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Post new topic Anyone know the steel player for Jude N Jody & Mathis Bros ?
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Author Topic:  Anyone know the steel player for Jude N Jody & Mathis Bros ?
Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 4 Apr 2016 9:12 pm     Reply with quote

Back in the 60s my dad and I used to watch a tv program from OKC where Mathis Brothers Furniture had a country band play...(their theme song was "We got them fire blazin' prices at mathis brothers furniture"..Jude and Jody were on it, with Bud Mathis and Pretty Miss Norma Jean (later with Porter Waggoner show). My dad bought a record of the group and on it was a pretty good steel player...anyone know who that player might have been ? Fond memories for me...my dad and I watched continuous country music shows from 10 in the morning until 10 at night on Saturdays. Sorry for the diversion, but that was a lot of fun and good music shows...Bill Anderson, Porter Waggoner, Wilburn Bros, Ernest Tubb, Billy Walker, Billy Parker and on and on....
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Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post Posted 4 Apr 2016 9:54 pm     Too hip for country in the Oklahoma City 1960s Reply with quote

This may be a band once removed, but Wilton O'Neal & The Night Lovers show up on a J 'n' J Christmas Special that's on YouTube. Doug Campbell was their steel player and from what little I've seen ("Big Blue Diamond" on YouTube) and heard, he was a monster talent. (A friend who played with him a lot backintheday says his solo on "BBD" wasn't nearly the genius Doug was capable of. I'd settle for it.)

All this is retro discovery on my part, because back then, I couldn't imagine anything bleaker than being sentenced to watch all those local and syndicated country shows on WKY-TV (and KLPR? we never tuned in Channel 14). My country transformation would begin around 1968 when I was 15 (thanks, Doc Watson; thanks Dillards; thanks, Clarence White.)

There might have been other personalities involved. Ask Forum member Dale Bennett.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 1:28 am     Reply with quote

I'm still playing (from time to time) with Austin fiddler Alvin Crow, who graduated high school in '68 in OKC. He talks about the Jude and Judy show all the time, and Mathis Bros. furniture.

Also, he says that Conway Twitty lived nearby his folk's house and had a mobile home dealership in the area. Do you remember that, Larry?
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john buffington


From:
Owasso OK - USA
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 6:21 am     Reply with quote

Conway also had a mobile home dealership in Tulsa, Ok. He and his band (only 4 members) played the grand opening located on Admiral Blvd. Papa John was playing a baby blue Emmons lacquer body P/P and did 99% of the lead work. Conway worked the Tulsa area often in his early days.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 7:21 am     Reply with quote

There's a long biography of Jude and Jody at this link:

http://oklahomarock.com/harold-dean-jody-taylor-dead-at-74/

Someone in the comments section says the steeler was left-handed:

"Boy, I watched their show every chance I got. It was great to hear them and their excellent band – Carl and Bob Warren on bass and drums with Russell O’Neal on fiddle, a left-handed steel player, and really great guitar player (sorry I can’t remember their names)."
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ken collins


From:
Oklahoma City, OK.
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 7:24 pm     Jude and Jody Show Reply with quote

The name of the left-handed steel player was Jerry Horn, now deceased. I played guitar with Jerry,Carl and Bobby Warren at that time. I started I think in 1967 and played thru the last show in 1975. Doug Campbell was great player and was Hershal Whitt also on guitar, the great Keith Coleman on fiddle and much twinning with fiddler Jack Stidam. Along with Wilton O'neal and the Nite Lovers came Dave Wood on Bass, Johnny Morgan on Drums and Mark Shannon on guitar. Peggy Wood (Dave's wife) sang as did Jude's wife Carol Ann. Norma Jean was married to Jody at that time and she brought many Country stars to the show. Conway lived in OKC and was a close friend of both Jude and Jody so was on show many times. Also Johnny Vaughn took Jerry Horn's place early on. Later we had a TV show Called the Bob Mills Show from 1976 to 1982 and hired the Dale Bennett band which then included Doug on steel. Doug passed away in Nebraska several years ago.
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 7:53 pm     Reply with quote

