Waylon in Lubbock:  Chapter Eleven
By Sky Corbin 

(As I related in the previous episode, at KLLL, we had learned at the last minute, that summer afternoon in '59, that our scheduled "Grand Ole Opry Show" starring Ferlin Husky had been canceled.  Our competitors at KDAV knew that, but we didn't...not until late that afternoon..  We hastily put together a show of local talent (Lubbock was full of  talent, including several recording artists, in  the wake of Buddy Holly's success.)  We offered anyone dissatisfied with the show a refund.  Very few took us up on it.  The next   morning (a Saturday)  we found that  Dave Stone, the "main man" at KDAV,  was criticizing us severely on the air.)

 After a quiet Sunday, the KDAV tirade continued on Monday.  We listened to Stone as he berated us for several minutes. We believed he was overdoing it badly, and that anyone listening would realize he was not performing a public service, but  was obviously trying to wound his competitor..US  We continued to monitor KDAV and even re-cap on KLLL what had been said.  That afternoon when an announcement was made that Mr. Stone would have more to say on "this matter", we informed OUR listeners and asked them to tune to KDAV...that we'd just track an instrumental album on KLLL so they wouldn't miss anything major.  Among the  errors in judgment was a harsh criticism of the Lubbock chapter of the American Business Club, a leading civic organization, which had been a  de-facto, or silent, sponsor of the show.  He alleged that they conspired with us to mislead the public...absolutely wrong!  He also spoke critically of substituting "local talent" for Grand Ole Opry stars.  Bad move!  Lubbock was proud of...and, in many cases "kin to" those young boys and girls!   Most vividly etched in my memory is an exchange between Stone and Bill Mack (a KDAV deejay at the time).  Bill said something like "Y' know, Dave it's hard to believe anyone would do something like that for a few dollars."  Stone came back with,"Well, Bill, you know, if your wife and kids are hungry, you might do just about anything."   To us, that sounded gloating and spiteful,  and rang just plain mean.  Actually, we were doing pretty well business-wise by this time.  (Bill came up to our studios atop the Great Plains Building later and apologized for his minor part in the broadcast, reminding us that he "Just worked there.")  We told him we understood, and that his reluctant participation was, to us, obvious on the air.)

My brother and partner, Ray "Slim" Corbin. and I waited a few minutes for the listeners to tune back to KLLL and responded to Stone's speech, related again what had happened...assuring each other and our friends and fans that we had groceries at our respective houses, assuring the community that the ABC Club had nothing to do with our decisions and actions, right or wrong, and had been unjustly accused.  (They received l0% off the top for taking tickets and ushering at the auditorium and some help with advance ticket sales.) We pledged to say no more about the matter and to get back to business as usual.  .  .    

Our telephones began ringing...with listener support...including one quiet, low-pitched, sinister sounding male voice saying "Mr. Corbin, I would be glad to bring down a certain radio station's  towers. Just say the word."  Hair stood up on the back of my neck.  I quickly said, "Friend, I appreciate it, but I don't believe we'd interested.  That's more like something the  other side might do." (Though I didn't really believe THAT)  Perhaps best of all, some of the calls were from major advertisers, including some we had not previously been able to crack. "Send a salesman out.  I'm ready to make some changes I'd already been considering. " Or, "As an ABC Club member, I resent being called a crook.  I'm going to advertise with you guys instead of KDAV."  From a reliable source, we heard that KDAV's phone was ringing constantly, too...and their calls were heavily negative  To make a long story shorter, our business took an immediate l5 to 20% increase, and  we were soon in the lead.

(It should be noted that all this information comes from my memories of some 43 years ago, and others might have different recollections.  I hold no grudges, in any case.  I have to respect KDAV and it's founders as the first all-country radio station in the world and the flagship station for a chain of country stations...San Angelo, Amarillo and Colorado Springs, as well as Lubbock, at one point!  We learned later that the show was canceled  because the promoter got in trouble with the Union for not paying some of the artists on previous shows and had ALL his contracts canceled.  Why WE weren't notified instead of our competitor remains a mystery.)    

