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News Posted: July 5, 1998
Going through my archives of what some people would call junk, some would call treasures and others would say, "What in the h--- is all this stuff, I came across a pile of brand new one cent post cards, another bunch of three cent post cards and some air mail ones that I think cost a nickel, which turned back some memories of when we were sending out a lot of 45rpm. records, just about all we could stuff into a 45 size envelope cost 14 cents to mail that bugger, now that was a pretty good deal but as far as today's standards go, it's not quite the same.
However: We still think the U.S.Post Office is the best deal in America, watching a documentary the other night on the Days Of The Pony Express, the fee was five dollars to mail a letter, now it is 32 cents, there has been talk of it going up another penny or so but, so what, how else are you going to get a message from California to New York for 32 cents ?
We stuffed five cassette albums in to the U.S. Mail's "Global Priority Mail" envelope that the Post Office gives you for free, plus we put a little note in asking the customer on the other end if he would please email us back when it had arrived so that we would know he had received his albums, this was on a Friday evening, That very next Monday morning we received that email that we had requested, his words were, "My albums arrived this morning at seven a.m., the albums, the package and your note were in excellent, brand new condition". The albums were sent to and the email came from Denmark and it just cost us six dollars, if that is not a good deal, I'll kiss your taco.
We know that we have a couple of friends that work at the post office (well they are there, we are not sure that they do any work) that read our web page, so what we want to know is, when are you going to have a stamp sale or some discount postage days ? -Naw, you are doing a good job and we really don't need that, but I do think like the war days, that senior citizens past, say, 80 could mail letters for free, after all a lot of them were war veterans and have given a lot to America.
Somehow we just can not get over what we read a few years ago that the U.S. Government was spending several million dollars to find out where cow gas goes, now if you have ever lived on a farm or a ranch, you know dang well where it goes, up your nose, and from there, I don't know who would want to track it, since cows have been apart of America for as long as time, we have yet to read that someone has died from a cow poot, and if John Glen had of seen any signs of cow gas while he was circling the globe, we are sure he would of been on his walkie' talkie' saying something like, "hooooooly-cow, it smells like poop up here", then we should have been concerned, otherwise, We think that money should have went to feeding some of America's hungry people.
We found a really great three 78 rpm record album in our boxes of "Stuff" today while looking for something else, they look like brand new, back then of course they were packaged in a nice hard cover with usually, pictures on the front and little write up's about the artist and band and some other good memories, this time it was on "Red" Redfern's "Cow Town" Records and featuring the unmistakable sounds of "WADE RAY" and his fiddle--The Pickers were, of course Wade Ray on his fiddle, Bob Morgan on the bass, Freddie Tavaris steel guitar, Jimmy Madrid on the drums and Dick Morgan on the guitar. The songs in the album (all 6 of them) include "Keeper of my Heart",a "Hoedown Medley","Paradise Isle", "Marriage Vows", "Do You Ever Think Of Me" and the last one, (which really isn't the last one, we just wanted to leave it 'till last so we could say something about our good friend Miss. Cindy Walker) is called "Tater Pie" > now when Miss Walker wrote this song she must have just come from the store, because she don't cook, she warms up a little road kill possum now and then, but she don't cook, and when we get the money we are going to hire a private Dick Tracy to see how her name got on all these songs since she is only 39.
But the bottom line is Wade Ray's name was like bacon or eggs or front door, back in those great days of Country Music if you knew and liked Country Music, then you sure in the cat hair knew Wade Ray >> Bill Woods from Bakersfield said "that Wade Ray had them women a screamin' for more in these clubs in Bakersfield every time he picked up that fiddle" A few weeks ago we spoke with Ray for a few minutes at his home back in Ill. and just by the tone of his voice you could feel the warmth that just talking about some of those great days brought back so many great memories of yester-year, Country Music sure missies the likes of the great Wade Ray.
Ran across another album while we were in our "Stuff" this one called "Cowboy Hit Parade" and we mentioned this before that they called these folks everything but what they were back then and what they were, were Country Singers, only a couple out of this album were Cowboys, Hollywood or otherwise but who cares....What's in this 78rpm album is- Merle Travis and Sioux City Sue, Jimmy Wakely and Oklahoma Hills, Cliffie Stone and Roly Poly, Tex Ritter and Fort Worth Jail, Jack Guthrie and Shame On You, Shug Fisher and Ridin' Down To Santa Fe, Wesley Tuttle and old Shep...AND another Cindy Walker song, this time by one of our all time favorite singers, Mr. Tex Williams and "Miss Molly".
Most of these old albums that we sit on the floor and read all the good writin' on is just for the memories of seeing the names again and the songs that we all loved to hear and to put it on paper so that maybe you won't forget them either.
Even though while still a Marine down at Camp Pendelton, a few friends of ours but mostly J.T Voss from Texas and I used to head for LA on the weekends and Town Hall Party which was in Compton, Ca. those trips back then and many miles of time has led to my friendship with many of those artist that graced the stage of Town Hall Party, how it all happened over the years we are still not sure but one by one many of them became really good friends so how we reckon, really don't matter.
