First Appearance

Life for Eddie Bond started at the Methodist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee on July 1, 1933, where his parents named him Eddie James Bond. No one in his family sang or played an instrument, but from an early age Eddie remembers having been fond of Ťountry music. He used to go and watch country shows and one of his favorites was Carl Smith. Eddie picked up a lot of music by ear but he also studied music. . . "Well. I have a doctor's degree in music, but this particular degree is from, a home study course. Most of the stuff that I did, I picked up on my own, I play mostly by ear."

Without any real musical people in the family, although his parents helped him a lot by just encouraging him, Eddie also denies musical influences from other singers on his style of singing and playing country music. Still Webb Pierce takes a big place in his memory . . .

"Webb was a great help in my career. He got one of my first contracts with Decca Records, and so he was a big help to me. I didn't sing like Webb or he wasn't what you'd call my favorite singer, but he and I were good friends and he helped me a lot in the business."



First Record

In '48/'49 Eddie really got started in music. Somewhere around that time he had bought his first guitar with money he had earned by selling garden seeds. It still took until the end of 1955 before his first record was released . . .

"My first record was for a little company called Ekko. Songs were called 'Talkin' off the wall' and 'Double duty loving.' Though the Ekko-label came out of Hollywood, we recorded the songs in Nashville. That was the first time I picked with the real big pickers such as Jerry Byrd, Lightnin' Chance and all these guys. I'm still recording with Lightnin' Chance and some of 'em, but at that time I was really shook up, recording with a big band like that. The record came off real well though."

Another guy who was with Ekko at that time was the late Eddie Cochran, then singing with Hank Cochran as the Cochran Brothers. The record for Ekko didn't do too much for Eddie and also the second single ('Love Makes A Fool'/ 'Your Eyes') missed the hit-parades, but both singles were very instrumental in getting him a contract with Mercury Records. It was early '56 and rock'n'roll countrycountrywas getting bigger all over, so it's no surprise his first release for Mercury Records. It was early '56 and rock'n'roll was getting bigger all over, so it's no surprise his first release for Mercury was the now famous - if not legendary - recording of 'Rockin' Daddy' . . .

"The first record I had on Mercury was a song called 'Rockin' Daddy' and we cut that song in a radio station. There was a disc-jockey in town by the name of "Sleepy Eyed John" and he was one of the top deejays in Memphis and he liked the song so well, he called D. Kilpatrick of "Hit It Up" at WSM in Nashville and he played it to him on the phone right after we'd recorded it at the station in Memphis."

Five more singles were released on Mercury and although songs like 'Slip Slip Slipping In' and 'Boppin' Bonnie' (written by Jody Chastain and Jerry Huffman, both famous for their work with Charlie Feathers) must be rated between the best rockabilly songs ever recorded, competition was hard and Eddie's records just didn't sell as good as Presley, Perkins and Lewis. It was here that he started concentrating more and more on his first love: country music.



Re-recording For Sun

Before turning completely to country music however, Eddie got in contact with Sun Records and with them he recorded quite a few songs, although none of them was ever released on the famous yellow label in the fifties or sixties . . .

"Yes, I think Sun has probably 20 or 30 sides on me and as a matter of fact they were talking to the Stax people and Shelby Singleton told them, I sure hope you get a hit on Eddie Bond, 'cos I got 28 sides on him. So if I make a hit on Stax it looks like there will be a few things coming out on Sun too."

What about the titles of songs you recorded for Sun other than those released on your Phillips International album with country Gospel hits?

"Well, I really don't know what all they have on me. See I did a few country tunes like 'I Thought I'd Heard You Callin' My Name' and 'Double Duty Loving' that I re-did for Sun, just as 'Rockin' Daddy.'" "Most of the 28 songs are rockabilly, to a certain extent. Some of 'em are country flavor. I used my own band back then." "I used some of the same name bunch that Billy Riley used. One of the pickers that picked on a lot of my stuff was Reggie Young, but Reggie was real big with the Bill Black Combo. Reggie's a real great guitar player and as a matter of fact I brought him to Memphis. Another one I brought to Memphis was Sam the Sham. He was completely new when I booked him, and Sam made me a lot of money. But Sam played about two years with me before he went with Stan Kesler, but I cannot recall their label right off hand. "Sounds of Memphis" was the recording studio and Stan leased Sam to another label called Echo Recording Studio.

