Eddie Reeves
Eddie Reeves, 1964

The recording of 'When Sin Stops' at The Norman Petty Studio in 1958 was an event that caused me to cross paths with Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings in minor but unique way.  This story and others about early rock ‘n roll during my high school years was the beginning of what eventually became a rich, eventful forty-year career in the music business.  Along with some musings, ramblings and other bits and pieces, these stories are a partial record of my life’s experience and my contribution to the collective record of the human condition in our time. 

I spent my early years mostly in Amarillo, Texas and graduated from Amarillo High School with honors in 1958.  I attended the University of Texas in Austin for three of the next four years and in 1962 went to work for my dad in his building supply, residential construction and real estate development businesses.    

During college and the two years after, I made several trips to Clovis, New Mexico to play songs I had written for Norman Petty at his famous recording studio.  He recorded several of my songs with various local recording artists but none of this effort brought any success.  In 1964 Norman hired me to be his representative in New York City.  Moving from Amarillo, Texas to New York City was a jarring cultural experience but a great adventure that I’m lucky to have had.  Working in Manhattan for Petty thrust me into the midst of the mainstream pop music business, which served as a prime learning experience and offered abundant opportunity.  It also introduced me to Carolyn Hester, a recording artist produced by Petty, which led to a brief but novel encounter with Bob Dylan.
 

In 1965 United Artists Music, the music-publishing subsidiary of United Artists Motion Pictures, hired me.  In addition to being an employee I signed an exclusive recording artist and songwriting contract and being with United Artists was the real beginning of my professional music business career.
 


Nighthawks, 1958, L-R: Eddie Reeves (rhythm guitar and vocals), Mike Hinton (drums), John Thompson (bass) and Bob Venable (lead guitar)
THE COMBO KINGS

I was on the Amarillo High School basketball team during my sophomore year along with Bob Venable and Billy Sansing.  Bob had attended a different junior high school but we met in the summer of 1955 just before our sophomore year.  Sometime early in that school year I heard Bob play guitar and piano at his home.  He had taught himself guitar and mostly just played some cords.  But on the piano he was great.  I remember he played 'Kitten On the Keys' which is a complicated and entertaining piece.  I was really impressed with his ability.  I had taken six weeks of piano lessons in the second grade but I didn’t learn how to play the piano.
  

As the school year progressed something serious was happening to America’s youth and it had been partially fueled by some 1955 movies such as Blackboard Jungle in January 1955; Rebel Without a Cause in January 1955; and East of Eden in March 1955.  The movies, language, cars, clothing, music and thinking of America’s teenagers were changing dramatically.  Elvis Presley’s first record was released in July 1954 and his most successful and last two singles on Sun Records, 'Baby Let's Play House' and 'Mystery Train, were released in February and July of 1955.  Although in 1953 Billy Haley and Fats Domino had their first showing on the Top 40 music pop charts and in 1954 Bill Haley, The Drifters and The Midnighters had some Top 40 success, it was not until 1955 that the tide of teenage musical taste started strongly flowing away from the music of Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, Doris Day, The McGuire Sisters, Nat King Cole and other easy going pop music artists, and toward the revolutionary new music of rock ‘n roll.  That year Bill Haley’s 'Rock Around the Clock' was propelled by its inclusion in the hit movie Blackboard Jungle; Fats Domino’s landmark 'Ain’t That a Shame' made its mark; the Penguins’ 'Earth Angel' started it’s long run of popularity; Lavern Baker’s 'Tweedlee Dee' was a hit and Chuck Berry had his first hit with 'Maybellene.'  The Bill Haley explosion led to him having six or seven singles in the Top 40 that year.  Elvis’ fourth and fifth Sun Records singles sold over 500,000 copies but nearly all in the South since Sun was not yet distributed nationally.  But this great success in the South by Elvis led to his signing with RCA Records and the release of his first national hit, 'Heartbreak Hotel' in January 1956.  


