By group member Sam Jones
In the past year I've found all the guys in our band.
The Ramblers existed from late 1958 to 1960 playing gigs at the Helena
teen club and High School functions. Jimmy Evans was awful nice to us
when he was home between trips to Canada with the Hawks sitting in with
us a couple of times.
Gene Scaife was the sterling
fellow that got us the TV and Sun Studio gig.
Mack Self was being helpful by
ushering us along and keeping us out of trouble and on schedule. 1959 was the right time
and place for us.
The TV appearance and the Sun session happened in the spring of 1959 on
the same day. Mack hustled us up to Memphis to the WMCT ch5 "Big Beat"
Dance Party show. We set up behind a curtian then performed for the
Southside High School Dancers. We did three or four songs. The MC was
Bob Anthony and a blonde with nice legs.
After the TV show we went to the Sun Studio on Union Avenue. Scotty Moore
was the engineer. While we sat up our equipment he recorded Mack singing
a tune (I think it was "My Jean"). We performed all the songs we knew for
Scotty including two originals written by Billy Lafferty. Scotty was real
nice also. He called in Ace Cannon and Billy Lee Riley to fill in and make
us sound a little better. Jamming with them is something we all wish we
could remember better. Sam Phillips and another sportcoat showed up late.
They were cordial but only offered to "buy" one of Billy's original songs.
We retreated to the bathroom to reconnoiter. Billy wasn't sure what
"buying" a song meant but we all agreed that if Sun Records didn't want to make us
rich and famous they could lump it. We shook hands with everybody and left.
My father was transferred so I split with the Ramblers at Christmas. In the
spring of 1960 the band made another recording a the HI studios where they
met Willy Willis and Charlie Feathers.
There are eight existing photos of the Ramblers.
Below is our "Offical" photo although my head is
ducked and Mike is standing in front of Jerry.
We are, from left to right:
Photo: Eric Evans
Sam Jones, guitar, age 17
Jerry Nolan, drums, age 15
Mike Hoover, Bass, age 19
Pat O'Pry, Sax, age 15
Billy Pierce, Guitar, age 18
Billy Lafferty, Piano & Vocals, age 17
Jerry, Pat and Billy P. (The rivets in Jerry's cymbal were
punched by Mack Self at his daddy's machine shop)
Sam and Mike with Billy L. in the background.
Billy Lafferty is gone. Cancer took him in 1989. I'm sorry but we don't
have a better picture of him.
Posted December, 2002
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