Ramblin with Uncle Billy
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