To the best of my recollection, it was not long after this that Mr. Stone called Waylon, inviting him to share a steak dinner.  Waylon immediately came to me, with a red-face and a big grin and said, "Boss, you won't believe this!  Dave Stone just called.  He invited me to have a steak with him at The Longhorn Steakhouse.  Reckon what he wants?  Should I go?"   "Tell you what, Hoss.  I'd take him up on it.  I hear they  serve some fine, expensive steaks out there.  He didn't ask you to bring ME along, did he?"  "Do you suppose he's going to offer me a job?", Waylon wondered.  "I don't want to work out there!"  "If you take him up on it, you'll find out what he has on his mind and get a  fine steak dinner",  I said.  "If he pumps you for information, just don't tell him anything about our business." (Knowing Waylon didn't know much about the business end, anyway.)  Waylon didn't need my permission, but I appreciated his telling me and knew he'd probably go anyway, especially if I protested!  And, to tell the truth, Waylon was a real pain in the posterior sometimes....If they wanted him bad enough....

"Sky" Corbin, Lover, fighter, wild horse rider and purty fair windmill man 

 
Waylon in Lubbock:  Chapter Twelve
By: Sky Corbin

In the previous episode, I told of our (KLLL's) competitor, the other Lubbock country music station (KDAV), inviting Waylon to a steak dinner and offering him a job, trying to break up our "happy family".   Although their salary offer was about 25% more than we were paying him,  Waylon declined, (or asked for time to think it over...I'm not sure which).  I think he knew he wouldn't fit in too well at KDAV.  They were older, more dignified (or dull) and, let's face it...Waylon couldn't read news, or a straight commercial, "for sour apples"!   At KLLL, we worked around that, for the most part.  And, we WERE buddies, he, my brother and partner Ray "Slim" Corbin and I, and I'm sure he didn't relish competing with his friends.  We had a lot of fun when Waylon and I weren't having a confrontation, and those sessions weren't all that time consuming.  In later years we'd laugh about my chewing his --- for l0 minutes once or twice a week, then our adjourning to the coffee shop where we'd shoot the breeze about other things for an hour.  He chose to stay on at KLLL, but he was becoming more and more of a problem.

Some of the books about Waylon, including his "auto-biography",  have Waylon and Don Bowman (later to become, for a time, a top country comedian and RCA recording artist), as mischievous buddies, tormenting me (think Chip 'n Dale and Donald Duck). The writers relate how I posted a notice forbidding Waylon Jennings and Don Bowman  to be in the control room (near a live mike) at the same time.  It took me a while to recall that incident. (Some things you try to forget!)  It  finally came  back to me.  I was returning from lunch one day when I turned on my car radio.  All I heard on KLLL was giggling, and  an incoherent word or two every now and then from Waylon...or from Don in the background.  I was dismayed, embarrassed,  and puzzled.  This continued for several more minutes as I broke the traffic laws getting downtown to the Great Plains Building where I took an elevator to the 20th floor.  Our offices and studios were being repainted and carpeted, and I stepped over buckets of paint, rolls of carpet and a workman or two getting to the control room.  As I rushed in, Waylon was still giggling into an open mike, while Don stood nearby, grinning.  As I rushed in, Waylon said, "Sky", you won't believe what happened!  You should been here, man!"  I was not in a good humor!  I  reached over his shoulder and turned off the microphone switch, and said, "Put on some music NOW!"  Waylon fumbled around getting a record onto a turntable and on the air.   Then, in response to my demand for an explanation, Waylon said.  "Funniest thing ever happened!  This Ol' boy came by on his way to the restaurant, saw the workmen and just wandered on in here.  I asked if I could help him and he said, 'I sing some.  In Georgia, back at th' house there, everybody said I sounded just like Ol' Stonewall Jackson!'  That was pretty funny and he had a heck of a southern accent, so I talked to him on the air, and invited him to sing a little.  He sounded so country he made Stonewall sound like Frank Sinatra!  Funniest thing I ever heard!  I got tickled and broke up.  Couldn't help myself!"  "You could have played some music and commercials...instead of sitting in front of an open mike giggling like a fool!"  I scolded Don for his part, including his apparently egging Waylon on...and then I printed and posted that notorious note:   "WAYLON JENNINGS AND DON BOWMAN ARE NOT TO BE IN THE CONTROL ROOM AT THE SAME TIME!"  I think I was justified.  

