Super Bowl Memories Super Bowl XXVII

I was fortunate to be at Super Bowl XXVIII in The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA January 30th, 1994 kickoff at 6:00. That was a “Dreams Come True” time in life as my Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 30-13. Gate A, MM Row 25 Seat 009.

Price on the ticket says $175.00 but someone paid $1,800.00 per ticket for us to attend the game.

A friend,  worked at Bank America running a mutual fund and one of her vendors was always giving us tickets and trying for her business. I told her, “Tell him when the Cowboys beat the 49’ers in the NFC Championship game, tell him we want to go to the Super Bowl in Atlanta”.

The Cowboys won, we went to Atlanta the Saturday of Super bowl Weekend, went to Bones Restaurant downtown on Saturday night, one of those ala carte restaurants. Eight of us at the table being wined and dined and it was a great dinner. The father of The Black Crows brothers stopped by our table. Dennis Hopper was in the restaurant as he was being featured in a commercial acting as a “Crazy Ref” Stanely Craver gone off the deep end in Nike commercials during the season. Dinner was about $2,000.00+ with tip – thanks to the vendor.

We were at the game early, the bankers and the guy that got us the tickets (4) were in their seats talking banking, money, investments, funds 25 Rows up from the field around the 10 yard line. I was a 10 year-old kid seeing HIS Dallas Cowboys at the Super Bowl down on the rail behind the bench! This was a dream of mine from the time I was a kid (to be at a Super Bowl when the Cowboys won)and I was hollering encouragement to the Cowboys – the mascot came over and gave me a high five before the game started to get the day going right!

I went up and sat back down in our great seats and watched the best football game ever – Jimmy Johnson’s last games as the Cowboys coach, the triplets, Troy, Michael and Emmitt, the defense – it was living a dream for a day! The best thing – the Cowboys won 30-13 with 24 second half points. I went to the bathroom and missed one of the touchdown, but that was OK it was a Super Bowl bathroom run!

The Judds, Travis Tritt, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker were halftime entertainment and I have the yellow flashlight and the seat cushion from the event.

I have said it many times, if I never went to another event – and I have been fortunate to attend many great events in life, but my “Mecca” for events was being at a Super Bowl when the Dallas Cowboys won – “Dreams Come True”! THANKS to all those who made the dream come true!

February 1st always a date that stands out in my life.(Posted Feb 1 2016 and written 2012)

February 1st means something to me every year. Today – February 1st, 2012 is the 25th anniversary of me going off in life – to a new world beyond St, Albans, WV. As I write this at 9:33 AM, I recall standing outside the house on Vine Street, 1987, back in the woods. My family, Mom, Jerry, Jason and Kara, beside my red Toyota Supra packed to the gills with my stuff, hugging everyone, telling them I love you and will give a call when I make it to my new place in Charlotte, NC.

Jerry and I always knew it, no doubt, but it was the first time we said I love ya to each other just before I got in the car, pulled out of the driveway for that 4 hour ride down the WV Turnpike and on to I-77 to Charlotte.

The night before, I was the ring announcer for the last time for the NWA matches in Charleston. I have the photos from the night, took mom back to meet some of the wrestlers, Ric Flair and The Rock & Roll Express. Mike Hall was there taking photos for me. Mamaw was there along with the rest of the family. I was in my tux for the last time in the ring. A couple of kids showed up with signs “Tux Fan Club” and “Tux #1”. They had no idea it was my last night but I appreciated them and autographed the signs for those boys. That was a special night in the spotlight and in the ring with those wrestlers – closest to show time I thought I would ever get and enjoyed each match.

The day that officially changed my life and much has happened obviously over the years. Life did not go as expected, but who can predict their life anyway. Change meant joys along with opportunities in Charlotte for 15 years of my life. Sure the toughest times were the missed birthdays and celebrations, missed tennis matches of Jason and Kara, missed many hugs from family, yet some good things shared with the family as well over the years because of my move too! Those times will be told elsewhere in the blog/book.

I grew up a lot by moving to Charlotte, in the world living on my own, although only four hours or a phone call away from family. Some dreams coming true such as the goal of a condo on Lake Norman with my name on it, good times at The Lake (after 2 years in South Charlotte), meeting new people, new loves and heartbreaks, friends gained and lost, peaks and valleys at times in life, new dreams & goals such as songwriting that led me to Nashville instead of 25 years ago I thought I would now at the age of 52, be somewhere on a Carolina coast (Oooh that sounds like a song title) instead of Nashville, But I am happy in Nashville too.

