Bobby Moorehead With Some Of His Custom Built Lef-Handed
Bobby Moorehead With W. D. Roberts in W.D.'s Music Store in
Bobby Moorehead and James Burton
Left to right:
Bobby Moorehead, W. D. Roberts,
Toby Shaw, Chris
Our current drummer is John Guinforte
who replaced Toby Shaw. He is not in the picture.
My name is Bobby Ray Moorehead. I was born
November 21, 1935 in Shreveport, Louisiana. My parents were Douglas and
Marie Moorehead. I have one brother, James, who is two and a half years
younger than me. We lived in Bienville Parish, Louisiana until I was six
years old. This was at the middle to end of the "great depression," and
times were difficult for my family. My dad was a farmer and this kept us in
food, but didn't bring in much money.
In 1942, after World War II started, my family
moved to Webster Parish near Minden, Louisiana, as my dad was seeking
employment at the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant. He was fortunate enough
to find employment there.
In September of 1942, I started to school at the
Minden Grammar School. I was a typical student but rather shy.
In 1943, my family moved into Minden and lived
on the Sibley Road. In 1944, my parents bought a small grocery store on the
Sibley Road and operated it for many years.
During this time I met many friends who lived
along the Sibley Road, and some have remained lifelong friends. One of my
best friends was James Burton. He and his family lived just off the Sibley
Road. James was about six years old when I met him. I was around ten years
old at the time. We played together, constantly, until the fall of 1949,
when his family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana.
At Christmas of 1949, my parents gave me a
guitar. I remember it cost nine dollars. At this time, I began a lifelong
love for the guitar and a desire to play music.
In 1950, James Burton came to visit me and
discovered I was learning to play the guitar. He loved the instrument, and
I taught him what I knew. Although I play left-handed, we were able to find
a way that both of us could play my guitar. He asked his parents for a
guitar, and at Christmas of 1950, he received one. From that time on we
were constantly together, or as much as possible. We helped each other with
whatever the other learned to play.
James and I had the opportunity to play our
music on Minden's Radio Station, KAPK. We also played on the Hillbilly
Hayride on Saturday nights, at the Minden Community House, in 1952 and
1953. We also played at the Municipal Auditorium in Monroe, Louisiana on
the Ouachita Jamboree, as well as a few other locations in North Louisiana.
During these years I met another musician from
Minden, W. D. Roberts, Jr. He was learning to play a lap steel guitar. He
and I have remained close friends, and have played music in bands together,
off and on, until the present time.
I graduated from Minden High School in 1954.
Before starting to college at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana, I worked
during the summer months in Shreveport, Louisiana. I lived with James
Burton and his family during this time. I also lived with them again in
1956. This gave James and me the opportunity to play music together, and we
played all around Shreveport with other local musicians.
In 1957 James had the opportunity to turn
professional, and did, playing with Ricky Nelson in Los Angeles,
California. I chose to remain in college.
In 1956 I had helped form a rock and roll band
with some guys and gals from Minden. Our band was "The Tunes." We recorded
for Suade Records and worked out of Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana.
The band had several different members during our tenure. Among them,
myself, Jerry Frasier, Don Holt, Neil Baker, Larry Scruggs, Earlene
Mendenhall, Jeralyn Shipp, Benny Irby, Margaret Powell, Travis Towns, Ronnie
Gray, and Bill Allison. Most of the time we only had five or six members at
a time. The band broke up after most everyone left college.
In 1959 I married Pat Smith from Minden. We had
three children, two girls and a boy. We were married for twenty-five years
when she felt she wanted to go another way. I later married Sandra
Tubberville from Minden, and we have been married for over eighteen years
now. We have six children between us, and fourteen grandchildren. We live
in rural Claiborne Parish and are very happy.
I worked for the Louisiana Department of
Highways as a highway engineer all my years of employment. I worked for
thirty-four years. I was one of the engineers on the construction of
Interstate 20 across Bossier, Webster and Bienville Parishes in Louisiana.
For twenty-one years I was an area maintenance engineer on the district
staff in Bossier City, Louisiana. My greatest achievement came in 1987 when
I was awarded the "Charles E. Dunbar Career Service Award," which is the
highest award given to an employee in the Louisiana Civil Service system.
In the forty-five years the award has been given, no one else from the
highway department north of Alexandria, Louisiana has ever won this award.
So I was very honored and humbled. I retired from the State Highway
Department in 1989.
During all these years, I have continued to play
my music. I have been in quite a few bands and played mostly local
programs. I have taught guitar in my home for the last forty years. I have
worked with hundreds of students, which has been a very rewarding
In 1997 I helped form a band "The Bayou Boys" of
which I am still a member. W. D. Roberts from Minden is also a member of
the band. We have played for the Council on Aging in Coushatta, Louisiana
(about forty miles from Minden) since the band formed. We play twice a
month there, plus a few other occasional jobs that we will take.
Life has been a very rewarding experience for
me. I have been a Christian for fifty-four years, attending the First
Baptist Church of Minden almost sixty years.
I enjoyed my years of employment as an
engineer. I have had a wonderful family, of which I am very proud. And I
have loved to play music and my romance with "my old guitar."