The Emeralds History

 

This document’s source is from each member of the band, as well as our friends who played vital roles in our history. All this was collected from emails, documents, from phone conversations, recorded conversations, and my personal notes. The accuracy of every word in this document is open for discussion. It is also a work in progress. I feel sure that there are important dates and events that are missing. There are also repeated sections with the same events being recalled by different people at different times. It’s been difficult to get the entire document in correct chronological order, so for now I am leaving the duplications in. I’m hoping that as we read this document maybe our memories might be revived. It will read as if it were a conversation with everyone involved as if we were in the same room together. Poetic license has been taken to make the conversation flow, and some editing for phrasing and spelling was done, but I believe I have preserved the spirit of what each of us has added to the conversation. At any rate, I made that effort.  – Doug Coppock

 

1955:

Jim Green:

Doug Coppock and I had an interest in the guitar from earlier lessons while living in Levelland, Texas. Sometime around 1954-55 we took some steel guitar lessons (called the Hawaiian steel guitar back then). We got acoustic guitars for Christmas later in 1957, but one of Doug’s first electric guitars was an old black Hawaiian guitar he converted to a regular guitar by lowering the bridge. Do you remember that one Doug?

Doug Coppock:

Yes I do Jim. I had had that Hawaiian guitar since I was 11 or 12 years old. I had taken lessons while living in Hobbs, New Mexico, but had not played or practiced much by the time my family and I moved to Levelland in the summer of 1955.  I started the 7th grade there after I had finished the 6th grade in Hobbs. I had forgotten about taking more lessons on the steel in Levelland, but I believe you. In the summer of 1956, Halliburton transferred Jim’s dad and mine from Levelland to Brownfield, Texas. I’m pretty sure that’s when it was, because I remember starting the 8th grade in Brownfield in the fall of that year.

 

Morris Tyler with his ’55 Strat

1956:

Morris Tyler:

This picture is dated April 1956. I was playing what I’m pretty sure was my Strat somewhere. I’m pretty sure it was a ’55 model. At this point in time I had no idea in a couple of years I’d be playing bass for the Emeralds!

Doug Coppock:

You graciously allowed Delbert and me to play it for quite a while. It was a sweet guitar!!

 

1957:

Jim Green:

Sometime in 1957 when Doug and I were sophomores at Brownfield High School, we were hanging around with Delbert Hadaway and developing an urge to learn to play guitar.  For Christmas in 1957, Doug and I convinced our parents to give us guitars.

Doug Coppock:

I believe they were from Montgomery Ward. They were what I guess you would call the bottom of the line basic acoustic guitar. I was thinking they were $20 or so in 1957 dollars… maybe more, but not much more than that.

 

1958:

Jim Green:

After Christmas 1957, we continued to hang around with Delbert learning some chords. Our interest in learning guitar was amped up again and we started playing together and learning songs in early ‘58. One of the first songs we learned was “I’ve Had It” by the Bell Notes. (La la la la la, la la la la, When I saw you standing on the corner, That’s when I knew I was a gonner, I’ve Had It, Yeah I’ve had it.) That’s what we sang in the talent contest in early 1958.

Doug Coppock:

In my notes it looks like it was 2/19/1958 that we played in Lion's 9th Annual Tournament of Talent (We beat out the Orbits).  I’m remembering that it was Jimmy, Delbert and me. After the talent contest win, we seriously confronted the idea of forming a band. The Orbits consisted of Ronnie Raybon on Lead Guitar, Donnie Raybon on drums, Jeff Lester on Sax, Doug Mason on Rhythm Guitar, and Doug Simpson on Piano.

Soon after, they changed their name to the Tremolos and added Allen Neal on Bass Guitar. Sadly we lost Donnie Raybon in 1985. Allen Neal of course became a member of the Emeralds while we were in California standing in for Morris and eventually Ronnie was made a member of the band as well during our 1980’s “Reunion Years”.

Jim Green:

In early ’58 I remember asking Don Skiles to join us as drummer. I was impressed with him always beating out rhythms on his desk with his pencils and hands in one of the classes we had together at Brownfield High School.

Doug Coppock:

Don joined the band immediately after the talent contest and later that month we played for the Terry County Farm Bureau BBQ along with the Orbits.

 

Insert Pictures here:

 

Don Skiles:

It was 1958, Springtime, cruising main in Brownfield, Texas.  I was listening to Jerry Bo Coleman spinning 45s on AM radio.  Rock & Roll was close to it's beginning, the music had a beat.  You couldn't help but feel it and move.  I was always getting into trouble for tapping, out rhythms or patting my feet to a rhythm.  That included when I was in class in school.  One of those classes was a history class that Jim Green was also in.  One particular day, the teacher had called me down two or three times for tapping rhythms on the desk.  When the bell rang to end class, Jim stopped at my desk and ask "Can you play the drums", I said "sure".  Jim said "OK, you are going to be our drummer".

            "Wait, what are you talking about" I ask.

            "Doug and I are starting a band and you will be the drummer" Jim said.

            "Jimmy, I really don't know how but I would love to"

            Next were some of the best words I have ever heard, "If you want to bad enough, you can" Jimmy said. "We are practicing at my house tomorrow night." Man, you talk about excitement, I was on cloud nine, probably higher.  Every song on the radio, turn it up, I want to hear the drums.  First practice, I had no equipment, could only pat my feet and slap my legs or clap my hands.  Someone came up with some drumsticks.  Next practice I was able to put together my first "set of drums".  Robert "Rabbit" Wright heard what we were doing, gave me an old wooden marching snare.  Mrs. Green said I could use her #2 wash tub.  This is how you set up a drum set: put the snare in an old chair that the bottom is out of, put another chair facing that chair, behind the chair with the snare in it, you hang a garden hoe for the cymbal, turn the #2 wash tub over and use it for a bass drum.  Voila, my first drum set.

Joe Wright:

Don's first real drum was the drum that Robert (Rabbit) Wright gave to him. Memories are vague, but evidently Rabbit found it underneath the stands at the football field. The statute of limitations has probably run out, but I won't describe it in our history in such explicit detail.

Jim Green:

I didn’t know how Rabbit had acquired the drum (Thanks to the BHS band department). We started practicing together in my garage at 806 E Reppto, learning as many songs as we could before we started playing at the party house later that year. Don was playing on his makeshift drum set when we first began that included one of my Mom’s wash tubs. Eventually my dad converted the garage to part of our living room.

Don Skiles:

Now a pro (ha, ha) can't continue on something like wash tubs and pots and pans so I went to Delahunty's Horn Shop in Lubbock.  He fixed me up with some class for drums, an oversized 26" marching bass, but I did get a real 7"snare, stand, foot pedal, hi-hat, and ride cymbal.  Paid all of $95.00, but he did tell me, practice, when you get ready, come back and I'll give you $95.00 trade in on a new set.

 

Doug Coppock:

At some point, we enlisted Lynn Pennington to be our manager. I guess we were thinking we’d be playing gigs and needed one.

The Emeralds before Morris and before Don’s new set of drums

 

 

Jim Green:

We knew that in order to really be a band we needed a bass player. Morris, what was the date in 1958 you joined the Emeralds? I know we were looking for a bass player but don’t recall how we were introduced. Did you find us or did we find you?

Morris Tyler:

I can't remember the date but I had moved back to Brownfield from Snyder and was working at Piggly Wiggly. That is where I met Don, he was also working there. He found out that I was playing guitar in a country band (I don't remember the name of the group). The guy that was the front man went by the name Smokey something or other.  Sleepy (Jasper) Drake played fiddle and some guy from New Mexico was on steel guitar. Anyway Don said we are looking for a bass player and asked if I would be interested in playing with the Emeralds. So we went to Jim's house (in the garage). I think that was when I agreed that I would play bass.

Doug Coppock:

As I recall it wasn’t like Morris passed the audition. It was pretty obvious to us that he was way better than us. It was more like we showed enough promise that he was willing to invest the time in us.

Morris Tyler:

I did not have a bass guitar so I went to Lubbock, bought a new Fender Precision 3-tone sunburst Bass and

had to have a Fender Bassman Tweed Amp to go with it. That's how I got in the Band. I know you guys remember this, later when we were playing in California my amp would occasionally have a speaker

rattle so we took it to Leo at Fender in Fullerton for repair, they always gave me a loaner and never charged me anything for the repair. Thanks again Leo! We'll never get it all said, there is so much to talk about.

I also want to thank Mr. Patterson and James Skiles for the food contribution.

Doug Coppock:

Ah yes… we’ll talk about that a bit more when we get to the summer of 1960.

 

1958:

Don Skiles:

The first time we were on video, we practiced at the home of Walter and Lois Skiles (my parents).  Mr. Skiles played one song on the Harmonica with the Emeralds, it was a big thrill for him. In 1958 Wanda Bramlett set up a deal for us to come to her house and play for a guy named Leon Bagwell, a friend of her big sister.  He had played bass for Tommy Sands.  After we played a few songs, he said we were not good enough to make it.  Didn’t slow us down a bit, actually made us more determined to make it. When we first played the party house, we charged ten cents. I think we raised it to 25 cents the 2nd time much to the disappointment of many. Stayed at that price for a few dances and then went to 50 cents and stayed there for a long time.

 

In the summer of 1958 we played at a pool party for Rita Lou Goodpasture in their backyard on East Tate Street in Brownfield. My dad strongly objected to his son playing at a party where there were boys and girls in a pool together. After some heated discussion, Don did it anyway.

 

Walter, Don, and Lois Skiles

 

The Skiles Home at 904 E. Harris in Brownfield

 

Jim Green:

Christmas of 1958, Skiles got a set of drums for Christmas. Also right around Christmas 1958, we played at a WTSU (West Texas State University) party in Canyon Texas – I remember Leon Speed going with us.

Doug Coppock:

Here’s Don’s recollection on those drums and the WTSU gig.

Don Skiles:

December, 1958: With all of our experience, playing at the party house for .10 cent admission, then going up to .25 cents (got a lot of friends mad) we got a real "professional" job as a band.  Barbara Knox hired us to play at West Texas State in Canyon, TX for a Sorority.  On the way, we stopped at Delahunty's, got that good looking set of Premier Drums, black pearl, that I had been wanting.  Was I ever proud. Jack Delahunty did give me the $95 trade-in on my old drums, like he promised. We played all over West Texas, eastern New Mexico, California and Houston with the Emeralds and my Premier Drums.

Doug Coppock:

Here are some pictures from the West Texas State University gig.  Note that Jimmy and I are still playing our twin Airline guitars. I guess the Strat that Delbert is playing is the ’55 or ’56 that belonged to Morris.

 

Don on his new drums

 

 

Doug Coppock:

Don is playing his new Premier drums. He got them just before the WTSU gig. Since Delbert is with us in these pictures, I’d say he must have been with us until he and Freda eloped in early summer 1959. 

 

1959:

Practice, practice, practice at the Greens, 806 E Reppto, Brownfield, Texas.  Gary P Nunn would come and listen to us.  I taught him how to play drums, he soon switched to bass, and later to guitar. He played in other bands from Brownfield. He eventually played with and led the Los Gonzos band for Jerry Jeff Walker, then went on his own, and is still playing.  Many other younger musicians also hung around. Some were: Alton Nicholson, Terry Davis, Johnny Knox, Doug Sewell, Mickey Beck and others who formed bands after the Emeralds.

Wayne Wheeler:

The best I can remember, I was Manager (gig gitter) for the band from around the early in 1958 until somewhere around the time I joined the Navy in September 1960.

Doug Coppock:

I don’t remember why or how we made the change from Lynn to Wayne as our manager. During this period as we began to get serious about gigs, we needed to have some sort of band uniform. We had professional pictures taken at Frogge Studio in Brownfield. Wayne’s mom made us our green jackets.

Wayne Wheeler:

My Mom’s name was Theola. She took a Tux jacket out on approval from Collins Department store, measured and cut a pattern from it and started sewing. She really did enjoy making those beautiful green jackets.

 

Pretty Classy Stuff!!

Two ties that were part of our outfits in ‘58, ‘59, ‘60

The E on the lightweight sport coats we wore at the Cinnamon Cinder in

Houston in ‘63

 

Don Skiles:

OK Wayne, you opened the gate. Did your family own or manage something? the Ice House?

I remember that some of the gigs we went to were in your 4-door ‘56 Chevy, I believe it was silver?

