Curtis, Sonny 2006-07-26

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General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Sonny Curtis

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: July 26, 2006

Location: Burns, Tennessee

Interviewer: Andy Wilkinson

Length: 01:47:26


Tape 1, Side 1:

West Texas music, How is it part of your life?, A man played a fiddle, That is how he got hooked on music, Aunt, taught him to play guitar, Dad bought two cheap guitars, He was about 4 or 5, Little Brown Judd, Mayfield Brothers, Good role models, Listened to the Grand ole Opery, Good ear, Curtis could hear a fiddle and tell you who was fiddling, Red Foley, Little Roy Williams, Billy Bird, Songs to play, 4th grade, 1st performance, Friday morning assembly, Each grade took turns being responsible for the performance, He played 2 or 3 songs, Give me 5 minutes more, Good ole Mountain Dew, Eddie Arnold, Sonny Stewart, Meadow to Lubbock, Walked from 34th to Broadway, Learned how to play thumb pick style

Tape 1, Side 2:

High school, Solo, Played with Buddy Holly, Bob Montgomery, Olan Finley, His dad worked for the post office, He would be in Meadow over the weekends, Bernie Howell show, Curtis was well known in Lubbock, Olan- told him about Buddy and Bob, He told them about me, Bob Montgomery’s parents had the Gin Café, University and 82nd, Buddy Holly had black hair but had died it blonde, His roots were showing, Skipped small talk and started pickin, Played country music at the time, When Elvis came through- they started playing rock and roll, Andy saw him in a parking lot before he was famous, Elvis, Red pants, Orange Jacket, White boots, The girls went crazy, Buddy did the songs, Don Guess- bass player, Slap bass, Scotty, The clover club, Amarillo club owned by Bob Mills, No one could dance while they were playing, Allowed to play during the intermissions, 15 minute intermissions, No drummer until Elvis got a drummer, Once he got one, they got one, Joe B, The 14’s, They were Elvis clones, Marty, Eddie Crandall, He wanted to hear their records, Clovis, NM, Normans, Wichita Falls, Sonny and Buddy had some ego clashes, Played Hank Williams songs, He looked for a song writer, Finally realized he was going to have to write them himself, Nesmond Studios, Recorded 4 songs, Someday, Autry Hammond, Web Pearson, 19 years old at the time, On the back of Honky tonk time, Slim Whitman, Elvis came back to Lubbock, Billy Walker, Jimmy and Johnny, Wayne Walker- Johnny, Song writer, Tatum, NM, Tillman Franks, 2 door olds mobile, Carried the bass inside the car, The three of them sat in the front, Sonny sat in the back with the bass, Jimmy Fatherly and Wayne Walker, Ronnie Self

Tape 1, Side 3:

Texas, Got a job in Colorado Springs, Navajo Hogan, Went to California, Came back to Texas, Went to New York, Got into it with Norman Petty, Buddy moved to New York, Peggy Sue, J.I, Maryellen, Buddy, 1959, Right after Buddy’s funeral drove to New York, 1960, L.A, England, Australia, Got drafted, 2 years in Army, 18 months, Moved to L.A, Played with the Crickets, 1970, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Commercial for Olympia Beer, Straight Life, Wrote a jingle, Jingle Business, Don Pystor, Stan Kitten, Lumber Jack Syrup, Team, McDonalds commercial, Kid, Teenager, Working man, Woman, Made the demos, 30 second commercials, Jingle factory, “They don’t want it good, they want it Tuesday”, They wrote jingles for just about anything, Cars, Food, Airlines, Etc., Neutson orange juice, 1970-1975- Jingle writing time, Got tired of the traffic in the big city, Impacts of living, Tends to be more country while living in TN, Rather than if he were in L.A, He just wants to please himself, If you are happy with it, good chance someone else will be too, Playing with Buddy Holly and the Crickets-, Considers himself incredibly lucky, The Everly Brothers fans and Buddy Holly fans rooted for Sonny, What’s next, He likes to garden, The crickets still go out on the road, He plays at places all around the states still, He is putting together some CD’s together of his work, For his daughter and granddaughter

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