I felt great that Saturday evening driving to join my band at the College Inn in Thibodaux. This was less than one year after I had joined “The Dominoes” and just that morning I had negotiated a record contract with Floyd Soileau of Jin Records to record the band with me singing one song and bandleader Leroy Trosclair’s brother Errol the other.
I had written the songs and Ricky Folse, Pott Folse’s, son the arrangements. The contract was in my brief case and ready to sign.
Since 1957, Jin records in Ville Platte had several million selling releases, Rod Bernard’s “This Should go on Forever”, Johnny Allan’s “Lonely Days, Lonely Nights”, and Jivin’ Gene’s “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”, and now, I thought, here come The Dominoes.
My producing arrangement with Floyd for Joe Barry and Vin Bruce was still ahead.
It was not to be.
After the dance, before I could tell them the news, they had news for me. I was told, “We asked you to get a Bassman amp, because your set up does not look professional. Gerald Adams from Mathews is replacing you.”
I was surprised and answered, “But you said it sounds good.”
I was answered, “It’s just a big box. Doesn’t look good. Gerald has a new Bassman amp and a Fender Precession bass.”
I took a drink, shook hands, told them “OK, no fuss, no bother, I’ll survive.”
Then, to quote an old song, “I turned and walked slowly away,” the record contract still in my brief case.
I had other irons on the fire. Gerald Adams and I were and continued to be friends. My termination was either the amplifier situation or that Gerald was a better bass player. I want to believe the former, but it was probably the latter. Gerald Adams was then a better bass player.
In 1962, I negotiated a recording contract for Vin Bruce with Floyd Soileau’s “Swallow” label, but that’s the next 25 years of my musical career and future columns.
As we talked I asked Floyd if the Dominoes contract was still available.
“Sure,” he said. “You just produced a million seller for me by Joe Barry and I like your voice and your songs. Use the Vikings and Cosimo’s studio.”
In the next ten years I recorded 18 sides for Jin records as Lee Martin and a few others on Rod Rodrigue’s Desire label.
My records were only mildly successful, only two hits in 10 years, “Born to be a Loser” and “There Goes That Train”.
I realized that I was not setting the world on fire so I gave up recording. I had my radio show, my song writing and the assessor’s office job and my Kay bass flat on ready. What? Me worry?
In April I had a phone conversation with Leroy Trosclair, former bandleader of The Dominoes who was in Terrebonne General Hospital recovering from a leg amputation due to diabetes.
We reminisced at length about our band days and our most memorable night. It was October 31, 1959 and we were playing at Yot’s Steak House in Houma, but everybody wanted to be at the LSU / Ole Miss game in Baton Rouge.
Every member of the band had an ear piece plugged into a transistor radio in their pocket. Everyone but me!
The legendary rivalry came down to this game and the world stood still (at least Louisiana and Mississippi) as All American Billy Cannon ran over the entire Ole Miss defense for a touchdown and a big win.
I kept playing until I noticed I was playing alone---the band had stopped in the middle of, of all songs, Tommy Edward’s “It’s All In The Game” and the band was cheering along with the crowd. Few were dancing and every table had a radio tuned to the game. That one-minute touchdown run has been played on TV every Halloween night for over 56 years. What a night!
Summerizing: “You’re Fired” - Donald Trump, “It Only Hurts for a Little While” - Ann Murray, and “Are You Ready for Some Football?” - Hank Williams, Jr.
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Posted on Tue, May 17, 2016
by Leroy Martin, Contributing Writer