Here you see why my brothers and I are so enthralled with music and photography. My father, Bill Ivey (above right) was a professional photographer who took photographs of country stars as a hobby. Here, one of my favorite photos of him, he's with Freddy Fender. (Y'all see what happens when I start looking for something -- like my resume!? I come up with something all together different.)
Stuffed in a drawer (and other places), I found a box of my father's photos that mom had saved. As you know, one thing leads to another and long story short--over the years, I've had several requests to put together a book of my father's photos. Well, now that I have them all out (and my brother Jim has all of the negatives), what better time than now? This is one of my favorites of mom with one her faves, Faron Young.
A lot of my parents' love of country music stems from a very dear friend, Tom 'Cat' Reeder, a local DJ and MC back in DC. During the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, they spent most weekends together at various country shows; my father the unofficial photographer and bartender. (He would keep a full "bar" in his trunk; and once he pulled up, the trunk would open and the party would begin!) There is a story where George Jones got so drunk before going on stage, they wouldn't allow him to do the show! Oooopsy. Oh well. Don't know if it's true or not, may have to check into that story! Anyhoo, my dad was always passing out photos at every show and never asked for a penny for any of them. I can only imagine how many hours he spent in that dark room. Yea, this is way-back-when--before digital cameras. But I know it brought him so much joy. It was his passion. Tom 'Cat' above with Ray Price.
Mixed in with the old photos, I found some programs that mom had also saved from the day. I had no idea that my father's photos were ever used professionally. I'm happy he did get credit, at least. Oy, teenagers don't pay any mind, do they. I never did, anyway. Couldn't care less. Shame.
His photos were used throughout these programs over the years, like the one of Tom and Jerry Lee Lewis to the right (not the Harrison/Dylan/Russell photo, unfortunately!). Wow, what memories these Top Ten lists brought back! Yup, that's about what I was listening to.
I was never allowed to stay at home with my teenager brothers, Lord forbid. So, yes, I spent many a weekend sitting in the back of my daddy's Cadillac listening to Three Dog Night, Alice Cooper, and the Top Ten. I don't know how I never wore the battery down, I often think about that. I'm talking HOURS with the radio on, probably A/C too! Country music was not cool in any way or form according to me. Well, I guess I did come out of the car every once in a while because that's me with Faron Young (obviously before I became a moody teenage girl). One of my fondest memories around this time is dancing with my dad at some honky tonk; and Johnny Cash and June Carter came on (not live, mind you) singing "Jackson." Up until a couple of years ago, I thought the words were "We got married in a beaver" which I thought was a euphemism for a VW Beetle! HA! Lawds, help me.
Well, you know of course I did come out for the Killer! Always did like a bad ass! (Of course, I had to hide the photo of ME and Jerry Lee somewhere SAFE--which means I cannot find it to kill me. It's probably with my resume!)
I wonder if mom or I took this photo as there is dad on the right. He must have liked Jerry Lee also. He hardly ever got in front of the lens.
Love, love love! Mom with Hank Williams, Jr.. Just look at that baby face! Wow. And mom's beautiful smile. Aw. I'll never forget when Hank had his horrible accident and almost died. Tom got a phone call in the middle of MCing a show; and he left right then and was on the next plane out to be with him. Now, that's friendship.
Here Tom is with another bad boy, Merle Haggard. Wonder why he's wearing sunglasses??? lol
Mom looking good with good-looking Conway Twitty.
Beautiful Loretta Lynn smiling for the camera. Talk about Angelina being skinny!
Tom with my brother Johnny and Grandpa Jones. Great pic of Johnny.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Check out the lamé outfit. Oooooohweeee. George and I go to the same optometrist! Next time I see him, I'll ask him if he remembers the "trunk incident!" NOT!
Mom with Hank Snow. Wonder if that suit is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. What a beaut!
The sweet Mel Tillis.
And take a look at these youngins'--Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. LOVE Porter's boots! Oww! Now those babies could crush a roach in the corner, as we used to say.
And, here's mom and Mac Wiseman yuking it up about something.
I can't begin to tell you what memories have been flooding my brain today as I've scanned all of these orginals. It's sad that so many of these folks are no longer with us, including my parents and brother Johnny. Tom 'Cat' has had some recent medical issues and it breaks my heart. He has brought so much joy to so many over the years and has always been a decent man.
I dedicate this post to him.
Get well, Tom 'Cat'!
Labels: Music, Dad, Mom, Brother John, Friends