Yes Larry, Those sixty's, Jude & Jody, Don & Bud Mathis TV Shows were something to see. I was living in Stillwater, Ok. for a while during that time and got to see all of that. WKY out of OKC was showing some good country music most all the time. And WKY Radio always had some concert going some place around. I saw Conway several times around town, etc. I met & saw Doug Campbell several times, awesome picker. Alvin Crow was just a kid but was around and knocking everyone off their stool. I have his first LP recording
I think, just a very young man. Their were a lot of good bands in OKC at that time. The touring bands were booked at the Diamond Ball Room as well as top local bands. Boy, What a Honky Tonk. Buck Owens recorded all his early day shows at WKY TV. The Steel man that was with Conway in the early days was a local guy and right now I am having a Senior moment and cannot remember his name but he passed on not long ago. He used to be here on the forum a lot.
I shook his hand several times back in the day. A very nice man, just did not want to tour. So entered Papa John as we all came to call him. Saw him several times with the Blue Emmons with Two Evans Amps. What a Sound. What a great period of time for Country Music then. Life was good. You could be driving down the hiway & turn your radio on and you would have more than one station to listen to and their would be Steel, Fiddle and Pure Country Music. And you could understand the words the vocal was singing, HA!. Thanks, J.R. Rose
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 5 Apr 2016 8:13 pm     Reply with quote

Ken Collins made a post while I was writing mine and brought up a name I had forgotten about. Keith Coleman who my Dad was a friend with back in the day. Keith was his mentor back then and my Dad worked to learn all he could from him. Dad was a so, so fiddle player but good on vocals. Keith was raised not to far West of us here. A very nice man. J.R. Rose
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Roger Kelly


From:
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 4:56 am     Reply with quote

J R, Gene Jones or Lew Houston may be the Steel Player you are talking about playing for Conway at that time? They were before John Hughey if I remember correctly.
Very good post....
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 6:22 am     Re: Jude and Jody Show Reply with quote

ken collins wrote:
Norma Jean was married to Jody at that time and she brought many Country stars to the show.


Did Norma Jean later marry Red Zellner? Or was that a different Norma Jean?

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/norma-zellner-obituary?pid=1000000176926550
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 6:48 am     Reply with quote

Hey guys, great information ! It always amazes me about the forum members here...their experiences and knowledge about the different players, etc. I didnt know that information about Conway Twitty and the mobile homes. I was a "closet" country enthusiast in those days as I played lead guitar in a local rock and roll band and the guys would have kicked me out had they known I liked that country stuff...haha I loved that era of the country music scene.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 6:55 am     Reply with quote

Larry Lenhart wrote:
Hey guys, great information ! It always amazes me about the forum members here...their experiences and knowledge about the different players, etc. I didnt know that information about Conway Twitty and the mobile homes. I was a "closet" country enthusiast in those days as I played lead guitar in a local rock and roll band and the guys would have kicked me out had they known I liked that country stuff...haha I loved that era of the country music scene.


Larry
Seek and you shall find, ask and it shall be given, knock and the door will be opened unto you.

This is a great thread! Thanks for asking!
Very Happy
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ken collins


From:
Oklahoma City, OK.
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 7:11 am     Re Jude And Jody Reply with quote

Red Zellner was married to s different Norma Jean. Yes, It was Lew Houston who played with Conway just prior to John Hughey. I forgot to mention Lew played on the J&J shows immediately after Johnny Vaughn. Gene Jones indeed played with Conway early on. Someone mentioned the Mathis Bro's show called the Country Social. The beginning of the array of shows was Evans Furniture music show with Hank Thompson, Wanda Jackson J&J and others, mostly local folks. The Country Social followed when Mathis Bro's began the Country Social using many of the players from the Evans "Big Red show. Many Nashville stars were on the show. Then J&J opened their own furniture store and began their show. The "Social continued and made George Jones the regular for period. They replaced George with Buck Owens and called it the "Buck Owens Ranch" unti the end of the show. Conway did have mobile homes sales on south shields
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ken collins


From:
Oklahoma City, OK.
Post Posted 6 Apr 2016 8:03 am     Re Jude & Jody Reply with quote

I forgot to mention that Conway also had his hamburger place called The Twitty Burger also at this time.
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 7 Apr 2016 6:10 am     Reply with quote

Thanks very much for the extra info Ken. What a great time for country music. J.R.
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Dave Magram


From:
San Jose, California, USA
Post Posted 7 Apr 2016 11:49 pm     Reply with quote

Here’s a YouTube clip of Lew Houston playing with Conway.
Lew had a very unique style—and did all the lead work.

