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Posted September 2007
A tribute to the Man in Black

       You are about to learn an unknown fact about Bobby Wayne and Johnny Cash, In 1963 Bobby Wayne signed a contract with Columbia Records to replace Johnny Cash, Johnny had fallen victim to drug abuse and the top brass at Columbia Records were fearful that the worst would happen to him.
       Early in Bobby's career, his style was very much like the style of Johnny Cash, as you will hear Bobby's recordings, Big Train and Half Bread.
       The vice president of Columbia Records in New York had heard Bobby's song Big Train and he said, "Bobby Wayne is guy I want." Within ten days Bobby received a contract from Columbia Records. Now Bobby Wayne and Johnny Cash were both under contract to Columbia Records.
       In the summer of 1963, Columbia Records released Bobby Wayne's "Big Train on Columbia's subsidairy, Epic Records, and Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire on Columbia Records.
       It is only fitting that Bobby Wayne does this tribute to the Man in Black. When people hear Bobby's early recordings, they say, "That's Johnny Cash." No, that's Bobby Wayne! Besides Columbia's Epic Records, Bobby has also recorded for Warner Brothers, A&M, and ABC Paramount. Bobby continues to maintain a regular schedule of performances.

BOBBY WAYNE was born, Robert Wayne Snyder, in Spokane, Washington on September 10, 1936. As the youngest son of Paul and Virginia Snyder, Bobby learned to play the piano at age nine. As a small boy, he listened to the Grand Old Opry and The National Barn Dance on the radio on Saturday night. As a preteen he loved the music of Red Foley, Ernest Tubb and other country music artists. Among the "back up groups" he liked as a teenager, were the legendary Jordanaires. During the 1960's, the Jordanaires were to be Bobby Wayne's own backup group, providing support on twelve songs included on the Bobby Wayne Ballad of the Appaloosa album. Thatalbums title song, the Ballad of the Appaloosa was selected as the theme song for the Disney movie Run Appaloosa Run.

A TRUE ROCKABILLY ORIGINATOR, Bobby Wayne was just seventeen when he was exposed to Elvis Presley's music. This happened while he was visiting his mother in Atlanta, Georgia. Returning to Spokane, Bobby started performing his own rockabilly songs, exposing Pacific Northwest music fans to their first taste of rockabilly music. In 1955 he went into the studio to record Sally Ann and War Paint. He thus joined the famous Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and Rick Carty as one the first actual recording "rockabilly" artists in the world.

Yes! Rock 'n' Roll - Rockabilly originator, Bobby Wayne, (SallyAnn/Warpaint, SRC Records, 1955) is back with a hot CD, titled "Hot Rod Motorcycles", Volume 1. The CD contains six songs about motorcycles, motorcycle rallies and other motorcycle themes. This CD is dedicated to motorcycles and their riders. It doesn't make any difference what kind of bike you ride, you are going to love this "Bikers" CD. The CD also contains "Nifty Lil Chevy," and "Long Black Train" plus songs by legendary artist Andy Starr. The "Elvis Twist," "Queen of Hearts," "The Great Wall of China" and "Baby Doll" are among the other great songs contain on the Bobby Wayne "Hot Rod Motorcycles" CD.

To obtain the "Hot Rod Motorcycles-Volume 1" CD
Send: $12.00plus $3.00 s/h: ($15.00 total) to:
Robert Snyder
2012 W Montgomery
Spokane, Washington, 99205
(If paying by check - allow two weeks foryour check to clear)

This CD contains ten (10) true Bobby Wayne classics: Sally Ann, Recorded by Bobby in 1955 established Bobby as one of the first Rock and Roll / Rockabilly recording artists in the world (Sally Ann/War Paint, SRC Records 1955). Between 1955 and 1965 Bobby had many hit records released on a number of labels, including: Epic, Warner Brothers, A&M, ABC Paramount, Piccadilly and P.Y.E. of London, England. It was during the mid sixties that Bobby Wayne recorded the classic "Ballad of The Appaloosa," on a 12-song soundtrack with the famous Jordanaires as his backup group. That song, "Ballad of the Appaloosa" is available today as one of the 12 great horse songs contained within the classic horse collection CD titled, "Bobby Wayne and the Jordanaires - Ballad of the Appaloosa" (Wildfire Records, 1966). To obtain the "Go Rockabilly, 1955-66 original Rockabilly Classics" CD please send $12.00 plus $3.00 for s/h ($15.00 total) to:
Robert Snyder
2012 W Montgomery
Spokane, Washington, 99205
(if paying by check-allow two weeks for your check to clear)