Wayne Wheeler:

My Mom was the Manager of the local Foremost Dairy distributorship which also housed the ice house. We lived in an apartment attached to that business. I can remember several out of town gigs, but one in particular was scheduled in Snyder, Texas at 9:00 PM on a Saturday night. Morris, Don and I all worked at Piggly Wiggly and didn’t get off until 8:00 PM. The old silver and white Chevy was loaded with instruments, amps, clean clothes, after shave (we didn’t have time to shower), and a full tank of gas. The best I can remember, Doug and Jimmy had left for Snyder earlier in the day taking Don’s drums and some of the sound equipment and instruments. At 8:00 PM sharp we piled into that Chevy and headed out. We got to Lamesa, changed drivers at a red light and continued on to Snyder. Brownfield to Snyder is 95 miles. We got to Snyder at 8:55 even with the stop in Lamesa. None of us could even remember going through Gail. Man did we fly, or maybe I should say angels carried us. I think I booked that gig for $125.00, which in 1958 or 1959 wasn’t too bad. Another gig we had was in Seagraves. On the way home, we were having a lot of fun like kids do, I mean laughing and cutting up and having a bottled coke. Whoever was riding “Shotgun” (I don’t remember who it was), rolled down their window, leaned out and threw their bottle at a mailbox. The bottle came back into the car, possibly in pieces, hit Morris’s Bassman amp and shattered all over the back seat area of the car. Again, the angels were riding with us. None of us got a scratch. To this day I shudder at the thought of what could have happened that night. Someone could have been cut up pretty bad or even lost their life.

Morris Tyler:

Wayne, This is the way I remember the coke bottle & mailbox story. We played in Denver City that Saturday night, on our way out of town we got a coke, candy & cheese crisp at a gas station, you know, all that good stuff. We always took the FM road to Wellman. After finishing off my coke I said Wayne, if you would scoot over a little closer to one of these mailboxes I'll try to hit it with this coke bottle, you said I can do that, and did.so. I leaned out the window of that 56 4-door Chevy that was going a hundred and ten mph. That’s 110 fast mph, normal in that day. I was riding shotgun, Skibo (Don’s nickname) was in the center. Don says, is that a mailbox comin’ yonder, I said sure is! Watch this! I let go of that coke bottle and bam, mission accomplished, instantly there was another bam we looked at each other and said, what was that? I don't know. You or Don said to me, what’s that in your hair? We turned on the dome light to see and my hair was sparkling with slivers of glass. That coke bottle came through the window that I was hanging out of, hit the back glass of that ‘56 Chevy that was going warp speed and exploded, but not breaking the back glass. The only part of that bottle we found was the end of it. You all remember how thick the end of a 6oz. coke bottle was. Glass was all over everything in the back. How did that bottle miss my head that was sticking out the small window of that silver and white 1956 4-door Chevy going 110 mph? Clean Living?  Only GOD knows!

Don Skiles:

Wayne, thanks for remembering the story and also for the story on playing in Snyder. I feel sure it was in 1959. I had totally forgotten that.

 

 

Wayne Wheeler in a photo taken in 1961

 

 

Jim Green:

I think you are probably right on the Delbert/Freda eloping date---spring or summer of ‘59. That reminds me, I lived with Delbert & Freda in Dallas for about 5 weeks when I went to Elkins Radio School in 1964. At that time Delbert was doing really well working for contractors building expensive homes. Delbert was the guy who would make doors and wood trim in houses look antique by beating them with different tools then staining the wood.

Don Skiles:

I’ll go along with that, I helped them pull it off, although I’m not certain of the date.

 
Delbert and Freda Elope!

Don Skiles:

Delbert asked me if it were possible for me to help them elope, and I said sure but what can I do. He said “Her Daddy knows my car and if I show up in it, may mess everything up.”  So we go in my car (the ’49 Ford Coupe). Delbert asked “Do you have any money?” I said I had a little to buy gas, and he said “It’s enough.”  I asked where they were going. He said Juarez. We were still at my house so I went to the pantry and got a can of tuna and a can of beans and told him they might need something to eat.

 

We got to Freda’s house on East Tate and parked in front of the neighbor’s house.  Delbert walked up beside her window and she handed out her suitcase. She climbed out behind it.  They rushed to the car, threw the suitcase in the back, jumped in the front and we took off.  I made a couple of turns as soon as possible, (just in case).  We went to Delbert’s, they got in his car, I wished them luck and said to be careful. We said our “see you laters” and they were gone.

 

After they got back in town, I was talking to Delbert, asking how things went.  “Good, except that when we put in gas in El Paso, it was the last of our money. We got hungry on the way home and ate the tuna and beans.”

 

They seemed to be such a great couple.  I saw them later in Dallas.  Delbert was working for himself.  He had a furniture refinishing business. He could take a wooden table and make the top look just like marble, amazing.  He was doing work for the high end people, even flying to exotic locations in foreign countries where the rich had homes and decorating for them.  Really missed Delbert, a great guy with lots and lots of talent.

 

Doug Coppock

We all tried to find him, but had no luck. We found out in 2014 that he is deceased.

 

Don Skiles:

In 1959 we entered the Lions Club talent show at the High School auditorium for the second time.  We got lots of applause (I think more than anyone else LOL) and we were proud of the job we did.  At the end of the contest, we did not even place. If I remember right, there was some booing in the crowd over the judges’ decision.  Anyway, lots of people were really upset.  We were told later that we were too professional to be entered in an amateur talent show.  Made us feel some better. I remember when we were in the band hall before going on, Delbert picked up some mallets, messed around with and played a song on the chimes. 

 

Skibo – New Jacket, New Tie, New Drums

This article appeared in the Brownfield newspaper sometime in 1959

 

 

Delbert’s Business Card when he was in Lubbock

 

 

 

Joe Wright:

I remember that we made a trip or trips to Lubbock to be on TV - maybe some sort of local talent show? or maybe just opportunity for local talent to play? I remember on a trip coming home from one of those being in a blue '54 Ford and the odometer rolling over to 100,000 miles. This was Jim's car wasn’t it?

Jim Green:

The ‘54 Ford was mine. I got it my senior year at BHS. I remember I had the exterior and interior painted the baby blue color and the paint shop left some drips on my dash. Don was as unhappy about it as I was and he went to the body shop to talk to them about it. The ‘54 Ford made out first trip to California the summer of 1960. Doug did you have the dark blue 55 Chevy then?

Doug Coppock:

Yes, Jim, That '55 Chevy was bought from mom and dad. I guess I'd forgotten what color it was - it may have been blue, but I was thinking it was black... or maybe I'm thinking of my '57 "210" Chevy. I'm thinking at some time or other I had the '55 painted silver.

Don Skiles:

Jim did have a ’54 Ford, I think he talked about it in an answer to this email.  It was a baby blue, or powder blue, put it in the Ford house body shop to get the interior painted to match the outside.  Jim was sick when it was time to pick it up, ask me to go there.  I did, Duane Galloway was one of the body men, I can’t remember the other two guys.  I looked it over and there were runs in the metal that surrounded the back window, I asked them if they could fix it, they got smart saying something to the effect that I knew nothing about paint work.  With my attitude then, I’m sure I got smart back to them. They threatened to whip my ass. Them being grown men, three of them, me a punk teenager and by myself, I decided it was time to go to the house. I told Jimmy what happened, then he and I told Mr. Green. Mr. Green went to the Ford house, talked to the owner.  The runs got fixed. Concerning the trip to Lubbock, I vaguely remember something about it. I think it was when we first started and didn’t pass the audition to appear.

 

Joe Wright:

Does the name Terry Noland ring a bell with anyone? I remember that on some occasion both he and the Emeralds played some sort of talent show and later you guys were playing at the party house and he showed up. He achieved some degree of success making an album that supposedly Buddy Holly played guitar on. He initially recorded for Norman Petty but left and went to NYC and left rockabilly behind for more of a teeny bopper sound. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/terry-noland-mn0000028509 

(more on Terry and Buddy at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/TerryNoland1)

Morris Tyler:

I don't remember any of this except Terry Noland, his name was actually Terry Church, I met him through his brother J. R. Church, who was a Baptist Preacher when I was playing Gospel Music.  J. R. Church had a TV program in Dallas called "Prophesy In The News"

Jim Green:

I remember the name Terry Noland and that he was a singer, but I don’t remember him coming to the party house or playing in a talent show that he was a part of.

 

Don Skiles:

I think it was early '59, maybe late '58, the Crickets were in Lubbock, maybe at the time they had split from Buddy Holly for a while, could have been just after he died. Buddy died February 3rd 1959.  Anyway, We were the warm up for the Crickets in Slaton High School for an assembly.  I think one of the Crickets was from Slaton.  

Morris Tyler:

Sonny Curtis is who you are thinking about, he is still one of the Crickets today. He is from Meadow but moved to Slaton his senior year and graduated from Slaton High School. Meadow Ag teacher (Doc Babb) also moved to Slaton and Sonny lived with him his senior year.

Don Skiles:

When we went up to Lubbock to talk about it a few days before, we went to Jerry Allison's house, met his parents, some of the Crickets and Peggy Sue.  I have thought through the years that Peggy Sue was Jerry's wife. While searching on the Internet, saw a picture of Peggy Sue with Jerry Naylor.  So the question is, who was married to Peggy Sue?

Morris Tyler:

Jerry Allison married Peggy Sue Gerron on July 22, 1958. They divorced in 1966.

Doug Coppock:

I believe this all happened after Buddy died since Buddy would have already been too big to play at Slaton at that time. Of course, it could have also been in that time period when Buddy decided to go solo. I’m not sure.

I found this on Wikipedia:

According to Buddy Holly’s  biographer, John Goldrosen, Holly's song “Peggy Sue”" was originally named after Holly's niece, Cindy Lue. The name was changed at Allison's request to Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue was the name of Allison's eventual wife (later divorced), and the title change was a way of asking her to come back after a break up.

 

Joe Wright:

I remember that there was a music store across the street from Texas Tech that we went to, and next to it (or close by) was a drug store where people could carve their names in the wall.

Don Skiles:

I remember that also, but not the name.

 



This studio picture was taken sometime in either 1959 or 1960. – The Fender Stratocaster in these pictures is a ’55 or ’56 model and belonged to Morris. Doug didn’t buy his own Strat until 1963.

Don’s notes on this picture:

OK guys, these pictures were taken at the Frogge Studio in Brownfield Texas.  The coats were made by

Wayne Wheeler’s mother, Theola.  Green velvet with green satin collars. By the way, I still have the tie.


Sometime in 1959:

Morris had bought some vibes. Among the gigs we were playing during that time period was Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, and Walker Air Force Base, Roswell New Mexico. Morris brought them to California and there were a few gigs where we used them.

 

 

Still wearing our green jackets and probably taken sometime in 1959. Jim had purchased that Gretsch guitar at a pawn shop just outside the Air Force Base we played at, either Roswell, New Mexico. Jim was planning on learning the saxophone well enough to play it a little. The Stratocaster is the ’55 or ’56 model belonging to Morris. Morris’s bass was a Fender Precision 1959 model and his amp was a 1959 Fender Bassman. He mentioned that he bought both the guitar and amp so he could join the band.

 

Don Skiles:

In 1959 or 1960 we played for a graduation party in the Club House in the Gaines County Park, (1/2 way between Seagraves and Seminole). Met a guy, I can’t remember his name, he was a football star for Seminole or had been. We became good friends with him, he followed the band very close for awhile.  He later came to the 1607 Club and brought lots of others with him.

 

Early 1960

Don Skiles:

We Played the Lions Club Talent Show as special guest.

We believe this “Dreams and Wishes” demo was recorded in Lubbock sometime in early 1960 before we went to California. On the flip side was another instrumental (“Spring Fever”)

 

May 1960:

Jimmy and Doug graduate from Brownfield High School

Jim Green:

I recall that in 1960, when Doug and I graduated from BHS, the Emeralds big adventure to California was our plan. We planned the California trip for weeks or months. Preparing for California, we had made some connections through class-mates. Ann Burns had a relative in Los Angeles, Harry was his name. He would help us with some introductions to some music people in Los Angeles. Doug mentioned he believed Harry introduced us to Austin Finkenbinder.

 

Austin Finkenbinder Our Manager circa 1960 – He hooked us up with Indigo, as well as offered guidance and council throughout our time in California

 

Doug Coppock:

Here is where we should say how thankful we were for Piggly Wiggly’s contribution to feeding us while we were in California. Don and Morris worked there at the time as well as Don’s brother James. We sure ate a lot of canned goods for the month we were out there.

 

This is where we lived in Little Italy in 1960 - 1222 ½ Irolol Street

 

Morris Tyler:

Our very first trip to California as a band was June 1960. Bonnie came up with some love letters I wrote to her from Los Angeles before we married. Our mailing address was 1222 1/2 Irolo Street, Los Angeles 6, California.  Here’s some dates and occasions from those letters:

 

 

 

We auditioned to be on TV Friday 7/22/1960 (don't know what for).

 

We went to the beach to get Grunion on Sunday, 7/24/1960 - Letter Date: 7/25/1960 (Monday)

We were at Indigo on Thursday night, 7/28/1960. We got the contract with Indigo Friday 7/29/1960 and signed the contract on Saturday 7/30/1960.

