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Articles » Interview with Don Woody

Interview with Don Woody
Date of Publication -07 February 2007
Topic - Interviews
Author of the article: kitti
Total Vote Count - (6 users gave their votes)

It was taken by Lotta and Kitti specially for the Official Website of Don Woody in December of 2003.

Lotta & Kitti : Where were you born?

Don Woody : I was born in a very small town in the state of Missouri named Tuscumbia.

L.K. What college have you attended?

D.W. Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

L.K. How long had you been working as a DJ? And why did you choose this way after your graduation?

D.W. I started as a DJ when I was a junior in high school. After graduating from High School I got a job in Springfield, Missouri and worked as a DJ while I was attending College. It was a "Top Forty" Rock and Roll station. After graduation, I served in the Military and then returned to the radio station after Military duty for about 2 years.

L.K. What kind of music did you prefer that time?

D.W. I was a real fan of Rock and Roll, and rock-a-billy.

L.K. When and where did you meet your friend Paul Simmons?

D.W. I met Paul in college. We were fraternity brothers and room - mates.

L.K. Did he write some more songs? What he is doing now?

D.W. Paul was a star basketball player and when he graduated, he went on to get his Masters in Education and became a Supertindent of Schools. He wrote some more songs, but never seemed to get any published.

L.K. How did you start to work with the Bradley Film & Recording Studio?

D.W. I signed a contract with Decca records and Paul Bradley was the A & R man for Decca, he set up the recording session.

L.K. Can you play any musical instrument?

D.W. Sad to say, I cannot play any instrument, nor can I read any music. I would come up with the "melody" in my head. Paul and I would write the words and then we had a music student listen to the tape and put in down on paper.

L.K. Who were your influences in music?

D.W. Elvis, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent and Bill Haley.

L.K. Did you write your songs for yourself or did you plan that someone else would perform them?

D.W. I always thought that the songs would be recorded by someone else. But I sang on the "demos" for the songs. Paul Bradley heard the tapes when he was looking for a song for Brenda Lee and signed me to a contract.

L.K. Have you ever performed "Bigelow 6200" by yourself?

D.W. No I never performed it other than the demo tape.

L.K. How did it happen that Brenda Lee sang your "Bigelow 6200"?

D.W. I was working at a TV show with Red Foley called "The Ozark Jubilee". The show was produced and broadcast in Springfield, Missouri. Brenda appeared on the show at 11 yrs of age. My Manager thought that "Bigelow 6200" would be good for her and arranged to have it played for her manager.

L.K. How did you create your songs? Do your songs have some histories of their creation?

D.W. I'll have to answer that one later, I never really gave that much thought. Mainly the songs were just a reflection of what was going on at that time, "hip" slang etc.

L.K. Why did you decide to call one of your songs "Bird Dog"? Did you know that Everly Brothersí "Bird Dog" was recorded around the same time?

D.W. Actually, our song "Bird Dog" was before the Everly Brothers recorded theirs. We had released my Decca record and about 2 weeks later The Everly Brothers record was released. Obviously theirs was a big hit. At the time, one of the teenagers saying was "Bird-dogging" it refered to a boy searching for a girl.

L.K. Do you have some more songs besides these six?

D.W. I did write several more songs (even continue to do some today), but unless you are in one of the major areas such as Nashville, or New York or Los Angeles, it is very hard to get any one to listen to the demo tapes.

L.K. Why did you decide to give up your music career?

D.W. I was offered a job in Nashville at a publishing company to write songs. It was a small firm (just getting started) and I would have had to try to find another job on the radio to supplement my income. I was married, and we just had our 1st child. I felt I needed a more steady job to support the family. I didn't feel like my "music career" would bring in enough money at that time.

L.K. What do you think about the fact that many bands cover your songs? Have you heard them? What do you think about it?

D.W. Paul and I are honored that so many bands have "covered" the songs. I think they are all great!!! It is very interesting the interpretation they have given to the songs, and I love every one of them.

L.K. Donít you think that you are more popular in music now, than in 50s?

D.W. I didn't know I was popular now, until I received your e-mail about the web - site. Since then seeing the "Rock-a- Billy" Hall of Fame stuff and the letters from fans, I am truly amazed.

L.K. Thank you for your answers!

D.W. Thanks for the job you are doing, I appreciate it very much.

(December 2003)

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