home page | discography | contact | links

A short biography by Richard Porter of The Poor Boys

I went through school with Bo but didn't know his that well then since he was a grade or two ahead of me. I knew he was a drummer but when I formed my band, I hired Carl Bunch was just out of junior high. Bo went to Clovis when the Roses did and they all lived in a run down motel at the edge of town. He was Norman's session drummer for a period of time while the Roses were session backup singers and Tommy Allsup and George Atwood were also session musicians.

In mid 1959, there wasn't enough session work for him so he returned to Odessa and I bumped into him there. We decided to partner in a "beatnik" coffee house although both of us were pretty straight laced kids with no scruffy beards and ragged clothes. We made a bit of money in it, then Bo decided to get married. Roland Pike, who later was to write songs for David Box bought out his interest and he and I were partners for a while.

Bo married Ella Dawn (Edie) McGuffin whose parents owned a truck stop restaurant far out on Odessa west side. I was best man. Bo had spent the afternoon out at the Odessa Country Club in the 19th hole sipping a few too many. At the actual ceremony, he leaned forward, I put out my elbow and he rested on it. He might have fallen.

I went into the Navy, then college and law school and pretty much lost contact with Bo. I went back to Odessa in the late 60's and he had opened a small business repairing diesel engines. I think his company was called "Prairie Dog Diesel" and was across from the restaurant that Edie has inherited from her folks. That was the last time I saw Bo.
About the author :

L-R Top; Richard Porter, Eddie Williams; L-R Bottom; Bob Hardwick, Ronnie Smith, Carl Bunch

Richard Porter, a student at Odessa High School, began his early music career by singing with a local country band led by Hank Telford during the summer of 1955. After getting some professional experience with Hank's band Richard began the process of putting together a group with his friend and steel guitar player Eddie Williams. After playing a few gigs with local musicians Bob Caudle (lead guitar) and Ben Bevers (drums) they met Carl Bunch. Carl was playing drums for a dance with the Hood Junior High Orchestra when Richard and Eddie decided to drop by for a listen. They were impressed with his performance offering him the chance to be a part of their new group. Carl Bunch became the drummer and Carl's friend, Bob Hardwick, became the up-right bass player. The group became popular around the area and when Elvis Presley's film debut "Love Me Tender" began showing across West Texas in 1956 Richard decided to named the band 'The Poor Boys" the title of one of the songs. Like many other groups across West Texas during this period "The Poor Boys" quickly moved into rockabilly with Eddie moving from steel to lead guitar. Ronnie Smith (vocalist) joined the group after they backed him at telethon held at the County Park Auditorium. As the band began getting more and bigger bookings Brent Clark (sax) and Roy Licon (trumpet) were added. When Roy Orbison and The Teen Kings began touring The Poor Boys replaced them on their weekly KOSA-TV show sponsored by Pioneer furniture along with performing once a week on KJBC in Midland. The group recorded in Ft. Worth and again in Clovis at Norman Petty Studios. Carl Bunch (drums) went on to become a member of Buddy Holly's band on the ill-fated tour, worked with Roy Orbison, Hank Williams Jr. and Bob Osborn's band. Ronnie Smith joined the Winter Dance Party tour as vocalist after Buddy Holly's death. Richard Porter went on to play football at S.M.U. graduating in1966 from S.M.U. in Dallas then earned a law degree at the University of Florida.

From The West Texas Music Hall Of Fame

Richard Porter at the Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, Texas - 2004

More info on Richard Porter : Lance Monthly Interview
More info on Carl Bunch : Lance Monthly Interview
The Lance Monthly Archives
home page | discography | contact | links