One of the first bands I started practicing with was the DeVilles, which later had records out as Ronnie and the DeVilles.
Ron Jordan, the former Memphis DJ, and I were going to be back up singers for Steve Jerdan (Steve, I think, had
formerly been a singer with the Scepters). I quit before they ever got a gig.
Bobby Murray, who later played drums with Eddie Harrison and the Shortcuts, also went to Overton High. He heard me singing
in the hallway at school and asked me if I wanted to start a band. We formed a group called the Signets and played
one or two "freebies".
Looking back, the "Blues Bag" time of my life was one of my most fun times. Charlie Brown, who ran the
Bitter Lemon, had asked my help when we had our Lawson and Four More records out. The Lemon was going to be closed because
they were behind on their taxes. Charlie asked me if we would do a "freebie" so they could pay the tax bill. I was the only
one in the group who wanted to do it, but I talked the rest of the members into it. Charlie thanked me and told
me if I ever needed a favor to let him know. After leaving Lawson and Four More, I needed a place to "stay". Charlie
lived in an old house on the north side of Madison, about two houses east of Cooper (this was pre-Overton square days). I
knocked on his door one day and announced I was "homeless". Charlie gave me a back room where I lived a Bohemian/Beatnik/Bum
(notice I didn't say "hippie"- I never was one!) style existence for 6-9 months (rent free).
When the Blues Bag played the Bitter Lemon, Gundy Owens, the rhythm guitarist, got the sign we had used over the band.
He gave it to me a few years ago, and I now have it up in my music room.
For a while, I worked around the Memphis area as a stand up comedian (impressionist). Around 1983, I was working
as a traveling salesman. I spent long boring hours driving the state of Tennessee and Arkansas. I got an idea to
help pass the "driving" time. I have always been interested in doing impressions. I did a good Muhammed Ali, and I was
always pretty good at mimicking singers (especially Johnny Mathis) when I did copy tunes. I started making
cassette tapes and practicing "voices" while driving (it wasn't until later that I started hearing them!). I started
adding jokes and developing a routine (which I started using to torture people). As I started getting
positive responses, I began to take it seriously. I took a course in comedy, taught by Ken Berryhill, which was offered
in Continuing Education at the University of Memphis. He also wrote a book, "Funny Business", on the art of "how to be
a comedian", which I think is still available in the Memphis library. My picture is in the book ..... I
worked local gigs and did commercials, some of which were for Media General.
I worked with the (late) great entertainer, Tom Hackenburger, as a comedian on some of his Christmas specials to raise
funds for Muscular Dystrophy. I have a video of us doing one of the early benefits at the Daily Planet, where I received
a standing ovation for my routine.
When I returned to playing music, my good friend Harry Bryan, was working as a writer for the Memphis Star. Harry wrote
an article entitled "Lawson Returns" in the 7/85 issue.
I was also featured in an article in the Memphis Flyer (8/93) entitled "The Forgotten Heroes of Memphis Rock and
Roll", which covered the significant "forgotten (?)" bands of the 60's.
Lawson and Four More is also covered in Ron Hall's book, "Playing For A Piece Of The Door: A History of Garage
& Frat Bands in Memphis".
Back For More, the B side of Lawson and Four More's first release is included on the CDs: A History of Garage
and Frat Bands Vol 2 and It Came From Memphis Vol 2.