Who was/is Weldon Rogers ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
WELDON ROGERS, the part Irish -part Cherokee son of a dustbowl farmer, was born in Marietta, Oklahoma on October 30, 1927. His family moved to Lamesa, Texas when he was about eight. They grew cotton and maize and worshipped at the small Baptist church where Rogers, who sang loudest, was selected as psalm leader.
Rogers has divided his long working life between jobs as a dee-jay, playing in a band at weekends and cutting records on the side. He first dee-jayed on KSML in Seminole, Texas in 1954 (his favourites included Ernest Tubb and Leon Payne) and cut his debut disc for Queen Records, a San Antonio label owned by Wink Lewis (though Hoyle Nix's records dominated the roster).
In 1955, local oilman Chester Oliver financed Je-Wel Records named after Weldon and Oliver's daughter, Jeanne, who played accordion in Rogers' band. They occupied a slot on Midland's KMID-TV on Saturday afternoons just before the Teen Kings, another local band whose leader, Roy Orbison, attended Odessa Junior College.
It was Chester Oliver's idea to record Orbison who cut his first record, Ooby Dooby and Trying To Get To You (Je-Wel 101), at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Other records on Weldon's own Jewel label featured Rogers and Wanda Wolfe - Everybody Wants You is a rare but rockin' duet - and Weldon and Wanda Rogers; Weldon married Wanda after she was divorced from Roswell-based singer, Bob Wolfe.
According to Rogers, he was introduced to Lew Chudd during a visit to Los Angeles. "I was signed to a contract", he recalled. "I went down to Wink, Texas and got Roy Orbison's band, the one he had used on 'Ooby Dooby'. I also visited my sister who lived in Andrews, Texas. When I left I had three songs written and on the way to the session with Roy's band in the car with me I said 'Well if I don't get four songs to record to take back to Lew Chudd it's gonna be so long, good luck, goodbye! And James Morrow said 'Hey, that's a good song title.' I drove the rest of the way to Clovis with one hand and wrote the song with the other one. After all was said and done it was the best of the bunch!"
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