Crow and Caldwell forge musical brotherhood from boyhood, beyond
Chris Caldwell and long-time best friend and collaborator for over 40 years Rob Crow visited Studio Blanket/Tent Fort to share some great tales from lives built on music and helping others for this week’s edition of the column’s radio show.
“We’ve got stories,” Caldwell said, “some we can tell, some we can’t.”
You couldn’t ask for two better ambassadors for the local music communities than these two. Regaling with tales from childhood to being teenagers joining Caldwell’s father’s renown band Billy Arnold & The Branders, these two know a thing about local music’s history and its legacy. For Caldwell, it begins when he was born.
“I’ve had a guitar since I was 5,” Caldwell said, “actually, since I was a baby.”
Like most good musicians, it took reaching the teens for the passion of music to take hold of Caldwell. Crow, a drummer and songwriter, caught its fever around then, too. The pair spent their early teens working as roadies for the father’s band. They each said they learned how to perform for an audience by being at those shows. At 17 and 15 years old, they got to join the band.
“We were just two young kids getting to play with a seasoned band,” Crow said. Caldwell quickly chimed in: “We thought we could play.”
Too young to drink or even be in the dance hall venues, Caldwell said they had to get special permits from then-Police Chief Robert Gilliam to perform. Over 40 years of performing together, coupled with friendship has forged brotherhood.
“Everything we did, we did together,” Crow said. “Music has been one thing that’s been constant. Friendship’s first; music has always been there for us.”
The music they love and love to make most is traditional country music. Fans of good music of any genre, it was the dance hall songs causing boots to scoot that inspired their musical direction. Those dancehalls and Caldwell’s father’s knowledge of how to make them move motivates their music.
The first song written together, “Your Old Cold Shoulder” was born of happy coincidence. On a flight to Las Vegas in 1987, Caldwell was working on a song and found that a song Crow was working on made the perfect fit. A lot of boots have scooted to that song that’s since been recorded out of Nashville, Tenn., and Austin, Texas.
From those days, time together with the Chris Caldwell Band led them to stages with Willie Nelson and many more, a video with Merle Haggard and put them within proximity of many country stars.
“I don’t know we ever got over being starstruck,” Crow said.
With four albums and years on stage, Caldwell and Crow are more rarely found performing out these days. But when they do, you can bet people like the Reaves Brothers, Ralph Spears, and more will join them. Besides making beautiful music, it’s always for a good cause.
“We step out now and again to help our local people,” Caldwell said. “We’ve had a local area success story in terms of our contributions to music and being able to help people.”
Caldwell’s last album, “Life Goes On” is one of those ways of giving back. Available at www.ChrisCaldwellMusic.com, every dime earned from downloads goes to the Toby Keith Foundation.
That benevolence is also carried forward in hopes for future musicians from the Lawton area. Caldwell reminds them to make music and entertain people for the celebration found in it. Being true to you and your creativity, that’s the reward.
“Keep it real, keep it honest,” Caldwell said. “Don’t follow what everybody else is doing, always take a hard right.”
Caldwell and Crow made this week’s edition of Today’s Best Soundemonium! with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist a fun night of music, stories and laughter. I hope you turned in to hear “Your Old Cold Shoulder” performed. It was something special. A couple of other songs will be showing up in upcoming Mix Tape editions: “I Wanna Be Your Man” and Caldwell’s father’s song, “Take A Look At A Fool.”
We’re really fortunate to experience some real magic with musicians in the studio each week.
Jokey McJokerson wasn’t “sheepish” with this week’s joke set-up. Here’s the punchline:
Jokey’s Corner — TBD will be featured for Comedy Night for the weekly Saturday night series to be held in the Summit Ballroom at the Apache Casino Hotel, 2315 E. Gore. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for the 21-and-up show are $10 and may be purchased at the casino cage or online atwww.apachecasinohotel.com.
Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.
And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: email@example.com.
#Sundaymonium — Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week’s show followed by this latest show: 6 p.m., “The Hot 2s, Not Ones Special”; 6:30 p.m., Chris Caldwell and Rob Crow.
Tune in after Sunday’s show at 7 p.m. for the Steve-O’s weekly show, B-Sides Besides.
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Along with being the columnist of Soundemonium Musaic, Scott Rains is also a police, fire, Native Affairs and roller derby reporter for The Lawton Constitution. You can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apache Hotel & Casino, 2315 E. Gore, 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday: Midas 13; Thursday: Crosswind; Event Center: 7:30 p.m., Oct. 25: Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee; Nov. 22: Three Dog Night.
Wichita Sounds Band Dance, 911 NW Hilltop Drive. Each Friday, 7 — 10 pm. Traditional country, early rock-’n’-roll, and ballroom. Seven dollar entry includes soft drinks and potluck snacks. No smoking, No alcohol. Everyone welcome. 580-450-7063
BrookRidge Retirement Community, 7802 Quanah Parker Trailway. 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, free. 536-9700: Frank & Friends Musical Entertainers.
Cooperton Senior Citizens 2nd and 4th Saturday Dance, Cooperton School. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Kenneth Boyd, 580-530-9067: live band, free refreshments, family-friendly, smoke and alcohol free.
Park Tavern, 198 E. Lake Drive, Medicine Park, live music and karaoke; medicineparktavern.com. Friday, 8 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: TBD; Sunday Funday, 3 p.m.: TBD; second Thursday each month, 8-11 p.m.: Open mic night with Bob Avila and Jack Smiley.
Red Dirt Reloaded, 6425 Cache Road, 580-699-3478. Live music Friday 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: Dani Carson; Thursday, 9 p.m., Karaoke Dude.
Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan, live music begins at 9 p.m., alternative/metal/hardcore/punk. Live music Friday 9:30 p.m.: Gummy Worms Tour with Justin Symbol aka “Star Daddy” ft. DJ Swamp, Angel Nightmare, Requiem Rust, and Buddy Danger; Saturday, 10 p.m.: Sinfool, Fatal Illusion Fragmented Tranquility: Sunday, 8 p.m., Dead at the Head.
Guitar Bar, 1816 S. 11th, Monday: TBD; Tuesday: karaoke; Wednesday: acoustic open mic with Kris Brown; Thursday: acoustic with TBD; Friday, 9 p.m.: live music, Rob Swanda and Jim Harvey of the Grissleheads, 9 p.m.: karaoke with Tony Garrison; Sunday: 7 p.m.: open mic jam.
Bullpen, 11822 NW McClung Road, 592-5451, Friday, 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: TBD.
Fubar Saloon, No. 4 W. Lee, 699-3550, Friday, 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: Wildhorse Revenant.
Wall Street Bar, 23 N. 7th, Duncan, 580-255-7780, Friday, 9 p.m.: TBD; Saturday, 8 p.m.: Old 81.
Robinson’s Landing Marina & BBQ, north side of Lake Lawtonka, 1 mile west of Ann’s Country Kitchen to Lawtonka Road and down the shore line, free and open to the public, Friday, 6 p.m.: TBD; 7 p.m. Saturday: TBD; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31: Cashroh Kegger.