Bob Brundage –Hi again. This is Bob Brundage and today I’m in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The date is November 14th, 1996 and today I’m at the home of Pancho and Marie Baird, certainly one of the most respected old timers around that’s been associated with square dancing for many, many years and we’re interested in finding out a little more about Pancho’s previous life before square dancing so Pancho, where were you born and brought up. Let’s hear about it.
Pancho Baird – I was born in Colton, Oklahoma in 1919, April 6th. When I was 14 I moved to Dallas, Texas. My mother died when I was 3 years old so I never, and my father did his best but my sister, elder sister wanted me to come down to Dallas so I went down, moved to Dallas and she got me through high school.
BB – OK, and when did you start to learn to play guitar.
PB – Well, I started that in Oklahoma. There was an old fiddler lived down close to, not too far from where we lived and he had a guitar. I’d go down there and he’d, he showed me the chords and he’d play and then he’d nod his head when I was supposed to change chords, it was a 2 chord tune. So that’s the way I really got started.
BB – Huh, that’s interesting. So your family was not musically inclined, your family?
PB – No. No.
BB – Well, that’s interesting. So, where’d we go from here? You moved to Dallas.
PB – Well, I joined the Navy when I got out of high school. I had a friend in Dallas who was manufacturing aircraft radios. In those days you couldn’t just go and buy one, you had to have somebody make one and even the airlines made their own equipment. He asked me one day, he was a teaching engineer for WFAA in Dallas and he taught me the code and I’d go down there when he was on duty. We’d sit around and talk and asked me one day, “Would you like to go up in an airplane?” and I said, “Yeah”. So we went out to Love Field and the pilot who owned the plane, he was a salesman for the radios. We took off and went up and he started talking – he was testing one of his radios, Clyde Musteler was his name and I asked, “Who are you talking to/” and he said, “I’m talking to Waco” and I said, “No, I mean who are the people on the ground you’re talking to?” He said, “Oh, they’re federal employees, Civil Aeronautics Authorities” and he said, “They are called Communicators, would you like to”, I said, “ That sounds like a pretty good job, aviation and radio”. He said, “Well, when we get down I’ll take you over there”. So he took me over there and I met them and every one of them was ex-Navy radiomen and it required 2 years experience on a sea-going vessel, open to public correspondence and be able to send and receive 35 words a minute. I said, “I think that’s what I want to do” so when I got out of high school I joined the Navy and I went to San Diego and I got assigned, I went through the schools there and they teach you the basic qualifications for a radioman, signalman and quartermaster. Quartermaster is the assistant to the navigator, signalman of course is the semaphore. They made me a quartermaster but after I got out of school. It was 3 months long. I already had 6 months in and I still had to get my 2 ½ years in. So I told the Communications Officer, I said, “I’d like to get, what my problem was. And he said, “Well we just don’t have any vacancies”. One day I saw on the bulletin board where they wanted 50 seamen for duty in Asiatic Fleet which is in China. So I volunteered and the officer, he said, “You’re too young to go out there” and I said, “Teen” and he said, “We don’t send people out there that had in a 4 year hitch in the Navy” So I was astounded when one day when I heard over the PA system, “Now hear this. All you men lay up on the quarterdeck bag and baggage” and they had, Baird, M. R. Meanwhile the Sino-Japenese War had started. So they were beefing up their personnel. They increased the personnel in the Asiatic Fleet that way. I went up on the quarterdeck and they said, “Get your baggage and get up here”. I said, “Well, what’s the matter?” and they said, “You’re going to go to China” and I said, “I don’t want to go to China. There’s a war going on out there. They said, “Well, you’re going”. It took us 32 days to get, we went to, I may be stringing this out too long for you.
BB – No, that’s OK, very interesting.
