David Muggleworth recounts life and times with Bud & Travis when they toured the east coast.
I had the great privilege of meeting and talking with Travis on numerous occasions during a three week period in the summer of 1964 at Virginia Beach, VA. He and Bud did a three week stand there at The Shadows. I was in a local folk group, The Shoremen, and we had played there as well, mostly on Hootenanny Night, but actually got a week's engagement in 1965. One of my band mates, Dave Glowacki, sent a letter to Travis through the B&T web site some time ago and reminisced about that summer.
Dave lived in an apartment complex at the south end of the Beach, which his mother ran, and that's where Bud and Travis stayed during their stint at The Shadows. That was how we got our personal introduction. Since we knew the folks at The Shadows, we got in free and spent many evenings there, and caught most of the Bud & Travis shows. By the end of those three weeks, we knew their act by heart.
We got to talk with Bud Dashiell and Travis Edmonson, and even accompanied Travis to a party where he performed informally. What a treat! I had become familiar with B&T a couple of years earlier and enjoyed their music; but after our experience of the summer of 1964, we positively idolized them.
We ran into both guys one more time that summer up in Northern Virginia. I had a friend in Arlington who had urged us to come up and play at the hootenanny night at The Cellar Door. It was always on Sunday night. We decided to make the trek and stayed with my friend at the Park Arlington Apartments, which were convenient to Georgetown and The Cellar Door.
On Sunday afternoon we did some mighty rehearsing, and then thought we would take in some sites before getting ready to go to "The Door" that evening. As we left my friend's apartment, we stopped in his doorway to talk and get directions. We weren't too concerned about noise since it was daytime, and I guess we got kind of loud.
We heard a door open, and turned to see, standing in the doorway exactly opposite us, Bud Dashiell. (It seems Bud and Travis were staying in this apartment building for their gig at The Door.) Apparently, Bud had decided to catch a few zzzs, and we had awakened him. He looked neither happy, amused, nor glad to see us again!
We fumbled all over ourselves, apologized, and looked for a rock to crawl under. He obviously recognized us, but I honestly can't recall if he ever said a word. He may have groused at us a bit, but truly, the LOOK was enough. As they say, if looks could kill, we would have performed that night with knots on our heads!
Being bright young lads, we figured out pretty quickly that it was time to be on our way. Slinging more apologies to a closing apartment door, we beat feet down the hall. As we were making our retreat, in front of us appeared a vision.
A tall slender gentleman was making his way in our direction with a woman of some girth wearing a diaphanous, flowing outfit. It was Travis Edmondson and Cass Elliott. (We had met Cass the summer before when she was playing at The Shadows in Virginia beach with The Big Three. At this time she was singing with The Mugwumps in Georgetown at the Scarlet Garter.)
We stopped to talk, and Travis actually seemed pleased to see us. Our reception was much sunnier than our experience of a minute ago, but then we had not just awakened him from his beauty rest. (Our bad!)
We had a great conversation, and told Travis of our recent transgression. I think he may have told us not to worry about it, but we were quiet in the vicinity of Bud's door thereafter.
Anyway, Travis asked us what we were doing in the area, and we told him of our intention to play at The Door that night. We knew he and Bud were playing there that week, and he told us they would be recording a live album during that time. This, of course, was the "In Person At The Cellar Door" album.
We were excited about the prospects of a new B&T release, and we all purchased a copy when it came out. I still have mine, but there are probably holes in it from all the times I played it.
We were delighted to recognize much of the material the guys had been doing during the previous weeks at The Shadows in Virginia Beach. It made the album seem very personal to us all.
We never saw the guys again, but we remain fans to this day. Dave, Larry (the third member of The Shoreman) and I went our separate ways as time, military service, families and occupations dictate; but, remarkably, found each other four years ago. Dave, still at The Beach, and Larry and I pretty close to each other in the Baltimore area.
We have gotten together to sing some of the old songs, and put together a short set to perform last year at an annual reunion of folks who were in the folk scene in Virginia Beach all those long years ago.
One of the first things we talked about when we got back together was that summer in 1964, and Bud and Travis. I got everybody a CD, The Best Of Bud and Travis, Dave got hold of The Tucson Tapes, and we still listen to, and love, the music.
I have introduced my three boys to the CD, and they have all downloaded it to their ipods. All three boys speak Spanish, as well as some other languages, so they can enjoy the Latin music in the original. My middle son, Peter, who speaks fluently with a Mexican accent, expressed amazement, after seeing the picture of B&T on the cover, that "those two white guys are singing that music?!!"
At the time, Pete was living in Los Angeles, and said what B&T were doing sounded just like the Latin-American performers he had listened to out there. B&T's music transcends time and generations.
I wish Travis well and still love his music. In the great folk scare of the 60's, it was common for local groups like ours to steal material from anyone we could, especially the BIG GUYS. I can honestly say, we never stole material from B&T. We knew we couldn't do it as well, and we had such respect for them, that it wouldn't have felt right. There was just one, tiny, little exception however: We certainly wish that we and Travis MAYBE SHOULD ALL ROOM TOGETHER NEXT SEMESTER!
LP recorded at The Ce in Washington, D. C.
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Travis Edmonson made his breakthrough with The Gateway Singers, resident group at the hungry i
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For More of the best in 1960s entertainment, Click the logo above to check out the ultimate illustrated guide to "I Spy" with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby at www.l23.org