In reality, the two of them were NOT close friends at that point..  Don was a somewhat cocky, ego-maniacal little man who held  unkempt, irresponsible  Waylon in contempt.  Part of his attitude may have been the fact that Waylon, despite his faults, was far more popular with our audience.  Another vivid memory from that same period is  the afternoon that I  called the control room on the "house" telephone intercom and told Waylon to have Don take over for him, grab a guitar, and head for a certain car dealership where our sales manager, "Hi-Pockets"  was doing a remote broadcast. He wanted Waylon to come out and sing a few songs.  A few minutes passed and Waylon didn't pass by my office door.  I went to the control room...and there I found Waylon and Don bristled up like fighting roosters ready for battle (but, at least the mike was off!).   I asked, "What the @#%* are you two doing?  Waylon, I told you to join 'Hi-Pockets' at that car-lot!"  "Don won't take over for me", Waylon explained.  Don snarled that he didn't take orders from Waylon, and he could "do his own damn show."  I drew the boys into a huddle  and said,  probably through clenched teeth, "Bowman, if you don't sit your %@& down at that console, and Jennings, if you don't head for that car-lot, I'll fire you both and replace you with one ADULT!  Do you read me?"  They both grinned sheepishly and proceeded to follow instructions...I'm not sure whether it was because my door had "Manager" on it, and I signed the checks, or because,  at 6' 4", I was much bigger than either of them...and upset. Either way---- 

(A couple of years hence, they would be writing songs together in Phoenix and Don, at my urging,  would suggest to Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in Hollywood that they sign Waylon to their A & M Records label.)

But, there at Lubbock in late '59, Waylon was obviously in a quandary about his life and career.  He couldn't forget that he had been to New York and on the road with Buddy Holly and other rock 'n roll greats, he had made a record (which flopped), but he couldn't forget that Buddy thought he was star material (as did I).  He'd had some disappointments.  And, too, he was already showing signs of becoming "Ol' Waylon".  He would have been an "Outlaw" THEN if he could have afforded it.  He couldn't...or wouldn't   follow instructions...or the format.  I, too, liked George Jones,  but not every 3rd or 4th record!  And I appreciated deejay silliness...in short doses.  20 seconds was the recommended maximum dosage.  One morning when I heard Waylon play a George Jones record he'd played only 15 minutes earlier, I decided I'd had all I wanted.  I couldn't continue to allow Waylon to disregard instructions and disrupt what was meant to be a radio station with a format...a style...a plan,  and then expect the other deejays to comply.  I walked into the control room where Waylon was finishing his shift and asked him, "Is your KDAV job offer still open?"

"Sky" Corbin, Lover, fighter, wild horse rider and purty fair windmill man 

 

Waylon at Lubbock:  Chapter Thirteen
By Sky Corbin

When I entered the KLLL control room as Waylon's show ended and asked him if the job he'd  been offered at KDAV, (our competitor) was still open, he turned red and said,  " I guess so.  He said anytime I was ready."  I said, "Well, I'M ready now!  I've had it. I can't let you louse up the format and ignore instructions and expect the others to help me do what I'm trying to do."  My Dad, H. E. Corbin, was sitting in a chair in the control room visiting with Waylon when the mike was off.  He said, "Hey.  Wait a minute.  You boys don't fall out!"  He liked Waylon, and I learned years later that some of Waylon's format violations were partially Dad's fault.  Dad loved George Jones' music and would encourage him to "play another one by George!"   But, I was the manager, so it was my call. Waylon had worked his last day at KLLL.  I felt both regret and relief.  He went to work across town at KDAV, and I hired Troy Fields away from one of the local pop stations.  (We ran a contest to find him a good country nickname to match up with "Sky", "Slim" and "Hi-Pockets".  I had thought of "Dusty",  and sure enough, the name most suggested was "Dusty".  "Dusty" Fields!  Perfect name for a West Texas deejay!)