PB – We went to Hawaii and we went to Midway and we went to Wake Island. Then we went to Guam and we went to Manila and from there we went up to Shanghai. The fleet was up north. It stayed in north China in the summer in the Philippines in the winter. When we went up to chief rooms, the chief, we got in there at night of course, the ship I was to be assigned to sent a boat over, the USS Alden. It was a World War One destroyer. They called them 4 pipers, they had 4 stacks. (Pancho shows Bob a picture) See, that ship right there. They sent a boat over and when I went aboard ship the Communications Officer was standing there and he says, “What do you want to be?” and I said I wanted to be a radioman and he says, “You’re a radioman”. So I learned to qualify as a Navy radioman and I spent my 2 ½ years out there and that was all a guy could be if I had been out there to do that. It was wartime. The Japanese and the Chinese were at war and we often wondered what we were doing out there anyhow. But anyhow, I served my time and eventually returned back to the states and got into the Civil Aeronautics, later became the Federal Aviation Administration.
BB – You probably didn’t bring your guitar.
PB – I had a guitar, you mean over there?
BB – Yeah, right.
PB – I had one, I don’t remember, I went back there during the war incidentally. I went back over to, I was in on the invasion of Okinawa. I was in the Navy but I was attached to the 6th Marine Division. On the way back, we were there 64 days, they announced on the PA system, we had 2 or 3 of us down playing our guitars and things, that there would be a concert on the fo’csle. They had a piano there and happened to be on this ship was a fellow named Claude Thornhill, a very famous band leader. I’d never heard of him but I got to meet him on that return visit. That was before we went back to, the war ended when I was in the Philippine Islands. That was in August and I didn’t get back to the states until the 24th of December that same year, due to some unfortunate happenings which I won’t relate here.
BB – Well OK. So the war is over where did you come back to, Dallas?
PB – No, I went back to Albuquerque. I had switched to, one day I was Chief Aircraft Communicator stationed out in El Moro, New Mexico. You may know where the National Monument is out there. OK, we had a station there and since they got so short of men that they had to send women, my wife was a Communicator. They didn’t send them to the isolated stations but I was Chief Communicator out there and they had signed up when the war started but I heard that if you joined they wouldn’t guarantee your job but if you get drafted they have to give you your job. Then I said, “Well, I’m not going to spend all that time in China and then get, not be able to get the job so I got I got drafted. I think I was the only Chief that got drafted in Civil Aeronautics. My draft board was in ??, Washington, see, I was sent up there for my probationary period. So, I went back in and this time they sent us up to Camp Pendleton and I was attached to the Marine Corps.
BB – OK. Now, tell us about when you met Marie and how that came about.
PB – (Coughs) Excuse me. Well, she was a Communicator in Albuquerque and I had a girlfriend there. When I got out of the Navy, after the war I went out there, I had my uniform on and I asked for this girl that I had known. I don’t know whether she’d moved or been transferred or what but one of the other Communicators told her who I was and we had a sort of group party for the station one night. I brought my guitar and Marie came and we were all singing and first thing you know I noticed what a beautiful voice she had so I started dating here and people would ask us, as they did later to entertain a little bit. So after, I don’t know, she remembers all of this better than I do but it wasn’t long until we got married.
BB – OK, of course she plays the piano too.
PB – Yes, yes.
BB – So you became a team, right? When I visited you way, way back many, many years ago you took me out to one of the stations that was a homing device. You said that that was one of the parts of your job at the time to track. Do you remember where that was? I don’t remember.
PB – What year was it?
BB – Oh, golly. Don’t ask.
