Early this morning I was reflecting on family holiday dinners of decades ago. We would gather at our home in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I was young, a teen something back then. It was mainly family, but also friends of my fathers from the industry would join in. One Thanksgiving, one of my cousins was dating a young man, 20 something I think. We’d never met before. He was extremely soft-spoken and humble. Had cowboy boots, and a nice twang in his voice. Turned out he had recently moved to Los Angeles from Kentucky. He said it was a huge change. Mentioned he was a big fan of The Andy Griffith Show. Imagine being in his shoes, suddenly among millions of people in Los Angeles, and now having dinner with Ernest T. Bass. We were all sitting around a big round wooden antique table, complete with a Lazy Susan in the middle. As the night rolled on, I think this shy Kentucky local finally felt comfortable enough to ask my pop questions. Questions similar to what most folks would ask Ernest T, such as “How did you come up with that crazy character?” and “What was it like being on the show with Andy and Don?” My pop always had great things to say about being on the show, and how he made things work. As we were eating, this fellow tells us he was a singer and songwriter. He played at various small clubs around town. He found out I played the drums and we talked about that a little. I think he said he had a bunch of songs and was looking for a record deal. Turned out he got exactly that within a few years after that dinner. Oh, did I mention his name? Dwight Yoakam.
I hope you all had a truly Great Thanksgiving!