 

We played for a dance in what was known as Little Italy (our neighborhood) Saturday night - Letter Date: 7/27/1960  (Wednesday)

We received a telegram Monday 8/1/1960 from Wayne Wheeler saying we should call the band "The Original Emeralds" or "Texas Emeralds" - Letter Date: 8/2/1960 (Tuesday)

Doug Coppock:

We haven’t talked about this yet, but the Indigo people found that there was a group named the Emeralds somewhere and believed that they might be successful enough to cause problems so we reluctantly agreed that we would change our name to the Crystals.

 

Morris Tyler:

On Monday 8/1/1960 PM we were in the studio at Indigo about 4 hours and only cut two sides, it is now 6 AM the next day (Tuesday) 8/2/1960 and we have two more sides to cut. We planned to leave here Thursday 8/4/1960 in the evening and drive straight thru, hope to see you Saturday night (8/6/1960)  - Letter Date: 08/03/1960 (Wednesday) 

Doug Coppock:

The two sides Morris refers to here were Moxie and Borracho, which are lost recordings. We never got a test pressing or a demo.

 

Don Skiles:

I remember that it was Harry that got us the connection for the rental in Little Italy where we lived for about a month in the summer of 1960. The address was 1222 1/2 Irolo Street, Los Angeles CA. It was just south of the Hollywood Freeway and just north of Pico.

Jim Green:

There were one or two families that owned the whole half block.

Don Skiles:

That's where we saw a woman chase her husband around the house with a butcher knife. We watched from our upstairs apartment.

Jim Green:

We rehearsed in the party house (part of the 1222 Irolo property) for our recording session with Indigo.

Don Skiles:

We played ping pong there with little Ernie Bongiovanni, one of the family's kids.

Jim Green:

Wow... what a memory Don has!!

Don Skiles:

Sometime during that month the Italians were excited because the grunion were running. We didn't know what the heck they were talking about. We learned that at certain phases of the moon, the grunion come up on the beach where you can just walk around and pick them up. So we loaded up and went to the beach and picked up a whole bunch of grunion. We brought 'em home and put 'em in the freezer...

Jim Green:

And that's where they stayed!! (laughter all around)

Doug Coppock:

Till we tossed 'em out when we went back to Texas.

Jim Green:

The grunion don't run anymore. They don't run that far south is what I've been told.

While we lived on Irolo, we secured the record deal with Indigo with Austin Finkenbinder as our manager. Austin’s address was 1769 Orange Hollywood California. When we signed with Indigo, Kathy Young & the Innocents had what would eventually be #1 on the charts for Indigo, “A Thousand Stars in the Sky”. The Innocents also had a song in the top 40 in Los Angeles, “Gee Whiz”.  I remember I had hoped we could record our version of “Devil or Angel” but Bobby Vee came out with his version the summer of 1960.

Doug Coppock:

We weren't completely without connections. As mentioned earlier, Ann Burns cousin was out there and his name was Harry something. Harry was our connection and introduction to Austin Finkenbinder.  Austin made cold calls to various record labels and Indigo was open to auditioning new talent. We auditioned and they signed us. All of us agree that we auditioned at their offices. The studio they used was on or near Argyle Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard, one block east of Vine Street. That was how the Hollywood Argyles got their name (Alley Oop). We recorded Dreams and Wishes and Mr. Brush at that studio. The A&R man we worked with was Jim Lee and he got co-write credit for Mr. Brush since he sort of had the idea for the guitar lick. He also had the idea for the double speed guitar part that I over-dubbed on Dreams and Wishes, (the tinkle sounding high guitar part - recorded at half speed and played back regular speed thus making it twice as high). This was the same method used for the Alvin and the Chipmunks songs.

 

Don Skiles:

While in California, we went to Disneyland many times.  Eddie Taylor, a friend from back in Brownfield took us to The Nu-Pike. The Pike was an amusement zone in Long Beach, California. The Pike was founded in 1902 along the shoreline south of Ocean Boulevard with several independent arcades, food stands, gift shops, a variety of rides and a grand bath house. It was most noted for the Cyclone Racer (1930–1968), a large wooden dual-track roller coaster, built out on pilings over the water.  This was our ride, once you got on and the ride was finished, you could give the attendant a quarter and stay on for the next ride.  The big deal was to hold your hands in the air and snap your finger for the entire ride. One time when we were there, we rode about 3 times in a row, got off to see other things.  Went around the corner to the shooting gallery, some girl came running, screaming.  One of us grabbed her, asking what is wrong, she hollered, “the coaster just went of the track and is upside down on the ground.” The Pike operated under several names. The amusement zone surrounding the Pike, "Silver Spray Pier", was included along with additional parking in the post World War II expansion; it was all renamed Nu-Pike via a contest winner's submission in the late 1950s, then renamed Queens Pike in the late 1960s in homage to the arrival of the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach. 1979 was the year Long Beach city council refused to renew the land leases and demolished all of the structures and attractions it could that weren't trucked away. The Pike museum is located in Looff's Lite-A-Line at 2500 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90806.

 

We also played at a club down at Long Beach somewhere one night and we decided we wouldn't go back there anymore.

Jim Green:

It was in the afternoon.

Don Skiles:

It was a pretty rough club.

Morris Tyler:

It was a joint, that wasn't no club!

 

Doug Coppock:

So we returned to Brownfield early in August of 1960.

Jim Green:

Don returned to Brownfield High School in September for his senior year. We all worked day jobs locally and played as many bookings as we could.

 

 

 

 

Don Skiles:

In 1960 when Dreams & Wishes was released, it had a full page ad in Billboard.

Doug Coppock:

Or was it Cashbox? I thought we had a picture of that ad somewhere - do we?

Don Skiles:

Yes we do!

 

 

 

Don Skiles:

And on New Years Eve 12/31/1960 we rented the United building for a New Year’s Eve Dance. Actually it was the bus station and they were to start tearing it down to build the United Grocery Store.  We charged $1.00 to get in, took in $121.00 and thought we had hit the big time. It was a heck of a New Years Eve Party.

Doug Coppock:

As someone mentioned, it was primarily the Hitch-N-Post BBQ place which also served as the bus station for a time.

 

Hitch-N-Post at 201 South 1st

 

1961:

Morris Tyler:

Bonnie & I were married Jan.7th 1961

 

1/21/1961 Cash Box Ad for "4th in a row from Indigo" - We were the Crystals at that time.

 

Jim Green:

So we were back home waiting on the release of our record. We had to join the musician's union, the Amarillo branch, before we could go out and get gigs in California.

Morris Tyler:

And we had to wait on Indigo to release the record.

Jim Green:

And we didn't get the records until January of 1961 and after we joined the union we transferred our membership to Los Angeles.

Morris Tyler:

I think I still have my union card. I have one from Amarillo and a temporary one from Hollywood.

(temporary union card picture later)

 

Morris Tyler Union Card

 

Wayne Wheeler:

When I was in Crypto Radio School in Pensacola, FL, in 1961, Dreams & Wishes climbed to number 13 on the local radio R&R chart and stayed there for a few weeks.  One of the local DJ’s even used it to sign off with. He said he LOVED the sound.

Jim Green:

Dreams and Wishes and Mr. Brush came out in January 1961. I recall Jim Spann played Mr. Brush on his radio show. Thanks to Wayne for remembering Dreams & Wishes hitting #13 on the chart in Florida. I also recall we got air play in Chicago and Los Angeles but no chart number. When we received our copies of the 45 record, I recall that all four of us took a trip to KOMA in Oklahoma City and to KLIF in Dallas to try to get our record to their DeeJays. We weren’t successful but I remember the trip. That was also the month (January) that my Grandpa Green passed away.

Doug Coppock:

Yes I remember the trip, particularly the KOMA part, but the Dallas part of the trip is vague (not that I doubt it though). It wasn’t until 1961 or early 1962 when we returned to California with the intention of getting day jobs and staying, since we had returned to Brownfield once the record was recorded and we didn't have anything to do but wait around and play gigs until it was be released - plus we were out of food and money. When we returned to California as a band, we lived on Fulton in Sherman Oaks.

 


February 1961:

We were invited to play as guests at the 1961 Lion’s Club Tournament of Talent

 

Morris Tyler:

Bonnie & I had moved to Roswell for a short time in early 1961 and I remember coming back to Brownfield to play a gig where we backed up Little Jimmy Dickens at the BHS Auditorium.  There was an incident. It seems that some young lady who LJD took an interest in, absconded with a very flashy diamond ring, which Jimmy was quite proud of. It had the Initials JD in diamonds on it.

 

Summer of 1961

Doug Coppock:

Evidently at some point in time we had given up on Indigo. I don’t remember if they officially closed up shop, or we just couldn’t get any solid information about what was going on.

Jim Green:

In the summer of 1961, Don, Joe Wright and I decided to go back to LA. I don’t recall why Doug didn’t go. We wanted to try to get permanent jobs so we could give support for the whole band moving to Los Angeles. We traveled in my Dad’s 55 Chevy Panel Truck. We stayed in motels and with Austin Finkenbinder. We worked for a caterer washing dishes, and as Don recalls, had a go at selling bibles door to door (for one day). We ate a lot of meals at McDonalds. They had 19-cent hamburgers. We did not meet our goals of getting a permanent job, mainly because we didn’t know what the heck we were doing. We returned to Brownfield in the summer of 1961. Doug recalls our panel truck breaking down in New Mexico on the way home and he and my Dad came to rescue us. I vaguely remember that.

Doug Coppock:

It was actually Joe Wright that remembered the truck break down – and I don’t remember the reasoning why I didn’t make that trip. I also don’t remember the rescue trip. I’m not saying I didn’t go along, I just don’t remember it.

 

The California Trip – Jim, Don, and Joe Wright

Don Skiles:

We went out there in Jim's Dad's '55 Chevy panel wagon and we had a bed in the very back of it with a tunnel through the instruments to get back there. I went back there to sleep, woke up while crossing the desert, was very hot, sweating all over, had one of my claustrophobia attacks, crawled through the tunnel, hit Joe Wright in the back of the head, almost fell in the floorboard before stopping. Anyway, we were gonna get jobs but it didn't work out and we had to come back.

Joe Wright:

Here are some of the things I remember about the trip to California in ’61. We visited three families: The Taylors and two others. I had it in my mind that one of the families was Lloyd Little’s kin.  Don said maybe Bobby Rose. I am not sure. I think the Taylors lived in Downey. The other two towns that I remember are Long Beach and Inglewood. Then there was Hermosa Beach, surfing, washing dishes for some catering company, SUNBURN! (lots of sunburn), shooting pool with Eddie in a bowling alley (I think). If I recall correctly, Eddie was a huge Ricky Nelson Fan (more than Elvis). I remember Austin had a collection of trophies that he won playing table tennis and also a coin collection. I remember going to the Brown Derby, Elvis’ star on Hollywood Blvd., climbing over the chairs to get down to the stage at the Hollywood Bowl and driving up Mulholland Drive. There maybe some other things that pop up but they may remain a mystery because the mind is slowly slipping away.

Joe Wright:

While y’all were out there, Little Sister had just came out (released Aug 1961) and when y’all came home,

Doug hadn't heard it yet.

Doug Coppock:

I remember learning it at Jimmy's house listening to the record.

Joe Wright:

And, there was the Sept. ‘61 Ral Donner mystery: "Who is the real Ral Donner?" That was a big deal while we were out there. Eddie Taylor got y’all that job washing dishes, and we went surfing. I saw Spartacus in California while we were out there. The movie wasn't released until October 1960. I joined the Army Sept 21, 1961 after returning to Brownfield. Y’all broke down in New Mexico on the way back – Doug, Jim and his dad came and got them.

Jim Green:

And I suddenly remembered that “Green Onions” by Booker T & the MGs was a big hit that summer.

Doug Coppock:

I just have no recollection of making the rescue trip, although I may have.

Joe Wright:

Leon Speed was drafted somewhere around this time. He went to Amarillo and failed the physical. I got out of army in 1966 after 5 months in ‘Nam

Don Skiles:

So, that was that trip when Eddie Taylor lined us up to come out there in '61 wasn't it? [we all agreed].

Jim Green:

Anyway... we went out and worked for a caterer and we washed dishes for him and we got free meals. I think we did it for a couple of weeks for about $5 an hour.

Don Skiles:

That was when me and you, Jimmy got the job selling bibles wasn't it?

Jim Green:

I think it was.... boy that was really fun, wasn't it? [Laughter]

Don Skiles:

We went through training for about an hour and then we hit the street... They were really nice bibles, they were big thick family bibles. I remember that they had the Hebrew words in parentheses right below the English words. I remember that the Hebrew word for cow was "kine". There were several interesting stories I could tell about selling bibles. Jimmy, Joe and me went to the beach with Eddie to learn to surf. The boards had to come out of the water at 11:00 am because of the many swimmers. We stayed around to swim and enjoy the beach (actually to look at the bikinis). Man did we get blistered.  OUCH!!  Hurt for many days. it was unreal how bad we were burnt.

 

Joe Wright:

I remember that before we went to California in '61 we were scrambling around trying to get some sort of work permit to allow you to play in clubs. Does that ring a bell?

