns out he was one of the guys riding with us. Small world heh?
My band up here in 1978-1979 was recording a small LP for local sales and we were using a recording studio in Portland. We were laying down some tracks
on a Saturday morning when these 4 guys came into the studio area. (Our guitar player worked there) He talked to these guys for about 20 minutes and then
they came into the actual recording room where I was, and apologized for interrupting me. After they left, Brian told me they were a band that had
just lost their bass player and was looking for a place to practice with the new guy that was coming. So we had to cut short my session that day.
I hung around for about 2 hours and listened to them. The band was Chick Correa and the bass player was Jack Bruce. Jack knew very little of their
music but with-in 2 hours he had every song down cold, as if he had been playing with them all his life. They played a concert here in Portland that
night. Now that is talent!
I think some of you guys might remember them, but I know Phoenix will. Jack Bruce played with Eric Clapton and Manfred Mann and many others.
Edited by Ol' Smoke, 04 July 2013 - 11:03 AM.