Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Wullabies

I recently spoke with Bill Hegefeld who played in this little known 60's garage band from Marlin, Texas. Although they never released a record, they were a popular local live act in the area. 
Here is the information he shared on the bands history:

"The band was originally a group of guys from Marlin High school. The group members were, Bill Hegefeld (rhythm guitar), Ronnie Radle (lead guitar), Phillip Musia( bass guitar), Shelton Grote (singer) and Bryan Boyd(drums).  Danny Edmunds was added before we left high school as a singer. The band started in late 1965 and would stay around until November 1970, the last dance at a Marlin homecoming. The band was named by a foreign exchange student at Marlin High school, Rob Dowling of Australia. (Rob graduated with  the class of 1967). 

List of all band members:

Bill Hegefeld (1965 – November 1970) Marlin- played rhythm guitar from 65 to 67, then played bass guitar 67- 70.
Ronnie Radle (1965  – November 1970) Marlin -played lead guitar
Shelton Grote (1965 – November 1970) Marlin -played rhythm guitar and was lead singer
Bryan Boyd (1965 – 1968) Marlin -first drummer (after high school, Bryan joined the Navy)
Phillip Muse (1965-1966) Marlin-bass player
John Steinke (1966 -1966) Mart - played keyboard / singer
Danny Edmunds (1967- November 1970)   Marlin - singer
Bobby Collier (early part of 1968)-Marlin - played drums after Bryan left for Navy
Stewart Hegefeld (1967 - November 1970) Marlin -rhythm guitar
Joe Wayne Reynolds (1968-November 1970) Mart - keyboard player/ sax player / back-up singer
Ricky Enlow (1968) Lacy Lakeview (Connally) -third drummer (his family was Air Force and moved to another area)
Gary Burkett (1968-November 1970)( Lacy Lakeview (Connally)- last drummer
Rex Bell (1968) Thornton- rhythm guitar and singer

Our first dance was at the American Legion Hall in Mart in late 1966. The band played there on four or five occasions. 
The band played at three different Battle of the Bands in Waco, the first at the Waco Raleigh hotel (Sponsored by Chuck Harding). The others, at the Heart of Texas Exhibit Hall in 1967 and 1968.  I believe that one time it was even broadcast on KBGO radio.

The band played at high school dances in Mart, Marlin, Riesel, China Spring, Groesbeck and Connally. We also played at a Baylor fraternity party out at Lake Waco. On  New Year’s Eve 1969  we played at the “Spot”. We played at the grand opening of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on Valley Mills Drive. We also played private parties all over central Texas. Twice the band appeared on KCEN-Channel 6 on a show called "Tuff Enough". The band was hired to open a new club called Buddie's Teen Club on the New Dallas Highway, we played Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the opening.

One of the most memorable nights was at the Dr. Pepper stage at the Heart of Texas Fair Grounds, 1969. We were asked to play a one hour set.  When we started playing the crowd was light but grew to hundreds with people dancing on the concrete floor. The police tried to stop the dancing but gave up and left.  The band booked three dances that night, one for MCC and two for TSTI. It was a night when everything came together, the band had a perfect night...

The band last played in Marlin for a homecoming dance in November 1970.  The reason for the break-up was the draft and Vietnam war.  Ronnie's draft number was like number 8 so he joined the Texas National Guard and graduated from A & M.  Danny joined the Army, went to Nam and was a gunner on a helicopter. Joe Wayne joined the Army and went overseas to Germany. Gary joined the Air Force and was a member of the Air Force band. The rest of us finished college, married and got jobs.

The band gave us all some wonderful memories. When at class reunions, we talk about all the good times we experienced as a band. The Wullabies never recorded a record, which we regret but at the time, we were just having fun. The only recording we have is from a reel to reel recorder of a practice session in the living room of Ronnie’s home (Just one song).  The quality is poor and there was no PA so the singer had to just scream to be heard over the loud music.   As for pictures of the band, there are a few. They were taken by Jo Lynn Cooper of Marlin, who was one of our school  photographers for the class annual.  Pictures were taken at the American Legion Hall in Mart and at the Waco Exhibit Hall (Battle of the Bands in the spring of 1967).    


Bill, Ronnie, Shelton and Stewart would get together for another band in 1985 and played till 1993 as a country/ rock band named Reunion."

This just in! An open room reel to reel recording from 1969 of the Wullabies rehearsing a version of "In A Gadda Da Vida."

Listen to it!