1973 The Mercey Brothers single of my song "Our Lovin'
Times" was a national top 10 hit at country music radio.
The first 6 months of '73 I had lived and worked in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, with a side trip by Greyhound one week-end to Lower
Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon returning back to Ontario
and catching up with The Mercey Brothers in Elmira, I quickly
settled in to a job and an apartment in nearby Kitchener so
as to be able to spend time with them in the studio writing
and recording. After a few months and time in Ottawa, I returned
to my hometown in '74 to set to work preparing for my eventual
big move to Toronto at the end of '75. I'm glad I waited because
on May 19, 1975 Johnny Cash, June Carter and Carl Perkins
performed a show in my town and I not only went to their show,
I tried racing their bus back to their hotel after the show
so I could meet Johnny Cash and personally present him with
a copy of The Mercey Brothers RCA Victor hit single of my
song. I'd be proud pointing out the songwriter's name between
the brackets under the title on the label.
running flat out beside the bus for blocks, it soon sped ahead
and made it back to their hotel several minutes before I caught
up to it parked in front of a hotel I knew well. I had worked
there as a busboy in the dining room when I was 15. I walked
into the lobby and stood at the front desk area across from
the dining room which was closed for the night. I noticed
the door wasn't shut tight, but slightly ajar, which suggested
it had been open but not shut completely. As I stood there,
a guy who looked like a musician emerged from the dining room
and paid his coffee bill at the front desk. I asked him if
he was with the Cash show. He said that he was. I then asked
him if Johnny Cash was in the dining room and if so, if it
might be ok to give him my record.
said, "son...you go right over to that door and walk
right in...Johnny Cash is in there with June and Carl".
Carter Cash and Carl Perkins were facing me at the door as
I walked in and they both looked at me and smiled warmly,
waving me to "come in, come in". Johnny had his
back to the door facing them and he turned around as I approached
their table to see who it was they were welcoming so warmly.
I swear I heard him say, "Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.
This is my wife June and my friend, the legendary rockabilly
cat, Carl Perkins".
the four of us seated around a big circular table in the dining
room at the Charlottetown Hotel. Accorded the privacy of enjoying
their post show coffee time in the dining room alone since
it was closed for the night. But they included me in that
circle that will be unbroken as long as I draw breath. We
talked for over an hour on songwriting, Nashville and much
more. It's the greatest music memory of my life meeting and
enjoying the company of these three towering rockabilly/country
music legends so beloved and revered by all the world.