Waylon was not happy at KDAV.  The older, more dignified personnel at that station were apparently  embarrassed by his poor reading ability, and he dared not do and say the silly things he'd been allowed...and encouraged (up to a point) to do and say at KLLL.  A mutual friend, one of the local entertainers, had visited with Waylon at KDAV and tipped me that Waylon had told him he was going to have one of the songs we'd recently written together published, with himself credited as the sole writer.  That upset me.  I'd written about 70% of that song. I called him at KDAV and we had a  "spat".  Apparently I won.  The publisher, "Woody"  Woodard from Ft. Worth, came by a week or so later with the contracts for my signature.  (Waylon and renowned deejay Bill Mack, then at KDAV, co-wrote a song called "John's Back In Town" which Johnny Cash later recorded...but that's another story.)

Not more than two months after mine and Waylon's telephone quarrel, one Sunday afternoon as I was filling in for someone, deejaying at KLLL (on the otherwise  deserted and lonely 20th floor of the Great Plains Building in"beautiful downtown Lubbock, Texas"), the phone rang.  A warm, friendly voice asked, "Hey, hoss!  What are you doin' workin' on a Sunday afternoon?"  "Oh, you know me!", I joked. "I ran everybody off.  In fact, I think about firing MYSELF sometimes!  How's everything at K-Dave?"  "Well, their checks clear, and that's the only good thing about it."  We chatted a few minutes, then he asked, "Hey, man!  What are you going to play next?" "I have "Miller's cave" by Hank snow all cued up and ready to go!", I said.  "I've got that right here", Waylon chuckled somewhat mischievously.  "You listen to me on the phone here, and I'll listen to you and let's try to start them at the same time!"  "That ought to confuse 'em!", I said.  "Might get you fired!"  "Won't be the first time!", says ol' Waylon.  So for the next half hour, Lubbock's two country radio stations aired the same songs at almost exactly the same time, introduced by "Sky" Corbin on KLLL and Waylon Jennings on KDAV.  We had a good time, but received not one phone call about it.  No station switchers, apparently.(or maybe no audience!)  "Well, Hoss", Waylon said when we decided we'd had enough fun, "See you around. It sure ain't as much fun out here as it was at KLLL", he said.  "We miss you, too, even if you are a goof-off;" I replied.  (And we did!)  I had the feeling that he'd probably be back on KLLL eventually.  We were more like brothers than boss-employee, which was a major part of our problems, we later agreed.

Come the next afternoon, a Monday, of course, there was no Waylon Jennings Show on KDAV.  We heard through the grapevine that Waylon had left a note of resignation propped on the KDAV control board.  He later told me it read something like, "This is the world's worst damned radio station and I'm ashamed I worked here!"  He had then gone home, packed up his wife Maxine and their 3 kids and took off for Coolidge, Arizona, driving all night.

"Sky" Corbin---Lover, fighter, wild-horse rider and purty fair windmill man!

 

Waylon AFTER Lubbock: Chapter Fourteen ---(Searchin' For SOMETHIN'!)
By Sky Corbin

(Apparently I took the summer off!  In the last thrilling episode of MY version of the Waylon Jennings Story, in early l960 Waylon had been asked to leave our station, KLLL, then after a month or so,  he suddenly left his new job at KDAV,  (also at Lubbock) and departed for Arizona.)