Jim Green:

The work permit Joe is thinking of was our application to join the musicians union in Amarillo, which we transferred to L.A. when we moved. That’s how we were able to use the musician union practice hall in L.A.

Don Skiles:

We did go to court and get a court order that made it possible to sign contracts and be held accountable, just the same as if we were 21. It worked when we signed recording contracts. Didn’t work when I tried to finance a car, at least the banker did not honor it.

 

Back Home:

Jim Green:

We continued to play area bookings and I went to work for Goodpasture. I remember we would play at a club in Hobbs until midnight or 1:00 am New Mexico time then drive home, get a few winks and get up for our day jobs. I think we did that for a whole week. They wanted us to book another week but we were too worn out and severely sleep deprived.

Doug Coppock:

I remember that! One week was about all we could take!!

Don Skiles:

I’m pretty sure it was only three nights. The third night that we played, we got off at 1:00 am, which was 2:00 am Texas time.  I was the last one to get in Jimmy’s ’57 Chevy 4-door hard-top. The only place left was the driver’s seat so I drove. From Hobbs to Seminole is about 30 miles. Just after crossing the New Mexico/Texas state line I saw a snake in the bar ditch that was about 20 feet long and two feet tall, when I looked at him he turned and went into the field. I shook my head and kept on driving. Another mile, or so, a big sow pig with seven babies in the ditch and running beside the car. I shook my head again, then saw a train crossing in front of me and the car lights were shining on the train cars. I knew I was going to hit the train but slammed on my brakes. The tires started squealing and then the train disappeared. Everyone woke up and Don told the rest of the guys what was going on. Don was told he cannot drive anymore!!!!!!!!~!~~!

 

Doug Coppock:

There was a wreck that resulted in Johnny Raybon's injury that put him in wheel chair for the rest of his life. It was in Tommy Eiche’s '59 Chevy Impala (it had "Lady's Lounge" painted on the side). It happened on the way to Denver City.  Chris Addison and Johnny along with Tommy Eiche went to see us play.  Joe said he thought it was caused by a blowout. Joe would have been with them, but he had to work late at Shopper's Guide that night. The car was totalled and evidently towed to a spot on the Lubbock highway near Charlie's Drive-In where for a donation to some charity you could take a swing at it with a sledgehammer.

Ronnie Raybon:

The wreck happened between Wellman and Denver City on the way to the Emeralds dance.  Tommy was driving his car (with slick tires) and a tire blew out. Chris was riding shotgun. The vehicle rolled seven times, Chris and Johnny were thrown from the car and Tommy was still inside. 

Jim Green:

I remember Tommy Eiche and that horrible wreck between Denver City and Brownfield.

Doug Coppock:

Tommy didn't go to school at BHS for long. I found him in the 1960 BHS Annual listed as a freshman.

 

Morris Tyler:

We played lots of places during this time period. We played at the Lasso Club in Lubbock. In fact this was where Gordon agreed to join the band.

Don Skiles:

We played Denver City, Hobbs and others. While we were booked at the Lasso Club for a two week gig, the owner asked us if we’d mind taking off for one night because he had Emmy Lou Harris booked and Roy Clark was her band leader.

Doug Coppock:

We all went up there to see the show. We had heard about Roy Clark and didn’t want to miss it!

Doug Coppock:

In 1961 we went to Ben Hall’s recording studio in Big Spring and recorded Little D Special and Search for Love. We sent it to Austin Finkenbinder, and he negotiated a deal with Riviera Records to release it after adding a heavy organ was added to the track. It was nice in a way, but reminded me of a roller rink organ sound.

 

Jim Green:

Shortly after that in late 1961, we rented a building at 1607 Lubbock Highway in Brownfield and called it the 1607 Club. We set up a stage and held regular dances there and charged at the door. I recall that Lucky Floyd and Bobby Smith with the Sparkles came over a couple of times to sit in with us.

Doug Coppock:

Gary P Nunn remembered seeing some of the Sparkles at the 1607 Club. (see Gary’s recollections later)

Joe Wright:

I remember being with you guys when we initially cleaned out the 1607 Club and made several trips to the dump. Roy Lee was there too and was sort of acting like he was in charge.

Jim Green:

This is where my memory was jolted, about the 1607 Club. The Emeralds were in some type of agreement with Roy Lee Chandler concerning the club. I recall that he rented it and had the utilities in his name and we had some kind of split with him on the income.

Don Skiles:

Yes, Roy Lee Chandler was a partner with us in the 1607 Club. The stage was in the southwest corner, at a 45 degree angle, with chairs lined around the outside, we had one coke machine for kids to get drinks. Had started to draw real good crowds from Texas Tech and surrounding towns.

Doug Coppock:

I remember when they first delivered a jukebox out there while we were getting it ready. I remember playing Don Gibson’s Sea of Heartbreak over and over again while we were working.

Joe Wright

It was at the 1607 Club when Charles Lee and E. J. Holub from Texas Tech crossed paths. They went out to Guy Henson's where a fight took place.

Jim Green:

I remember all of Charles Lee’s so-called buddies always getting him in fights and making bets that Charles would win. I don’t remember him fighting E. J. Holub though, and I never attended any of the fights.

 

Jim Green:

Sometime during that period is when I bought my 1961 maroon Chevy Impala two door hard top. Also, sometime during this period in ‘61, Gordon joined the Emeralds.


The Larry Trider episode  and the 1607 Club (late 1961)

 

Jim Green:

During our 1607 Club days is when we met Larry Trider. I’m sure glad we didn’t go to New Jersey with that guy. I’ll never forget how y’all stood with me and we stuck together as a band. As I remember, that was the time frame we got our musicians union cards through Amarillo. So, when the Trider/New Jersey deal blew up, our next decision was to move to LA and get day-time jobs until we could go full time in music. This must have been in late 1961 because we moved without Gordy. He graduated in May 1962 and joined us in June when we were living in Sherman Oaks.

Doug Coppock:

That sounds right. I’m pretty sure that I started at AE Nugent on 1/1/1962 (I still have my IRS tax form) so the 1607 Club and the Larry Trider Episode must have been in 1961. This would mean we went to California without Gordon since he didn’t get out there until June of 1962.

Don Skiles:

In 1961 Larry Trider came out to the 1607 Club to hear us. He was originally from Amarillo, but had played all over the West Texas area and New Jersey. He asked to sit in with us and sang. He came by a few times and we got to know him a little bit. He talked about hiring us to go to New Jersey with him and that our kind of music was red hot and we would do well up there. We were ready to do something so we agreed. We all quit our jobs and got packed up and ready to go. We closed down the 1607 Club on Saturday night. All of us went down to the Melody Drive Inn with Larry and were making plans to leave the next morning for New Jersey. Larry informed us that Jim didn't need to come since he would take care of the rhythm guitar duties.  We told him that was not gonna work and that we were sticking together as a band. Either we all go, or none of us go. Larry got mad and stormed out. We all just looked at each other and said "What are we gonna do now?" We decided that Los Angeles would be our destination.

 

Here is some info on Trider from Robin Brown’s website:

196? Trider, Larry from: Amarillo, Tx.  - Larry Trider & the Nomads  Larry Trider-singer & rhythm guitar- by the way, he was a left handed guitar player.

 

Back to California!

Doug Coppock:

When we went back to California in 1961 we planned to get jobs so we could stay out there. We wanted to get a record contract, but even if we didn't get one, we wanted to have jobs so we could stay out there. Indigo had failed, or at least there was no possibility of Dreams and Wishes getting further promo or distribution.

Doug Coppock:

I went to work A. E. Nugent Chevrolet on La Brea Blvd. I have noted somewhere that I started on 1/1/1962.

Don Skiles:

I went to work for Sunbeam Lighting in downtown L.A.

Jim Green:

I went to work for a company in downtown L.A. that made venturis and conversion kits for cars and trucks using propane gas.

Morris Tyler:

I went to work not too far from Austin's apartment on Hollywood Blvd. at a grocery store.

Doug Coppock:

We figured out where Austin's apartment was - the address was 1769 North Orange less than a block north of Hollywood Blvd. That was just around the corner from Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Morris Tyler:

I don't remember the date we moved to California, I do remember we stayed with Austin Finkenbinder & his partner in Hollywood a short time. It was fun. And at one time we stayed with Eugene Taylor, Eddie Taylor's brother, they lived in Downey. Another time we stayed with Bonnie's Aunt and Uncle in Pasadena. We also stayed at a lot of cheap motels. You could rent them by the hour, that's cheap.

Don Skiles:

Now that you said it, I do remember you staying with Austin, didn’t remember Eugene or the family.

Moss, those cheap motels….  Proud you did what you had to do to hang in there.

 

 

 

Not certain of the date of this business card, but it was likely in late 1961 or early 1962

 

Gordon Franklin:

I graduated from Levelland High School in May of 1962. I remember coming to California on 6/2/1962 for the first time. I worked at a bike shop.

Morris Tyler:

When we moved to California, Bonnie was a young wife and mother and had never been any further from home than Lubbock and Brownfield with exception of her senior trip to New York. She was in tears all the way but never complained about going or while we were there. She should have, the way she was being dragged around to cheap motels and with no friends around.

Gordon Franklin:

I remember how to get to the apartment where we lived at in Sherman Oaks, we took the Hollywood Freeway and continued on Ventura Freeway to exit at Coldwater Canyon take a left on Riverside and then a right on Fulton and I think it was the 4800 block.

Doug Coppock:

It was on Fulton off Hollywood Freeway Coldwater Canyon exit  - 4860 Fulton? Nope… based on email correspondence, the consensus appears to be that the address is 4519 Fulton – go to google.maps.com and enter this in the search box: maps: 4519 fulton sherman oaks ca

Don Skiles:

When we were living in Sherman Oaks, Jim was sleeping on the couch in the living room, over slept one morning, when I woke him up, he took a swing at me.  Didn’t know he was so touchy in the morn. LOL

Doug Coppock:

I remember that! I was there too.

Allen Neal:

After I came out to take Morris’s place, I remember a center entryway with apartments on either side and we lived in the second apartment on the right. Lynn and her husband lived in the corner on the right. I remember it having a center courtyard. We lived in the right side, second from front. It was green and white at that time, and I believe it was called Fulton Manor. It was between Moorpark and Riverside drive, off the freeway, past Ventura and Moorpark and the apartments were on the left side. Does anyone remember the name of the redhead that lived downstairs across the courtyard from us on the bottom apartment at the right?

Doug Coppock:

I don’t remember… does anyone else?

Don Skiles:

No, but I remember a guy named Fred! He was a very talented artist.

Morris Tyler:

Sometime during this period, we went to the offices of the Ventures. We met with Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, the lead and rhythm players with the group. We discussed the possibility of having them sign and promote the Emeralds. They were pleasant enough, but we started getting busy on our own and never got back with them.

 

Jimmy and Doug at the Sherman Oaks Apartment

 

 

1962:

Allen Neal:

I got out of the service in January. I worked at Goodpastures in Houston same time as James Chidester (but we didn’t know it).

Morris Tyler:

From some letters to Bonnie I can say that we were back in California by June of 1962, I was working at a grocery store in Hollywood staying with Austin. His address was Austin A. Finkenbinder 1769 N. Orange Dr. Apt. #28 Hollywood 28, California. In one of the letters I told Bonnie we were going to the studio to record with some black guy and later a woman, who could that have been?

Doug Coppock:

I don’t remember the black guy or the woman.

 

Don has 1961 on the back of this picture, but Jim remembers these were light blue jackets and he feels it was 1962, which means this would have been at some gig in California. It could have been late 1961. It could have been at the 1607 Club. We just don’t know.

 

Don Skiles:

When we lived in Sherman Oaks, we parked either at the curb or under a carport in the back of the apartments. My car, a 1955 DeSoto 2 door hardtop, wasn’t running so good.  This good friend / awesome saxophone player of the Emeralds, named Gordon “Gordy” Franklin did a valve job under the carport.  Did a good job too, still ran great when I traded it in.

 

Speaking of the DeSoto, Gordon and I were at Austin Finkenbinder’s in Hollywood one day, Gordy was riding shotgun, we were leaving and going up to get on Highland Drive (think that’s right), traffic was thick as usual and when you got an opening, you gunned it and got in the flow.  I did this and very quickly had to stop for those in front, the guy behind us sticks his head out the window and hollers “Is that how you guys drive back in Texas?”  Gordon jumps out, points him finger at the guy and says, “Get out of the car, I’ll kick your ass up between your shoulders and show you how to drive in Texas.”  The guy eased behind his steering wheel and sat very quietly.

 

Morris Tyler:

What was the guy’s name that had a studio we recorded at and he tried to take charge of us.

Doug Coppock:

This would have been the five song Neophon demo we cut.

Don Skiles:

You're talking about when we did that demo tape that we were going to use to get jobs.

Morris Tyler:

And he tried to take over.