In the midst of the beginning of this revolution I was a sophomore in high school who was playing basketball, making good grades, starting to grow longer hair, listening to the Louisiana Hayride and the blues record shows on Saturday nights broadcast by KWKH Radio from Shreveport, Louisiana, and listening each morning and each afternoon to Elvis Presley’s recordings of 'Baby Let's Play House' and 'Mystery Train.'  I was also making my first trips to the record store and discovering other rock 'n roll music.
The Combo Kings, 1956: Bob Venable and Eddie Reeves
One day at basketball practice I told Bob Venable that we should start a band.  I explained that since he already knew how to play guitar he could be the lead guitarist and he could teach me to play guitar.  I told him I had learned that a basketball teammate, an 11th grader named Billy Sansing, played drums in junior high school and he would be our drummer.  Bob laughed at the idea and then asked who would be our singer.  I told him I would be the singer.  He replied by saying that he would be the singer as soon as I would.  So I suggested that we both be the singers, take turns and possibly sing some duets.  He had little enthusiasm for my idea and said he definitely would not be teaching me to play guitar.  I asked him how he learned to play and he told me he had a guitar cord book.  I borrowed his cord book and still have it to this day.  

My grandmother Reeves and I were close and I let her know about my interest in learning to play guitar.  For Christmas in 1955 she and my Aunt Bonnie gave me a Kay acoustic guitar, which cost about $10. I started practicing guitar chords on my new Kay guitar during Christmas and on into January.  It wasn't a good guitar and it was very difficult to play, but I would listen to the simple songs of Elvis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins to learn the cords and learn to play in rhythm.  Having only marginal natural musical talent, I had a difficult time learning to properly tune my guitar, but I worked hard and eventually learned to play well enough to accompany myself while singing some of these songs.  

I invited Bob and Billy Sansing to my parents' house on Mississippi Street where Bob sang and played his acoustic guitar, I sang and played my Kay guitar and for “drums” I took a piece of cardboard out of one of my dad's newly laundered shirts and taped it over the top of a metal trash can for Billy to play using two wooden sticks I found somewhere around the house.  We just kind of screwed around with different songs, but we had stuck our toes just deep enough into the rock ‘n roll waters to excite our collective enthusiasm.  I had impressed on Bob that I was serious and was going to sing and play guitar one way or another.  

Soon Bob purchased a 1955 Fender Telecaster guitar and amp, Billy put a new drumhead on his old junior high school snare drum and bought a cymbal and cymbal stand, a drum stool and snare stand, and new drumsticks and brushes.  I purchased a 1955 Martin D-18 acoustic guitar and a Tex electric pickup like the one on Elvis’ Martin D-28 guitar pictured on the cover of his first RCA album.  My Martin D-18 cost $189 and I paid $20 down and $10 per week until paid in full to Tolzien’s Music Store.      

We were now set for serious practice sessions and we would take turns practicing at my house and Bob’s house.  Actually, it was our parents who were taking turns putting up with drums, guitars and loud rock ‘n roll music.  In the spring of 1956 the Johnny Burnett Trio released the single 'Tear It Up' and 'You’re Undecided' on Coral Records.  We bought the record and learned both songs.  We also were learning Chuck Berry songs, Elvis songs, Perkins’ 'Blue Suede Shoes' and others.  Bob knew the old song 'Long Lost John' and we learned it.  

We were working hard and Bob’s mother said she wanted us to play for a PTA meeting at Austin Junior High School.  At the time we didn’t carefully think it through, but if we had we would have realized we would be playing for adults, only teachers and parents, which was not an audience well suited for this revolutionary new music.  I remember being frightened to be in front of all those adults playing our music.  When we did play, they all just sat there with looks on their faces that said to me, “What in the world is this we are seeing and hearing?”  They gave us politically polite applause and it was as much a non-event as ever one could be.        

We continued to practice during the summer of 1956 and by September at the start of our junior school year and Billy’s senior school year, we were ready to play for anyone.  Several of our friends had attended some of our practice sessions and liked what we were doing, which gave us confidence regarding our little band.  By now we had purchased another amplifier and microphone to serve as a mini PA system.  Bob and I plugged both of our guitars in one amp and the other was for our ElectroVoice vocal microphone.  We needed a name for our band and we had a hard time choosing one.  Finally, we settled on The Combo Kings.  I don’t remember why we chose that name or found it acceptable, but we did.  

On many Friday nights during the school year dances were held at the YMCA called the The Cellar and on Saturday nights The Drift Inn. There's a photo in the Amarillo High School yearbook "La Airosa" showing classmates Bill SoRelle and Emily Patterson dancing together at The Drift Inn. Emily was my girlfriend for a few months during her junior year and my senior year.  She was a great person and years later married a handsome man named Tony.  They lived in New York City and are parents of famous actress Tea Leoni.  A jukebox supplied the music and after a Friday football game or a Saturday night movie, The Cellar and The Drift In were destinations for many of us.  At times one or two female trios would do a floorshow singing maybe three or four songs acapella.  It was always fun to hear these girls sing and they were very talented.  By someway unknown by me, our band was invited to perform at The Cellar or The Drift Inn and we accepted.  

