When I started this project I was just going to throw some pics of the Instruments up here and be done with it. But looking through Leo's photos can be addictive... the instruments, the settings, the era, Radio with a capital "R". It's fun to look at and you just want other people to share it. Our worshipped Vintage Instruments we prize today are just their everyday trappings of playing in these photos. Enjoy this glimpse into the bustling world of local entertainment in the 30's, 40's and 50's in and around Texas. Start scrollin'... there's a lot of them!
The Raley brothers Leo, Randall (Red) and Darold - circa 1935-36 (note the pickup!)
Leo's first band... Must be Houston friends!
Uncle Zeke and his Original Alabama Boys.... Leo's first Pro job!
KFDM Barnyard Follies Radio Show 1937
Beumont Texas circa 1936-1937... Leo's brother Darold on violin... not sure of the others.
Texas trio.... Looks like some home-town friends... Ted Rankin on the bass and Doug Durant on guitar
Floyd Tillman and the Raley brothers Band with Joe Irby and Little Margie..
Cliff Brunner's Texas Wanderers with Leo and "Red" Raley, Dickie McBride, Moon Mulican and Bob Dunn on Lap Steel.
I love those tour buses in the late thirties... don't you know they were comfortable with all those guys!.
Reminds me of that scene in "From here to Eternity" with Merle Travis. Do you suppose they're playing the re-enlistment Blues?
You can't keep a good player down! Love that Army blanket back drop! Leo Raley and Willie Spiker.
1947 was a good year... check out that tweed amp and swingin' triple neck Fender lap steel.
Houston DJ Biff Collie and "Little Tommy Sands", Darold in the back ground.
Magnolia Gardens, Houston Texas.... Leo and his brother Darold burning down the house!
Houston DJ Biff Collie leading some sort of impromptu sing-along.
From high atop the Rice Hotel in Houston Texas, KTRH presents the Village Boys!
The Texas Pioneers - Austin Texas - Grouchy on bass and Darold on Fiddle.
Dickie Jones, Laura Lee and Dickie McBride - 1950.
The Texas Drifters with Leo's Brother "Red".
Another shot of the Village Boys.. Suits AND Amps... wow... High-Toned outfit for sure!
I may be messing up his name here... Joe Hencler, Hudler (?) from the Houston area.
Leo's brother Darold with Lester Woyrek.
Ted Daffan.... A jack of all trades.... Musician, Singer/songwriter and the builder of Leo's pickup for his Gibson Mandolin.
They call him the Father of Texas Swing.... Floyd Tillman.
The legendary Musician and businessman Hank Snow.
I'm not sure here but it appears Bob Wills and Leo are having TOO good a time!
Let's see... Leo, Floyd Tillman, Joe Irby and that's a young Hank Williams on his first pass through Houston!
It's amazing what you find inside a Mandolin case.... Here's a letter from Floyd Tillman saying that Johnny Gimble
wants his address to ask about the health of his brother "Red".
Newspaper clipping of Moon Mullican's passing.
Set List from ???.
Milton Brown dies at 32 with a 16 year old girl in the car? Hmmmm.... never heard that before... and check out that ad... "Battle Dance" is that like a Battle of the Bands...? The Cotton Club in Harlem had the same kinds of shows.
I love this shot... nothing like a hard workin' player! No matter what age!
All Photos ©2017 Gary Raley