Don Skiles:

Yeah - We told him we're paying for this and we're gonna do it our way.

Morris Tyler:

He wanted to take over and manage the band

Don Skiles:

That studio was down on Sunset Blvd. and he made the remark that every time we made a cut, it was within just a few seconds of being the same length as our previous cut. He seemed to think that was an exceptional skill.

Don Skiles:

I found his business card. It was Dale Bobbitt. He said we were the first band to accomplish that since he recorded the Champs in that same studio! I just remembered Austin’s laugh!

Note: Cliff was Austin’s partner

 

Don Skiles:

On the back of the card, written by the guy who did the recording I think is:

 Sy Amber

 6638 Hollywood Blvd.

 Hollywood, Calif.

I think Dale suggested we go there to get outfitted in suits etc. He said Amber dressed lots of the stars????

Allen Neal:

We did buy clothes in Sy Ambers in 1962, that's were I got the black shirt, white tie and red vest at the time you got suits.

Doug Coppock:

And when was this session at Bobbitt’s?

Don Skiles:

I knew you were gonna ask a complicated question like that....

Doug Coppock:

Well, Desifinado was on it so we know it was after Gordy came out. (June 1962) It must have been the Neophon disc. We must have recorded it in 1962 before Morris went back to Texas.

Don Skiles:

Probably in 1962 we were on the Hollywood freeway and a Rolls Royce pulls up beside us on the right, and a guy in the back rolls his window down, sticks his head and arm out the window and hollers “Hello thar Texas!” It was Chill Wills!

 

John Reed Hollywood Studio Picture

 

John Reed Hollywood Studio Picture of Jim Green

 

 

Later in 1962:

 

Doug Coppock:

Sometime around this time Morris moved back to Texas. By this time he and Bonnie had Barry, their first child.

Morris Tyler:

When we left the band and moved back to Lubbock, it was not because I wanted to. It was the right thing to do for Bonnie and the baby. When we got back I went back to work for United, we bought a house in Lubbock in the Redd Budd area. It was new at that time.

Allen Neal:

I had worked for two weeks at Kobe Pipe & Supply and felt bad about quitting. Jimmy called me (this was in August according to Allen’s mom) then Doug called me - Morris was on the way back to Texas by then. This is when I took Morris place sometime around here. I drove a car to Phoenix, then a bus to Union Station and you guys met me there. I had to go to Tijuana with someone to get a fake drivers license to work in bars. I remember practicing at the Union Hall. Here’s some of the stuff I remember: As per my mom I went to California in August of 1962. I remember playing at Ida Lupino and Howard Duff’s home in the Hollywood hills. It was a big party, lots of crazy young people there as well as older people. Lots of booze and smoke as I remember. We played alternate sets with another band.

Doug Coppock:

That Ida Lupino Howard Duff gig was up on or just off Mulholland Drive. This is probably the first gig that Mack McConkey booked for us. What I have in my notes is that I left Nugent for music full time in September of '62.  This may have been when we auditioned for the Cinnamon Cinder, even though we didn’t go to Texas until February 8th 1963. That is when we played the armory on the way to the Cinnamon Cinder and then Valentines Day is when we opened at the Cinnamon Cinder. I don’t know what we did to make a living from September to February. Am I missing something?

 

Jim Doug Don and Allen

 

Allen Neal

Sometime later we played in a club on Pico in south LA where we met Jerry Cole.

 

(some info on Jerry Cole)

Throughout the '60s guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cole worked with some of the most prominent talents in rock'n'roll, including Them, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, and as a session man in Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew." With his own group the Spacemen, Cole released four albums of space-age surf music in just over two years, beginning with 1963's Outer Limits. As the '60s progressed, Cole worked on sessions for the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man"/"I Knew I'd Want You" single and Them's 1965 self-titled album. He teamed up with Roger McGuinn again in 1972 for McGuinn's debut solo record, and session work with Roger Miller, Chuck Howard and Susie Allanson sent him in a country-rock direction. Cole's work with the Spacemen was collected in the 1999 Sundazed compilation Power Surf! The Best of Jerry Cole & His Spacemen. ~ Heather Phares

 

Allen Neal:

He (Jerry) was at the club to play with another band and was a great guitarist. Played Pipeline and sounded like the Ventures. He sang as well and I believe he was on Shindig at some point.

The next thing I remember is on Thanksgiving in 1962 I decided to make a Turkey. I got the Turkey stuffed and cooked it and when I removed the stuffing I found the giblets and neck still inside the bird wrapped in paper. Surprised it didn't explode. As I remember it was a good dinner and we ate well that day. I was working at Sunbeam Lighting starting in Late August or early September in the mail room distributing mail office to office. In December we decided to go to Texas for Christmas. We took turns driving and somewhere in a one light town we got stopped for speeding (speed trap) we followed the police officer to the station and took a collection to pay the $50.00 fine. We still made the trip in 18 to 19 hrs. (a record from previous trips the band had made). I started at A.E. Nugent Jan 2 1963. The band returned to Texas to open the Cinnamon Cinder club and I stayed in California.

 

Here’s some history. I started playing for the Tremolos in Brownfield 1959, with Donnie Raybon (Drums), Ronnie Raybon (lead Guitar), Doug Mason (Rhythm Guitar), and Jeff Lester (Sax), myself on Bass Guitar. I never played a guitar of any kind and Ronnie and Doug said they would help. We all played instruments in the marching band, were in Boy Scouts together for many years, even went on Boy Scout Jamboree to Pennsylvania together in 1957. After the band was together Mary Dee Mason (Doug's Mom) became our manager and booking agent. She also met Harold Evans from Hobbs that was a singer and he joined the band. We played at the party house, several private dances, Slaton at the Knights of Columbus. We also played in Ruidoso, New Mexico. One time coming back from Ruidoso we all stopped at a restaurant in Hobbs to eat. There were about 10 of us counting parents that went with us, the manager would not let us all eat in the restaurant because of Harold (he was black). We had to eat in the back in the kitchen. Mary Dee got us a record cut in Big Spring and it did well around Brownfield but not so well other places. In 1961 just after graduation Sonny Dunn and myself enlisted in the Army National Guard to complete our military obligation. So I left the band. Gary Nunn played in the band after that and my brother Dwayne as well. When I returned to Brownfield after the service I went to work for Goodpasture and transferred to Houston and worked for Wayne Jackson as a electricians helper. My Dad had been working to get me a job with Kobe pump and supply in Brownfield so I could be closer to home and possibly continue to play in the band. Two weeks after I started at Kobe Jim Green called and said Morris was coming back to Brownfield and did I want to come to California and play Bass with the Emeralds. I talked it over with my folks and got their okay and left for California. I believe I already said that my Dad got me a ride from Brownfield to Phoenix driving a wholesale car for a friend of his. When I arrived in LA Jim, Doug, Don and Gordon picked me up at Union Station. At some point we were told that we needed a California drivers license to reflect we all were 21 or older, not sure if Don and Jim did but I went into the North Hollywood DMV and put my birth date year back a year so I was 21.

 

Don Skiles:

In 1962, somehow we were introduced to a guy named Gary Charge.  He was from Las Vegas. Supposedly he could sing and his dad had lots of contacts in Vegas.  Told us we could be playing in Vegas soon.  We spent several nights at Paul Sawtell’s house (a friend of Gary’s dad) practicing. Paul’s wife complained about the loud banging that we knew as music.  Anyway, arrangements were made to go to Vegas to audition.  We stayed in the Charge’s house.  Found out back in LA, wherever Paul’s house was, that Mr. Charge was a magician.  I remember him holding Silver Dollars between each of his fingers and making them disappear and re-appear.  So, while in their house, I went down to the end of the hallway, opened a door and there is a room filled with magic equipment, like where they saw a woman in half, close a door, spin the cabinet and she disappears. The whole room was full of magic stuff. If I remember right, the audition was at the Showboat.  So afterwards, we are in the lobby of the Thunderbird, looking around, spotted someone from Brownfield. It was Carroll Taylor, he recognized us, walked up to speak, shook his hand, and it was like a limp dish rag.  He was a hair dresser in Vegas. I understand he became very well known there.  After visiting a few minutes as to what we were all doing, we all said see you later.  Carroll said if he could help us in any way to look him up. Just come to the “White Pig” a drive in on some street and ask for him.  He said it was where all the queers hang out.  Those were his words, not mine. So, we go back to the Charge’s house, dad comes in saying he had good news:  “The Showboat wants to book us, and will pay $2000 a week. They really want Gary and the pay will be split with Gary getting $1000 and the band getting $200 each.”  Told him no way, everyone gets the same or the band won’t play.  Trying to play the big shot, he said we were nothing without Gary fronting, we got up and walked out, came back to LA.  We still have heard nothing from “Mr. Gary Charge”

Doug Coppock:

I think you’re right about Gary Charge. After we worked up enough stuff with him, we made the trip to Las Vegas to audition at some casino.

Allen Neal:

Gary Charge was a prima donna for sure. Paul Sawtell had some connection with Gary Charge and he was going to get us a gig at the Showboat in Vegas but Gary could not work with us as I remember.

 

Info on Sawtell:

Polish-born composer and violinist, under contract at RKO from 1938, initially writing music for serialised B-movies, including the 'Mexican Spitfire' and 'Falcon' series. In the 1940's, he free-lanced for several of the lesser studios, such as Eagle-Lion and Republic, before joining Universal in 1944.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006275/

 

 

 

1962 Clockwise: Jim, Allen, Don, Doug and Gordy in the middle

 

Doug Coppock:

We kept calling Morris and telling him about all the good things that were about to happen and trying to talk him into coming back.

Morris Tyler:

You knew I couldn't stand it so we stored our furniture again, moved back to Sunny California. Knowing that I needed to go, Bonnie never complained. She has paid her dues. I asked her the other day if she was
unhappy during that time and she said, “I don't know, I just thought that's what I was supposed to do.”  She never complained. She is by all rights an Emerald.

Doug Coppock:

And rightly so. She had to put up with living in cheap motels for a lot of her early married life. I don’t think we realized how hard all that was on you two. I have a huge amount of respect for what you and Bonnie went through.

Morris Tyler:

I had pulled up my memory bank and was driving down the street in some of the cities where we had lived, L.A., Hollywood, Pasadena, Downy, Oxnard, Eureka, Fresno, Houston, and even Brownfield at the Red Sands just before moving to California, and saw some of the places where we had lived. I had forgotten how bad they were even then, they made Motel 6 look like the Ritz. I was just feeling a little guilty about it, there they were at the Cockroach Inn while I was working and did not come in until 2 or 3 AM. She never complained.

Doug Coppock:

We all loved Bonnie then, as we do now, but I’m sure that we never gave her the amount of respect she deserved!

 

Doug Coppock:

After Morris came back in late ‘62 was when we auditioned and played at the Cinnamon Cinder in Hollywood. Allen was still with us in California and was at the Cinnamon Cinder when we were playing out there and Bob Eubanks recruited him to go with him to go to Long Beach where another Cinnamon Cinder was having their grand opening to be the Cinnamon Cinder Mystery Man who would people would go around asking if you are the mystery man and if they asked him, they won $100. So he did that and then rode back with Eubanks to the Cinnamon Cinder in Hollywood and we were playing when they got back there. So Allen went to work for A. E. Nugent in January of 1963. He worked there until 1971. I quit Nugent sometime after that point because I was still working for them when Allen started there. Then was when we made the trip to Houston for the Cinnamon Cinder. After we returned from Houston, that's when the McConkey bookings started.

Jim Green:

An interesting part of Allen's story is that after the Emeralds broke up in November of 1963 he got married on April 25, 1964 and Gordon was his best man.

 

 

Don’s Bass Drum Insert

 

2/8/1963 – picture taken at the Brownfield National Guard Armory on the way to Houston to open the Cinnamon Cinder on 2/14/1963

 

This picture looks like it was taken at the same place – but on a different night. It looks like the same suits, same hair styles, but the amps are not spaced the same, and no “The Emeralds” on the wall. The drum set is Johnny Knox’s with “The Premiers” on the bass drum insert.  Don recalls that the Premiers let us set in for a set, or at least for a few songs. The reverse image of this picture was used for the promo poster created for our 2/8/1963 gig at the Armory on the way to Houston so it must have been taken prior to that date. Maybe we spent a week or so in town before going to Houston and had time to use this picture for the promo poster.

This photo taken maybe on the same night?

Promo Poster for the 2/8/1963 Armory gig – note that the picture was reversed.

 

 

 

Doug Coppock:

So… we played at Cinnamon Cinder in Hollywood and Morris was back by then. Allen rode to and from the Cinnamon Cinder with Bob Eubanks. Allen was the Cinnamon Cinder mystery man at Long Beach grand opening and Doug left Nugent for music full time around this time.

Jim Green:

I am a little foggy about the fall of ‘62 but I think it was when we got some night club gigs. I remember playing at the Kismet Club.