PB – Well, when I was stationed in Albuquerque and actually got more help, I was stationed in Acomeda which is out on the Acoma Reservation. Then I got transferred up here to Santa Fe and from here they kept adding different facilities to my work load. I ended up with about 10 technicians and had this whole part of northern New Mexico. I changed my rating, when I was in El Moro one day a DC-3 landed. We had an emergency field there, and pretty soon here came a jet, a small jet plane. The DC-3 was carrying fuel for this little jet and I talked to the pilot and I said, “My gosh, can’t you, do you have to have that plane to carry the fuel?” He said, “Well, we have to fly at low altitude and they just eat fuel at a low altitude. If they could ever get up to 25,000 feet I’d have very good fuel efficiency”. I said, “Well now, you wouldn’t be interested in the weather?” No, he wouldn’t be interested in the weather. We made weather observations and broadcast them. I said to myself, “I’m obsolete”. In a few years planes are going to be flying 25, 30,000 feet and they don’t care what’s happening at El Moro, Acomeda or any of these places. I had a FCC license in radio telegraphy so I changed my job from Communicator to Principle Radio Electrician, maintained Air and Navigation Aids.
BB – OK. So, many years ago when I visited you here you were running dances out in your little dance hall out here in the back yard. One of the few people that I knew that owned their own dance hall right on their own property. Tell us a little about that. I know you’ve had many well known callers here.
PB – Yeah, I have signatures on the wall over there – quite a number – I can’t recall them all but –
BB – I remember Bruce Johnson. I just interviewed him last week.
PB – Yes, Bruce and Ed Gilmore, Joe Lewis – I’d have to go over there and look. I rented this hall incidentally about a year ago to a fellow who is teaching karate. He painted everything and I told him, I said, “These signatures are friends of mine in the square dance field and I didn’t know what the do with it – whether to cut that piece out of the wall or what” and I said, “Go ahead and paint over it”. Well, I went over there and he’d painted the whole thing and he’d left this big blob there. He says, “I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it” so they’re still over there.
BB – You used to run weekly dances there, didn’t you?
PB – Well, it was every other week. Just some friends – it was strictly volunteer – whatever they wanted to put in the pot - I didn’t charge them anything – it paid my gas and lights and taxes. I did that for, oh gosh, I don’t know, 15 years or so.
BB – I remember when I was here I called a contra dance for you. Do you remember that?
PB – Yes, I do.
BB – A lot of people out this way are not that familiar with contras. We had a great time, I remember. But anyway, OK one of the prime achievements of your experience has been a record called, ‘Smoke On The Water’
PB – Yes.
BB – Now, if I can be so presumptuous I have always said that this is the initiation of well known callers nationally because I think this particular record – it really took off and was one of the first ones that had a major sale nationwide. At the time it came out, for months and months I had to call that particular number at every dance that I called. So, tell us a little about ‘Smoke On The Water’.
PB – Well, let’s see. I had – we played at a dance in Oklahoma City – I don’t recall whether it was a National or just a state dance but we played it and then I met – a doctor came out here and built some square dance facilities over here at Pojoaque and he hired a lot of the national callers and he hired Paul Phillips and that how I met Paul and Margaret. When we were in Oklahoma City we were sitting there talking and I had written a couple of songs – I wrote a dance to ‘Lady of Spain’ and I had used some stop breaks in it and I changed key – I fancied it all up – at least that’s what I considered it
BB – That was on the flip side of ‘Smoke On The Water’, right.
PB – and Paul had a little disc cutter, you know. He said, “I’d like for you to put those 2 on for me”. So, I did ‘Smoke On The Water’ and ‘Lady of Spain’ and unbeknownst to me he sent it to Mike Michelle – Western Jubilee. Mike called me and he said what happened - that Paul had sent him that record and he said, “I’d like to record you” and I said, “Well, I have equipment here to do the recording” and he said, “I’ll pay you $100 a side”. I said,” Well, OK. So I went and got my band together and I only had 1 microphone – I had the fiddler in the kitchen – Marie played the piano – I played the guitar – we recorded those 2 numbers and sent it in to Mike Michelle. He paid me $400 and I forgot about it and at that time we were going up to Pine Point up at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin you know. When we got up there I saw Al, your brother and Al said, “Pancho, that record of yours is really going over back east. I said, “Well, I’m glad to hear that Al because I hadn’t heard anything. Then Ed told me, “Well. your dance is really going over in southern California” and Manning said, “It’s going over in Texas” and, of course I thought it was ‘Lady of Spain’ you know. Somebody finally – somebody said, “Well” - he said, “You made 2 records didn’t you?” and I said, “Yeah, ‘Lady of Spain’ was my favorite”. “Oh no. We’re not talking – we’re talking about ‘Smoke On The Water’. Both laugh
When I got back home Mike called me and signed me and I made a few more for him.
