Very popular throughout the Southwest, the Chevelle Five competed in a Battle of the Bands and for the grand prize won a trip to Hollywood in 1967. While there they recorded the classic “Dangling Little Friends” – a great, lush song that differed greatly from the group’s earlier “garage band” sound. Lead guitarist Jack Chisholm had written the song, and along with songwriting partner Tommy Nixon composed many of the band’s original compositions. Here are his recollections of his time spent wit...
Very popular throughout the Southwest, the Chevelle Five competed in a Battle of the Bands and for the grand prize won a trip to Hollywood in 1967. While there they recorded the classic “Dangling Little Friends” – a great, lush song that differed greatly from the group’s earlier “garage band” sound. Lead guitarist Jack Chisholm had written the song, and along with songwriting partner Tommy Nixon composed many of the band’s original compositions. Here are his recollections of his time spent with the Chevelle Five.
I first got interested when I heard a friend playing the theme song to old TV show Peter Gunn. I was hooked from that point.
The Chevelle Five consisted of: Jack Chisholm - lead guitar; Charlie Taylor – drums; Tommy Nixon – bass; Bobby Vanoy – rhythm; and Tommy Swindle – organ. We played stage shows, teen clubs, and most all the colleges in the old southwest conference schools: Texas, Texas Tech, SMU, Arkansas, Baylor and into Oklahoma university. We also played state fairs and local fairs, and once we were featured with Roy Clark and Johnny Tillotson. We played lots of local places but mostly played out on the road in Dallas, Oklahoma, and Houston.
We played heavy, driving rock and roll and were influenced by old rock stars. Such as Chuck Berry, Elvis, the Beatles, Stones, James Brown, and many English groups as well. I remember other local bands such as the Living End, the Traditions and many other good groups from our area.
Our 45 records were recorded in San Angelo, Texas (“Come Back Bird” / “Koko Joe” and “I’m Sorry Girl” / “Come Back Bird”) along with numerous demo sound tracks. Our earlier sound demo tapes were recorded in Big Spring, Texas at Ben Hall Studios. We wrote many songs. Most were written with my bass player Tommy Nixon. So it was a “J.Chisholm-T.Nixon” effort. Tommy still remains road agent for the Eagles. Many recorded songs still exist; some were written by other song writers, some by us.
We recorded “Dangling Little Friends” (b/w “Stone and Steel Man”) in Hollywood at Pat Boone’s old Dot Studio. It was the same studio where the Association recorded "Cherish". We kicked off the Christmas parade in Hollywood but later went clubbing that night with more publicity photos. We later took lots of tours of Hollywood and the studios. We met Van Williams (the Green Hornet) and also met Bruce Lee, his sidekick. It was taken as part of the private tour we were given of 20th Century Fox and Columbia studios. We didn’t make any TV appearances while we were in Hollywood (we made many local TV appearances like March of Dimes telethons, etc.) but took lots of publicity photos and made endorsements.
We had a great manager, Max Irwin. He was with us for several years and was a very aggressive business man. We couldn’t have made it without him!
I left the before band it dissolved. I went into the armed services and was replaced in the group. The band continued on for around two years. Today I still pick and grin but for personal pleasure. My brother plays with groups and has taken up the gauntlet. He is good and is into country and blue grass music.
It was a great time in our lives and I shall always remember the wonderful experiences we shared. I will always remember our rhythm player Bobby Vanoy who at age 50 passed away. These are memories that will never fade. They only get richer with age.
Jack Chisholm, lead guitar - the Chevelle V (1963-1967)
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