Jim Green:

We auditioned for Bob Eubanks at the Cinnamon Cinder Club in Hollywood. The night we played there the Righteous Brothers were also there. It seems like we played a song with them but not sure. Eubanks hired us to open a new Cinnamon Cinder in Houston. We opened with Paul & Paula (Jill Jackson). We also played with Harmonica Fats while at the Cinder. I remember we had to learn the Cinnamon Cinder song to play at the club.

Don Skiles:

Seems to me, we auditioned for Bob Eubanks late in the fall of ’62.  When we went to the Cinnamon Cinder in Long Beach with Bob Eubanks, I believe the Beach Boys were playing.  He wanted us to see and hear them to get an idea of what he wanted to portray in the club.  Also to hear them do the song "Cinnamon Cinder".  Think they came to the table we were sitting at so Bob could introduce us.  On the internet I found that they played the Cinnamon Cinder in Long Beach 12/6/1963 Does this sound right with y’all?

Doug Coppock:

The story sounds right, but not on that particular date. That was after we played our last gig. I wonder if the info could be wrong… December of 1962 would be about right. For me, the mystery is what did we do during the time period between our audition with Eubanks and when we went to Houston in February of 1963. Anyone? Maybe we kept working our day jobs.

 

Mack McConkey is who booked us on Mulholland Dr at the party we nearly didn’t get paid for.

Also our mini tour up the west coast. He had big plans for us.

On the back is printed:

 Roy Brainard

 Mon Nites

 Los Robles Lodge

 Santa Rosa

 

 

1963:

Don Skiles:

2/8/1963 sounds right on the money when we were on our way to Houston. I have a picture on that also, lots of pictures of different times and will get on the way soon. We did open the Cinnamon Cinder on 2/14/1963 with Paul & Paula special appearance. I think we went back to LA in May ‘63. Did we stay in Brownfield for any length of time or play there at that time?

Doug Coppock:

We may have played one gig in Brownfield and then went on back to California. We didn’t get the Moonglow contract until October of 1963

 

 

 

 

Don Skiles:

When we headed to the Cinnamon Cinder, we figured out a series of steps for everyone to do, like side to side, forward, back, dips, etc. They were numbered like 1 thru 5 or so, so someone could call a number and everyone could move together on stage.

Jim Green:

Some things I recall about Houston included gigging flounder in the Houston bay with James Chidester. There was a bartender that worked at Cinnamon Cinder (what was his name?) who loved to go to the beach at Galveston. We went with him a couple of times. I think I remember that he was hit by a car by someone driving on the beach and it shattered his leg. I remember how hot the Cinnamon Cinder club was. I remember I had a 1961 maroon Chevy Impala two door hard top. Do y’all remember driving through a hellacious sand storm at Palm Springs that ripped the paint off the front of my Impala? I think this was in ‘63 when we were returning to California from Houston. We returned to L.A. through that bad sandstorm at Palm Springs that I mentioned earlier. It was October of ‘63 when we recorded for Moonglow Records at Gold Star Recording Studio. I also remember playing in a rock ‘n roll show at an auditorium in Houston. Does anyone remember any details about that?  Wasn’t there an old theater converted to a dance place in Houston where we heard Bobby Blue Bland? And a favorite restaurant we liked to go to after playing some nights at the Cinammon Cinder where we ordered fried flounder. It was so good.

Doug Coppock:

I remember going to see Bobby Blue Bland, but no details about where it was. In my mind I guess I was just thinking it was some night club. I don’t remember playing at the auditorium.

 

Don Skiles:

When we got to the Cinnamon Cinder it had water (evaporative swamp cooler) air conditioning in Houston Texas of all places... and we just burned up... I remember I sweated so bad that my coat formed a semi-circle on the floor where the sweat dripped off... I was sweating so much that the sweat felt cool in my eyes. Paul and Paula came down to play for the grand opening and we backed them up on stage. We played there until May or until the club closed up. That's when we went back to California. We played one or two places in L.A. and then we played The Sidecar in Ventura so that's when we must have hooked up with McConkey.

Doug Coppock:

There’s an interesting note concerning Paul and Paula, who had the hit record "Hey, Paula". We did not know this before they showed up, but Paula's real name was Jill Jackson and we knew her! She was a Brownfield High School schoolmate. Paul's real name was Ray Hildebrand. The record company made them change their name from Ray and Jill to Paul and Paula, since they already had the song recorded when they were signed.

James Chidester:

I got out of the Navy in March and y’all were there in Houston that summer.

Jim Green:

While we were there, we went out with you to Chocolate Bay and gigged flounder.

Don Skiles:

That's where we started playing Bobby Blue Bland Music.

James Chidester:

I remember when y’all were playing at the Cinder I laid my motorcycle down in the parking lot and lost some skin off my leg.

 

Doug Coppock:

So anyway when we got back, that's when we made the connection with Mack McConkey and since we had quit our jobs, we were in a position to be able to go out on the road and play those gigs up and down the coast.

Don Skiles:

Was McConkey the one that got us lined up with Bob Eubanks?

Jim Green:

No, Eubanks came from Ray Maxwell.... I think....

Doug Coppock

Maxwell was later, after we got back from Houston. It was probably Austin got us hooked up with Eubanks, unless we had already made the connection with McConkey. So when we got back from Houston, that's when we started our west coast runs.

Jim Green:

But first we played in the desert somewhere.... at an airbase... and then we went to Fresno

Don Skiles:

Nope... we went to Ventura and then we went to Fresno - El Rancho

Doug Coppock:

I think Don's right. I remember Ventura being the starting point of our tour up the coast.

 

Jim Green:

These are the notes we wrote down during or phone visit with Gordon on Saturday July 6th (2013). We think this is the correct timeline when McConkey was booking us. We think the sequence of bookings was:

            1) The Sidecar in Ventura (late May or June of '63)

            2) Ridgecrest near China Lake Air Force Base - just a weekend booking on our way to

            3) El Rancho Hotel in Fresno California (July)

            4) Starlight Lounge in Eureka (August)

            (Doug:) nope, it was the Twi-Light Supper Club 109 4th Street

            5) Then back to Los Angeles to play at Chaps in Pasadena and Tykes.

 

The Side Car in Ventura California

The Stardust Motel where we stayed while in Ventura

The Walnut Grove Motel in Ridgecrest California near the Air Base we played on the way to Fresno

 

The Poplar Grove Motel in Fresno where we stayed while playing at Sophie’s at the El Rancho Hotel.

 

Twi-Light Supper Club in Eureka California

 

Don Skiles:

I believe the name of the club was Sophie’s?  They had a steady customer that came in called Blackie Gigian (not sure of the spelling).  He owned a dirt track at Clovis just outside of Fresno.  We got to be pretty good friends and he bought us drinks most every night. We were drawing good crowds so the club decided to add an extra band, they hired a jazz band and they played on the patio next to the pool.  Had a female singer and I thought she and the band were good.  She sang “Satin Doll”. That was the first time I had heard it and liked the song real well.  Anyway, they were getting only a few customers outside and complained to the Manager that we had air conditioning, not fair to them to be outside.  The manager had us switch for two nights, the crowds came outside, put us back inside, the jazz band left after the following Saturday night.  I remember eating at Me & Ed’s Pizza Parlor.  Think they had six different cheeses on their pizzas.  Best I ever had.  My nephew, Adrian was back in Fresno in 2013. He said Me & Ed’s are still in business and it is still good.  Don’s Brother Lemoin and family lived in Fresno, they came out to see us couple times while we were there.  Was nice to get to visit them.

Doug Coppock:

Sophie’s sounds right. I think the name of the Hotel was in fact El Rancho, but the club was called Sophie’s. In fact I believe Sophie ran the club. My Mom and Dad and I think my sister Sue came out to see us when we were there. They were visiting Dad’s brother who lived somewhere close enough to Fresno to come see us. The story about playing outside and the jazz band also rings true. I believe it was at that point in time that we added “Satin Doll” to our repertoire. Did Morris still have his vibes during this time? They sure would have sounded good on Satin Doll!

Jim Green:

No Doug, The vibes didn’t come with us to California. We used them mostly at the air bases we played at in Texas and New Mexico. I had the thought that maybe when we left Eureka we came back to the Sidecar in Ventura to play because I recall that we stayed in a motel close to the coast on our way back to L.A., but it may be that we went straight to Pasadena from there. While in Eureka, Gordon recalled that he and Don went to a place called Arcata Beach near Eureka and then Doug and Gordon recall that while we were in Fresno they took a trip to San Francisco and saw George Shearing at the Blackhawk. 

Gordon Franklin:

We played Chaps or Tykes in Pasadena in September.  Don and I spent the night at my uncle’s in San Francisco on the way back from Eureka and drove to L.A. on Labor Day. 

Don Skiles:

Order of clubs in CA in ‘63 seems right to me except, I don’t remember playing the Side Car a 2nd time.

Seems like the guy at Side Car’s name was Nick.  When we first unloaded, he made the comment

that he didn’t know he was getting a 21 pc orchestra. From that point on, it was constant dry humor

between him and us.  His favorite comment was, nice place here if we could find a band, ours to him

was that this would be a nice place to have a club if we could find someone to run it.

Doug Coppock:

I think “Nick” is correct for his name.

 

Doug wrote the lyrics to Wolverton Mountain on the back of the wine menu (upside down of course) – I guess we must have had a request to do the song and maybe I was drinking and standing on my head.

 

Gordon Franklin:

The Twilight Supper Club is still standing up in Eureka, but under a different name.

Don Skiles:

When it was time to leave Eureka, they wanted us to stay another month, but we couldn’t do it because we were already booked in Pasadena.

 

Morris Tyler:

Here’s some info from my Union Card:

It’s a Temporary Work Permit # 17272 from  Musicians Union Local 47 American Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO Los Angeles, California Issued 10/11/1963 Good Only Until 11/11/1963, for some reason I used the name Ray Stevens. I also have the one from Amarillo.  Is this confusing?

Doug Coppock:

More enlightening than confusing! I wonder why you decided to use “Ray Stevens” for an alias or stage name?

 

October 1963:

Morris Tyler:

I have a copy of the Moonglow Records Contract: October 1st, 1963

1800 North Argyle Avenue, Hollywood 28, California

Signed by: R.J. Van Hoogten (Ray Maxwell) and all the Emeralds

The Righteous Bros/Phil Spector/Ronettes connection - While we were in studio, Be My Be My Baby was

being recorded down the hall.

 

The last page of the Moonglow Contract
Don Skiles:

Seems the practicing and the Union Hall studio was in the summer or early fall of ’63. That is where we met Ray Maxwell with Moonglow.

Morris Tyler:

His real name Ray van Hoogten  [all: yes!]

Don Skiles:

We were practicing at the union hall and he came walking by and stopped and asked if we'd mind if he listened a bit. He listened to four or five songs I think and then he asked who we were recording for. We told him nobody and he asked us if we were interested in a recording contract. That's when we asked him who he was and what label was he with. He asked us if we'd ever heard of the Righteous Brothers and he said that they are on his label, Moonglow Records.

Jim Green:

The Righteous Brothers had a regional hit at that time "Little Latin Lupe Lu".

Morris Tyler:

They were not related. They were just local guys playing out at clubs and stuff.

Jim Green:

and when we recorded at Gold Star, the Righteous Bros. were down the hall singing backup with Sonny and Cher for Phil Spector with Philles Records on a song by Ronnie and the Ronnettes, "Be My Be My Baby".

 

            [from Wikipedia:] "Be My Baby" is a song by The Ronettes, released as a single in 1963. Produced by Phil Spector, who composed the song with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is often cited as the ultimate embodiment of Spector's wall of sound production technique. It has also had a substantial impact on popular music. Rolling Stone described the song as a "Rosetta stone for studio pioneers such as the Beatles and Brian Wilson". Allmusic critic Jason Ankeny said: "No less an authority than Brian Wilson has declared 'Be My Baby' the greatest pop record ever made. "Be My Baby" was recorded in 1963 at the Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. The song was composed by the trio of Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich. Spector recorded a range of instruments including guitars, saxophones, multiple pianos, and horns with innovative studio mixing and over-dubbing. Spector described his approach as "a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll", which became known as the wall of sound. "Be My Baby" was one of the first times Phil Spector used a full orchestra in his recording. The drums were played by Hal Blaine. Darlene Love and Sonny and Cher were part of the group of guests that provided additional backup vocals. Guitars on the session were played by Tommy Tedesco and Bill Pitman, after whom the instrumental "Tedesco and Pitman" on the B-side of the single was named. "Be My Baby" was the first Ronettes song produced by Phil Spector released on his label, Philles Records. The group had already recorded a track by Greenwich and Barry called "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love", but this was held back in favour of "Be My Baby". [end of Wikipedia entry]

 

Doug Coppock:

Although the Righteous Brothers are not credited in the Wikipedia article above, We know they were there.