BB – Well good. Did you ever record on any other labels?
PB – Yes. I recorded for Marvin Shilling – Lightning S label and I recorded for ah, Pappy Shaw’s –
BB – The Lloyd Shaw label.
PB – Yeah. I put out one for them. Did I say Marvin Shilling?
BB – Yes, yes. So, in the strict sense of the word you were not the traditional or the type of caller that’s out teaching classes every night in the week and then calling for square dance clubs per se. You were more of an entertainer and musician that backed up these other fellows. How about national conventions? A little while ago you mentioned Denver I think.
PB – Well. we were featured at the national convention in Dallas. Marie and I were on TV there – I think we did ‘Cool Water’ as I remember but we received a little certificate of achievement from that. Generally people wanted us to sing and every place we’d go – oh, I’d like to mention – a fellow that helped me tremendously in my calling was a fellow named Pat Pattison who lived here. He took me under his wing – at that time there were 12 clubs here and he came down one night to the dance where club members were calling. He put on a record – he looked around and he said, “You and you and you stand up introduce yourself and your wife. Well, what he had done, he put that record on and he looked to see who was patting their foot to the music and I was one of them. There were 2 other fellows and he said, “Would any of you like to learn to call?” and I said, “I sure would”. I had a cousin in Oklahoma used to, during cotton picking time they’d take all the wagons down to the gin and they couldn’t gin them fast enough so they called the wagon yard – he put up a little platform about 12 feet square and he’d call square dances. You could hear him for a half mile. Colorful patter like, “ Oh, the wildcats gone, the panther born, the ground blew up and the bush is bent, 4 on there and the ?? is spent. Come along there cowboy have a little fun, we hope daylight will never come”. Meanwhile they’re doing the Docey Doe. Well, I’ll always remember him – his name was Tobe Bussey – he was my cousin. So Pat told me, “OK, I’ll teach you to call but I don’t want you to use any patter”. Well, that just broke my heart. He said, “I’ll give you the dance and I want you to call the commands so that you’re not too far ahead or too far behind them”. Every time I called he never danced. He had a group of kids called ‘The Fireflies’ that danced in the dark – high school kids – they were in demand – Marie and I would go as chaperones for the kids – we went over to Childress, Texas and Amarilo and up into Oklahoma and Pat would manage to get me on the program but I still couldn’t use any patter. Finally, he told me one day, he said, “OK – this is about a year almost – I think you can use patter now’. That was one of the highlights of my career when Pat did that. Pat was a wonderful caller. I don’t know if you knew him or not –
BB – I knew him, yeah. I may have met him here as a matter of fact when I was here years ago. You mentioned a lot of the other callers that you’ve worked with and many that have been here to your own little dance hall – did you know Lee Helsel?
PB – Who?
BB – Lee Helsel.
PB - Yes, I knew Lee Helsel. See, this doctor that came out here from Dallas and built this square dance thing he hired Lee Helsel and Bob Osgood and Paul Phillips and Joe Lewis and all the big names then. We played for them – our band played for them. Raymond Smith –
BB – Ray Smith, Alright. One of the things in our conversation before we started tape recording you said that you wrote a song one time. In fact, you wrote more than one. Can you tell me a little about –
PB – Well, I’ve written quite a few songs. I don’t know – some of them good – some of them bad I suppose. This particular one was – that they recorded in Nashville was called, “ Hello ?? I met you last night and if I remember right it seems to me we had a drink or two. You gave me your phone – I said I would phone or something but anyhow when I called that number they said ‘Hello. This is the zoo’.” That’s the theme behind the theme. So, she gave him this fake number and then he met her again and she gave him – he gave her his number – she called him and he says, “Hello, this is the zoo. Big Tiger talking just for you. Now we’re as happy as we can be” - I forget the – I can’t remember.
