(Gaylon) Wayne Williams, Red Hot Mama

Hickman, a small farming community in the South Western of the Commonwealth of Kentucky was on May 1st, 1933 the birthplace of Gaylon Wayne Williams. Much like Royce Porter, he received his musical education at home and in church. He formed his first band while still in Highschool and soon landed a show on radio WFUL in nearby Fulton, Kentucky. Shortly after graduation Wayne was called up for Army duty and shipped to Korea. Upon his return to civilian life he started working in the carpentry business with his father. This lasted only a few weeks as he dreamed of becoming a music star was just too strong. He travelled North to Chicago and started playing local clubs. Eventually he ended up in Jackson, Tennessee where he met Lamar Davis, a local fellow who cut records on anybody with a little talent. "Red Hot Mama," a fine rockabilly song, was pressed on Wayne’s own label called SURE. That’s how sure Wayne and his friends were about the success of their first single.

A total lack of distribution doomed the effort and current prices for a mint copy of the original single show how few did survive over the years. Travelling further South he ended up at Rose’s Barn, a huge nightclub in Dallas, Texas. Wayne Williams and his Sure Shots became local favorites and soon they performed regularly on the Big D Jamboree, sharing the bill with rockabilly giants like Carl Mann and Carl Perkins. By way of Chicago he finally settled down in Nashville, Tennessee in the midsixties. Gaylon Wayne, as he billed himself by now, cut his first Nashville session in 1968 resulting in "Pen and Paper" for HARVESTER Records. More singles followed, all clearly showing the rockabilly influence in Gaylon Wayne’s music. Wayne always wanted to write that one hit song. Music and songwriting, to Gaylon Wayne Williams it was like a cancer: it eats away at him and he just kept on trying!

From "Rockabilly Meeting"  (Redita 117) by Adriaan Sturm

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