Gene Simmons cut the first sides on Sam the Sham. Gene cut 'Haunted House' on Sam ('Haunted House' / 'How does a cheating woman feel' - Dingo Records D-001) and they just kept messin' around with it and they didn't do anything, so Gene Simmons released it himself on HI Records and he had the big hit on it. Gene is a good friend of mine. He worked for me also at the same club where Sam the Sham played. It was a club called "The Diplomat Club" and we were strictly a rock club. Lately Gene has also played at the club I own, called "The Eddie Bond Ranch." He makes his home in Tupelo, Mississippi, about 104 miles from Memphis."



On The Road

In those months Eddie Bond spent with Sun Records his guitar-playing was just enough to accompany himself and to write a song.

"I used to tour quite a bit. I was with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Warren Smith, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. We were all out of the same stable. "Stars Incorporated" was the name of it and the boss was Bob Neal. We played on top of drive-in movies, we played in little theaters, little towns around there in the Memphis area."



Radio and Television

In addition to the recording business, Eddie has always been very active in radio. In 1964, Billboard gave him a special plaque for achieving audience rating of 64% of the Memphis population. He was acclaimed "Mr. Country Music of KWAM-radio." A fantastic achievement when you consider the number of rival radio stations operating in the Memphis area . . .

"I was a deejay on KWAM for a while, got affilliated with it and wound up being manager of it and then gave it up for TV and I just kind of settled down here in Memphis."

Eddie Bond has been featured on TV shows like "The Ralph Emery Show", "The Louisiana Hayride", "The Big D Jamboree" and the famous "Grand Ole Opry." Then he got his own TV show . . .

"My show started about six years ago on channel 13, WHBQ TV here in Memphis. It started on Saturday, one time a week and later on they put me on every morning from 6:45 A.M. till 7:00 P.M., five days a week. I've had a lot of guest artists on my shows, like Sonny Webb, because Webb comes down as a regular, he's with me quite a bit."

When did you start the new nightclub and the big ranch?

"This ranch I've had for three years. This particular club also, but I've had several other clubs in town before then, like "the Diplomat Club," I told you a while ago. I like this the best though . . ."


Recording With Mercury

After leaving Mercury he started floating around from one small label to another, leaving every label he was on with one or two good country singles. While with Millionaire he cut an album called "Favorite country Hits From Down Home," featuring a collection of country standards like 'My Bucket's Got A Hole In It,' 'Blue Day' and also a very moving instrumental called 'country shindig.' Of even more interest to rock fans is the song 'Juke Joint Johnny,' released on Eddie's own TAB label. The song, fast country, features many good rockabilly sounds. Also released on TAB was a re-recording of the old 'Rockin' Daddy' classic. This recording made in the seventies, misses of course a lot of the ole "fire", but it is still well worth getting. From the day he was born until the present, Eddie Bond has spent most of his time in and around Memphis. If they ever decide to put out the title of 'Memphis Believer No. 1', I think Eddie would have a very good chance . . .




The Legend of Buford Pusser

In 1968 Eddie got in contact with Buford Pusser, a lawman who (with a lot of trouble, blood and the death of his wife who was killed in a pre-dawn ambush while investigating with her husband) cleaned McNairy County, Tennessee from a lot of illegal things. The story of how Buford Pusser crawled away from the car in which he and his wife were shot, managed to reach a hospital and recovered after many operations, inspired Eddie to write a song called 'The Legend of Buford Pusser.' It was mainly through this song - originally released on his own TAB label - Hollywood decided to make a film about the brave sheriff. The film was entitled 'Walking Tall' and became a huge success all over the USA. It had it's first showings in Europe a few months ago and it's well worth seeing not only for the movie but especially to hear Eddie Bond sing the theme song. Just before the film was released, Eddie signed a new recording contract with Stax Records. All the songs about Buford Pusser were put together on one album and released (under his new contract) on the country outlet of the big Soul label called "Enterprise". Also two new country and western singles were released on this label and I can only hope that one of his new Enterprise singles will hit it big, because that seems to be the only way to get his old Sun material released. One song (the redone 'Rockin' Daddy' on the third volume of the English "Sun Rockabilly Series) is just not enough for us Rockabilly fans. One thing is for sure, Eddie Bond has come a long way from a rocking daddy to Chief of Police in Finger, Tennessee, the birthplace of Buford Pusser. Buford Pusser was killed in an automobile accident on August 21, 1974. Whether the accident was a set-up or not wasn't mentioned by our reporter, Tom Hendrick who heard the sad news on American television.