Don Skiles:

After we disbanded in Late ’63 or very early ’64, the man, Hoogten, at Moonglow calls Jimmy on the phone, said he was shipping 45s to us, told Jimmy to go to every major or semi major market we could reach, get the program director in a room by ourselves and ask him straight up, how much does it cost to make this record a hit on your station.  Soon as he agrees, shake his hand and tell him a check is on the way.  Three different times he called, said he had us booked on a national tour, we were to be next to last on a show including different Artist, when we finished our show, we would stay on stage and back the Righteous Brothers.  Also said that after the tour, we would be playing in Vegas.  We were not able to make it happen.

Don Skiles:

We recorded just before our last few weeks in California, Ray got the production done and was in process of releasing the record when we left.

 

 

The Last Days Of Our First Five Years and The Long Vacation or “The Hiatus”

 

Doug Coppock:

We played at Chaps in Pasadena and Chap's was located at 3491 E. Colorado. That was the address on the envelope on my letters home written on 10/18/1963 and 10/22/1963. I guess it’s possible that we were living at that motel while we played at Tyke’s, but I don’t remember. On 10/18/1963 in a letter home from 3491 E. Colorado #6, I told my folks we were still recording for the Moonglow sessions. In the letter dated 10/22/1963 I wrote that I would go back to work for Nugent on or after November 10th.  Joloyce Ruth Weise came back out to California and we got married on Nov. 4, 1963 in Las Vegas and we were still playing - I have written down that we played at Chaps on 11/11/1963 and that may have been our last McConkey job. It was 11/18/1963 when I went to work for A.E. Nugent Chevrolet full time at $475 a month. I was thinking Chaps in Pasadena was our last McConkey job, but Gordon remembers that Tyke’s was our last gig. 

Don Skiles:

I also think that Chaps was our last job.

Jim Green:

The Pasadena gigs were the last places we played before breaking up in November. I remember we auditioned one or two lead players to replace Doug but made the decision that you can’t replace a brother. Our hearts were not in it.

Gordon Franklin:

I think we did the recording at Moonglow Records while we were at Tykes in Pasadena.

 

Doug Coppock:

We stayed out in California until Jo & I moved to Houston. We lived at 1521 #5 Cumpston North Hollywood until then. That's where we were when Kennedy was assassinated. Sometime before we moved to Houston, Allen Neal and his wife Lorene came to our house for dinner on Cumpston. I went to work on March 24th for MacRobert Chevrolet in Houston.

 

Morris Tyler:

I have several rolls of 8mm film taken while in Calif., you had to mail the film for development, then they returned it, my address was, Monterey Lodge, 3491 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, Calif. no zip needed.

Doug Coppock:

That’s where we all lived during those last days.

Don Skiles:

While playing at Chaps, on Pasadena Blvd., some guys at a table next to the bandstand asked me to come over on break.  I did. I enjoyed talking with them. They invited me back on the next break.  They bought me a drink, and we visited. It was time to get back on the bandstand, the guy doing most of the talking said "just a sec", I said "Sure, what is it".  "There is a guy that I am forming a band for and I would like for you to be the drummer" he said.  Told him "No, I am happy where I am and where one of us goes, we all go."  He then said, "OK, remember this name, he will be big one day, his name is Kenny Rogers."  I told him "Thanks for the offer."

 

Don Skiles:

Before we went back to Texas, Jimmy & I stayed a few days at Jim’s girlfriend’s house.  Her dad was in the house building business. If I remember right, they had the band over for a big supper one night.  The living room was all white and her dad complained that it was a total waste as her mother never let anyone go in that

room.

Jim Green:

The family in Pasadena was the McMahan family. He was in real estate, a home builder. I think Don, Gordon and I were the only ones at their house. Their daughter's name was Kathy McMahan. Doug had already married Jo and wasn't at the McMahan dinner. That was in November 1963.

Don Skiles:

Kathy was one of the girls we met on the beach, when they heard we were from Texas, they asked about Indians, ranch work, if we had electricity and lots of questions along those lines. Of course, we played it up big time.  I remember telling them about getting an arrow in my side, they wanted to see and I told them it was too gross. A few months after that, Kathy and a girl friend of hers came to Texas.  Flew into Lubbock, Jimmy and I picked them up, they wanted to see real cowboys and some Indians.  It was after dark, at that time, the highway went around Wolfforth, we told them that was an Indian reservation and the road had to stay that far away to keep problems down.  Of course, in the daylight over the next few days, they found out Texas was like most any other place.

Jim Green:

I don’t even remember that!

Don Skiles:

Jim & I left for Texas on 11/22/1963, the day Kennedy was shot and killed, heard the announcement as we were getting on the San Bernadino Freeway.  We had only been on I-10 for about 2 miles when they started playing that mournful music and that was all we could listen to on the way home. They couldn’t even play something decent like St. James Infirmary.

 

 

 

 

 


EMERALDS

CHRONOLOGICAL RECORDING DATES

All existing mp3s for the Emeralds are at: http://www.happenstance-music.com/emeralds-recordings.htm

 

Late 1959 or 1960 - Mitchell Recording Studio

            Spring Fever

            Dreams and Wishes

Jim Green has this 45 rpm demo. We are in the process of getting mp3 files produced from it.

This is from    http://www.scarletdukes.com/st/tm_wtstudios.html

Another studio that appears to have been active in Lubbock in c.1960 was at this address: Mitchell Recording Studio, 2615 38th St, Lubbock. An acetate recording by the Emeralds of (Brownfield, Texas) titled "Spring Fever" / "Dreams and Wishes" still exists. It is also stated that David Box did some recordings at 'Mitchell's Studio' in Lubbock in this same time frame. (source: John Ingram )

 

1960 INDIGO

DREAMS & WISHES

            MR BRUSH

On internet: Indigo Records Discography             #114      Crystals, 1961

 

1961 SPECTRA SOUND - DEMO (This could have been 1960, or even 1959)

(So far, no one has the mp3 files or the actual disc for this one)

            Sittin Bull (probably hadn’t renamed it at this point – original title: The Freeze)

            Instrumental unknown title

            Calendar is Wrong

            Instrumental unknown title

            Springtime of My Life

 

1961 AUDIO DISC – DEMO  Big Spring Ben Hall’s Studio

            Search for Love

            Little D Special

 

1961 RIVIERA RECORDS

            Search For Love, organ added by Ernie Freeman’s sister

            Little D Special

 

1962 Neophon Disc

(This must be the Dale Bobbit recorded demo?) 

Desifinado

Hold It

Midnight on Malibu

Ooh Poo Pah Doo

Theme

This Should Go On Forever

 

1963 MOONGLOW - Goldstar Recording Studio

            Sittin Bull

            Donkey Kick Back

            Moonlight Surf

            Little D Special

            Sally’s Snake

            Ooh Pooh Pah Do

On internet

            45 discography for Moonglow Records           #s 228, 230, 232            All the Emeralds

 


2006 Emeralds Live - Recorded at 2006 Brownfield High School Reunion in Lubbock Texas

            Boney Maroney

            Dreams and Wishes

            That'll Be The Day

            Honky Tonk

            Corrina

            Ooh Pooh Pah Doo

            Stormy Monday

            Hold It

            Western Medley

            Cherry Pie

            Linda Lu

            Summertime

            Rock Around The Clock

            Wipe Out

            He Don't Love You

            Johnny B Goode

            Over The Mountain

            Hide-A-Way

            Wooly Booly

            Midnight Special

            The Twist

 

 


Gary P. Nunn’s Recollections

 

This would have been the fall of 1959. I was leaving the field house after an 8th grade football game and someone mentioned that Alton Nicholson had got a guitar! I didn't know Alton but I soon made his acquaintance and started spending all my after hours and weekends at his house. We decided we would start a band and enter the Annual Lions Club Talent Show. Alton was familiar with The Emeralds. We would go over to Jim Green's house, maybe Donald Skiles', I can't recall which one, but he lived just down the street from Alton. We would go over and watch them rehearse. They took an interest in us and taught us a song to play for the talent show. It was called "Rebel" and I remember it perfectly to this day.

 

That's what got me started on the musical journey that I've been on to this day. The Emeralds played at our weekend dances. They opened a club out on the Lubbock Highway called The "1607" Club. That's where I first heard the "Sparkles" who also had a tremendous influence on my life. The Emeralds played all the guitar hits of the day and quite a few vocals as well, like "Corinna, Corinna" and "Boney Maroney". This was the very first "live" band music I ever heard and it sounded so good. They had the first reverb amp I ever heard, and then there was Morris Tyler's Fender Precision Bass. After seeing it Alton would describe it in exaggerated terms: "The neck was this long", he would say with both arms outstretched!, "and the tuning keys this big", making hugely exaggerated gestures. It wasn't long till he went to town and bought a Fender Precision Bass. I played it for the next 15 years. I wish I had it today!

 

The remarkable thing is this, The Emeralds still play for high school reunions in Brownfield. I am so blessed to have had guys like The Emeralds to get me started. Whatever happens to me is "all their fault", or rather because of them.

 

Gary P Nunn

 

Don Skiles Recollections After Pasadena 1963

 

November 1963: The Emeralds had temporarily suspended making music, sad times.  Jimmy and I came back to Brownfield.  I worked at clothing stores, always thinking of what if….what if….if only we could get back together. 

 

Early 1964, I was asked to play with a guy from Lubbock. His name? Larry Trider, the turkey that tried to split us up just before we went to California in 1962.  Played for a couple of months to make some cash.  Filled in with two or three bands in Lubbock at clubs.

 

I played with Billy Light and the Texas Drifters out of Brownfield from around 1968 to 1973.  He was in a wheelchair. He had a real good voice.  Met and played with several very talented musicians in that band.  One that comes to mind is Danny Petree from Lubbock, TX.

 

In 1972 or so, Ronnie Raybon invited me to play with "Talk of the Town".  Ronnie, myself, and Leon Bagwell were the core of the group.  Through the years till 1984, we had several very talented musicians with us.  Some I can think of were Cheryl Kiner on fiddle, Lloyd Maines on the steel guitar, Harold Eakin, Danny Dukatnik on piano, Buzz James on fiddle, and others.  In 1986 I moved to Roswell, N.M. Up until 1992 I only played drums at the annual Emeralds Reunion.

 

In 1992, moved to Gatesville, Texas.  Word got out that I played Drums and started getting invitations to play with different bands.  Was not interested in playing at clubs around smoke and booze so I turned down many offers.  Was invited to play at the Gatesville Jamboree held once a month at the city auditorium.  In 2008 was made an honorary member of the Gatesville Jamboree Country Music Hall of Fame.  Played there a few times and met Mike Kuzenka, a local plumber who had a country & western band and played for senior citizens dances around central Texas.  He had opened for some pretty big name players in the past, had the privilege of filling in for his drummer a few times.  Played with four or five others on different occasions. Met many great guys and great musicians.  For about two years, I played with Sonny Gebert for senior citizen dances.  I played with Jeb Leaird at the senior center for about a year.

 

Throughout all the years since the Emeralds suspended play, the highlight of my year, each year, is the Emeralds Reunion.  Though we only get together once a year, it is just like we never took a hiatus.  We tune, have a sound check, warm up on two or three songs, then play for four hours.  Sometimes we play songs we have never played before together, guess what, it works out well.  We have played together so long, we know each other and the feel is there.  I am and always have been extremely proud to be part of the Emeralds.  What great guys and musicians to be associated with.  We are very close, more so than brothers most of the time.  We shared a lot through the years in our travels and music.  Memories are more than one can put into words.  I wouldn't trade the time with the Emeralds for anything.

 

 

 

REUNIONS – Photos, Newspaper articles, Advertisements & Posters

 

Don Skiles:

1976: The first time the Emeralds played together since 1963. Talk of the Town was playing for the class reunion for the classes of 59, ’60 and ‘61, the Emeralds sat in for 2 sets. This was at the Rodeo Barn in Brownfield. We said we get together again at next reunion in 1981. Gordon Franklin was unable to attend.

 

Jim Green:

I know we played at the BHS reunion in 1976 but I think we were sitting in on someone else’s instruments at the old rodeo barn in Brownfield. That band was the "Talk of the Town", Ronnie Raybon's group, Don Skiles was playing drums for them so he got to stay and play with the Emeralds.  Leon Bagwell was playing bass with the Talk of the Town. Then in 1981 we played at the BHS reunion and had so much fun we decided to have an Emeralds Reunion every year to play in Brownfield or somewhere. In 1989 we played at The Marriott Hotel ball room north of the DFW Airport in Dallas for the BHS class of 1958-1959. I recall Opal Coppock made that trip with Doug & Patty from Arkansas. All in all, 1958 through 1963 were a fast and furious five years and full of great memories and great lifetime friendships with my brothers. Life is good.

