Dun­lap con­cert cel­e­brates the mu­sic of bobby boyd

A re­u­nion of friends and fans from the old Cast­aways Club is be­ing or­ga­nized by Billy Boyd

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - SPOTLIGHT - BY BARRY COURTER STAFF WRITER Con­tact Barry Courter at bcourter@ times­freep­ress.com or 423-757-6354.

Billy Boyd re­mem­bers when he and his brother, Bobby, were 8 and 10, re­spec­tively, grow­ing up in the Se­quatchie Val­ley.

“Brush Creek where we lived was, golly, four miles to town ( Dun­lap, Tenn.),” he said. “We were not rich peo­ple, but Mom and Dad al­ways treated us right and would give us $5 to go to town. They had this pool hall ori­ented to kids with a pin­ball ma­chine. Bob would get his in rolls of nick­els and he would build his odds (essen­tially bet­ting it all) off to the side ev­ery time.

“He’d get right down to al­most the last (nickel), but 95 per­cent of the time, he would hit on it and win. Ol’ Billy, I’d

be drop­ping mine one nickel at a time. That, in my mind, was his whole phi­los­o­phy on life. He was the same way about writ­ing songs He’d say, ‘ The more I write, the bet­ter my odds.’ And it usu­ally worked out for him.”

Bobby Boyd par­layed that phi­los­o­phy into a suc­cess­ful song­writ­ing ca­reer, and Billy Boyd wants to honor his brother with a con­cert on Satur­day, July 29, at Har­ris Park in Dun­lap. He has lined up 10 acts to date, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Old Play­boys rhythm sec­tion with Billy Dee (as his brother called him), the band that both Boyds played in along with brother Jimmy, and Bernard Tate. This ver­sion will

in­clude Billy Dee, Tate, Glenn Rid­dle and Dale Rober­son.

Also per­form­ing will be Don “PooBah” Mealer, the man who in­tro­duced the Boyd brothers to Wil­lie Nel­son years ago in Texas, Cody McCarver with Billy Hat­field and Jimmy Dormire, Neal Dover and Fam­ily, Tony Colton, Joey Winslett Band, Rober­son Brothers and Car­rie Hassler.

“Most ev­ery­body is fam­ily,” Boyd said. “We’re all cousins over here in the val­ley some­how. We just want ev­ery­body who knew and loved Bobby to come up and play a lit­tle bit if they want to.”

Bobby Boyd died June 22 at age 69. He moved to Nash­ville in 1980 and be­gan writ­ing songs for peo­ple like Con­way Twitty, Patty Love­less and Earl Thomas Con­ley. He wrote “Fi­nally Fri­day,” which be­came a hit for Ge­orge Jones, and “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” which was a No. 1 hit for Garth Brooks.

Billy was with Bobby the day he stopped his new Corvette in the mid­dle of a Nash­ville street to chase down Jones to pitch “Fri­day” to him.

“He kept look­ing over his shoul­der wait­ing for me to park the car. He knew I wanted to meet Ge­orge. Bob never left any­body be­hind.”

The Boyd Brothers — Jimmy, Billy and Bobby — started play­ing in Chat­tanooga in the late ’60s and ’70s. Soon they were do­ing five hours a night, six nights a week at The Cast­aways as the Play­boy Re­view, along with Rid­dle and Tate. Be­cause of Bobby’s soul­ful voice, they were do­ing a lot of Temp­ta­tions, Coast­ers and Lit­tle Richard ma­te­rial.

“Lit­tle Richard ac­tu­ally came in one night to hear us,” Billy said. “He later called from Miami and said he wanted to talk to that ‘ black white boy singing that mu­sic.’”

His brother ended up in Miami with the rock ’n’ roll le­gend and later called from the West Coast. Billy said he called and said, “Guess where I am? I’m in Los An­ge­les with Lit­tle Richard watch­ing Elvis Pres­ley.”

Billy and Bobby were al­ways close, the younger of the two said. Even af­ter the older brother started hit­ting the big time, they talked reg­u­larly.

“I couldn’t keep up with him,” Billy said when his brother moved to Nash­ville as his ca­reer took off. “I gave him my bless­ing and said, ‘Go get her done.’

“We had a thing we al­ways said: ‘All that is good lives in the Lord.’ We knew if one of us left, we’d see each other in heaven.”

Bobby Boyd, left, is shown with Garth Brooks. Boyd wrote “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” which was a huge hit for Brooks in 1991. Bobby Boyd and the Play­boy Re­view fea­tured Glenn Rid­dle on bass, Bernard Tate on drums, Billy Boyd on guitar, Bobby Boyd on vo­cals, Steve Young on trum­pet and Dale Rober­son on sax.

Bobby Boyd on­stage with Wil­lie Nel­son in Texas.

Cody McCarver, along with Billy Hat­field and Jimmy Dormire, will per­form Satur­day.

The Boyd brothers are shown at a birth­day party for old­est brother Jimmy. They are Gene, Bobby, Billy, Jimmy, Terry “Jug” and Ed­die Boyd. Sis­ter Lana (Boyd) Barker also per­formed in her own band, an all-fe­male band.

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