Bobby's Biography

Bobby started playing guitar at the age of fifteen (15). When he was sixteen (16) he started his own band "The Rocky Mountain Playboys". His first band consisted of a trio. Bobby put an ad in the Spokane newspaper, classified ads and got a job to play at Woodland Beach, Hauser Lake, Idaho on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The manager said he would give Bobby's new band a try for one (1) weekend. The crowd like Bobby's trio so well that the manager kept them employeduntil Thanksgiving

When the job at Hauser Lake expired, Bobby and his friend Red Adair went to Osbourn Idaho and played at the Jitterbug Club six (6) nights a week through the winter of 1953 and 1954. Bobby, Red and Neil Livingston went to Missoula, Montana and met T. Texas Tyler's bass player, Doug Dugger. They played for a month at the Moose Club in Missoula, Montana. Bobby and his boys went back to Idaho and teamed with Jack Ackers and Jack Evans. Bobby learned a lot from the two (2) Jacks about playing music. In the summer of 1954, Bobby, Red and Neil went to Los Angeles, California but California had very strict Liquor Control Regulations and since Bobby was only seventeen (17), they got on a Greyhound Bus and headed back to Spokane.

Bobby and Neil formed a five (5) piece band and played granges (barn dances). They did really well, averaging $55.00 each, every Saturday night for three years. Most adults were not making that much working a (5) day a week job back then. Bobby's mother, Virginia, remarried and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. She kept after Bobby to come down and visit her. In the spring of 1955, Bobby bought a ticket and got on a Greyhound Bus to Atlanta, Georgia. When Bobby arrived in Atlanta his mother met him at the depot and they went for lunch. Virginia played a song on the juke box. It was Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train." Bobby asked "Who is that?" She replied, "Elvis Presley. Isn't he great?"

Bobby was 18 and his mom Virginia was 36. She looked 18 and Bobby looked 15. Everyone thought they were married to each other. Bobby would look at them rather strangely and say, "No, this is my mother" and they would apologize. Bobby and his mom looked all over Atlanta for Elvis's records on (Sun Label), but all the record shops were sold out. Bobby was finally able to locate some of Elvis's 78 records. Bobby practiced seven (7) to eight (8 hours a day with the Elvis records and in a few weeks he became a "Rockabilly Cat." Rockabilly music came naturally to Bobby because he liked and preferred boogie music before he ever heard of Elvis Presley. One of the first songs that bobby learned was "Cherokee Boogie", 1952. He also played boogie music on his guitar. Bobby was tailor made for "Rockabilly Music."

While Bobby was in Atlanta, he played for a senior high school prom and met the homecoming queen at the dance. She immediately fell for Bobby. He wrote a song for and about her. Her name was Sally Ann. He didn't know at the time, but this song was to become an international Rock and Roll (Rockabilly) classic. While Bobby was in Atlanta, he met Roy Drusky, Jerry Reed and Pete Drake. Pete had a milk route (milkman) and played weekends at a club in Atlanta. Pete asked bobby if he would be interested in auditioning for a TV show that the dairy he worked for was interested in sponsoring. Bobby agreed, but before he could audition, his mom decided to move back to Spokane. (She was having marital problems). Bobby didn't want to let her go back by herself so he left Atlanta with his mom.

When Bobby returned to Spokane, he started singing Rockabilly, (Elvis Presley's songs) and some Rockabilly songs that Bobby had written. Bobby was the first Rockabilly singer in the Northwest and Western Canada. Bobby went to Sound Recording Studio in November of 1955 and recorded Sally Ann/War Paint. Bobby put up all the money for the session and the record pressings and 250 records were made on 78's, S.R.C. label. It was very difficult to get a Rockabilly record played on radio stations in the Northwest in 1955. I was too new for the type of programming radio stations were playing then. A lot of people said I was crazy for playing that kind of music, (Rockabilly). They would ask me. Bobby, "Why did you change your style?" "We like your country music better." I would just smile and say, "I like both Rockabilly and Country". I once got fired from a TV and radio station because they (the managers) said I was singing to much Elvis music. (The year was 1956)

"My record, Sally Ann, was released before Elvis Presley's first national release on R.C.A., "Heartbreak Hotel.'" Sally Ann, December 1955, Bobby Wayne. Heartbreak Hotel, January 1956, Elvis Presley, Bobby's record, Sally Ann, was out before most other Rockabilly artists. "When I was in Atlanta in 1955, I remember only one other Rockabilly artist, Rick Cartey, (I'm not sure of the spelling). He wrote and recorded 'Young Love' and another Rockabilly song. Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Rick Cartey and Bobby Wayne, to my knowledge, we're the first Rockabilly (Rock and Roll) recording artists in the world."

