What is there left to say of this legendary group? To quote one
person, "There is no one else in country music to compare with
Lester and the boys. They are in a class all their own. They are without
equals. They are unique."
The group's choice of music certainly takes one back to the golden era
of country music and when it was performed live over the radio airwaves.
Well, all-right, this group was from that mecca of country music,
Rainbow Valley. Their classic live album show was sponsored
by Burford, the Rainbow Valley barber.
The music of this group would have been lost if not for the efforts
of the Statler Brothers and Mercury Records back in 1974 or 1975 who
captured the group in a live performance at their regular Saturday night
show at the Johnny Mack Brown High School.
In typical fashion of the old-style hillbilly music shows of a long ago
era, each member of the band gets a turn in front of the microphone
on the live album. We get a duet number by Red and Wesley, "Filipino Baby",
the old Ernest Tubb classic. Their harmony is truly unforgettable. Or should
we say forgettable?
Lester himself is in fine form when he takes on the classic by Tennessee Ernie
Ford, Sixteen Tons.
And of course, the shows end with the typical song featuring the group
harmonies with such classics as "Keep on the Sunny Side" or "Church in the Wildwood".
We get to hear their talents on the instrumental numbers such as "Little Liza Jane", the
Cadillac Cowboys' musical theme or "Wildwood Flower".
Lester (Roadhog) Moran and his Cadillac Cowboys were first introduced to country
music fans when the Statler Brothers included them on their album, "Country Music:
Then And Now."
The group traveled to their personal appearances in an old renovated(?) van
that in one picture shows a bare lightbulb. Luxury was not what they were about -
they stayed true to their roots and their fans, which is part of their appeal.
The Mercury album includes a couple of gems - a recording of one of their
live Saturday morning radio shows along with a "confidential" audition tape
for a network.
This is indeed classic country music; at its best? Maybe not, but its from
The Statler Brothers of that era, Harold Reid, Don Reid, Phil Balsley and
Lew DeWitt are to be commended for their efforts in preserving this classic
bit of Americana.
Timeline & Trivia Notes
- Lester "Roadhog" Moran, lead, vocals