Conway Twitty "Working Girl" Live on TV 1967
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOZ4AWWLtXw

-Dave
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Jerry Horner


From:
Tahlequah, OK, USA
Post Posted 8 Apr 2016 8:45 am     Reply with quote

Talk about being a no name steel player. I is it.
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Jay Dee Maness


From:
North Hills, CA
Post Posted 8 Apr 2016 2:29 pm     Mathis Brothers Reply with quote

The Mathis Brother`s were the sponsor for the Buck Owen`s Ranch shows too. I was
lucky enough to play on some shows in 1969 with Buck and the Buckaroos.
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Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 9 Apr 2016 8:02 pm     Reply with quote

Dave, thanks for posting "Working Girl." I've spent time trying to cop some of those licks, and man it's about impossible. I get the positions and some of the licks, but the muting and the "chicken pickin'" are frankly amazing and unique. Lew had his own bag of tricks and nobody else played that way. He's way underrated. Also I assume that's a live version, or maybe live in the studio before the show, because the recorded version is different with Lew playing in the same style but with different licks. Amazing.

Joe
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 9 Apr 2016 9:39 pm     Reply with quote

I agree Dave, thanks for posting that video ! I had never heard that song before, but I do recall seeing the bass player and the little dance he always seemed to do to the songs they played...great stuff there !!
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 9 Apr 2016 10:28 pm     Reply with quote

Lew Houston took me to school one night in 1971 in Las Vegas. What a great player he was!

I was working the 9pm-3am shift with Mike Franklin at the Nashville Nevada when Lew came in about 1am and asked if he could sit in. He said he was Conway's steel player and I asked if he was John Hughey. He said no, he played before John did. Anyway, I said sure you can sit in, use my Sho~Bud up onstage. He said no, he had his own guitar and set up a Fender 400 on the dance floor.

Man, did he ever play. Blew my mind and that night I learned once again that there were a whole lot of great steel players I'd never heard of but needed to hear.
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Jim Hoke


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 10 Apr 2016 2:10 pm     Reply with quote

I lived in OKC in the 70's and was staff rhythm guitar and harmonica player at a gospel studio called Benson Sound. Doug Campbell was the steel player on all that stuff (Southern white gospel) and he played so good! Very nice cat too - I was sorry when Bobbe told me he'd passed away. Frank Arnett also used to play sessions in OKC back then, on a sunburst Fender. Another great steeler with his own approach. About once a year Conway and his band would come make an album at Benson's to sell at gigs, featuring all the band members. Conway'd sing one or two, usually something bluesy, and John Hughey would have a feature or two, Pork Chop would sing one, etc.... It was always loose and a lot of fun. Lots of great talent came from OKC; some stayed local, some moved on. I remember Twitty Burger too - it was on S. Western. It was there for quite a while.
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Tonda Collins


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2018 6:10 pm     Reply with quote

My father Jay C Barker played on both shows. I have been trying to find anyone who knew him or maybe had pictures of him playing. Dad played on both the Mathis Brothers show and Jude and Jody's. He also played in several bands around Oklahoma and Texas. When my folks got a divorce, I wasn't allowed to have any contact and all items of my dads were burned. Over the years it has become more and more important for me to know about him and this part of his life. He had a custom made red steel guitar with his name inlayed in white mother of pearl on the front. I have no idea what happened to it, but would sure love to find it. If anyone remembers my dad, please contact me on this site. I would be extremely grateful. I want my daughter and grandson to know more about him. Thank you!
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Gary Ackley


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 16 Mar 2018 7:25 pm     Old OKC and Conway Twitty Reply with quote

A friend of mine, Barry Benefield, has done some good research on Conway's early years and his business endeavors in Oklahoma City.

Part 1 http://littlebluenews.blogspot.com/2011/06/twitty-burgers-rock-n-roll-poetry-and.html

Part 2 http://littlebluenews.blogspot.com/2011/07/harold-jenkins.html

Gary
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