Waylon's next deejay job was at KCKY in the tiny town of Coolidge, Arizona, about an hour south of Phoenix. He wrote me asking that I send him tapes of certain songs, and reminiscing about our good times at KLLL.  We explored the possibility of his returning to KLLL, and I said something about his returning when we had an opening.  But, I laid down some conditions and  apparently hurt his feelings.  He wrote back something to the effect that I was a "horses-a--", but I was "a good ole boy" and we were buddies, but while I might appreciate his talent, I didn't have any respect for him "as a human being." I suppose I WAS  a relatively straight-laced, hard-nosed young man, but I was trying to help him as well as do what was best for KLLL,  my partners, and myself.  Nevertheless, after one of our deejays, "Dusty" Fields left,  and that fact was broadcast, I was startled a few mornings later to see Waylon and his brother Tommy in the radio station lobby.  Seems Waylon's family at Littlefield had called him about "Dusty's'' leaving and he had promptly loaded up and headed back to Lubbock.  I had the sad duty to explain that we had to have a deejay with lst Class (engineer's) license for this opening, and the job had already been filled with a young man from Amarillo, "Cherokee Dave" Orrell.  Waylon didn't seem too surprised or hurt and said he'd locate somewhere else for the time being.  He wound up at a station in Odessa, Texas working (he said) seven days a week, all of it air-time, for minimum wage and working lots of hours for which he got paid nothing.  There were quite a few stations operating that way in the  "TV's-going-to-put-radio-out-of-business" mentality of the 50s and early 60s. 

Waylon's first record, the one produced by Buddy Holly at Norman Petty's Studio in Clovis, New Mexico had cratered, and his contract with Brunswick (a subsidiary of Decca) was not renewed. Wendall Bagwell,  a sales promoter at Lubbock, who had worked for KLLL for a time as an advertising salesman, had decided to start a recording and publishing company.  Buddy Holly's hometown and the surrounding area, as I've discussed earlier in this series, was "infested" with talent. Bagwell  called his publishing company Talent Town and named his record label Trend '61.  The first two artists he signed were  Waylon and my brother and partner Ray Corbin (known locally as "Slim").  "Slim'' and Wendall traveled south to Ben Hall's recording studio at Big Spring and Waylon met them there.  I knew when I heard the dubs the next day that Waylon had bombed again.  He had recorded two of his own compositions, neither of which had any particular appeal, and his performance sounded like a tired, starving young deejay with no self-confidence. 

"Slim's" record, with one of my so-so compositions on one side and one of his on the other side had an excellent sound for a small independent production.  Waylon's record did nothing while "Slim's" was accepted enthusiastically by a national distributor, Ardco.  They soon told Bagwell that the record was the hottest thing they had going and it was going to be big!.  They insisted that Bagwell bring his "star" to their national sales meeting in California.  When they arrived they found that ANOTHER new artist with a new record on another small label had "stolen their thunder"...some young fellow named Glen Campbell with a fine, very professional Hollywood-produced pop-country record, "Turn Around, Look At Me".  Apparently Ardco could only be excited about one record at a time.  A couple of discouraged and disappointed Lubbock-ites soon came home.  Some of the stations to which the Ray Corbin record was shipped played it quite a bit and he and I received small air-play royalty checks for several years.  But, it sold few. 

Waylon soon went back to Arizona and Bagwell soon produced another double (or "split") session, this time at a Phoenix studio.  Waylon did an excellent version of a song they picked up at Phoenix, "My Baby Walks All Over Me". Another  independent artist, Johnny Seay, (an excellent Johnny Cash clone) also released HIS version.  The flip of Waylon's record was a  tribute to Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens called "The Stage".  Frankly, It was terrible...and obviously exploitative.  "Slim" recorded a song I had written, with a little help from him, about ten years earlier called "I'm Only A Shoulder To Cry On".  The "A" sides of both records were good, but near-misses.  Again, "Slim" and I made a little BMI airplay money, while Waylon's record made him and Bagwell nothing because they had no writers or publishers rights on the "A" side..  Trend records had one more release, this one featuring a very pretty and quite talented young Lubbock lass named Ralna English.  Ralna's "pretty good" record did nothing, but a few years later there she was!  Half of the Guy and Ralna team on the Lawrence Welk Show! By this time Bagwell had no connection with her.  (Bagwell obviously recognized talent.  Of his three artists, Waylon became a super-star and Country music Hall-Of-Famer.  Ray later recorded for Waylon's Tomlyn label, then Monument, and finally Columbia.  Though he had no major hits, he wrote and first recorded "Come On Home and Sing The Blues to Daddy".  While the record threatened to hit, it didn't.  Bob Luman wound up with the hit single, while Waylon, Bobby Bare, Charley Pride, Wynn Stewart, Faron Young, Cliffie Stone and Webb Pierce all did it as album cuts. 

