Editor’s note: As told by Odis Echols Jr. to Don McAlavy on Sept. 4, 1998. In late 1953 my father, Odis “Pop” Echols bought the KCLV radio station in Clovis. To make ends meet, we put together shows from Clovis and went on the road to places such as Muleshoe, Plainview, and other small towns. Pop was master-of-ceremonies. We featured such singers as the Commodores, an all-male quartet from Lubbock. One of the group’s singers, Homer Tankersley, later moved to Clovis. He was known then as Ken Pepper, a name Pop Echols gave him. We had other musicians with us, too. We also had the Crowder Family, but the Commodores were the headline group as they had a Dot record contract. My pop grew up in music, having been the lead singer in the original Stamps Quartet. In 1931 he formed his own quartet, the Odis Echols and the Melody Boys. The group toured throughout the South and Southwest and was on the Mutual Radio Network. Pop’s radio career was based in Lubbock. In the late 1930s he worked with KFYO. In 1940 he joined the staff of KSEL. In 1956, pop and I put together a big show, the Pop Echols Reunion Show, at the Lubbock fairgrounds. Disc jockey Waylon Jennings interviewed me on KLLL about this big show, as I was the producer. Dave Stone and Hi Pockets Duncan of KDAV knew Buddy and Bob, kids who played at the local skating rinks. “Pop,” Dave Stone said, “I want you to hear these kids. See if you can give them some stage experience.” Pop had always been a promoter of musical talent. “If they are any good, maybe we’ll give them an encore,” he said. Stone’s KDAV station was sponsoring the show. We auditioned Buddy and Bob. This was our first contact with Buddy Holly. There was a huge crowd. Pop put Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery onstage first. They were getting their first big stage exposure. The Commodores were getting $400. Back then, we paid talents such as Willie Nelson, Roger Miller or Roy Orbison $400. However, Johnny Cash would ask for $900 or more. Elvis Presley had caught on big and for a short while one could get him for maybe $1,000. However, when we tried later to get him to Clovis, he was asking $5,000. We didn’t get him. Buddy and Bob had maybe 15 minutes on stage. The two boys did everything but take their clothes off. The crowd approved of them so Pop called them back for an encore. Backstage, after their number, I introduced Buddy and Bob to Norman Petty. At this time Norman, Vi and Jack Vaughn was famous for their Wheels and Almost Paradise recordings in the popular music style. However, they had yet to record Buddy Knox and his big hit Party Doll, the first rock n’ roll record sometime in 1956-57. Buddy was determined to make it in rock n’ roll the way Elvis did, he took no thought of Norman or going to Clovis to record. Petty’s kind of music wasn’t what he wanted to play. Ironically, in 1957, Norman Petty of Clovis gave Buddy Holly his first hit, That’ll Be The Day. Few people know that my father was one of the founders of the Louisiana Hayride show, together with the Shelton Brothers. Also, Pop published gospel music books and served as a director of the Gospel Music Association until his death. He is credited with helping budding young artists such as Faron Young, Tommy Sands, Glen Campbell and 19-year-old Charlie Phillips. Charlie was driving a tractor near Farwell, 10 miles east of Clovis, and came up with the song Sugartime. He took it to Pop who tried to get Norman Petty interested in recording it. For some reason Norman couldn’t at the time so we did a demo recording in the studios at KCLV. Not many know it, but the lead song wasn’t going to be Sugartime, but One Faded Rose. Some lady had written the poem and Pop had put music to it. Sugartime was put on the back side. Norman heard the demo and wanted to publish it, which he finally did, but the recording of Sugartime by the McGuire Sisters in 1958 made the record a hit. Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. His e-mail address is dmcalavy@telescopelab.com