Everyone in music has someone who initially inspires them, who starts them on the road to making their own music. Many of us in rock & roll had Buddy Holly, many Elvis Presley, others Eddie Cochran . . . the list could go on and on. But in my particular case, even towering above these stalwarts was “our own” local music hero, Bobby Fuller.
Of course, by “our own,” I mean El Paso’s own. Bobby was literally The Music King of Far West Texas and the General Surroundings. He was on top of the El Paso music world.
As a young junior high school student, I had no right to be paid any attention by this man. So when I approached him at a school dance, asking questions about music and guitars and songwriting and production and recording and anything else that flew into my mind, he probably should have sent me quietly on my way. But he didn’t. He was always the gentleman, always nice, and always ready to talk, to share ideas, to give of his own precious time and talent to some little kid who idolized him. At one Bassett Junior High School dance, I brazenly walked up and asked him if I could “sit in” at the end of a late set. He graciously allowed me to take a Stratocaster and play and sing with him, and “Donna” was one of the two songs I sang that night (the other was “Peggy Sue”).
I humbly and proudly say that I will never forget these kindnesses . . . this “jump start” into the world of rock music provided by Bobby Fuller. And it is precisely because of his generosity and kind attitude that I am now compelled to pay the biggest and best tribute that I am able—this album, West Texas Skyline.
There are so many great Bobby Fuller songs and recordings, I couldn’t possibly include all of them on one album. So I’ve chosen ten songs that were either done originally by Bobby or are associated with him, and two original songs I’ve written about the times, the places, and the people of El Paso, Texas.
Hopefully, in my own small way, this album can help rekindle an interest in Bobby’s originals. He was a true artist, a man ahead of his time, and a deeply caring perfectionist. This all shows in his wonderful songs.