In the early 60's Bobby's career started to take off fast. Bobby was heard by Jerry Dennon, West Coast record producer. Jerry produced what is considered the greatest Rock and Roll song of all time, "Louie, Louie". Bobby's first record for Jerden, "Big Train/ The Valley" was an instant hit. Within four (4) weeks after it's release, Columbia Records leased, "Big Train/The Valley."

Bobby's voice had gotten a lot lower and Bobby sounded very much like another early Rockabilly artist, Johnny Cash. Johnny had fallen victim to hard drugs and Columbia Records was looking for a replacement and that replacement was Bobby Wayne. Johnny's producers in Nashville, Frank Jones and Don Law didn't like what they heard and were fearful that Johnny would be fired. (He hadn't had a hit in a couple of years). They begged the New York office for another chance. They hit pay dirt as the song was a Merle Kilgore-June Carter composition, "Ring of Fire". Johnny was back in business. Bobby Wayne's, "Big Train" was never released on Columbia, but Epic instead. (Epic is a subsidiary of Columbia).

Jerry Dennon said, "Don't' worry Bobby, I have a lot of other labels interested in you" and he did. Within the next five (5) years, Jerry had Bobby on Warner Brothers, ABC Paramount, A&M, Quality Reo, W&G in Australia and P.Y.E. in England, Panorama, Piccadilly and Liberty. Bobby also recorded under the name, Deke Wade, (Tall Oak Tree), and The Hummingbirds, "Lotta Loving", and "Bluebirds over the Mountain, La Den Da Da and Fern. Bobby Wayne, also a fine guitarist, recorded a number of instrumentals, including "Bobbies Boogie #1," "Wheels," "Twinkle Toes," "Blue Tango" and "Honky Tonk". One of his very best instrumental recordings,"Tip Toes," made itsway well up on the charts, reaching # 3 in the Winnipeg, Canada area. In 1966 Cash Box Magazine recognized Bobby Wayne, along with Roy Clark and Glen Campbell,as one of the top three Guitar players in America.

"The interest in Rockabilly Music in the last few years has become over-whelming ant its about time that we "Rockabilly" receive our credit due for creating and promoting "Real Rock and Roll", "Rockabilly Music." "When Rockabilly arrived on the scene, it was like a giant meteor crashing into the planet earth and everyone was reel'n and rock'n like an Alaskan avalanche and we were unstoppable. 'And they called us "Rockabilly.'"

Copyright by Bobby Wayne

Magazines that have featured articles on Bobby's material:

  • American Music Magazine - Sweden, UK and Europe
  • Original Cool - USA, Canada, UK, Europe, etc.
  • Continental Restyling - France, UK, Europe, etc.
  • Rock - Norway, UK, Europe, etc.
  • Jukebox - France, UK, Europe, etc.
  • Jamboree - Italy, Europe, etc.
  • Go Kat Go - USA, Canada, Europe, Uk, etc.
  • The Elvis Column, Goldmine Magazine

    All of Bobby's CDs (wholesale and retail) or available from"
    2012 W. Montgomery
    Spokane, WA 99205
    Fax: 509-326-7783


    nn - Rocky Mountain Home/There's No Room In Your Heart, Private demo only - May 1953
    nn - Sally Ann/Warpaint 78 rpm only - Dec 1955

    101 - Sally Ann/Warpaint - 1958

    NOTE: Tip Toes/Bobbies Boogie #1 was issued in Canada on REO
    (mfg. by Quality Rcds. Ltd.), Number is 8738XA and 8738XB.