BB – Ah, that’s good. That’s great. You mentioned that you had done quite a bit of recording for local people on what was called the Zenith label and you’ve got some of these records left.
PB – Oh. Oh, they’re terrible.
BB – Well, that’s all right. I wish I had a copy of my brothers first recording on the Five Star label way back years ago. I had one but it was the old shellac and I left it in the attic and it cracked. I was going to bring up – I wish we could have one – a couple of copies for the Lloyd Shaw Dance Archives if that’s a possibility. We’ll talk about that some time in the future.
PB – You mean the song or a square dance?
BB – Either one – we’re looking for all we can get. Well, getting away from square dancing for a minute – I know you’re a very avid golfer. Do you play golf around here quite a bit? We enjoyed a very nice lunch with your Country Club down the road. I happen to enjoy golf too. I’m not very good at it but we’ve got to get together and play sometime.
PB – I’d enjoy that.
BB – Right. Are there any other – you know one thing I wanted to ask you? Suppose someone called you up today and said, “Pancho, will you play a dance for us?” – would you do it?
PB – I don’t know. It depends on – see, the hardest part are the singing calls. The hoedowns – no problem but if I don’t the – and you have to know the song in 3 or 4 different keys. We worked harder on singing calls than anything else because of – I remember one time up at the Denver convention – Pancho asked for a quick break - clicks
BB – Go ahead.
PB – I was on a panel – Pappy’s – Bergen -
BB – Fred Bergen, right.
PB – and Jack Barbour. I had told the caller we’d found that certain callers wanted certain keys and a lot of people didn’t believe that. For instance Ed Gilmore – he thought you should be able to call in any key – he could – that was his style of calling but most callers couldn’t and so somebody asked Jack Barbour why he didn’t put out more hoedowns in the key of ‘A’. I know the key of ‘A’ is most used key in hoedowns - ‘A’ – but fiddlers like ‘D’ – ‘D’ is horrible. So Jack Barbour – I hope they don’t publish this – you can delete it if you want to – they say, “Why don’t you put out more hoedowns in ‘A’?” and he says, “ What’s the matter? Are you too lazy to learn to call in the key of ‘D’?” So I said, “Are you too lazy to learn how to play it in ‘A’?” and the place went crazy. You can cut that out.
BB – OK. That’s funny, I remember – we were at a festival in New Hampshire one time – Ed Durlacher was there and of course his band was – they were all accomplished musicians in New York City and union musicians and they were playing with our little band called the Pioneers so as he started to call he turned to the band and said, “Drop it a half tone” – OK, well, these fellows don’t, you know you don’t go from ‘C’ to ‘B flat’ just like that. They were playing in ‘G’ I think and played a ‘G7th’ and dropped it all the way to ‘C’ and Durlacher never said a word – but be that as it may.
PB – Well I’ll tell you – there’s one thing I guess I’ll add – most of – I happened to have a fiddler that read music and I told him I said, “I just want you to hold us together. Don’t play anything fancy or anything, just hold us together” and he said, “ Well, I think there ought to be more music” and I said, “Well, nobodys listening to you”. Joe Lewis was calling out here and I said, “I want you to play 2 hoedowns, that’s all – we’ll have a hoedown, a singing call, a hoedown. Joe could call all night to ‘Take Me Back To Tulsa’ and that’s the first thing he asked if we could play. When it was over we went out and I said, “Ask him” He said, “ Did you notice what we played tonight?” “ Well no, we were listening to the caller” and convinced him and from then on we never had any problem with that at all. But he could play in different keys and I could and Marie always had to find the chords for us because she can read music. I learned to read a little bit but not enough to do it but I could generally turn my volume down or get away with it somehow.
