A few days ago, my husband, Charlie Dalton, received his Official n World Record Certificate for being one of the 1867 Guitar Pickers who met at Luckenbach, Texas on August 23, 2009. They joined together under the trees to help raise money for “The Welcome Home Project”, a nonprofit organization that puts out albums to raise awareness about veteran issues and uses music to help injured Vets recover while finding a creative outlet for them (if you were there and would like a certificate,go to their website thewelcomehomeproject.org). The Guinness World Record Officials were on hand in Luckenbach as Charlie and 1866 other Guitar Pickers joined together and played in unison, “Luckenbach Texas” and “This Land Is Your Land” (written by a West Texan, Woody Guthrie) for 5 minutes each to break the world record. The previous record was 1,803 held by Germany. I guess you could say, America has another Gold Medal, of which we are very proud. It all was for a good cause. The West Texas Music Hall Of Fame even has an official guitar signed by a lot of the pickers. This was also a very patriotic event.
While we’re on that subject, my brother Armando Cantu has just finished his fourth Music Video which concerns the American flag. Go to youtube.com and in search put in americantu then click on “Indignity Of Freedom”. It is a very touching video and features Charlie’s 90 year old uncle Gordon Dalton, who is a Vet and lives in San Angelo, Tx. He is also in the video Armando did with Charlie. I guess you could call this a “REAL WEST TEXAS MUSIC VIDEO. It has the dance hall, country music, and the boots. To see this video go to Pioneers, click on Charlie’s name or go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKDpWkB9Aww
Charlie wrote and sang the song, “The Old Man In His Tennis Shoes” . Charlie’s 90 year old uncle is the star in this video. The music recording session was done at Patrick McGuire’s Studio in Arlington with Buddy O’Bannon’s help on the guitar. The video was all filmed exclusively in San Angelo, Texas. You will see the park on the Concho River, West Texas railroad tracks, and the familiar “Twin Mountains”. Charlie used an old Martin guitar that he borrowed from Lewis Elliott. The dancing scenes were at the VFW while Snake Atkinson and The Country Showmen band were playing. Let us know if you see any more youtube videos that have West Texas connections.
See you next time–Rosie Dalton
In 2009, Charlie and I went to a family reunion in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We stayed with a good friend of mine (who also lives in Jonesboro), who does some singing with Charlie at the Canton Flea Market “First Monday” each month. They asked Charlie to bring his guitar so they could do some jamming. One of the side trips we made was to Elvis’ Graceland in Memphis. The first thing that struck us about Memphis was the size of the Mississippi River as we crossed the bridge coming into town. It looked more like an ocean than a river. As we drove downtown Memphis, to the corner of Marshall and Sam Phillips Ave, Charlie saw something that caused him to yell out loud–“Sun Records”. There on the right was a extra large guitar hanging from a sign. On the windows of the building it said “Sun Records”. Charlie said” we’ve got to stop!”. We did and what a thrill! This was where it all started for Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and a bunch of other big Rock & Roll entertainers. There were pictures and vinyl records by the original artists covering the walls. Most were autographed. Charlie felt he was on “hollowed ground”. We left with some advertising along with some Sun guitar picks…a great start to a big memory. But the biggest memory will always be Graceland. Charlie was especially taken by the original 1955 pink Caddy. He remembers when Elvis drove it to San Angelo in 1955 for his appearance at the City Auditorium, where he sat on the hood and watched Elvis sign autographs for all the “frenzy & crazed” girls. I think this was when all us were teenagers, including Charlie, became indoctrinated into Rock & Roll music. What an entertainer! There will never be another one like ELVIS.
Until next time,
Rosie Dalton (WTMHOF roaming reporter)
Just a reminder of how big a roll West Texas played in the 50’s & 60’s concerning Rock & Roll music? I recently read an article in which they had rated the Top 100 Rock & Roll Ballads of All-Time. The list was chosen for their lasting popularity. West Texas singers held down 6 spots with #4 Crying by Roy Orbison,#6 Only The Lonely by Roy O, #26 Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers, #27 Running Scared by Roy O, #54 It’s Over by Roy O and #73 True Love Ways by Buddy Holly. Not only Rock & Roll but there are many country music hitmakers from West Texas.
Charlie Dalton says he feels fortunate having grown up in West Texas where both Country and Rock & Roll was big. In 1955 Charlie got to see Elvis live at the San Angelo Municipal Auditorium. Also in attendance, that same night, was Carroll Smith who would help form The “Legendary” Cavaliers the following year. Charlie also tells about the night he and his band were playing a small “gig” in San Angelo in which Slim Willet (lived in Abilene) came up and introduced himself in which Charlie then invited him to sing a number or two. He obliged singing his #1 hit “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes”.
Speaking of West Texas Charlie & I just recently drove to San Angelo from Lewisville visiting friends and relatives. While there, we visited with Lewis Elliott bass player on the 1964 hit recording “Last Kiss”. Lewis said he doesn’t play music much anymore but still dabbles in Farm & Ranch Real Estate in the San Angelo area. After visiting with Lewis we drove over and visited with “Snake” Atkinson, the drummer on “Last Kiss” at his transmission shop on North Cadbourne Street. Snake said he still plays music locally from time to time.
When Saturday rolled around Charlie & I decided to go dancing at the VFW in San Angelo that featured live music. We didn’t learn until later that “Snake” Adkinson just happened to be the bass player and one of the singers in the band that night. Charlie didn’t recognize him since he was wearing a cowboy hat and not his usual “mechanic’s cap”. We had a good time dancing to a good ole West Texas band and just like old times live music appears to be still going strong across West Texas.
Until next time, Rosie Dalton
(roving reporter for The WTMHOF web site)