By then we knew several songs but I don’t remember which ones we played at that first performance.  I do remember walking into the large room with guitar in hand and seeing the crowd of our friends who had just listened to the girls trio sing.  Our fifty or more friends turned and parted way for us to proceed to the corner of the room where we had previously set up some of our equipment.  I felt my heart race with excitement as we walked past our friends toward the event of our first public performance for our peers.  It was like what our football players must have experienced at the beginning of a game when they ran from the locker room onto the field between two rows of cheerleaders.  Everyone was cheering us on, giving us shouts of support, slaps on the back, and enthusiastic comments, none of which were more enthusiastic than those of our friend J. M. Gilbert.  In another time and place he could have been our Col. Tom Parker, our Brian Epstein.  

I could feel electricity in the air and it was racing through my entire body.  Soon we were playing and singing our hearts out and it was a blast—a rocket blast into a deep teenage space warp and our friends were taking the ride with us.  I didn’t think of our band as soon-to-be rock ‘n roll stars.  I saw us as a rock band for our high school friends.  There was a high school football team, basketball team, cheerleaders, marching band, choir, and many clubs.  But now for the first time in the history of Amarillo High School, there was a high school rock ‘n roll band. 

We continued to practice and learned several new songs.  We also continued to play at The Cellar and The Drift Inn and Bob and I quit basketball.  Neither one of us was going to be a basketball star so it was no big loss for us or for the basketball team.  A few days before we quit, Coach T.G. Hull s
at the team down on the benches and we knew when he did this that some serious words were likely to be coming our way.  After we all sat down, I remember him pacing back and forth a few times with his head down, possibly searching for just the right words of wisdom and possibly to let the silence speak to the seriousness of the moment.  Then, in a low soft voice he calmly said that he really liked all his boys and because of that, he was willing to put up with just about anything that we served up.  But there was one thing he was not going to tolerate.  He was not going to have any "duck-bill hep-cats" on his basketball team.  As he said "duck-bill hep-cats" he looked directly at me with that insightful look he could make such good use of—a facial expression that was meant to drill his point home into the depths of one’s conscience.  

I know it is difficult for teachers to be up to date on the vernacular of the young, but I think "duck-bill hep-cat" was good enough for Coach Hull to make his point, even if “duck-tail,” as in a particular hairstyle of the time, was the descriptive term he was after.  I'm not sure about "hep-cat,” but maybe he was right on with that bit of vernacular.  Someone who was more of a hipster in those times than me will have to help out on this one.  Where's Tuggie Tuckness?  He'll know.  

Sometime in late summer or early fall of 1956 as we continued to learn more songs, Billy Sansing introduced us to his friend Jimmy Sandlin.  Like Billy, Jimmy was in his senior year of high school.  He played electric rhythm guitar, was handsome, and was a great singer.  He started practicing with The Combo Kings and soon the four of us were playing various school functions and floorshows.   

I don’t remember how it came about but we were introduced to Allen Fairchild who claimed to be starting a record company.  He took our band to the local KFDA radio station studios that had some basic recording equipment.  We recorded two songs—Lavern Baker’s 'Jim Dandy' with Jimmy as lead vocalist and Carl Perkins’ 'Gone, Gone, Gone' with me as lead vocalist.  We were very excited about being able to record although the sound quality left much to be desired even for 1956.  Allen Fairchild cut a few acetates with an Alfair label affixed to each in what can be best described as “homemade” 45-rpm records.  Nothing else happened regarding these recordings and we continued the fun we were having at practice sessions and playing school events.  

Early in January 1957 Jimmy Sandlin’s family moved to Florida and The Combo Kings were back to our original band of three.  Once again, Allen Fairchild asked us to record two more songs but he wanted original material.  Bob wrote 'When Your Baby’s Gone' and I wrote 'Pretty Babe' and we added a girl’s trio composed of Sylvia Ramsey (sister of friend Buck Ramsey), Sybil Todd and Gracie Newman.  Talented classmate Ann Roberts joined on piano although I hear very little piano on these recordings.  Again, we were excited about this recording experience but other than receiving a few acetates of the recordings, nothing happened. 
 
