Friday, July 18, 2008

Lloyd Reading, His Journey Through The Past, Part 2 - RAINBOW GARDENS

Lloyd Reading, His Journey Through The Past,Part Two, Rainbow Gardens Honky Tonk

Kern County Museum BW photos.

Lloyd, his daughter Anna and myself, had just left the the old Pumpkin Center Barn Dance and I fallowed there red dodge mini van down Taft Hwy to Union Ave. I followed then in my old Dodge truck for several miles North to the "Basque Club". We pulled into the parking lot and excitedly got out of our cars. Lloyd thought the building had been torn down and moved, however it turned out that it was Union Ave that had actually been moved and the building was the same, someone had put stucco on it and taken off the large wooden panels on the front that used to open up for ventilation.

Some Basque fellows were playing handball in the back, the place was very famous for this years after Lloyd had frequented the place. The old place was closed but one of the fellows was kind enough to unlock the front door and let us have the run of it. We were in shock to see the wooden dance floor and stage just how it was the last time Lloyd was there 70+ years ago. It was an honor to sit on the same stage as Lloyd Reading over seven decade since he rocked the house and pick some tunes with him. I think it was one of the coolest things I have ever done, the best musical moment "that's -aw-foe-show". It was hot in there and the ghosts of the past were dancing around the stage as we played on, wouldn't you know it my B string tuning peg was broken and I had a sour note, the ghost audience was oblivious to my circumstance and danced on. Where is Richard at the Trouts' Blackboard when I need his tuners ear!

Next time catch a ride with Hank and Lloyd to another haunted honky-tonk!

"The Blackboard was hot, but Rainbow Gardens was close behind, thanks to visits by performers like the Everly Brothers, performing here in about 1958 with Buck Owens, Jelly Sanders and others" (BKS). Lloyd played in the same band with Jelly Sanders and many of the others. More episodes to come on this later!

I consider myself really lucky to have met and played music with Lloyd. He is a great
singer, guitarist and song writer. He has the voice of Ralph Stanley and writing skill of Hank Williams. Lloyd is a great source of information on the early days of country music and has toured and played with many of the greats, including Bob Wills.
He is the nicest fellow you can meet. I hope to play music with him again soon and perhaps we can get another interview! You can find Loyd at Trouts' Blackboard and Green Room for jam session, shows and festivals. Lloyd got a standing ovation at this years Bakersfield Music Festival (Buck Fest). Lloyd was also honored at the Bakersfield Music Awards at Trouts.


I’ve been doin’ this music since I was 14. I had a band in Visalia in 1952 and had the band for 47 years, “The California Playboys”. I did all the Bob Wills stuff. I grew up with that music in Okalahoma. I had Joe Holly in my band for eight years before he passed away and we did all that stuff. I always followed that trend, because I grew up with it.
I’m going into the studio soon with my grand son, Mike, as engineer and I have a lead fiddler from the Fresno area comin’ down. She does all the Bob Wills stuff….those long….. drawn out notes, were going to get those recordings started and give them to Joe Streep.
Ya, I came here in 1938 and left and came back and I’ll be here until I die. I am proud to be here. (Hank Ray from: Bakotopia Magazine, Page 14: July 2008)

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