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This page sponsored by BOBBY BRIGGS and
bcrown5@aol.com
(817-293-4627)





Interview By Steve Kelemen

Update: November, 2007







Ubangi Stomp! Photos
Courtesy Jill & Jerry








Bobby's 2003 CD


No need to dig out your copy of "One Way Ticket" on the Felco label. Bobby has released the two sides on this CD along with 22 other tracks. The CD includes out-takes and rehearsal recordings and comes with a full cover fold-out booklet with photos and great infomation on the recordings and musicians. Alot of little gems never before released. Be sure and pick up your copy from Bobby. He'll gladly sign it for you. What else could you ask for? Email: bcrown5@aol.com or call 817-293-4627





Bobby Crown needs little introduction. High praise is confirmed with his legendary Felco single. An extraordinary example of prime Texas rockabilly that commands high prices at auction.

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas on March 7, 1941. I spent my first birthday in the hospital with pneumonia. My grandfather came from Czechoslovakia at the age of 17. He had his name pinned to his shirt and where he was supposed to go. He came to the U.S.A. through the Houston ship channel. He settled in Ennis, Texas and married my grandmother. They had 6 children and one was my father whose name was Leslie Louis Krajca. My mother was part Irish and part Indian. Her maiden name was Erin Lorene Truelove.

My dad played bass fiddle in a western swing band when I was very young. The band was called Ernest Winnett and the Texas Trailblazers. They had a young singer named Ken "Pee Wee" Short. It was Ken who first got me interested in singing.

The first two songs I learned were "Iwo Jima Isle" and "Remember Me". My mother taught me my first chord on the guitar, which was an open "G". I learned some more chords from a young guy who lived across the street from us. Some of these chords were "E", "B" and "A" which I was messing around with at the age of 14 when I wrote "One Way Ticket".



 By the mid-50's my dad had quit playing in the Texas Trailblazers and we played and I sang on a show called "The Cowtown Hoedown" at the Majestic Theater in downtown Fort Worth. We were called The Krajcas. I was singing Jim Reeves, Mitchell Torok and Marty Robbins. We would also go down to a neighborhood bar and I would sing for tips that would amount to $7 or $8 dollars sometimes. That wasn't bad money back then. This was around the time we met a guitar player named Jay Cashion and a fiddle and guitar player named Bob Lumpkins.

My dad, Bob, Jay and another guy formed a band and played at a place called The Lavida Club. It was a pretty wild club; I saw 'em fightin' with tire tools and stuff in there. The first night they were going to play, the singer didn't show up so they came and got me. We didn't have a telephone. I was about 14 years old at the time. I don't know how, but we made the night and started drawing some good crowds. I was doing country and rockabilly. Bob Lumpkins quit the band and we hired my cousin Eddie Conley to play rhythm guitar. He was a cousin by marriage. Bob Lumpkins had written a song called "Your Conscience" while he was in the Louisiana State Pen. It was a good song and I started singing it. I started having a lot of request for it.

It was during this time that I made my first recordings (acetate). The songs were "Shake, Rattle and Roll" b/w "Fraulein".

We played several clubs on the south side of Fort Worth. Jay Cashion quit because his wife was in bad health. A fellow named Dale Morgan took over for Jay. He played a finger picking style and was very good.

We started playing 'The Country Picnic' T.V. show in Dallas. Jimmy Fields, Joe Bill and George McCoy ran the show.





FELCO RECORDS

Jimmy Fields and Joe Bill had two record labels at the time. They were Felco and Kick Records. Jimmy liked "Your Conscience" and wanted me to record it. He asked me if I had another song for the b-side. I told him I had written a song called "One Way Ticket" a while back.

He then told us to make a demo because he was interested. We practiced and added a piano player called Butch Evans and a drummer named Gilbert Gray. We made the demo. Jimmy liked it and we re-recorded it for him.

"One Way Ticket" has a few word changes from the demo to the released version. Both versions of the recording were done at the Clifford Herring Studio in Fort Worth.>p> Jimmy Fields was a nice type of person, but I think he was a con man and exaggerated things. He has tried over the years to stick his name on "One Way Ticket" as writer or co-writer. When Johnny Harrah recorded the song, Jimmy Fields name was on it as the writer. He told me it was a mistake. I don't know if Jimmy is still alive or not. He had diabetes and I haven't talked to him in a long time.

The first pressing of the record had the writers credit wrong. They had me as the writer of "Your Conscience" and Bob Lumpkins as the writer of "One Way Ticket". They tried to change it and came out with a new batch of records with Bobby Lumpkins as the singer. The third time, they got it right. I have a copy of all 3 pressings.

I used to go by the name of Bobby Krajca and the Kapers, but when we recorded the Felco single, Jimmy Fields thought it would be a good idea to change my stage name to Bobby Crown, and it stuck all of my playing years.





I guess the biggest show we appeared on was the "Big D Jamboree" in Dallas. I need to backtrack a little. I forgot to mention that I saw Elvis the first time he came to Fort Worth at the North Side Coliseum. It was a Saturday afternoon and Hank Snow was the headliner. There were about 500 people there and I didn't even know who Elvis was, but I did after the show. Elvis stole the show.

By the mid sixties we had recorded and released 2 more singles - "Wait a Minute" b/w "I've Never Had a Broken Heart" which I wrote, no matter what tha label says. This was on the Manco label.

My brother, Johnny Krajca, joined the band in the early 60's and turned into a heck of a drummer and vocalist. Around 1966 we recorded a 45 on the Omar label. My brother sang "Diddley Daddy" on one side and Glen Clark, who was playing keyboards, sang "Lonely Avenue" on the other side. Dale Morgan was still playing guitar and Clayton Cox was playing bass.



I had been married twice by 1966. The band and I had a lot of fun and it was kind of like a smorgasbord, if you know what I mean. At the present time, I am married to my forth wife. The music business takes its toll. I never got into drugs, but drank a few drinks and beers along the way.

I want to say thanks to all the bands out there who have recorded "One Way Ticket". It means a lot to me that people still like this song.


Page posted December, 2002



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