As our junior year and Billy’s senior year drew to a close, Bob and I decided we needed to take the next step which was to have a full set of drums instead of just a snare and a cymbal.  We talked to Billy about this and offered to pay for the drums from the bands earnings but Billy’s mother who was a hard-working single mom was concerned about Billy being involved in rock ‘n roll music.  Billy would be entering Amarillo Junior College in the fall of 1957 and she wanted Billy to quit the band so he would have no distractions from his college studies.  We understood his mom’s concern and realized we would need to find a new drummer if The Combo Kings were to continue.  
                               

THE RAVENS

The other rock ‘n roll band in Amarillo at the time was The Pharos – the only other one to my knowledge.  I’m not certain which band started playing first – The Ravens or The Pharos – but The Pharos’ drummer was dynamite.  His name was Gary Swafford and I called and made an appointment to see him.  Bob and I went to his parents’ home and attempted to convince Gary to join our band.  He let us know his intentions to be completely loyal to The Pharos but told us about a young drummer that had just moved to Amarillo from Kansas City.  He said his name was Mike Hinton but that he was a jazz drummer and had never played rock ‘n roll.  

We located Mike and went to his home to meet him.  His family had a beautiful home on Julian Boulevard and Mike had his large set of Pearl drums set up in his large bedroom.  He had two floor toms, two clamp on toms, a clamp on bongo, three Zildjian cymbals one of which was riveted and of course a kick drum, high hat and snare.  We had never seen such a great set of drums.  It was a Rolls Royce set of drums and it impressed us greatly. 

We learned that Mike was one year our junior and was starting his junior year of high school as Bob and I were beginning our senior year.  Mike put on a jazz record, sat down at his drum set and put on an unbelievable show.  We were stunned and excited about the prospects of having such a great drummer join our band.  True to Gary’s warning, Mike told us he new nothing about rock ‘n roll and had no idea what a rock drummer would play.  We assured him that having seen his prodigious talents regarding jazz music that rock ‘n roll would be an easy adaptation.  We left with the promise of bringing Mike some rock ‘n roll records to listen to which we did and very soon he was ready to join us in our first rehearsal.  
 

Bob would later say to Buck Ramsey when we played our 25th high school reunion, “If you have Mike for a drummer, you don’t need much more to have a rock ‘n roll band.”  And that was very true.  Mike was a great drummer and a great showman without trying to be a showman.  He was just a natural showman and he played unbelievable licks, twirled his drumsticks, played great solos, was lightening fast, was handsome and cute at the same time and had as much energy as any drummer or person I have ever seen.  Bob and I knew that discovering Mike was as good as our fortune could have been.  We were now more excited that ever about our prospects of having fun playing rock ‘n roll music.  

Mike’s brother Boyd and his wife Pat and their two children Mark and Michael lived on Rusk Street and Mike told us Boyd had invited us to practice at his home.  We soon had the first practice session at Boyd and Pat’s home and it was unbelievable for Bob and me.  We would practice often at Boyd and Pat’s home and were joined by Mike’s sister Jayne, her friend Phyllis Vigna and Mike’s girlfriend at the time, Sandra Daherty.   Boyd’s friend Rufus also was a regular at these practice sessions and after a few beers Rufus this very quiet man would sometimes entertain us with his most unusual dancing.  And Boyd would look the other way if Bob, Mike or I got a beer out of the refrigerator.  I think he made the comment that we were only allowed one beer at each practice session.  These times at Boyd and Pat’s were probably the heart of the fun that The Ravens had.  Incidentally, our band's name The Ravens came from opening and closing each gig with Buddy Holly's 'Rave On.'

One of the first times Bob and I visited Mike at his parents’ home on Julian Blvd., Mike played a few selections from an album entitled, Word Jazz by Ken Nordine released on Dot Records in 1957 wherein the artist told “beat” stories over a music bed of cool jazz.  It was and is a great album.
  

Nordine was a voiceover man for many well-known advertisements and an on-air personality in Chicago.  He was Linda Blair’s vocal coach for The Exorcist and later would inspired Tom Waits’ spooky, spoken word-type pieces.  If you’ve never heard Word Jazz or Son of Word Jazz you should immediately buy a copy and look forward to a great trip.  God bless Mike for turning me on to the genius of Ken Nordine.  