Today is also Jerry’s birthday #65 the man God sent into my and Mom’s life about 46 years ago that made all the difference in my life. I say my thanks every day for Jerry and our family. We were so blessed to have Jerry enter my and Mom’s life and to start our family that I always wanted – a home with a loving dad, a great brother and sister, to see my mom happy, to build our house together, live and feel the love of a family that loves and cares for each other and never really had any drama or bad words to say to each other – we are truly blessed.

So many memories and blessings made in life because of Jerry, his success as a father, as an architect, as a respected man in his community, his love for the family and friends and his encouragement over the years means everything to me. I still repeat the lesson he taught me ( did it yesterday for someone to show their 18 year old son as Jerry taught me when I was about that age) about one thing leads to another, try many things in life and use what you learn for your next adventures in life.

When Jerry told me at times of challenge I would get through, I believed him and knew I would get through and progress in life. When he said he is proud of me for something I did, that made it even more special because he was proud. Every time he says keep smiling it will be alright, I smile a bit bigger and keep going on through a challenge or time in life. Every time I think of Jerry, I think of a man’s love for life and his family.

Thank You Lord for this day of change in my life and for Jerry being born this day 65 years ago and for our family! We are truly blessed and thankful for Jerry.

I started writing these stories  (7) years ago as Today is January 29th, 2016, and now figured out to put it on this site, as it used to be for my music blogs. The music blogs from now on will be on a site I co-own, and now this site will be stories I remember from my life.

I will write in segments of my life and stories I remember growing up and going through life. There is not particular order after the first couple of blogs that were just me taking off and writing to the best of my memory. I’ve been writing these memories from time to time, no particular order, just something would spark a memory and I’d sometimes type it out and file it, now it’s time to share memories!

Back when I first had the idea for these stories and the below are the beginning of what was going to be a book and now blogs.

At age 49, living in Nashville, TN. It is August 13, 2008 and I’ve been thinking of writing a book (now will be blogs)  for a long time. This is the first day and I am very thankful to be alive, healthy and feeling very blessed in life. I write this book for my family especially for my nieces and nephews so they will know who “Uncle Doak” is and was. I also write it so I can remember through the years as I get older – maybe sitting an a rocking chair one day and still have the memories of some of what I will write in the next months(years)  or so.

My earliest memories are waking up at Mamaw’s house on Goshorn Street in Spring Hill, WV and my mom was getting ready to go to work, my Aunt Barb was already at work at Spring Hill Bakery, Mamaw was probably already at work in the kitchen at a hospital – forgot the original name but it was later named Pick Memorial Hospital in South Charleston at it was later torn down.

My Uncle Butch would tell me that Bozo the Clown will be on TV when the little hand is on the 7 and the big hand on the 6 (7:30) I remember watching Bozo the Clown and a little later Jack LaLane would be on TV in his jumpsuit and doing jumping Jacks. My Grandfather had passed away on August 1st, 1959, which was 25 days after I was born.

I remember watching “I Love Lucy” in the mornings and Andy Griffith – early TV memories.

Mamaw had her hands full raising her son, Butch, Her Daughter Barb and my mom, Betty and a couple year old grandson that she spoiled rotten. I was spoiled by everyone on Goshorn Street! I remember my Aunt Ginny telling the story (She was Mamaw’s sister) telling a story of Mom taking me to the family doctor – Doctor Crigger and telling him that I do not talk and they are worried. Doctor Crigger replied, “All Doak has to do is point at something and everyone in the family runs to get it for him”! He told them to make me ask for things instead of pointing and I would learn to talk. Well 40 some years later I am still talking so he was right!

Mom worked at Sharp Shepherd on Route 60 in Spring Hill from what I remember. They sold tires and TVs and the owner was Dale Sharp. I remember visiting it every now and then as a kid. Dale had a friend named Jimmy “Speedy” Durrett that would have a big impact on our family.

I remember life on Goshorn Street as we were surrounded by cousins – The Hammock’s – Bill and Macel and their kids Walt and Judy in a white house with a couple big trees – a weeping willow along the sidewalk to their house with those bright yellow blooms, a big plum tree in the front yard across the street from our house.

An old man named Babe lived beside Bill and Macel – I think he had an old rusty fence around his yard. Mamaw’s house was in the middle of two houses that Merle and Katharine Ratchford owned. Merle’s house as I recall was brick with big stones on the front. I remember his Christmas trees – they always had those colorful little glass ornaments that when plugged in, had the bubbles – in red, orange, yellow and green and used to really fascinate me.

The house beside us was white and I remember the lattice work on the side of it. Merle also owned a corner lot on the other side of the house and he had these big green glass rocks, all sizes and shapes going around the edge of the lot. The house was on the corner of Goshorn and Railroad Avenue which the road was made of black cinders and ran along the railroad tracks.

