Getting word that it had been pressed, Reggie drove to Nashville just to hear it, then set up his amp in the window of his room at the Clarkston Hotel and played all night, hoping someone would hire him for the road. Driving home, he ran out of gas and had to sell the car’s spare tire.
Then came Barney Burcham, a ghastly singer whose 1955 Meteor single has value only because it’s on a collectable label. Week in, week out, Reggie was with Eddie Bond at the Eagle’s Nest.
She said, ‘No.’ He put it on her finger, said, ‘We’re engaged now.’ He was wearing those zoot suits from Lansky Brothers.He was just beginning, but you could feel the aura.” Reggie and Jack Clement had a weekly gig at the Kennedy Veterans’ Hospital’s Home for Incurables. The complex vertical harmonic structures of Coleman Hawkins or the supple, flowing, melodic lines of Lester Young? He knows they either complement the record or make it, and he’s pretty sure he can’t improve on them. Between then and now, he played guitar parts that, like family members, are encrypted onto billions of neurons in our brains, often with more pleasurable connotations. A perfectionist to the core, Reggie doesn’t want any of his solos back. It wasn’t even Reggie’s first recording, but it was the first to bubble to the surface.Jack was just breaking into the business as a partner at Fernwood Records, and recorded Reggie as a singer. “Thank God, it was never released.” Around the same time, Bond latched onto a rock’n’roll record from Texas, ‘Rockin’ Daddy’, and covered it. We went all over the country with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Horton, and Warren Smith.
Reggie lit up the single with a wonderfully lyrical solo, introducing it with one of the most imitated licks in rock’n’roll. Cash would stink up the car with Picayune cigarettes.
As a singer, Bond was barely a notch above Burcham, but he was keyed into the new music. He’d been at KWEM, West Memphis, when Elvis came in with a copy of ‘That’s All Right’ for one of the country deejays.
Elvis, Reggie, and steel guitarist Kenneth Herman went down to the five-and-dime. “Elvis took one, asked the girl behind the counter if she was married.
The story centers on a well-liked parole officer and a beautiful former model (Shireen Crutchfield) who enjoy a successful marriage until she gets the itch to go back to work.
As the wife forms a friendship with an emerging photographer, the husband is dealing with a parolee who proves to be more than he bargained for.
If ever there was a long overdue album, this is it. You can hear the Chet influence on his first Memphis session in ’55 backing Barney Burcham, but rarely thereafter. It wasn’t until Reggie moved to Nashville in 1972 that he met the master. Reggie’s first-ever session was in Nashville in late 1954, backing a singing hairstylist from Memphis, Tommy Smith.