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Comments & Recollections 10

JERRY ZIELKE writes from Illinois about his lifelong admiration of the music of Travis Edmonson.

“I had three of the original "Bud and Travis" 33LP albums that I purchased in 1959 when in the US Air Force stationed in Okinawa, and  still have all of them (but one of the "Bud & Travis ...In Concert" LPs disappeared somewhere in the last 50 years.

 I recently came across The above LP's which  have been packed away for several years. Oh, such good memories! I am downsizing and must eliminate a lot of my personal possessions. THESE ALBUMS WILL NOT BE SOMETHING I ELIMINATE.

I'd list "Delia's Gone" as my favorite song.  I have enjoyed the music of Bud & Travis for many years and find it impossible to list only one song or album.

I was sorry to hear of Travis Edmonson's health issues. Life does deal us a strange hand sometimes. My thoughts and prayers are with him. It sounds like he is making the most of it though if he was able to join in with the Kingston Trio in August.  Great!”

 Jerry Zielke
September 2005

Entertainer HARRIS GOODMAN recalls his friend Rick Sohn who formed a duo patterned after Bud & Travis.

“I became a big fan of Travis Edmonson's music about 12 years ago when I became friends with a wonderful gentleman named Rick Sohn.  Rick and I met when he and his wife Margaret came to see me perform in a club in Woodbridge, New Jersey and every Thursday night they would show up and try to stump me with obscure requests (most of which, I'm proud to say, I was able to fulfill).  Rick asked me if I knew the song “It Was A Very Good Year”.  I said “Sure…the Frank Sinatra song.”  His reply was “No….you mean the `Bud & Travis' song”.  I said “Who?”  Rick then assured me that I hadn't really heard the song if I hadn't yet heard it done by Bud & Travis.

A few weeks later, I was invited to Rick and Margaret's house for dinner, and Rick played me the “In Person at the Cellar Door” album.  I was enthralled not just by the incredible musicianship and beautiful vocal blend, but by the between-song banter.  At that moment, I became a fan.

Rick loved to tell the story of how, as a young man in college (somewhere in Northern New Jersey, I believe, though I can't recall the name of the school) he was asked to provide sleeping arrangements for one half a performing duo who were playing a gig at his school.  That person was Travis Edmonson.  Rick always said that meeting Travis and getting the chance to sing with him was one of the major highlights of his life.  Soon after that experience, he formed a folk duo with his friend Peter Hynes.  They billed themselves as “Pete & Rick” and patterned their repertoire after Bud & Travis.  

Travis had an enormous impact on Rick's life, as well as mine.  Rick passed away in January  2006 at the age of 62.  To this day, when I visit with his wife Margaret, we listen to “South Wind”, or “Better Than Anything” which were two of Rick's favorite songs in the world, and reminisce, laugh, and cry.

Bless Travis Edmonson for all the joy that he and his music have brought to so very many people.  He remains in my thoughts and prayers.”

Harrris Goodman
January 2007

LES BLANK, now resident in Texas, considers himself one of The Fortunate, having been on hand for the memorable concert on March 24, 1960 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.  The voice of Travis Edmonson has remained a fixture on his musical program ever since. And thanks to recent releases on CD, that now means a constant part of his driving and home listening.

“Two days ago marked the forty fifth anniversary of one of the most memorable events of my life. My betrothed( who bought the tickets as a birthday present for me) and I sat in row 11, seats 7 & 8 in the Santa Monica Civic to hear three hours of absolute joy. Bud and Travis have been my favorites ever since.  They were unsurpassed in talent and stage presence, and far outclassed most of the folk acts performing during their heyday.

I have seen them perform four times - the big concert, and in two coffeehouses in Southern California. The last time I saw them together was in 1966 (if my memory serves me) in a coffeehouse in Buena Park, California.

Someone asked Bud to do `Johnnie, I Hardly Knew You,' and he replied that they hadn't been doing any solos. Travis then said to go ahead, and he would also do one. Bud did it, to a standing ovation, and then Travis sang `Guess I'll Go Home,' and brought down the house.  At the end, they shouted 'Never!'”

Les Blank
March 2005

LES BLANK, who has shared his recollections of the great concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, credits his knowledge of the Bud & Travis repertoire for making him look good at a recent family outing which also spurred a special memory of another wonderful  performance of theirs he attended.

“the other day my youngest son, his wife (who is Hispanic) and three kids went to Incredible Pizza for my granddaughter's eighth birthday.  They were playing all the old 50's and 60's rock and roll songs and they had a karaoke stage. My daughter in law pulled me up there and we did La Bamba. Most all who heard were surprised that I knew the words !! Even Melinda said `Dad, where did you learn the last verses??'

The last time I saw B&T perform together was just after they'd released The Latin Album. They were in rare form that night - the asides were classic , and they were in perfect voice. They sang "Anna" and mentioned it during the intro that it was included on their latest. It was the only time I heard them do that one.

Les Blank with grandson Dylan, who's been indoctrinated on Bud & Travis music since he was a few weeks old

They did two sets, and the second set was a very long one. When they finished up with La Bamba, the remaining 100 or so of us (it must have been two o'clock) were dumbstruck. That night was second only to the Civic Auditorium concert !!

Travis was so very gracious.  The opening act that night was a Calypso singer from Bimini named Jean Durand. He had been getting a lot of heckling from a couple sitting down front who obviously came just to be heard. She was dressed in the most outlandishly colored wrap-a-round I've ever seen and he looked like a London Teddy Boy. When their noise wouldn't stop after repeated requests, Bud and Travis came up on the stage and proceeded to verbally lay them out and I mean out !!