BB – So you must have been impressed by Joe Lewis’ accordion.
PB – Well, he didn’t have it – I believe he had it here but he didn’t use it. He agreed that I had a good band and I think he did too. His music was entirely different and I really enjoyed him.
BB – Well, he was a perfectionist too. I know he was a really great musician – that accordion that he had of course, it sounded like a 3 piece band because the bass notes sounded like a bass fiddle and the chord notes sounded like a guitar and the keyboard sounded like an accordion.
PB – He had some electronics background. He wouldn’t let me look at it but he did tell me he had to keep in on dry ice or something so I assume he used some crystal elements of some sort but I wasn’t interested in what it was but he got by with it and did an excellent job.
BB – Sure did. As a matter of fact it was the forerunner of our modern day keyboard with the sideman and the syncopaters and all this and that and he built it himself in his own little workshop many, many years before. Well, I think we’re just about down to the end of our session here Pancho. It’s been really interesting. Do you think we ought to get Marie to say a few words?
PB – Well, she’ll be happy to.
BB – Well very good. I’m going to put this on ‘Pause’ for a few minutes and see if we can’t get Marie in here. (Tape clicks). OK, so now we’re talking to the other half of this combo, Marie Baird. Marie, you and Pancho have been together for a long, long time and I know you have done an awful lot of entertaining. Just before we get into some of that - – I understand that you sang with the Sweet Adolines for a while.
Marie Baird – Yeah, I belonged to the High Desert Chorus here for over 8 years. Enjoyed it. I love to sing.
BB – Yeah, I know you do. You have a beautiful, beautiful voice. Everybody ever heard you sing would say the same thing. So, tell us about your association with Mr. Baird here.
MB – would you believe we’ve been married 50 years. We celebrated our 50th last Wednesday, the 6th. I met him when he came back from the Navy after the war. I was working for the then Civil Aeronautics Administration which is now the Federal Aviation Administration.
He came back from the Navy and, of course I had a boyfriend who was pretty jealous – he kept telling everybody that we were engaged – everybody knew it but me but a girlfriend called and asked me if I would go out with Pancho. I did and we had a real good time – danced and had a real good time. Then this fellow – this friend of mine – he was going to beat Pancho up. He couldn’t allow him to do that so he asked me for another date.
BB – Well of course you play piano but you had a musical background probably.
MB – Well, not really – I mean, it’s God given – I couldn’t stand the lessons for 3 months back when I was 10 or 11 – that was all the technical I had but I’ve turned all my life and played by ear all my life. I was in the Glee Club in college – the Women’s Glee club – I’ve had good directors and learned a lot that way and kind of stuck to it. Other than that –
BB – Well, you’ve pounded those keys many, many times –
MB – Boy, have I ever. Watch the dancing and the dresses and talked to my granddad –
BB – I know, it’s really amazing because my mother was an accomplished pianist. She started as a classical pianist and as many times as she played ‘Little Brown Jug’ she still had to have that music in front of her.
MB – Oh, she did. What did your father play?
BB – No, my father – the only instrument he ever played was bass drum in the American Legion Drum Corps.
MB – Oh, but you had a family band.
BB – Well, it was Mother, Al and I but Dad was always supportive – he drove the car – and that’s about it. A lot of people think that Al and I learned from our father and actually it was the other way around. The first year that Al and I were in college at the same time – he was a senior and I was a freshman – was when my father started to call.
MB – Oh really.
BB – So he called so that the band would stay together so that when we were home for vacation and summertime etc. we’d have – the band would still be together and that was many, many years ago.
MB – But it was fun.
BB – Oh yeah. It was really good fun of course.
