How It All Began
Well, I’ve been told that I must write a bio for my web site, however, I can’t bring myself
to tell you that I like soft summer nights walking on the beach, or sitting in a porch
swing of a cabin on the lake watching the sun go down reflecting off the water, or as
Waylon so aptly put it, ”guitars that tune good and firm feeling women”.
So, let me tell you that my late Uncle Ray Homann gave me an old acoustic Harmony
guitar when I was sixteen years old and I laid in bed for months playing the same chords
over and over again until I could play a Hank Williams Sr. song, front to back. Funny,
I’m still playing it (“You Win Again” ) today.
Went off to Howard Payne College, and met a guy named Kim Espy who liked to sing.
We bought baritone uke’s and I taught him to play. We started singing around
Brownwood, Texas and had a little radio show on KEAN, Brownwood. We met up with a
basketball player at school named Ray Hildebrand who later became the Paul of
Paul and Paula. Ray wrote the # 1 world wide hit, “Hey, Hey Paula”. Kim and I rode with
“Paul and Paula” to do a concert in Ft. Worth with Bruce Channel of “Hey Baby” fame, Claude King Of “Wolverton Mountain” fame, Jimmy Velvet and Scotty McKay. We went along just to listen but they were short one act and asked Ray if they could do another twenty minutes.
Ray said, “No” and I spoke up and said, “We’ve got 20 minutes”. The DJ turned to Ray and asked, “Is he for real?” Ray said, “Oh yes, put them up there.” He asked me who we were and I had just seen a new sign for a new hotel chain and said, “The Ramadas”. Right then and there we became The Ramadas. We got a standing ovation and as we walked off the stage, a man sitting in a chair asked me if we had a record deal. I said,”No.” and he said, “You do now. Can you be in Ft. Worth to record next week?’ We did and became “The Ramadas” signed to Phillips Records, a major label.
Later, I formed Neal Ford and The Fanatics and was signed to another major label out of Nashville, Hickory Records a division of the great publishing giant, Acuff/Rose Publishing. ‘Nuff said for now!