One time I stopped by Mike’s house and while we were standing in his driveway with his friend Mouse, two kids pulled up in their car and one of them proceeded to tell Mike that he was going to “whip his ass.”  He told Mike to get ready to fight.  Mike’s friend Mouse wasn’t going to be much help in such a situation and Mike wasn’t a “fighter” kind of guy.  Mike was a “lover” and in fact, that may have been the reason this guy was fighting mad—something about some girl.  

As the guy stepped toward Mike to start the fight I spoke up.  I told the guy he might “whip Mike’s ass” but first he would have to “whip my ass.”  Now I’ve never really been a fighter.  I was never very big or very strong or very tough, but this guy didn’t look all that big, strong or tough either.  I don’t know what possessed me to step between this guy and Mike but it probably had as much to do with protecting The Ravens’ drummer as it did protecting my new friend Mike Hinton.  Mike’s new found enemy couldn’t believe he was going to have to fight me before he could have his shot at Mike, so with a look of bewilderment he and his friend got back in their car and drove away.  I was very happy to see him back down even though if he hadn’t I would have fought him.  I think Mike was impressed by my courage of the moment and from then on Mike treated me somewhat like a big brother.  We’ve had a great friendship over the years and he is one of the most lovable people I have ever known.  

Soon The Ravens were able to play for the entire Drift Inn dances, which lasted from 8:00 to 11:30 or 12:00 PM.  We would play nearly a one-hour set and then take a twenty minute break while the jukebox played, and then play another hour set and so on.  Our band knew few slow songs and the ones we did know were usually played more than once each dance as requests for slow songs came often toward the end of the evening.  'You Cheated, You Lied' and 'Who You Been Lovin’' (aka 'Red Cadillac and Black Mustache') were two of the slow songs we performed most often.  

During the breaks we learned that our thirst required the beer we had grown used to drinking at our rehearsals.  But there was a problem with beer.  If we drank too much beer, any or all of us might be required to answer nature’s call before the next break.  But The Ravens had learned that two beers each per break was the proper amount of alcohol to conjure up just the right buzz for a good performance.  Somewhere along the way we had been introduced to malt liquor which with less volume delivered more punch.  Soon, iced down Country Club Malt Liquor was a requirement for each gig.  We’d play our first set stone sober and then on the first break we’d each chug-lug two malt liquors and by the third or fourth song of the second set we were zooming.  Then two more chug-lugs on the second break and we would usually be a bit drunk playing our third and final set.  Bob, Mike and I used alcohol all of our lives—some of the time in excess.  I don’t know if we were predisposed to be alcohol users or if all the fun we had being The Ravens and The Nighthawks conditioned us to revert to those good times by its use in later years.  Either way, it certainly was the drug of our choice for the lives of the early rock ‘n rollers of Amarillo High School.  

Somewhere along the way just after Mike joined Bob and me, we recruited standup bass player John Thompson.  John lived on the north side of Amarillo and was a very nice guy.  He wasn’t a great musician but in those days before electric bass, it was difficult to actually hear what the standup acoustic bass was really playing.  It more or less added a deep rhythmical resonance and lent an expected and unique visual image.  But hauling that huge bass around wasn’t easy.  All the bands back in those days had the problem of how to transport that large bass instrument.  The drums were difficult enough but at least they could be disassembled into smaller parts than the whole.  But the large bass—well, it was just very large and very cumbersome.  

John was always giving all the time he could to our band and his very best efforts.  He played on the recording we made as The Nighthawks in Clovis, New Mexico at the Norman Petty Recording Studio in July 1958.  I believe he again joined us when we played our Christmas gig in Amarillo that same year after our record had received local radio airplay and had gone to number one on the local radio station chart.  John joined us again for the second and last Norman Petty recording session for The Nighthawks at the beginning of February 1959.  I believe that was the last time he joined us unless he played on a summer of 1959 gig in Amarillo.  He was a good guy and we stayed in touch with him for a while but eventually lost contact.  When The Nighthawks decided to play for our 20th high school reunion, I attempted to locate John but was unsuccessful.  Someone said he might be living in Houston but I was never able to locate him.  John, if you read this give me a call.  I hope all is well.   

The YMCA sponsors started paying us to play and I believe we split the 25 cents admission with them.  We would make about $10 each Friday or Saturday that we split between us.  We certainly weren’t getting rich and were hardly paying for guitar strings and drumsticks.  But we had great fun.  It was one of the best times in my life—full of discovery, creativity, risk taking and adventure.  And as most kids from middle income families on up eventually learned, we had very little responsibility back then.  It was about as good as it gets.  

