DON GUESS

Born 14 May 1936, Aspermont, Texas
Died 21 October 1992, El Paso, Texas

Like Bob Montgomery, who was featured two days ago, Don Guess is probably best known for his association with Buddy Holly. At the age of 6, Don moved to Clovis, New Mexico, with his musical family. His mother and three sisters sang on KICA in Clovis and had their songs recorded at Norman Petty Studios in the late 40s as The Guess Sisters.

At a very early age Don learned to slap bass, play guitar, piano and steel guitar. Don met Buddy Holly when they were school kids, and soon wound up accompanying Don's mother on piano, Don on guitar, Buddy played the violin. By the age of 13, Buddy, Don, Jack Neil & Bob Montgomery were picking in clubs together. They started out performing bluegrass and country, but after 1955 when they saw Elvis Presley in Lubbock, they switched to rock & roll. "We were alternating our instruments, but later on I only played steel and bass fiddle for Buddy". Guess is credited as (co-)writer for "Flower Of My Heart", "Queen Of The Ballroom", "Girl On My Mind", "Modern Don Juan", "You Are My One Desire", and "Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight". He made the three recording trips to Nashville for Buddy's "Bradley's Barn" sessions with Owen Bradley.

After Buddy and Don parted ways in 1956, Don recorded four singles under his own name. At Clovis, he appeared on recordings of Charlie Phillips' "Sugartime", and various Terry Noland songs. He also appeared on recordings by Faron Young, Marty Robbins, Buddy Knox, Roy Orbison, Trini Lopez, as well as touring with Hank Thompson, Sonny James, George Jones and Wanda Jackson. Eventually, he left the full-time music scene to pursue a career in insurance. He died of cancer in October of 1992.

 
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