Tooter Boatman, Thunder and Lightning
Tooter Boatman

William McCon Boatman Jr. An entertainer, showman, musician and singer. His other well known talents were fighter and lover. Tooter was known to kick a wild bull in the ass, as the bull swung around for the kill Tooter would spit in his eye. The bull would "beller" and run away in fear. Tooter had more girl friends than Elvis had golden records. He could handle a couple of dates a night. Married for a short time... one day! Don't know her name but I've seen her blazing eyes. They could tear a body in half with one slow glare. Tooter lived across the road from an Assembly of God Church which woke him up with a blessing each Sunday morning. Tooter's house is torn down now, an empty lot the church uses for parking. Tooter's band, the Chaparrals, then consisted of Charlie O'Bannon (piano), Bill Bland (guitar) and Shorty Dinglar (slap bass).

What they needed was a drummer. After they saw me with the Jabo Combo on Pat Boone's WBAP-TV show in Fort Worth the Chaparrals came over to my house to audition me. They had to have drums for recording the rock and roll sound of rim shots, cymbal crashes and drum rolling effects. I started touring with Tooter in March 1957. The Chaparrals home was Mineral Wells with a playing circuit as far out as Wichita Falls, Lubbock, Brownwood, Dallas, and so on... And you know that Tooter had a rock and roll sweetheart in each town! We never played in Mineral Wells, our home town. Feeling hurt and in defiance, Tooter proclaimed his town as the official Dodo County. He named the police Dodo Scouts, because Tooter said that they were always out riding around looking for shit, and when they found some, they'd smell of it.

Tooter and the Chaparrals began recording songs at Danny Wolfe's studio in Stephenville. We did some cuts at Herring's in Fort Worth, but the closeness in Danny's studio generated the warm personal feeling, the true sound of Tooter. Danny often booked us in clubs and on TV shows to push his records. Tooter was the spotlight star on a show called "Teenage Downbeat" in Fort Worth on June 11, 1959. Shorty Dinglar continued playing slap bass for Tooter after leaving the army, but then later Shorty left with his family, moving back to upper New York State. Without Shorty, the Tooter Boatman sound as we love it vanished...

By Clayton Glover (Tooter's drummer)

Check out Clay Glover's ScrapBook Vol. 1