About Paul C. Duncan

Paul is the son of Roy and Sally Duncan (formerly Long). He was born in Brunswick County, North Carolina, not in a hospital but at home with the assistance of a mid-wife. Paul lived most of his childhood years in the Hallsboro, North Carolina, and Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina area. That area is somewhere between Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He spent some of his summer, non-school months, staying with his aunt Lizzie at Calabash, North Carolina, then a small fishing community, now the best place to go for good fresh seafood, where he helped his uncle Liston and his cousins on their fishing boats. Other than this prior to reaching the tender age of seventeen he worked with his father and his brothers Leroy and Elray on a dairy farm, picking tobacco and in the logwoods. He also worked at the Plywood Mill in Hallsboro, North Carolina in his later teens.

Paul has two older brothers, Leroy and Elray and two younger sisters, Annie Ruth and Betty Lou.

Paul was interested in music at a very young age. He got his first guitar at the age of nine, and learned to play it on his own, no lessons. It was born in him. Paul got his inspiration for music by listening to the folks around him sing and play music, most of it being gospel. Paul can belt out a good gospel song himself. He was further inspired by listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio on Saturday night. Because of his love for music as a young boy, he would stop at a little church on the way home from school and sneak in and play the piano. One Sunday the regular piano player did not show up at Church and the preacher asked if anyone knew how to play the piano and one of Paul's young friends stood up and said Paul does. Paul did not want to do this and was very nervous because he just knew what he had taught himself but it was enought to carry the congregation through. Thereafter when they had no piano player they always called on Paul. Paul is not an accomplished piano player but he can play open chords to just about any gospel or country song. The guitar and electric bass became his instruments of choice.

When Paul got his first guitar his mother said he played it so much that even when he was not home she could hear him playing. She said a few times she was so sure she heard him playing that she actually went to his room to check. She said he's even slept with the guitar.

At the age of sixteen he was on first radio show. He sang and played his guitar with a Country and Bluegrass Band for six months on the only radio station they had in Whiteville, North Carolina at the time. Paul left his home in North Carolina at age seventeen and trveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a friend where he worked for seven months in a plant making army gas cans and ammunition boxes. His guitar was always close at hand. He left Milwaukee and traveled to his brother Leroy's home in Newport News, Virginia where he worked in the shipyard for awhile and then went into the U.S. Army. He was still seventeen so his parents had to sign for him to go. He served a three year stint. Took basic training in Kentucky, and served his last two and one-half years in Germany. Of course his guitar traveled with him. He was discharged with the rank of Staff Sgt. He returned from Germany to his folks home at Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina where his father and mother owned property on the shores of Lake Waccamaw itself. His folks ran a concession stand there and his father also took out fishing parties. Paul helped them out there for awhile. The concession stand had a jukebox and a large concrete area that was used as a dance floor and it became the place to be at night, especially on Friday and Saturday night. It was a big time with a lot of music and dancing. There were times when Paul would get out his guitar and start singing and playing and before long others went to their cars and got out their guitars, basses. banjos. mandolins, or whatever and joined in for a good old hoedown. It was the custom in that area, still is, that if you played an instrument you carry it with you as you never knew when you would come upon a good old hoedown going on that you could join in on.

After working with his folks for awhile at the lake Paul packed up and again headed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee he worked in several of Milwaukee's largest plants as a fabricator. The Heil company and Allis Chalmers being two of the largest. He also became a member of a band called the Carolina Playboys. He was the lead singer and played rythm guitar. The band was very popular in the Milwaukee area, and was together for about four or five years. Paul played in and around the Milwaukee area and other areas of Wisconsin for about 40 years. One of the bands he played with for a good number of years was the Sonny Williams Band. While with this band they fronted a lot for many Nashville stars that came to Milwaukee. Some of those they fronted for were: Johnny Cash and June Carter, Marty Robbins, Bill Anderson, Dave Dudley, Johnny Paycheck, O.B. McClinton, The Statler Brothers, Kitty Wells, Wanda Jackson, Hank Wiiliams, Jr., Hank Snow, Justin Tubb , Connie Smith, The Kendalls, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton and others.

The band did a TV show with Dave Dudley for two weeks, and also did a TV show in Illinois with Jerry Reed, Sue Thompson and John Hartford. The Sonny Williams band and other bands Paul performed with did other TV shows in the Milwaukee area.

One year at the Wisconsin State Fair, Paul and the band he was playing with at the time were the Mountain Dew boys. They were promoting for Pepsi Cola, the soft drink Mountain Dew, which Pepsi had just purchased. They performed as the Mountain Dew boys, bib overalls and all, for the entire two weeks of the fair.

Other bands Paul played with (all country bands) were: Les Martin and the Country Drifters, The Cherokees, The Tye West Band, Bobby Darrell and Rawhide, Chubby Colliers Band, Royce Hall and Lucky 3, plus others. Paul was always a singer in the bands, but for instrument he switched between guitar (his favorite) and electric bass. He also loves to write songs and spends many hours doing that.

The bands Paul has worked with have always willingly played for charitable functions, such as MDA, Child Abuse Prevention, raising money for needy families, etc.

In addition to live band performance, Paul after the Karoke Show became popular also put together a one man show and plays for weddings, clubs, and other private parties, as well as doing volunteer shows for nursing homes, senior citizen clubs, etc.

Paul's home has been Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the past forty years. He is married and has four children. One son Howie, and daughters, Juanita, Stas and Cindy. All the children have musical talents from playing instruments to singing. It was born into them just like their father. Paul truly loves his music, from gospel to country, country rock, rockabilly, etc., etc. He continues to be actively involved with music, singing, playing, songwriting and as the Wisconsin representative for the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.


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