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BUDDY MILLER

by Gene Summers

Buddy was a good friend of mine from 1963 up until his death, although we hadn't seen each other in the last few years. The problem is that I don't know much of Buddy's background in the years prior to 1963.

I first saw him and his band performing at the Colonial Club in Arlington, TX around 1960; then he later resurfaced at a club in Fort Worth on Jackson Highway as the manager. I was hot with "Blue Diamonds" at the time and he used to book me there regularly. Soon afterwards, he contacted me to do a show at the Ritz Starlite Room in Grand Prairie, TX which he had started to manage. After that I worked many, many gigs for him including a weekly TV show on KTVT-TV from Fort Worth called the "Hi-Ho Shebang." Buddy was the MC of the program which included artists: Jimmy Velvit, Sonny Satin, Little Paul, The Panther A-Go-Go Girls, Joe Wilson, Little Johnny Shaw (36" tall midget), The Buddy Miller and myself. The show ran about 12 weeks.

Strangely, after seeing Buddy perform for the first time in 1960, I never heard him sing again. He was content to MC and let the other artists perform their records. He did again me a couple of his Bandbox releases, buth other than that, I knew nothing of the Buddy Miller recording career ... he never mentioned it.

I know he knew a lot people in the business and I believe that Conway Twitty produced one of his early recordings. I remember once when Conway was appearing at Panther Hall in Fort Worth in 1965 and I was playing one of Buddy's clubs the same night. After the gig, about 1:30 in the morning, Buddy decides that we should call Conway to see how his show went. Against my protests, he called ... got him on the phone ... and we proceeded to talk until 3:00 in the morning! So I know that Buddy was a long-time friend of Conway's.


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One of Buddy's band members, Rex Ludwick, also went on to bigger things becoming the drummer for Jon & Robin & The In-Crowd (Abnak Records) and later as resident drummer for Willie Nelson.

Buddy Miller was a great guy! I'll always remember the time when Dea and I were expecting our first child. We went to play a show for him out on Jacksboro Highway and when the evening was over, he presented us with a HUGE piggy bank that he had filled up by passing it through the crowd .. it was a present from them to the new arrival! We still have that piggy bank ... money and all, and everytime I see it - I think of Buddy Miller!
Rest in peace.

-Gene Summers
  May, 2001




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