Let me tell you about Rattlesnake Annie.
But first, the recent 50th reunion of the Grove High School Class of ’67 brought back … surprise, surprise … a flood of memories, most of them much loved.
Of a class of 168, we had 65 attend the reunion. Strong showing, I suspect. How many do you get for your high school reunions?
While visiting with close friends of yesteryear, one classmate remembered that I used to play drums, not just in the school marching band but also in four-piece rock bands: lead guitar, rhythm, bass and drums.
I instantly remembered the first time I ever tried playing drums in a rock-n-roll band. “Tried” is the operative word. “Flailing” would be more accurate.
To relay the story to classmate Hawk, I began, “Picture it: three young teenagers – I don’t remember our ages, but we were too young to drive. – with two guitars, an amp and a set of marching drums, borrowed from the school band and arranged as if they were a drum kit.”
The first jam session was at vacation Bible school at the Gallimore cousins’ church, about halfway between their rural community and mine. It was out in the sticks. Their families always recruited VBS kids from my community; about 3-4 of us went every summer.
Byron and Moppy, cousins with guitars, encouraged me to bring drums and we’d get up a band. I did and we did, but the “get up” part went south that first day.
The cousins practiced a lot, I would soon learn, and were light years ahead of me. So, with disaster lurking, Byron coolly counted off and they started playing a now-forgotten song. I quickly joined in, flailing wildly on as many drum and cymbal surfaces as I could reach.
Byron, laughing but heroically not doubled over in hysterics, quickly stopped the massacre and gently suggested that I might want to play on the same beat as the rest of the band. Lesson learned.
And although I don’t recall ever playing with the Gallimore boys again, I did play lots of rock throughout high school and college, and even a bit post-college.
Moppy became wildly successful in the temp-worker business, and Byron is a well-known producer on Music Row. And to think, one of his earliest success stories was me. Forget about Tim and Faith and Lee Ann and Randy and Martina and all the others. His first success story was me!
At this point in the tale, Hawk pulled me back from the ’60s to tell me that Moppy, today called by his given name of Crawford, has an older sister who is still a big-time performer in Europe. Goes by the name of Rattlesnake Annie.
Next stop: Google.
Rattlesnake Annie does indeed exist, and she’s apparently a phenom in Europe and Asia, especially Eastern Europe and Japan.
Rattlesnake Annie is the stage name for Annie Gallimore McCowan, older sister to Crawford. She got the Rattlesnake moniker as a kid with an affinity for snakes. Much of her music is a paean to her American Indian roots. (Her grandmother was a Cherokee.) I’d highly recommend a Google search for Annie. It’s an interesting story. Her long climb to fame began as a 6-year-old in Henry County, Tennessee, and would take her through South Texas, where she recorded her 1977 break-out tune, “Brazos de Dios, Adios Goodbye.”
That led to a 1982 tour behind the Iron Curtain and into Asia. And if you don’t want to be drawn to her music, I would highly suggest you avoid an iTunes search.
About that insomnia thing …
The doctor has surmised my sleep problem is a rare side effect of a drug I’ve been taking a few years. Why now? Who knows. What to do about it? More drugs. I’m not comfortable giving drug advice to the public, so if you’re interested, message me. Just know that it’s not a sleeping pill but something entirely different.
And for those of you eager for the results of my tests on the sleep-inducing effects of chocolate, sorry to disappoint. But I’m sleeping like a baby and have no intention of further research.