In the Summer of l961, my wife, 5 year old daughter and I took our very first real vacation.  Though we were both from Levelland, Texas, Pat and I were married while I was in the Air Force At Riverside, California and we spent the first 6 months of our marriage there.  We had admired the beautiful, historic Mission Inn in Riverside and, when the station received an offer to trade-out their accomodations for our advertising time, we agreed to take out a "Due Bill".  We'd stay there while we took in the sights of Southern California!  I thought we might drop down to San Diego and visit our former deejay Don Bowman at Top 40 stration KDEO, and come back through Coolidge, Arizona and see Waylon.   Little did I know I was about to initiate something which would lead to something big (though without much credit and no financial reward.)  Is that fair?

"Sky" Corbin    

 

Waylon AFTER Lubbock:  Chapter Fifteen  ---(Another Grab For the Brass Ring...maybe..).
By Sky Corbin

During our vacation in Southern California in l960,  my wife Pat, our young daughter Kelly and I, after seeing Disneyland, Sea-World, the Pacific Ocean (with beach),  and some of Hollywood, made the drive down to San Diego to look up Don Bowman, who had deejayed for us  at KLLL, Lubbock for about a year before he left to seek fame and fortune.  When we arrived at San Diego, we didn't have the slightest idea where KDEO's studios were located, so when we found a landmark, the airport, I called the station and told Don we were in town, and, if he would tell me how to get there, we'd come by and visit with him.  When I told him we were at the airport, he immediately said,"I'll be right there."  I told him, where we were parked, what kind of car we were driving, etc,. and he was there in about 15 minutes.  As I recall, he got in the car with us and we had our entire half hour reunion right there. Don told us the station was very popular and influential in southern Cal, and, being near L.A. and Hollywood, he had the opportunity to meet lots of big names. ( I recalled that Don had met lots of "big names"---country stars...and several rock and rollers, even Bo-Diddley and Little Richard, while he was at KLLL.)  He had brought to our reunion for "show and tell" a beautifully framed and autographed picture of the then young and gorgeous recording artist Ann-Margret and said he was dating her! (I still wonder if that was true...maybe some kind of promotion stunt??? Sorry, Don.)

He  got my attention when he told me he was buddy-buddy with the young men who owned A & M Records...Herb Albert and Jerry Moss.  They had already found success with the Tiajuana Brass and a few other acts.  They were looking for a new artist who could go both pop and country..in other words, a "cross-over capable" singer.  He asked me if I had any suggestions.  I said, "Don, you know who I'm going to suggest..."  "Oh no, Sky, not Waylon Jennings!.  I wouldn't even consider introducing that scroungy hillbilly to Herb and Jerry!  They're classy guys!  They'd throw us both out."  I went into my standard Waylon pitch.  I still believed that he had something and that it would be tragic if he didn't make it in the music business!  I had met and known enough name entertainers to know that very few of them would win any awards for dressing well off-stage or for following the rules.  I was sure Herb and Jerry had been around enough stars...and wannabe's...to know that.  I also pointed out that Buddy Holly had whipped Waylon into shape in one afternoon...though it didn't last.  I suggested Don think about it long and hard and realize this might also be a chance to run up his own flag if he really had some good contacts.  I didn't see much weakening in Don's resistance, so we changed the subject. 