The Nighthawks made several trips to the Norman Petty Studio in association with our recording venture in 1958.  We were aware of this recording studio from Buddy Holly’s many hits recorded there, Buddy Knox’s 'Party Doll,' Roy Orbison’s 'Ooby Dooby,' and the fact that if anyone in the Amarillo area wanted to make a professional record, the Norman Petty Recording Studio was about the only nearby place to go for such an undertaking.  Bob and I traveled there in early spring 1958 to play Norman Petty two songs, 'When Your Baby’s Gone' by Venable and 'Pretty Babe' by me.  It was Petty’s opinion that the songs were not strong enough to give The Nighthawks a good chance for a recording contract with a major record company.  Bob and I returned to the drawing board and soon made another trip to Clovis to play 'When Sin Stops' by Venable and 'All'a Your Love' by me.  Petty thought these songs had a chance and agreed to record our band.  On two of these trips, I waited in the recording studio reception room until Petty was available while Bob and sometimes, Mike Hinton our drummer, waited in the car.  The reception room had two doors – one leading to the small recording studio and the other leading to the studio control room.  

On one occasion when I was required to wait in the studio reception room until Petty was available, I stood in the doorway between the reception room and the control room, viewing with wonder all the electronic recording equipment in the control room.  There was a large double paned window in the control room, which gave a clear view of most of the recording studio.  As I stood there Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, the Crickets drummer and co-writer of 'Peggy Sue' and other Holly songs, and Joe Maudlin, the bass player for The Crickets, entered the recording studio from a doorway at the back of the recording studio which lead to an apartment where Buddy and The Crickets and other recording artists stayed during recording sessions that lasted for several nights.  At first I didn’t realize the seemingly small, curly-headed guy in a white t-shirt and jeans was the star Buddy Holly.  Holly walked toward the window of the control room and sat down on the Leslie speaker box of the studio organ.  Jerry Allison was trying to pay a bet he evidently had lost to Holly.  The reception room door leading to the recording studio was open which allowed me to clearly hear their conversation.  Jerry had a hundred dollar bill in his hand and was offering the money to Holly but Holly was saying, "Keep the money Jerry.  I was just a-foolin’ ya.  Go on keep the money; I was just a-foolin'."  Jerry continued to insist that Holly accept the money but Holly continued to refuse it.  I don’t think they knew I was there.  Soon they returned to the back apartment and finally I was told Petty was available.  Later I learned that after Holly started making a lot of money he would usually carry a thousand dollar bill in his billfold and offer it for payment for any small purchase such as a newspaper, magazine, cigarettes, etc.  I was told he loved seeing people’s reaction to a thousand dollar bill.  

On another occasion while I sat on the couch in the recording studio reception room while waiting for Petty, Buddy Holly came into the studio and sat down on the piano bench of the nine-foot Baldwin grand piano.  At first I thought he looked a little bit too ordinary to hold up under all that heavy hero worship.  His hair was curling down in front and he looked like some country hick dressed in a plain white t-shirt and faded Levis.  I wondered how Buddy Holly could be so huge in my mind and be so small and ordinary looking in his person.  The door between the reception room and the studio was open about a foot or two and Holly didn’t know I was there.  He started playing the piano introduction of the Little Richard hit 'Slippin' and Slidin'' by playing the single root bass note to each cord with his left index finger and the cords with three fingers of his right hand (not using his thumb).  The grand piano with its lid propped wide open was really loud in this small recording studio room but when Holly started to sing I swear his voice came out above the piano like a siren over loud traffic.  It was the loudest singing voice I had ever heard.  In that moment it made all the sense in the world to me that the little guy in there was a rock ‘n roll star and I wasn’t.
   