Anyway the store was only a short piece from where we staying on the week ends when we were in Compton and being out of bread one day we headed for the market to grab a loaf, another time we went for bread, we ended up in Salt Lake City, but that's another story, anyhow as I started to walk in, at the paper rack in front of the store was Jenks Carman, I said "Hi Mr. Carman, anything happening in the news today"? since he was standing in front of the rack with a news paper half open I figured he was just checking the news for free, he said, "I don't know, ye' know any good horses"? well I personally didn't know any horses other then the one we had left back in Kentucky, but as I walked over closer I could see he was reading the race results, then I knew what he meant, I said "that Hamblin guy is always talking about his horses, maybe one of them would be a good bet", he just kinda mumbled something and kept on reading, I said "My buddy and I sure enjoyed you the other night on Town Hall" He just looked at me and nodded his head, Jenks Carman didn't talk much, he was looking for a horse to bet on.
He called himself "THE DIXIE COWBOY" his fans and friends called him Jenks "Tex" Carman and we call him one of the most unusual acts to ever hit the stage, playing what looked like a regular guitar laying flat with a strap around his neck holding it up, playing it like a steel guitar and sounding at times like a Hawaiian guitar and singing his songs like "End Of The World" "Sunny Tennessee" "I Don't Know Why But I Do" "Wreck Of The Old 97" "Hillbilly Hula" "New Waikiki Beach" and some of his other "4 STAR" recordings, letting out a war hoot now and then and dressed in western clothes fit for a king, Jenks "Tex" Carman was truly someone to watch on that stage.
According to one of "Tex's" bio's he was born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky and was a full blooded Cherokee Indian, by the age of 12 had become quite an expert at strumming the the old family guitar, his first professional job was with the Continental Lyceum Chautauqua Bureau of Louisville, Kentucky as a leader of the International Glee Club Quartette, after a two year engagement with this organization he joined a Vaudeville tour which took him through out St. Louis, MO and some other circuits.
For several years Jenks continued in Vaudeville doing a single act but later teamed with his sister in an act billed as "The Royal Castillians", his sisters marriage broke up the act but Jenks continued in Vaudeville as a single act playing theaters,parks, fairs and night clubs until radio beckoned and he accepted an engagement to appear on KHAS Louisville, Ky. then followed by KMOX St. Louis then on to an appearance in LA where he was soon signed to "4 STAR" records.
As this bio on Jenks was being put together sometime in the mid to late 50's Jenks "Tex" Carman was doing a radio show over KXLA in Pasadena, California, was working not only at "Town Hall Party" in Compton, but night clubs all around the Los Angeles area and was recording for Capitol Records.
Jenks "Tex" Carman was pretty much a private person, even my old partner Steve Stebbins used to say about the times he was booking him, " I just call him or send him the schedule, he shows up for the job, collects the money, sends me my part, and I read about how his show went when the next issue of one of the local country magazines comes out.
This story like all the others we write about is just to keep in your memory the greats like Tex Carman and all the others.
They come and they go, some of them went through this world like a speeding bullet from the Lone Ranger's gun, some went through gentle as a lamb and died in a fiery plan crash or some other disaster that should have never happened, yet others raised so much cane going through, it would have been hard to not have known they were here, Like the time Lefty and Steve were coming home from a show that Lefty had just done, Lefty said to Steve, let's stop by and see XXX on the way home, when they got there every light in the house was on, all the doors were open but XXX was no where to be found, so they shut off the lights and closed the doors, The next day they read in the paper that XXX was arrested for chasing his wife down the street trying to conk her on the head with a gun butt.
Things happen and that's the way life is, so until, like the song says, "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" it's best we don't criticize others for something we know nothing about and is none of our business anyway, just think of every entertainer that you have ever know for the laughs, the tears the memories that you still have of him or her on that stage, that is the only part of that person that ever belong to you anyway.
Looking at this wall of pictures that surrounds me from floor to ceiling and note-book after note-book full of other pictures and bios brings story after story to mind and it is hard to quit writing once you get it a goin' but, we are getting pooped so we are going to call it a night.
Don't forget July the 9th. is Eddie Dean's birthday, if you would like to send him a card, just send it to the address we have given you a few times > Box 1515 Simi Valley, Ca 93062 and we will make sure he gets it, and if you are already a fan of his, then you know how old he will be, if not then we'll tell ye' (91) Gene Autry will be (91) in September.
What I know about a computer you can put in your Uncle Dudley's pipe and smoke it..
One other thing while we are at it, they just started advertising it in the last few days, yesterday I think a new CD, and tape also I suppose, of some great Classic Country Music, the first one on there, at least the first one they played on the promo was written by our friend Hal Blair and sung by The one and only Hank Locklin, called "Please Help Me I'm Fallin' " and unlike most of those TV CD's they try to sell you for 29.95 this one is only nine or ten bucks, something like that, so order a bunch of um and maybe Hal will buy me a pork chop.
Well, at the risk of doing this all night long, we'll close the squeaky door for tonight, and see you the next time.
But just in case we don't, Take care of yourself
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