Travis then asked for security personnel to remove them, which they did. Durand then personally thanked B&T, and mentioned he would like to dedicate a song to the occasion. He started "Delia's Gon,e" and Bud and Trav joined right in like it had been planned all along. I wonder if Travis remembers that night like I do - as I said - it was truly historic !!”

Les Blank
June 2006

Musician VAUGHN RIPLEY  has particular appreciation for Travis Edmonson as a composer and arranger.

”I have played the guitar for twenty-five years and covered most styles  including: heavy metal, blues, country, folk, pop rock, and even some  classical. But, I received my initial musical influence by listening to one of my dad's reel-to-reel tapes of Bud and Travis playing "Cloudy Summer Afternoon." This song is a simple arrangement of words and music that comes together to create a magical combination that I can never forget! From the moment I heard this song, Travis Edmonson inspired me to pickup the guitar and play. Twenty-five years later, I still enjoy playing and singing this beautiful classic.”

Vaughn Ripley
July 2006

Native Arizonan DON DECKER recalls how Travis Edmonson's music influenced him in his teens, and has continued to be an inspiration through the years, in addition to sharing some very special musical moments.

"In 1961 or 1962 I saw Travis with Bud Dashiell  at Portofino's in Scottsdale for the very first time. Another new comer to the scene at that time was Arizona's own Dolan Ellis who sang that evening as well. Ellis later went on to sing with the New Christy Minstrels.

 I was a wet-behind-the-ear San Carlos, Arizona Apache kid of 15 years who never saw beyond the hills of that community until I walked into Portofino's with my high school choral teacher and his wife one evening. I was hooked from then on.

I got my first Martin folk guitar and blazed on the stage of Globe High School talent show singing “Poor Sinnerman'” and “They Call the Wind Mariah'”with two Hispanic classmates who strummed along that year. From there on, the little copper mining town of Globe got its' taste of folk music on a regular basis at school and the local ladies' auxiliary luncheons!

It wasn't until 1967 that I went to the Gate of Horn in Chicago for open-mike (where B&T sang at an earlier date) and sang many of the songs written by this great singing team. In 1968, while I was attending Eastern Illinois University, I played in a folk singing quartet from Charleston, Illinois called the Marcus Kenyon Singers who took first place in an amateur contest at the Illinois State Fair. That same evening we were on the same billboard with Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs (Wooly Bully) and Paul Revere and the Raiders in front of 27,000 people.

In 1975 I attended Travis' alma mater at the UofA in Tucson for graduate school and caught up with Travis at the Cliff Manor Supper Club in north Tucson where Travis allowed me to play his guitar on his stage . I played “Cloudy Summer Afternoon” and “I'm A Drifter.” Travis wanted to know if I could play any of my original songs.

I believe that many of the B&T songs should be adopted into the mainstream K-12 choral music programs in America because these songs speak about the cultures of all Americans. B&T were ahead of their times.

Thank you Travis for broadening those early horizons!"

Don Decker
June 2004

MIKE SOLNER was pleased to discover, and writes about his love for The Latin Album.

“ Last year I introduced my new girl (even at age 58) friend to B&T. We are both Spanish speakers, and we seem to play only the Latin Album-over and over and over.

In Ensenada after an awful fishing trip, we went into some restaurant which, unknown to us, had a group of musicians.  We asked them to play Malaguena Salerosa and Sin Ti and you should have seen the expression on their faces as these two middle aged gringos sang along. Either they were B&T fans, or else you guys copied them.  It was a moving experience for both of us.

Thanks for all the joy over the years."

Mike Solner
July 2006

Fan of four decades plus, DENNIS LIEBL now a realtor  in Lake Tahoe, is another whom Travis Edmonson personally influenced to learn the guitar and perform.

“I have always been a huge fan of Bud and Travis since I first heard their unique sound around 1960. I had most every vinyl album they produced (still have a couple left) and had the priveledge of seeing them in concert at a local movie theatre in town, the Loyola Theater in Westchester, California,  near LAX in about 1961 or 1962.  It was an experience I will never forget. It was much like the "In Concert" album (one of my keepers), and included David Wheat backing them up. I was in the front row!!!!

Travis had such an influence on me, that I learned guitar and played many of his songs, ultimately forming a folk group and playing at parties during my college years. There has never been anything like Bud and Travis and the music Travis played.  I thank him from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could meet him in person and thank him  for all the many hours of enjoyment."

Dennis Liebl
March 2005

CAROLE BOYAJIAN makes her contribution to the website in the form of a note to Travis Edmonson.

"Dear Travis,

My boyfriend introduced me to you and Bud and I'm a huge fan. We've just stumbled onto your new website and are thrilled to have found you well and productive with your wonderful gift to us.

Just wanted you to know how much pleasure you've given both of us. Looking forward to learning more about this chapter of your successful talents.

Thank you.”

Carole Voyajian
July 2006

Fan of 40 years, JOAN RODRIGUEZ was a recipient of Travis Edmonson's famous generosity, when he invited her, along with a roommate, to attend a solo concert of his at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“Many years ago, when I was at UCSB, my roommate and I attended both the Bud and Travis concert and Travis' first solo concert. As is evident, the wonderful memory of that evening has stayed with me all my life.

Additionally, I might add, 30+ years ago, I named my son Travis, remembering Travis Edmondson, at a time when "Travis" was an almost unknown name. My son is half Puerto Rican, so you can imagine how rare the name was on the island at that time!  This is the highest of compliments I could have paid Mr. Edmondson.”

Joan Rodriguez
September 2005

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Travis Edmonson


 Heartwarming and charming Comments about and Recollections of Travis Edmonson sent in to the website during the last six years of his life

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Travis Edmonson in Memoriam - the touching tributes which poured in after his passing on May 9, 2009

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Travis saluted in May 2008 on the occasion of a concert held in his honor

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