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BOND ON BOND
BUFORD AND "THE PINK & BLACK DAYS"

An Interview by Barry M. Klein
CLICK HERE







Eddie to Appears
Viva Las Vegas, Easter Weekend 2003

Eddie Bond and long-time side-kick Bo-Jack Killingsworth will be on stage during the annual Rockabilly Weekender held in Las Vegas, NV. The boys appeared Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 6-pm in the Dance Hall of the Gold Coast Hotel. They were part of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame's Stage Program.

  
Some of the items available at the Museum & Music Hall
LEFT: The video of Eddie's show at the Oneida Casino's Green Bay Rockin' '50s Fest.
RIGHT: The single CD of Eddie Bond Jr. "I Never Go Around Mirrors."
Call 731-658-5935 for more information on these two products.

Rockabilly Hall of Fame CDs are also for sale.   STOP BY THIS SATURDAY!



One of the many items on display.


 


Saturday, September 8, 2002 at the Middleton Museum & Music Hall














Photos and caption courtesy The Daily Corthian and staff photographer Phyllis Keith-Young
SECTION OF HIGHWAY DEDICATED TO LAWMAN'S MEMORY - BUFFORD PUSSER. Aug., 24, 1999, Cornith, MS - McNariey County Commissioner Mike Smith (upper left photo) looks on as Rep. Randy Rinks comforts an openly-emotional Dwana Pusser Gartison during the August 21st ceremony. Pusser's sister, Gail Davis of Collierville, TN (upper right photo, left) joins Smith and Garrison in unveiling the new signs announcing Bufford Pusser Memorial Highway.
RECORDING ARTIST EDDIE BOND, who recorded "The Ballad of Bufford Pusser" was present at the ceremony and told the crowd to expect another song soon.





  • Eddie recommends that you visit and support the Sheriff BUFFORD PUSSER Home & Museum Website. Eddie is releasing a song new dedicated to Bufford.

    Update: September 23, 1999
    Eddie Bond to Release New
    Single, "Ode to Bufford Pusser

    NASHVILLE, TN, September 23, 1999. Eddie Bond will release a new single the first of October, entitled "Ode to Bufford Pusser." Since the early 50's at the historic Sun Records at 706 Union in Memphis, TN, Eddie Bond has been one of the most legendary names in the Memphis recording, publishing, and songwriting industry. Eddie has teamed up with Nashville songwriter, producer and promoter, Chuck Dixon, who has written hit songs for Eddie Bond, Hank Williams, Jr., David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck and Waylon Jennings, to pen his greatest and best Bufford Pusser song, "Ode to Bufford Pusser." Eddie has toured with such famous stars as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Warren Smith, Webb Pierce, Roy Orbinson and Carl Perkins. Eddie spent many years with Bufford Pusser and it inspired him to do the theme song "The Legend of Bufford Pusser" in the Movie "Walking Tall."
           Since this is the 25th anniversary of the legendary Tennessee lawman's death, Bufford Pusser was voted the Top 100 Tennessean for the Year 2000 and the legislature named the new Highway 64, the Bufford Pusser Highway in honor of him, Dixon and Bond hope this will be a fitting tribute to a man that not only claimed fame in McNairy County but is recognized by lawmen and fans worldwide. The record and CD, "Ode to Bufford Pusser," will be released in early October, and Eddie Bond will be singing it on his t.v. show that airs on WHBQ (Fox) CH 13, WJJB CH 7(ABC) Jackson, TN and the Lou Hobbs syndicated show that airs in 185 markets in the USA and England. Chuck Dixon plans to send copies of the CD to all radio stations across the USA and around the world. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame, where Eddie Bond was inducted on July 30, 1999, has set up a Bufford Pusser Museum page on the internet. The song can be downloaded and heard in 100 plus countries over the 2000 MPS site. Eddie Bond's artist web page can be viewed by clicking www.rockabillyhall.com/Eddie Bond.html. Both Chuck and Eddie have said, "There are not enough heroes, so let's keep Bufford Pusser's name and legend alive forever."






















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