Eddie Reeves, 1961
'When Sin Stops':  Recorded by The Nighthawks 1958 at Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, New Mexico.  Written by Bob Venable and produced by Norman Petty, producer of Buddy Holly.  The Nighthawks:  Bob Venable, lead guitar; Mike Hinton, drums; John Thompson, bass; and Eddie Reeves, rhythm guitar and lead vocal.  Background vocals by The Roses (David Bigham, Robert Linville and Ray Rush) who sang on Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly records.  Released on Hamilton Records, a subsidiary of Dot Records, September 1958.  The record reached #1 on a local Amarillo, Texas [hometown of The Nighthawks] radio station [KLYN] and sold 1,500 copies to local fans but failed to gain any other recognition.  In 1957 and 1958 Bob, Mike and Eddie, sometimes joined by John Thompson on bass, played for high school shows and dances in Amarillo.  The Nighthawks continued playing a few songs from time to time at fraternity parties during 1958, 1959 and 1960 while attending the University of Texas in Austin. 
Eddie Reeves Discography

1956 – 'Gone Gone Gone' (vocal by Eddie Reeves) b/w 'Jim Dandy' (vocal by Jimmy Sandlin) by The Combo Kings on Alfair Records produced by Allen Fairchild (local Amarillo, Texas label owned by producer).  Recorded at KFDA radio station, Amarillo, TX.  

1957 – 'When You're Baby’s Gone' b/w 'Pretty Girl' by The Combo Kings (lead vocals by Eddie Reeves) on Alfair Records produced by Allen Fairchild. Recorded at KFDA radio station, Amarillo, TX.    

1958 – 'When Sin Stops' b/w 'All'a Your Love' by The Nighthawks on Hamilton Records (subsidiary of Dot Records) # 45-50006 produced by Norman Petty. Recorded at Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM.  

1961 – ‘Cry Baby’ b/w ‘Talk, Talk’ by Eddie Reeves on Warwick Records #M667 produced by Norman Petty.  Recorded at Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM with strings added at Bell Sound Studio, West 54th Street, New York, NY. 

1962 – 'I Got Shot Out of the Saddle)' b/w 'Funny Face' by The Hysterical Society Boys on EBR Records (Eddie’s own local label) #620001.  Group was Bob Venable (guitar), Mike Hinton (drums), and Eddie Reeves (vocals).  Produced by Norman Petty at Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM.  

1963 – 'Heartbreak Hotel' b/w 'The Way the Wind Blows' by Eddie Reeves (backing band The Fireballs).  Unreleased.  Produced by Norman Petty at the Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM.  

1964 – 'Heartbreakin'' b/w 'You Ain't the First Time I've Been Wrong' by Eddie Reeves (backing band The Fireballs) on Ascot (United Artists Records) # AS 2155 produced by Norman Petty at the Norman Petty Studio, Clovis, NM.  

1967 – 'Hey, Mama, You've Been On My Mind' (not the Dylan song but written by Bruce Murdock) b/w 'A Million Things' by The Restless Feelings on United Artists Records # 50053 produced by Eddie Reeves.  Lead vocal by Eddie Reeves with harmony by Ron Dante.  Recorded at Associated Studio on 7th Avenue, NYC. 

1969 – 'Forgot To Forget' b/w 'Barely' by Eddie Reeves on United Artists Records # UA50593 produced by Jimmy Holiday and Eddie Reeves at Liberty Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.  

1970 – 'It's a Hang Up Baby' b/w 'Barely' by Eddie Reeves on United Artists Records #50680 produced by Jimmy Holiday and Eddie Reeves at Liberty Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.  

1971 – “Here I Stand” b/w “On the Street Again” by Eddie Reeves on Kapp Records # K-2127 produced by Jerry Naylor and Eddie Reeves at Liberty Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.  

1971 – 'What's Goin' Down' b/w 'Go Away Woman' by Eddie Reeves on Kapp Records # K-2164 produced by Craig Doerge and Eddie Reeves at Liberty Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.  

1973 – Recorded album co-produced by Robert Appere with string arrangements by Dick Halligan (Blood, Sweat and Tears) for ABC Dunhill Records. Recorded at Clover Recording Studio, Los Angeles.  Album was not released.  

1975 – 'The Lingo Song' b/w 'The Lingo Song' (instrumental version) by Eddie Reeves on GRC Records # GRC 2049 produced by Steven Dorff and Eddie Reeves.  

1975 – 'What the Hell Are We Doing?' b/w 'Inside Out' on GRC Records # GRC-2065 produced by Robert Appere and Eddie Reeves at Clover Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA.   These were two of the ABC Dunhill masters bought by GRC.
 


Hysterical Society Boys, 1962: Bob Venable, Eddie Reeves and Mike Hinton
You can read more on Eddie Reeves at his website. In December 2013, Eddie recorded a new song, 'NOBODY in the MIDDLE', for which the video is below.  Enjoy!

Nobody in the Middle from Marc Reeves on Vimeo.