A look-back story sent to Audio Rumble from Louie Chaump:
I cannot remember the exact month and year but I remember everything else like it was yesterday. I was 25 and just got a promotion from the mail room at CBS Records to a full-time retail rep for CBS.
At the time we were distributing Columbia, Epic, Def Jam, Chrysalis and a few other record labels. Tommy was on Columbia Records. I was on the sales side. We took records to the retail distributors like Sound Warehouse, Hastings, Tower, Camelot, and the promotions guys took the music to local radio. The promo guys were the coolest. They were always bringing in the up-and-coming acts to our office, then to radio and then to dinner. And other times to a “record release” party where I would be responsible for bringing out the local record store managers. It was the best job ever.
I had an AMEX card and endless tab! I remember our Columbia promotions representative, Michael Scurlock, invited me to dinner with Tommy and a few of the other Young Rumblers. We went to a seafood restaurant near downtown Dallas. Tommy and the guys were super! They were polite, cordial and very outgoing. We had a great dinner.
The next night I think Tommy had a gig down at a venue on Elm Street in east Dallas. It’s call Deep Ellum down there; the area was an old jazz and blues mecca back in the day. I think in Dallas that year, he played a venue called Deep Ellum Live, but I’m not sure about that. The show was great, and the crowd was great. On another night, we had a party for retail and radio reps at Dave and Busters in north Dallas. The party was fun, and the band again was friendly and accommodating.
I had recently bought a 1973 Fender Stratocaster and I brought it in and asked Tommy to sign it. He looked at the guitar and saw that it had already been signed by Jimmie Vaughan. He was kind of taken aback, and expressed how he much he appreciated Jimmie’s playing. Then he signed my guitar.
I still have that guitar today, and since then I have had many other guitarists sign it including: Steve Howe (Yes), Vernon Reed (Living Color), Bill Carter, Charlie Sexton, Alejandro Escovedo, Willie Nelson, David Grissom, Dino Lee, Miles Zuniga (Fastball) and Chuck Prophet. Chuck was impressed that I knew of Tommy C...
Oh, one last thing. I believe Tommy was in Austin, Texas, the night before Dallas. He may have purchased the Antone's T-shirt at that time. I think he may have played at the Steamboat or the Backroom in Austin, but not sure. God bless Tommy Conwell! Still two of my favorite records ever are “Rumble” and “Guitar Trouble.”
Thanks, DJ Caterina, and I am glad to share this story with Audio Rumble and continuing the life line of rock and roll!
Love and peace,