There was a house that was a brownish yellow looked like it had shingles on it. I forgot who lived in that house at times, I am thinking maybe my cousin Elaine and her two boys, Ben F and his little brother lived there at one time. Another house which I recall was a maroon color – the Bailey’s moved in that house – Steve, Sherry, Vanessa were the kids of Homer and Evelyn Bailey. That house had a crawl space that we’d hide in from time to time, even was our “Batcave” when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I remember that plastic vapor barrier on the ground.

The house next to them were another family of Hammocks –Jim (I think) and Freda with their kids (my cousins) Alan, Keith and their sister Linda. (to be continued soon).

Let me know if  you remember anything else about the neighborhood so far.

REO Speedwagon – “You Get What You Play For” – another example of a LIVE album bringing the band to the attention of teenagers in the 70’s.  Yea, we’d heard of REO Speedwagon, as they toured like crazy. What a great concert band!
However, the LIVE album got us excited and wanting to see the band! “Riding The Storm Out” was on of the three songs that we could not end a party without hearing the song (other two – “Stranglehold” – Ted Nugent and “Green Grass and High Tides” – The Outlaws”).
“Flyin’ Turkey Trot” and “157 Riverside Avenue” along with “Keep Pushin” a song that still motivates me when times get challenging! “Golden Country” – what soul and emotion in those lyrics!
Yes those great AOR – Album Oriented Rock stations that would play “Ridin’ The Storm Out” any hour of the day or night – we miss that format for the 70’s.
Gary Richrath, guitarist for the band passed away this past week. Great riffs on those REO Speedwagon songs.
I was blessed to meet the band in the 80’s after a show and talked with Kevin Cronin a couple years ago as Victoria Shaw brought him to Nashville to paly in a couple songwriter rounds. First class guy and I thanked him for “Keep Pushin” song!
Go back and listen to the entire, “REO Speedwagon – LIVE You Get What You Play For” album this weekend! One of the best ever LIVE albums in music history!
Thanks for the great music Gary and REO Speedwagon! What is your favorite REO Speedwagon album and song? Comment below!

Excellent Blog about the movie Shawshank Redemption. It can be like the music business – read below and the blog

I watched the movie for the 37th time (probably) this past weekend and will watch it another 37 times more than likely. isn’t it ironic after putting up with all the stuff for 20 years, his final swim out of the madness, is going through the sewage to spill our into the rain to wash him off??  Read the blog!

The final stormy night was just what he needed for that final escape. All those years chipping away little tiny bits by bits to finally his goals reached for freedom.
The movie is like the music business in many aspects along with life itself! Yet, having a plan, helping others to gain respect, finding how he could be of service making positives out of the journey, having others help when he needed it, and NEVER GIVING UP ON THE DREAM!! 

Then, he helped his friend when Morgan Friedman’s character finally got out of prison, leading him to the beach (hiding the money and having it waiting beneath the rock wall) – that is the story in the story!

What is a favorite movie that inspires YOU?

who-knew-125  A new event that happens about every other month in Nashville was started by Tom Truitt called Who Knew.

The February and April  2015 events were both standing room only, with the April event having over 300 music industry people in attendance. (8) music industry professionals have ten minutes each to discuss their company in the music business. The feature speaker was from Spotify and other speakers included someone from CAA agency as he books EDM artists, owner of a local music store, (8) project music leaders (one minute each) from Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center and other speakers of interest.

The May 13th event will take place at 3rd & Lindsley, doors open at 5:00. . Blair Garner – successful radio on air personality known worldwide, Kate O’Neal marketing professional, Freedm Riders – an EDM/funk band to discuss the EDM music business and they will play after all the speakers at the end of the program.  Freedm Riders will debut with a performance at the event.  Other speakers will be announced soon.

Tom Truitt is doing a great job of bringing the Nashville Muse Industry together with great professionals speaking and the networking opportunities with music professionals to make you say, “Who Knew” these people were right here in Nashville or visit the community with their business!

Nashville Muse is a proud sponsor of WHO KNEW.


NSAI’s Tin Pan South, March 24 – 28 is what I call, “The Greatest Week for Songwriters”. Ten Venues, two shows per night in each venue in Nashville with some of the greatest songwriters in the world! My first was 1996 and I have not missed one since as it is always a week I want to be in Nashville.

Regions Bank has been a long time Presenting Sponsor – thanks to Lisa Harless and her team at Regions for the support of Tin Pan South. There are several other sponsors, and Nashville Muse is a proud sponsor of the event.

From Tuesday at 6:00 through the last story of writing a song and sometimes how it got cut to the final chord played at the 9:30 show on Saturday, the attendees will be amazed, inspired and emotionally charged from the performances of Tin Pan South.

Songwriters and fans of songwriters come from about every state and some other countries to attend Tin Pan South. The “Fast Passes” were sold out in about :10 minutes of going on-line to be sold for the 2015 festival. You can also pay to get into the shows, after waiting until those with the “Fast Pass” get into the venues.