Doug Coppock:

Here are my notes on our reunions

1976 BHS reunion we played one set at the Rodeo Barn, like Jim said

1981 – 1987 (’86 for BHS reunion)

 

1982 Promo

 

These photos are from the 1982 Reunion

 

 

This photo is from the 1983 reunion

 

 

 

1984 Promo

 

1985 Promo

 

Promo for 1987 or 1992

 

Sometime in the late ‘80’s we asked Ronnie Raybon to officially join the Emeralds. He had been sitting in with us every year and it seemed the natural thing to do. It may have been in 1987.

 

1987 working on a song

     

1987 setup and sound check

1987 Howard and Kate Green and Patty working the door while we played

 

1988:  My Mom fell ill and I couldn’t come so we decided not to do play.

 

1989: We played twice. 7/4 for our Emeralds reunion and 8/19 for the Fabulous Fifties Reunion at the Marriott in Dallas for all the classes from 1950 to 1959.

Don Skiles:

Jimmy was working for a TV station in Lubbock in 1989, and he brought his camera man with him. He did a very good job of filming the Emeralds.  I remember at that gig, several people who were staying there and workers from the hotel stood just inside the door to listen to us play.

 

 

1989 in our room at the Marriott Hotel where we played for the Fabulous 50’s BHS Reunion in Dallas

 

More photos from August 1989

 

 

Doug Coppock:

1990 – 2002 I believe we made Emeralds reunion every year plus the BHS reunions in ’91, ’96 and ’01

 


Photos from the 1990 reunion

 

 

1991 was the first year Gordon was able to make it to the reunion!

 

  

 

 

 

1991 at the Nifty Fifties Reunion at The Plaza in Lubbock – We were hired by the same group that put on the Fabulous Fifties Reunion in 1989 in Dallas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1992 we played 4th on Broadway

 

 

 

 

1993 We played 4th on Broadway again, this time with Gordy!

  

 

 

 

 

We also played at the VFW that night

 

 

 

Don Skiles:

1993 November 27th: The band was in Gatesville for Don and Gertie’s wedding.  We played for the reception at the Gatesville Country Club. Jimmy played drums for a while, then Don left his new bride and played drums the rest of the night.

 

 

We played at the VFW on Friday night July 1st in 1994. Gary P was in town for the class of ’64 reunion and came out to sit in with us.

 

July 2nd 1994 - Setting up and playing at the Koko

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug Coppock:

In 1996 we played for the BHS reunion, which was held that year in Lubbock at the Plaza. We also played at the Banjos in Lubbock that year.

Banjos Promo 7/5/1996

Don Skiles:

At the BHS reunion at the Plaza, the Crickets played for a class reunion for a high school in Lubbock in the ballroom next to us.  On break, we walked in to their party to check out the Crickets. It was dull, and we were a bit disappointed.  As the night went on, people from their party came into ours and asked if they could stay a while and listen. They said our party was much better than theirs.

 

  

Some photos from 1996 at the Plaza in Lubbock

 

 

1997 Cub Stadium and Gary P Nunn: 

Don Skiles:

We were hired by Patsy Nicholson (she was working with the Chamber of Commerce) to open for Gary P Nunn at a July 4th celebration in Cub Stadium.  It actually happened on Sat the 5th.  That afternoon we were at the stadium early to do a sound check. We were setting up, and were testing the microphones. The sound man was asking for our feed back as he tested each mike.  We were trying to get it right, he got impatient and made the remark on the speakers that we needed to understand that we were only the opening show for Gary P Nunn, not the headliner. Gordy quickly said, "NO, you need to realize that he is closing for us."

           

Later that night, we played in the West Ballroom, Main Stage of the VFW to a full house.  Gary and his band came out to the party since they got rained out at the football field.  Gary sat in along with several members of his band for several songs with us.  He, his band and the Emeralds all had a great time.

 

  

The Emeralds at BHS Stadium, Gary’s and his band and Gary and Doug

 

 

Later in the year we also played in September at the Buddy Holly Street Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

1998:

We had the trailer painted this year and played at the VFW West Ballroom (no pics)

 

 

1999:

In 1999 we played Friday night at the Crystal Palace Club and Saturday night at the VFW

 

2000: 

This image is from the cassette tapes that were recorded at the Crystal Palace Club at the Crystal Inn on 6/30 and the VFW the on 7/1.

 

In 2001, the BHS reunion was held at Hillcrest Country Club on the north side of Lubbock. Here we are wearing the green shirts that James Skiles had made for us.

Evidently Doug was the only one of us to work up a sweat!

 

 

2002: We played for Leon Speed and Bob Cloe’s “Good Times Club” which was remodeled from the ashes of the Crystal Palace Club, which had burned down sometime after we played there in 1999 and 2000. Apparently we only played there on Saturday night, since we have some photos from the VFW on that previous Friday night.

At the VFW 7/5/2002

 

 

Later that month on the 20th, we played at John Rogers house for a 50’s BHS reunion

 

2003 We must have played somewhere. Doug knows that he made the trip to Lubbock

2004 We played in the VFW East Room

 

2004 – Jim, Gordon and Doug in the VFW East Room

 

2005 We played somewhere. Doug knows that he made the trip to Lubbock

2006: We played three times. 6/30 in Lubbock, 7/1 in Brownfield in the VFW East Room again, and at the 9/16 BHS reunion in Lubbock at the Ranching Heritage Center. That’s when we recorded our live CD.

 

 

Doug Coppock:

2006 is the last year that Gordon was able to play with us. His absence in these ensuing years is a painful thing, but he has been suffering with emphysema and unable to play anymore. He is with us in spirit and is missed!

 

 

 

2007 – 2009 we didn’t play

 

2010: Did we play for the BHS Class of ’60 reunion at The Alamo (Remodeled Brownfield Junior High Gym) on 8/28? I don’t think we did. That was when they hired an Elvis Imitator. Later in the year we did play on 9/10 for James Skiles.


2010 A Special Year

2010 was a very special year for our drummer, Don Skiles. His brother James was dying of cancer, around the 1st of August, James asked Don, “Do you remember telling me that if there was anything I wanted before I died that you would do all you could to make it happen?”    “Yep I sure did” Don said. “Well, here’s my request, I want to hear the Emeralds play one more time.” Don called the Emeralds, being the awesome, great, wonderful men they are, without hesitation, all said tell me when and where, I’ll be there.

 

The owner of the Main Street Music Hall in Farmersville, where James lived, agreed to open up on Friday, September 10, 2010 for a special concert to honor James Skiles. The Emeralds made James an honorary member of the band that night.  Because of his love of the Emeralds, that award was one of the best things that ever happened to him. The music was awesome, the love that flowed in that hall was easily felt. It was a great night.  James was happy beyond words. He lived one month to the day after that and constantly talked about that night.

 

Concert for James

 

We played in September of 2011 at the BHS ’61 reunion at The Alamo in Brownfield.

 

 

2012 We decided to have an Emeralds Reunion at the Alamo. We originally planned to play two nights.

September 2012 Promo Poster

 

We played Friday night 9/14 for Steve and Jane Peterson’s backyard party instead of doing two nights at The Alamo. We played Saturday night at The Alamo on 9/15.

 

2013 and 2014 We played for Steve’s backyard party only for these two years.

 

 

Here are a few photos from August 23, 2014 Steve and Jane’s Backyard Party in Lubbock

Morris, Clint Chapman (Morris’ grandson), Ronnie, Don, Jimmy behind the column and Doug – We didn’t get a good one of Morris playing.

 

Jim and Me

 

After the gig at Jim and Jeannie’s in the “Missing Man Formation”

 

 

September 2015 and September 2016 The Emeralds played at the Brownfield Senior Center on the Tahoka Highway. The 2016 show was much better since we had problems with being too loud the previous year. The acoustics in that building were not meant to handle a rock and roll band, We turned our amps pretty much sideways in 2016 and made a huge effort to play more quietly. The crowd was good and we really had no complaints about being too loud. We considered it a great success. Clint Chapman was able to be there for both years.

September 2016 - Brownfield Senior Center

 

September 2017 - Brownfield Senior Center

 

We did it again in 2017. We had a good crowd. It was good to see so many of our old friends.


Promo Poster created for 2017 by Judy Moore Davis

 


General Recollections

 

Don Skiles:

The Emeralds have played in places like Rodeo Barns, The Crystal Palace, VFWs, the Alamo in Brownfield, Ranching Heritage Center and The Koko Inn (twice) In Lubbock.  Everything from sleazy clubs, to schools, to the Hyatt Regency and all the time having a blast playing that good ole Rock & Roll.

 

Doug Coppock:

We consider ourselves truly blessed in that we have been friends, brothers and band-mates for such a long period of time. It is quite rare that a group can stick together and stay in relatively good health for so long. We used to say that we would continue to play together until we couldn't tote our equipment around any longer. So far that hasn't happened, so we will keep on keeping on!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Snapshots and Memories

 If you have snapshots you want to include, scan them and send me a copy.

 

 

Terrible quality so it’s hard to tell where this was. Maybe Sherman Oaks? Doug is not sure if that’s him standing there with Don.

 

Eddie Guiterrez, Don Skiles and Leon Speed with Eddie’s Bonneville

 
This is where Austin Finkenbinder lived.
 

Business Cards, Other Bands and Some History

 

The Tremolos – Jeff Lester, Ronnie Raybon, Harold Evans, Donnie Raybon, Doug Mason and Allen Neal

 

 

 

Doug Coppock:

Don says the Twilites were the 2nd band to form after the Emeralds, but actually the 2nd was the Orbits who became the Tremolos. I talked to Ronnie Raybon and he confirmed that Allen Neal joined the band after they change the name to the Tremolos. We now know that the band Johnny Knox, Max Ball, Mickey Beck, Alton Nicholson, and Gary P. Nunn were in was the Premiers. Gary P. eventually joined the Sparkles out of Levelland, Texas, and also played with some other Lubbock bands. One was called the Night Spots, whose members included Don Caldwell on saxophone. Don has been a Lubbock legend for many years and along with Gary has his name on the West Texas Walk of Fame.  Another group Gary played with was the Shucks, who also had a West Texas Walk of Fame Member in the group. (J. I. Allison, the Crickets drummer). Of course Gary eventually migrated to Austin Texas and after playing with some legendary Texas musicians (including Willie Nelson, Michael Martin Murphy and Rusty Weir) played for a number of years with The Lost Gonzo Band (backing up Jerry Jeff Walker). During that time period Gary was more or less the musical director for the group and along the way wrote the world famous tune that eventually became the theme song for Austin City Limits (London Homesick Blues). After 1980 Gary moved on to a successful, long term solo career, which continues to this day.

 

 

In the years following our last California gig, Jim managed some bands. One was the Avantis.

 

The Twilites became The Avantis after Bucky Newsom left and Doug Sewell joined the group.

Max Murray and Terry Davis were in both of these bands. Terry later moved to Albuquerque N.M. but on several occasions, he was back in Brownfield when we had our Emeralds reunions. He would sit in with us and do a terrific version of “Stormy Monday!”

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collages featuring The Emeralds and Our Friends
Don Skiles:
Through the many years, the Emeralds have been blessed to make many lasting friends. To the classes of ’57 through ‘63/64 of Brownfield High School, thanks over and over for your support and loyalty all these years.
To those we’ve met at the many places we made music, same to you. Good friends are hard to come by and y’all have been the best. There are too many names to list and we don’t have pictures of all of you. We hope that those shown in these pictures will bring back memories of the good times we had with all of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Don Skiles:

Loving God, loving each other,

Making music with my friends,

Loving God, loving each other,

And the story never ends.

 

Out of this whole History of the Emeralds, all the things we did together, all the places we played together, combine it all, and the greatest thing of all is the guys I did them with. Emeralds, thanks for the memories. The many adjectives that describe how great and wonderful things are cannot complete the feelings I have for all of you.  The Emeralds have filled a spot in my life that could not be filled by anything or anyone else. I don’t know what to say.  I love you all, I love what we’ve done, and what we have ahead of us.

 


END OF PRIMARY TEXT

 

Notes and additional information

 

Googled:  The Emeralds West Texas Rock & Roll

            two articles at top

            one a little further down on Jimmy

            one West Texas Rock & roll music

                        (Think everyone has seen)

 

From David Gordon on 2/4/2014

Hi Doug,

I'm one of the editors of 45cat.com, an online database of 45rpm singles.

We were trying to sort out the various groups called The Crystals and your name came up in the course of research.

Would you mind having a look at this  http://www.45cat.com/record/ind114

and let me know if we've got it right ?

If you were involved in any other singles if you could give me brief details (label, year of release) I'll try to tie it all together.

Thanks,

Davie Gordon

 

Doug Coppock:

I filled Davie in on our history as it related to his records.

 

 

Unresolved Issues

 

Evidently no one has a copy of the 1961 Spectra Sound demo with these 5 songs on it and we don’t have any mp3s or tapes containing the demo:

                        Sittin’ Bull (probably hadn’t been renamed at this point – original title: “The Freeze”)

            Unknown Instrumental?

                        Calendar is Wrong

            Unknown Instrumental?

                        Springtime of My Life