MB – Well, my family all sang but not to the extent that I have. I thought everybody could sing so when I started school I found out that some kids couldn’t sing. Laughs
BB – I asked Pancho a little earlier, I said, “ If I called you up and asked if you’d play a dance tonight would you do it?”
MB – What did he say?
BB – He tried to avoid the issue –
MB – I would. I could play anytime.
BB – There you go. Well, maybe we ought to get a band together – any of the musicians that you worked with here locally – are they still around?
MB – I don’t think so. One has died, one moved to – well, 2 have died, one moved to Missouri, 1 moved to St. George, Utah.
BB – The people you worked with here when you had your own little dance hall going was just you and Pancho and a fiddler – is that about it?
MB – Well, no. Mainly it was just Pancho and I were playing.
BB – I know you’ve played with many of the – listened to many if the other bands – Schroeder’s Playboys – have you ever played with them?
MB – I don’t think I ever played with them. I played with Al’s band up in Boston.
BB – The King Street – the old Pioneers?
MB – Actually, I can’t remember their name but I played piano and it was great.
BB – That was at the Boston convention was it?
MB – Uh huh, the Atlantic, the First Atlantic Convention
BB – Oh, there are so many stories from that convention you wouldn’t believe.
MB – Yeah, I believe. I was there.
BB – I remember one story about the fellow that got up to call – it was a singing call and he missed the first couple of words and he waited while the band played a whole verse and a chorus before he started. He kept saying, “ Now wait a minute, wait a minute. It’s coming around here”. He didn’t know how to say, “Join hands and circle left” or how to get into it.
MB – I didn’t hear that one.
BB – Well, golly that was many years ago – the First Atlantic Convention – it had to move down to Washington, D.C. area. Did you know any of the present day bands – the Red Boot Boys?
MB – No. I don’t think so.
BB – Well, it sure had been nice talking to you. I’ve enjoyed it, I’ll tell you. So many of the stories that Pancho told before we started tape recording –
MB – We had some great ones.
BB – I’ll bet. So, I want to thank you, Marie for your hospitality and thank you for taking the time to listen to me and get this stuff down on tape. And Pancho, thank you very much. We’ll look forward to seeing you again real soon. Maybe we can play a foursome sometime on the golf course. Thanks a lot.
END OF INTERVIEW
ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY –
BB – Marie was just telling me a funny story that happened to their band at one time. Go ahead Marie.
MB – Lets see. It started up at Marvin Shilling’s Lightning S Ranch – a group of us were sitting out in an anteroom out of the dining room waiting for dinner and Glen Rigg, a caller from Los Alamos and Selm Hoveland a caller from Whitingham were over with me at the piano and they ran me through the intro and first line of ‘No, No Nanette’ and I got that great. Then the dinner bell rang and we all dashed into the dining room to eat and that was the end of it. Later that spring we were hired to play this dance in Morensy, Arizona. So, we got all set up – there were 4 of us I guess – fiddle, guitar, piano and bass and Pancho asked the singing callers to come up and say what singing call they were going to do we could check on keys and, etc. This man came up – I think he came when it was his turn and he said, “I’m going to do ‘No, No, Nanette’ ” and Pancho said, “ Why don’t you do something else – we don’t know that very well” which was a master of understatement – we didn’t know it from anything. He said, “No, no that the one I said I was going to call and that’s the one I’m going to call.” We said, “OK” and he said, “Just follow me” – famous last words – anyway, so I started out the intro – the way he started the first phrase was fine and then we fell apart. We didn’t know the tune – we didn’t know what key changes – we couldn’t hear each other – we couldn’t hear him – it was awful – just awful. We floundered through it and we finally got through and he turned around and glared at us and stalked off the stage. The funny part was that a fellow came up off the floor and said, “That caller was terrible – he wasn’t with the music at all” and there was no way I could tell him he couldn’t be with that music - it was terrible.
BB – That’s great. Thank you.
MB – OK.