This is a great week to network and build relationships with the music community. Some of the best networking is while you are waiting in line for the venues to open the doors to each show, or with whomever you sit beside at your table, booth or bar stool at the show.

I hope You make the 2015 Tin Pan Festival one with many great memories and songwriters are inspired to write great songs after hearing some of the world’s greatest songwriters.

THANKS Bart Herbison and your great NSAI Team for The greatest Week for Songwriters!

Do YOU have any Tin Pan South memories to share – post them!

Another Year – what goals do you set for 2015 for your music business? Have you written them down, are you specific with your goals and have a plan for more cuts, that first big cut, get more gigs, learn guitar and other instruments and other goals you write down every year??

Ask yourself – how will I actually accomplish goals? Big Machine Label Group has a motto of “Think Crazy and Work Backwards! Well, they have certainly used that motto to make some fantastic things happen for their company and artists!

As we write our goals, make them big and have a plan to make the goals happen, those cuts, that publishing deal, getting booked into venues, touring and acquiring fans for the journey.

This music business is a relationship business. Perhaps make a list of professionals you want to build relationships with in the next year. How can you build those relationships?  Set a goal of perhaps one or two lunches or breakfasts with pros you would like to get to know – take them to share a meal and buy the meal.

Just get to know them, what they do, their story and what they do outside of business, interests in the music community, and advice they would share to help you, things they’ve seen other people on the journey where you are, and how those people advanced in the music business.

During your meeting with industry pros, DO NOT take a CD of your music, DO NOT ask them to go to your site and listen to your songs. This is to build relationships, not to pitch them your songs or to get you a deal!

Set goals and work every day to learn – your songs, how the business works, attend music industry events, support the industry, join the organizations that are proven winners, learn what not to do and who the people that are not really trustworthy, only want your money and have not really done anything in the music business or it has been 20+ years that they worked at a label and want you to pay them to record or whatever to get your money.

“Think Crazy and Work Backwards” – key words are WORK and have a plan to reach your goals!

What will YOU do to make 2015 your great year in music?

Here is another thing not to do in the music business – when you are an artists or your kid is an artist – somehow someone contacts you and starts telling you how good they were and the last thing they did of any value – was 20, 30, 40 years ago – if ever!

They will tell you stories of how artists you’ve heard of used their studio – you should find out WHEN the artists was in that studio and WHO is there now and what that person has to do with any project!

There are so many studios in this town, so many people that have been around people that you know, and some of those people try to impress you with stories, to get you 15 year old kid to come and record in that studio, tell you your 15 year old kid has fantastic songs that are going to be a smash. Sometimes it can be someone in their 20’s that believes they are stars and do not really know how to sing, yet the studio will tell them how they have the next hit song, tell their parents or investors that “artist” should be on The Opry and on the radio.

Some of these people find an investor or perhaps the parents want to get their kid in a studio so they can be the next star – which will not happen when you get with these people that try to impress you with stories of the old days in town.

I have seen this happen so many times, or someone will find a person out of state that has always written songs, always wanted to hear their songs recorded and the studio owner will sure do it, tell that person how good their songs are and they can add music to those “great lyrics” when the owner finds out sometimes that person has a bunch of money to spend and will find a young artist that knows no better, has not taken the time to learn the business, sing their songs!

There are producers that will tell you they knew someone, had a deal back many years ago, will tell you a BUNCH OF STORIES AND HOW YOU AND YOUR CHILD JUST BROUGHT THEM THE BIG SMASH HIT! Of course they will record it, bring musicians to the session and going to make you or your kid the next big thing! They will get all they money they can for you and smile as they tell you old stories and they have not done anything if ever in years!

PLEASE learn how the music business works, study, join NSAI, research and get advice from people that are CURRENTLY in the music business, learn about the business before you waste so much money and pay these people that have not done anything in many years and if they tell you they have – check them out with professionals in the music business.

Success Strategy #6 Follow The Golden Rule

Adapted from the book, The Success Strategies 99 Timeless Strategies for Life’s Journey by Deb Austin Brown.

The Golden Rule is really the only rule the world needs. It says simply Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

The music business is a small world. When you can help someone do it. Perhaps do a favor for someone in the music business, tell good things about people you know, perhaps you saw a new artists singing the previous night, tell people about it. You may hear a great song in a round, tell others, “I heard the coolest song last night and the writer was…”. Someone is having a challenge with their guitar in a round, offer to help them, you see someone making a mistake, help them learn the way to do the right thing. You go to lunch with a co-writer, every now and then, surprise them and buy their lunch!

Success Strategy #6 Follow The Golden Rule