When we checked out of our California vacation base at Riverside's Mission Inn the next day, we headed west toward home...via Coolidge, Arizona.  We turned south at Phoenix in mid afternoon.   A couple of  hours later, as we approached Coolidge, I spotted a radio tower up ahead and then there it was...KCKY...on the front of a small stucco building.  We pulled into the parking lot and a young man came out to meet us.  "Where will I find Waylon Jennings?", I asked.  He confused me by asking, "You mean 'Sky' ?"  I thought for a moment I'd been driving too long!  "No", I said.  "I'm 'Sky'  Corbin, Waylon's former boss and old buddy from Lubbock,  Texas!"  He shook his head in wonder and confusion and said, "Well, he calls himself 'Sky'  on the air!"   We'd find "Sky"...er, WAYLON! at the studios in downtown Coolidge, the young man said.  When we arrived, Waylon was standing on the sidewalk outside the station grinning from ear to ear..obviously glad to see us.  He invited us into the little radio station where his wife, Maxine greeted us warmly.  She was helping her husband, (the KCKY Program Director!),  organize the record library.  

When I hit Waylon up about calling himself "Sky", he said, "Well, you know I always liked that name...and (with a grin) the guy who wore it. And you know Waylon is a terrible name for a deejay...or a singer.  Then, too, our call letters are KCKY, you COULD pronounce that "K-SKY"...."   "You mean like Dave Stone and K-DAV(E) at Lubbock?", I asked.  "Well, you know...show-bi'ness and all..."  I assured him it was fine with me.  Waylon was off duty about that time.  He insisted we "come to the house" and we did.  I went with him to collect from an advertiser who insisted on paying DAILY!   It was a  beer joint/pool hall, as I remember, and I hoped the client was willing to pay up...which he was.

"We wanna take y'all out to supper," Waylon said, and Maxine agreed.  "We want you to spend the night with us, too", she added.  "We'll take you up on the supper", I said, "but after that we'd better get a motel room .We need to get up very early and head for home."  "You guys like bean burritos?"  Waylon asked.  "Great stuff the way they make 'em at this Mexican restaurant a few blocks from here.  I love 'em!"  They WERE  good and it was a nice little cafe, as I recall.  We mostly talked about our good times at KLLL.  But, he told one unrelated story that I haven't forgotten.  Coolidge and that part of Arizona was (and still is, I'm sure) heavily populated by the Pima Indian tribe.  Waylon said that, a while back, he and the family were watching TV when they heard their car's starter grinding, but the car refused to fire-up. He said he went out on the porch and saw "the biggest damn Indian I EVER seen, humped over th' steering wheel,. obviously drunker'n a skunk."  "Did you call the police, or tell him to get out of your car, or what?", I asked.  "Are you crazy?!   I did consider givin' him a dollar to buy some gas!"  The big guy got out of the uncooperative car and wobbled and muttered off down the street.

Without relating much of  the conversation, I told Waylon about my visit with Bowman at San Diego and that he MIGHT be hearing from him...but I recommended that he not hold his breath or get his hopes up.  They probably had a lot more people than Don Bowman looking for somebody.  Waylon did get a temporary gleam in his eye, but he recalled, "Bowman never thought too much of me, you know."  (And how well I knew!)  Frankly, I didn't expect anything to come of it.  It was long shot at best...and even if Don got him an audition, Alpert and Moss might not dig him. It was basically just a conversation piece. 

The next morning, barefoot, I  narrowly sidestepped a scorpion in our motel bathroom and was looking forward to getting back to Lubbock and the "salt mine".  It would be some time before I talked to Waylon or Don again...but I got some exciting---and somewhat surprising---news from Waylon's mom, when we met up at  KRAN radio's local festival in Morton, Texas a few months later..

"Sky" Corbin 

 

Return to Waylon in Lubbock:  Chapters 6 through 10
Continue to Waylon after Lubbock:  Chapters 16 through 19