BOBBY MOOREHEAD

 

 Bobby Moorehead With Some Of His Custom Built Lef-Handed Guitars

 

Bobby Moorehead With W. D. Roberts in W.D.'s Music Store in Minden, La.

        

                                                             Bobby Moorehead and James Burton

       Left to right:         Bobby Moorehead,      W. D. Roberts,               Mike Vail,                 Toby Shaw,           Chris Robinette  

       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 experience.
 
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."