Ram­blin with Un­cle Billy

Calhoun Times - - OPINION/COMMENT -

I love band. My un­cle Royce got me in­ter­ested in mu­sic at an early age. He played most of the stringed in­stru­ments. He played string bass in a dance band and they re­hearsed in our liv­ing room quite of­ten. When I en­tered the 7th grade, I wanted to start in be­gin­ning band. I had dreams of be­com­ing a great trum­pet player but my mother said she could not af­ford to buy me a trum­pet. In the 8th grade, I again wanted to be in band but mother said we can’t af­ford it, ask your un­cle Royce if he can help. Un­cle Royce said, “Billy I don’t have a trum­pet but I do have a tuba that I bought for twenty dol­lars at a pawn­shop.”

In the fall, I joined be­gin­ning band play­ing an E flat tuba. It wasn’t a trum­pet but I re­ally loved play­ing the tuba. In this class was a flute played named John Car­ruth who be­came my life­long best friend. John was much larger than me and played the small­est in­stru­ment in the band. I was the small­est guy in the band and played the big­gest in­stru­ment in the bandgo fig­ure. In high school we be­came mem­bers of the Gads­den High School Band, un­der the di­rec­tion of Mort Glosser. Our high school band was usu­ally the top band in the state of Alabama. For four years of high school, we played mu­sic ev­ery day. How could you not love band.

Af­ter high school, I joined the Navy and spent five years on ac­tive duty. My friend John en­tered Jack­sonville State Col­lege to study mu­sic. He be­came a band di­rec­tor and taught in sev­eral schools in Alabama. Af­ter the Navy I en­tered Auburn to study mu­sic. I be­came a band di­rec­tor and taught in Ge­or­gia, New­found­land, Ger­many, and then back to Ge­or­gia. In 1970 I was teach­ing in Rome at East Rome Ju­nior High School. That sum­mer the East Rome High School band job opened up. I called my friend John and told him that there was a job for him in Rome. John took the job and we had ten glo­ri­ous years of teach­ing to­gether. I pre­pared the kids in ju­nior high school and John took them to greater heights in high school. We had so much fun with these kids that we still have an­nual re­unions with them.

What a way to live- BAND!!!!!!!!!

Billy Davis is Navy vet­eran and for­mer band di­rec­tor in Floyd and Mur­ray County. He cur­rently re­sides in Cal­houn with his wife, where he en­joys writ­ing Ram­blin with Un­cle Billy and trav­el­ing. I LOVE

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