Wednesday, March 28, 2012

September 28th, 1989

September 28th 1989...

Bill’s words from July 27th 1971 gave me the best of both worlds.

The night of his 50th Anniversary on the Opry and the whole TV segment was devoted to honoring him on The Opry portion on the Nashville Network.
Billy Rose was playing bass but wanted the job that Vic Jordan was leaving with Jim and Jesse. Billy had talked to Jesse earlier in the week and thought he had the job. So he was going to turn his notice into Bill that night.
Tater and Blake took care of much of the band hiring etc at that time like Kenny Baker had done in the past and they ask Billy not to say anything to Bill until after the TV portion (Bill’s health was fragile at that time) of the show, knowing that it might upset Bill.
I had gone down to the backstage of the Opry that night and as I came through the back door I ran into Tater he asked "Are you still interested in working with us again?" He had heard Bill and I talking a few times about me returning....and he wanted someone in the band that could drive the bus. I said sure. He told me that Billy was going to turn in his notice to Bill after the TV portion and that if I wanted the job it would make things much easier because Bill would not get as upset in loosing a band member.
I walked around the corner and ran into Blake. He said "Do you know what's going on" I told him I had just talked to Tater.
So I was going back and be a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. I was thrilled.

Hal Durham and Grant Turner presenting Bill with a Special Mandolin that the Grand Ole Opry had comissioned for him. It had a carving of his head on the peghead.

The TV portion came off well and about the time they took their instruments in the dressing room Jimmy Campbell's wife at that time, Andrea came through the back door in a rush asking where Billy was. We looked around and he and Bill were both gone. Someone said I think he's gone to turn in his notice. She said we’ve got to catch him. Her husband Jimmy was playing fiddle with Jim & Jesse and had heard them talking as they drove up the interstate. Jim had hired Raymond McClain the day before Jesse had hired Billy with out Jesse knowing it. Jimmy knowing what Billy's plans were had called back to let him know what was happening, because if he turned in his notice Bill might not have him back.
The long and the short, she caught Billy and I became probably the only guy to get the job and loose the job while never playing a single note.

No comments:

Post a Comment