    709 - Big Train/The Valley - Feb 1963
    713 - Tip Toes/Bobby's Boogie #1 - 1963
    720 - T.V. Dream/The Last Ride - June 1963
    726 - Cyclone/Torquila - Vince Gerber(d), Bobby Wayne(g) - 1964
    727 - La-Den-Dada/Fern - at The Hummingbirds - May 1964
    737 - River Man/Ballad Of A Teenage Queen - 1964
    740 - Lotta Lovin'/Bluebirds Over The Mountain - as The hummingbirds - Jul 1964
    751 - Wheels/Moonshine - 1965
    765 - Hobo/Big Wheels - June 1965
    766 - Honky Tonk/Blue Tango - 1965
    786 - The Letter/Uncle Sam's Got My Number - Apr 1966

    LP 003 - "Big Guitar Of Bobby Wayne" - Aug 1964
    Tip Toes/Bobby's Boogie #1/Wheels/Fern/Hit The Road/Twinkle Toes/
    Cyclone/Blue Tango/Moonshine/Honky /Tonk/Torquila/Last Date

    EPIC RECORDS - Jerden masters
    9595 - The Valley/Big Train - May 1963

    A&M RECORDS - Jerden masters
    716 - Tip Toes/Bobby's Boogie #1 - June 1963
    736 - Twinkle Toes/Last Date - Jul 1963

    WARNER BROS RECORDS - Jerden masters
    5427 - Half Breed/The Last Ride - Jul 1963

    25315 - River Man/Ballad Of A Teenage Queen - 1965

    44 - Tall Oak Tree/Sherry Won't - as Deke Wade
    101 - Ballad Of The Appaloosa/The Blizzard - Nov 1965

    ? - 'BALLAD OF THE APPALOOSA" - Dec 1966
    Black Lightning/Wild Fire/Albino/The blizzard/The Red Headed Stranger/
    Comanche, The Brave Horse/Ballad Of The Appaloosa/Mustang/Buckskin/
    Outlaw/Tennessee Stud/Show Boat.

    ? - Coffee In The Morning/Restless River - 1968

    1337 - Foot In The Door/Running Through My Mind - 1969
    3032 - Thirteen Miles To Birmingham/Twelfth Of May - 1969

    nn - " DIRECT FROM NASHVILLE" - c:a 1970
    747/Sunshine Of My Mins/Girl In My Past/Public Enemy #1/Restless River/
    Coffee In The Morning/Foot In The Door/Twelfth Of May/Thirteen Miles To
    Birmingham + other tracks. Note: This was a "road album"

    TCM 29059 - "NOUS VIVONS ENSEMBLE" - 1973
    Rosiana/Crying/Chante Mon Enfance/Tant Que Nous Nous Aimerons/Divorce/
    Nous Vivons Ensemble/Amour Cher Amour/For The Good Times/Quand Le
    Soleil Bonjour Aux Montagnes.
    NOTE: Recorded with Guylaine

    LP 3315 "OUTLAW"
    Black Lightning/Wild Fire/Albino/The Blizzard/The Red Headed Stranger/
    Comance, The Brave Horse/Ballad Of The Appaloosa/Mustang/Buckskin/
    Outlaw/Tennessee Stud/Show Boat.

    - "GO ROCKABILLY" - 1996
    Go Rockabilly/Just For You/Sherry/Sally Ann/Badly Broken/Rock'n Bop'n
    Baby/Rockabilly Blues/I'll Let You Know/Excuse Me, Baby/War Paint.

    "Rich Little congratulates Bobby on his hit song,"Ballad of the Appaloosa."

    "Lefty Frizzle introduces Bobby on stage during "The Grand Ol' Opry Tour"


    Neil Livingston

    Neil Livingston and Bobby first met in 1952. Bobby was 15 and Neil was 16. They were Western Union Telegram delivery boys. Bobby gave Neil his first music job in 1953. For 50 years Neil has played steel guitar in Bobby's band and on some of Bobby's records.

    In 1958, Neil and his brother Ron went into the recording studio with Charley Ryan and recorded the original "Hot Rod Lincoln" on Souvenir Records! Neil is the inventor of all the sound effects on the original "Hot Rod Lincoln"! The Rod's knock'n fenders clipping the guard rail posts, police sirens, etc.

    Johnny Bond, Commander Cody and Asleep At The Wheel, have all copied Neil's sound effects! All the fans of the RHOF will be very happy to know that Bobby Wayne's steel guitar player is playing all the sound effects on the original, "Hot Rod Lincoln"!

    Bobby played guitar for Charley Ryan on gigs, when he was 16. In 1964, Charley Ryan tried to sell Bobby the original "Hot Rod Lincoln" for $600.00!

  • Rockabilly Hall of Fame