Ronnie McDowell Band (1977-1981)
In the fall of 1977, I was offered a terrific opportunity to join country artist Ronnie McDowell's backup band as his keyboardist and band leader. A couple months earlier, Ronnie scored a major hit with "The King is Gone", a song about the recent death of Elvis Presley. Since Ronnie was just starting out, he didn't own a bus; so it was up to the band to drive ourselves to the gigs in a van pulling a U-haul. We did this for the first six months and it was brutal. Some of the shows were 500 miles apart. At the same time, I consider this to be one of the most fun and rewarding times of my life. Ronnie was (and still is) a great person. He had an easy going style and taught me a lot about being a showman on stage. Ronnie also loved to play practical jokes. It was not unusual to have a pitcher of ice water dumped on you while you were in the shower or, from the back of the bus, hear a bloody scream as one of the guys discovered a rubber snake in his bunk. Ronnie sure kept things interesting. Highlights: Appearing on the "Grand Ole Opry" and "Hee Haw".
Above left to right: Ronnie McDowell, Bo Sloan, Jack Hunter, Ronnie "Tugboat" Thurman,
Jackie Brassell, Doug Anderson and Robbie Thompson.
Bo backstage at the Grand Ole Opry - 1978
Above left to right: Joe Getsi, Doug Anderson, Robbie Thompson, Bo Sloan, Mark Getsi and Jackie Brassell
New Orleans 1980 - Above left to right: Jack Hunter, Reggie Jaggers, Bo Sloan and Jackie Brassell