As I mentioned in Part I, music and the desire to perform have been ‘in my blood’, for a very long time…even as far back as elementary school. My grandfather, Mr. Sam Beard, led the worship singing at the church where he and my grandmother (Mrs. Pauline Beard) attended. They both loved singing. And, they both loved Gospel Music and Country Music. Grand-daddy’s favorite Gospel Song was, “In The Sweet By & By”. And, I recall my grandmother’s (we affectionately called her ‘Bluemama’…a story for another post) favorite Country Song was, “Crying Time”.
Anyway, my grandfather was somewhat of a local Louisiana politician who campaigned for office (Police Juror) and served his community well. Being somewhat politically connected, he was…I wouldn’t say a ‘close friend’…a friendly acquaintance with Governor Jimmy Davis (the ‘Singing Governor’…famous for his song, “You Are My Sunshine”). In fact, I remember attending a political rally with my grandfather–when I was a very young boy– when Gov. Davis was campaigning for the Governor’s seat, again. His campaign speech was delivered while standing on a flatbed truck and was very brief, but the remaining ‘campaign delivery’ was the Governor performing with his band; singing Gospel songs; and closing with, “You Are My Sunshine”! 🙂
One day, Grand-daddy bought himself a reel-to-reel tape recording machine. I remember it as if it were only yesterday…he handed me the microphone, turned the machine on, and said “sing something, Scotty”. It seemed so natural to me. I immediately broke into, “It’s Up To You” (a Ricky Nelson number)…complete with a vocalized musical introduction…lol! Later, when I got my first guitar, this was the very first song I learned to play.
Many years later, after I had a couple of songs in the Country Music Charts (both in America and Internationally), I received the kindest letter of congratulations and encouragement from the great elderly Statesman and former Louisiana Governor, Mr. Jimmy Davis!
Well, that’s enough for now. Stay tuned. I have many more ‘Pre-Nashville Days’ musical stories to tell…..’The Louisiana Connections’ ….. ‘The U.K. Connections’ ….. ‘The Australian Connections’.
Ciao for now,