Red Clay Ramblers

A Year in the Life of a Rambler

Bill Hicks' handwritten tour calendars for 1977 and comments from 2002.

"We did Diamond Studs in Chatanooga, and I stayed in a motel room with my dog.  The end of the month is the Chicago Folk Fest--and we got stuck in a blizzard on the way there." [see Blurred Time]

"The Deja Vu was a club in Raleigh where this guy sat down at a table right in front of us, poured a pint of Jack D in pitcher of beer, drank it all, and passed out.... all in about one set." (Cat's Cradle Calendars)

"NCAA finals!"

"Staten Island was that festival commemorated in my shirt on Merchant's Lunch." (see Poster Gallery)

"Luxembourg is where we landed, and Jack offered to toss all our records into the Mosel River--rather than pay duty to the German customs agent for what were only 'demos to be given away at gigs.'  Sweden was a hoot.  I found in the bookshelf of our host in Stockholm--a Fuzzy Mountain LP!  It got there before I did.  Look how long that trip was.... nearly 7 weeks in Europe" [see Blurred Time]

"Wise, VA, is the snow cone thing with Jack."  [Once, a straight-bluegrass fan, enraged by the band's use of horns in a string band, shouted "Trumpet don't belong in bluegrass!" and pegged a purple snowcone at Jack from point-blank range.] (see Romania Review and International Posters)

"Minneapolis is the Prairie Home Companion; Win is the Winnipeg Folk Festival --a great festival"

"DC recording sessions in August, that's for Merchant's Lunch.  Philly is Philadelphia Folk Festival, and Smithfield, VA is a bluegrass fest with John Hartford and other b.g. luminaries."

"Back to Prarie Home Companion yet again--Garrison musta liked us, huh?" (see Prairie Home Companion Newsletter)

Bill didn't finish writing in all the dates for the rest of the year, so we helped him out.  The Ramblers appeared with Ralph Stanley and Keith Whitley on the West Coast and Canada dates below.
"'Key Ring Country!!!' --Curly Ray Cline, McCabe's" (see Poster Gallery and Bill's Blurred Time "A Trip with Ralph)

"In one of the Oregon shows, Ralph and the other Clinch Mt. Boys left Curly Ray alone on the stage for his usual solo.... and as a joke on him, wouldn't come back out till he totally ran out of things to do.  Keith told me that one night he and Ricky Skaggs held Curly down in the motel room and stuffed a loaf of white bread in his mouth."

"P.B. Scotts was a bar in a geodesic dome with the weirdest sound you ever heard or tried to mix.  The Down Home, in Johnson City, TN, was a favorite gig and we returned there frequently to seranade Tank and company." (Review of show at the Down Home from Pickin' ; recent Down Home pics)

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August 13, 2002
updated January 14, 2015