Well hello there!
Willie was feeling a bit under the weather and unfortunately had to reschedule some tour dates. Sorry for the trouble, but here are the new dates for those shows:
3.30.2015 Columbia, MO at the Missouri Theatre
3.31.2015 Springfield, MO at the Shrine Mosque
4.02.2015 St. Charles, MO at the J. Scheidegger Center
4.03.2015 Newkirk, OK at the First Council Casino
Aaah, love to see friends at a Willie Nelson show in Texas! Willie Nelson fans are the nicest folks to hang out with. These are always the faces you see right at the gate, waiting to get in, and get close to Willie and the band. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Love them all.
WARNING: It’s not as glamourous or easy as they make it look, sitting out in the Texas sun for hours with no shade, waiting to get into a Willie Nelson show. They look like they just stepped out of the shower, don’t they? But, be forewarned, it’s not for the faint-of-heart. Don’t try this unless you are committed. This lifesyle’s not for everyone.
I went down to Kinkos
To get some faxin’ done
My ex girlfriend works down there
She was my number one
She said Billy I’m busy
Why don’t ya come around back
I’ll clear the store and lock the doors
We can fax all night
That’s what she said last night
That’s what she said last night
We can fax all night alright
That’s what she said last night
And thanks to the sweet Katie Perrin from Louisiana, for this photo. He might be looking at me, or I am going to pretend he was.
Short and sweet version of Shotgun Willie from last night’s show in Helotes.
photo: Robert B. MacCready
4214 Capital of TX Hwy. N., 512/327-9416
The sweet Cherie, from Texas and the great Billy Joe Shaver, at Floores Country Store, Helotes.
Billy Joe performed before Willie Nelson & Family tonight
So excited! I get to see Willie Nelson & Family tonight in Helotes!` Janis and I are on our way! We like to go early. Meeting up with friends from all over.
HELOTES, Texas — John T. Floore’s Country Store is comfortably nestled behind a tall wooden fence just beyond the outskirts of San Antonio. You can’t miss it — because the place has a huge sign out front. In fact, everywhere you look on the property, there’s a sign. And they’re all worth reading. To wit: “They said it couldn’t be done. And, by golly, it couldn’t!”
Floore’s, as it’s known, has been here since 1946, built as a store and dance hall by John T. Floore. He’s mentioned by name in Nelson’s song, “Shotgun Willie,” and Floore was Nelson’s partner in the original Willie Nelson Music Co. In the early days, Nelson used to play there every Saturday night. (There’s a sign that says so.) Floore died in 1975, and after his death, a box was found with dozens of his clever quotations. They’ve been scattered on the wall ever since, hanging around with multiple cowboy boots, wagon wheels and tons of framed photos of famous country singers.
Behind the restaurant is a stage, dozens of new picnic tables and a spread that can hold a few thousands folks. A giant tree serves as an elegant canopy over the patio.
“It’s something that’s been built over the last 60 years, rather than some kind of commercial building,” says general manager Stewart Rogers, who grew up nearby and started working there as a teenager. Now 29, he returned to the club after earning a college degree in history. “People spend millions of dollars trying to replicate what we have here. It’s something that’s been evolving ever since they opened in 1946.”
From the very start, Floore’s has attracted fans of live music throughout the Hill Country, and back in the day, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Ray Price all performed there. Robert Earl Keen recorded his highly regarded 1996 concert album, No. 2 Live Dinner, there. To this day, the club nurtures local talent like Kevin Fowler, Reckless Kelly and the Randy Rogers Band. Even the Wednesday night steak dinner is accompanied by live music. Early in his career, Jack Ingram remembers driving from Dallas to check out the scene at Floore’s
“I went there to play and fell in love with the place,” Ingram says. “[I thought] ‘Oh yeah, this is it. This captures everything about why I’m doing this.’ I’ve probably played there, over the years, 30 times. It’s the cold beer and the tamales and sitting outside, watching kids dance on a cement dance floor while somebody’s playing music. It’s the kind of family fun that Disney hasn’t reached yet.”
Ah, the tamales. While there’s always been a café at Floore’s, a full kitchen opened in June 2006, serving delicious tamales, sausages, homemade bread and more. This allows Floore’s to stay open during the week. There’s a sign out front bragging on the menu.
It just so happened that Nelson himself was performing there recently, and every age imaginable was represented. If you wanted to jump on top of a picnic table for a better view, you’d have to elbow your way through some exuberant retirees. Inside the bar, I chatted with Wayne McGiboney, a San Antonio resident who told me he and his friends once sat at the foot of the indoor stage in 1970 when Nelson played for four hours — a work ethic that Nelson has held onto. “It was one of the red-letter nights of my life,” McGiboney said.
“That’s the thing about the Hill Country, too,” says Ingram. “Willie is their guy and has been since he played there every Saturday night. I think there’s something really cool about a gathering place. We don’t have a whole lot of those anymore. It’s a destination point for not just music lovers but for people who want to be with each other. You don’t get that very often anymore.”
Ingram said he first played there in 1994. In 1996, he held his wedding rehearsal dinner there. He wasn’t crazy about the people who ran it at the time, though.
“The reputation was, if you go out there and play, you’ll be treated like s**t,” Ingram said. “The guy that owned it, uh, he just wasn’t known for his hospitality, let’s put it that way. But everybody wanted to play there anyway, which speaks volumes about just how strong the vibe was.”
Now on its fourth owner, Floore’s has been given a second life. They’re hooked up to city water for the first time. A new roof has been installed, along with air conditioning. A retro neon sign in the corner of the yard is shining once again. The picnic tables and the wooden fence are also new, along with a few outdoor bars. But even with extensive improvements and the encroaching city limits of San Antonio, the vibe hasn’t changed.
“It’s a relaxed atmosphere. That’s something that we, as management, are trying to keep intact,” says Rogers. “We want all of our customers to feel relaxed when they come in. No stress — because of what it is. It’s a beer hall. Come and enjoy yourself.”
“Willie always shows much respect towards his fans. He was changing out his strings when I asked him for a special request. The camera caught him saying “Sure!”. Bob Wills’ Roly Poly was performed shortly after this picture. Love you, Willie! God speed!”
— Laura Grunow Hewett
Thank you thank you thank you, Guthrie Thomas, and Budrock “The Illuminator” Prewitt, for the beautiful, cool Willie Nelson Rolling Stone guitar picks! So cool! A magazine cover on both sides.
The voting membership of the Bandera Music History Project Hall of Fame has never elected a Living Legend quite like Ben Dorcy – but then there is no one quite like Ben Dorcy.
How many people can claim the first induction into the Roadie Hall of Fame during Nashville’s 2009 “Roadie Palooza,” or have an annual day in their name at Floore’s Country Store? How many have an “Ode” written to them by Waylon Jennings? How many can boast a lifetime spanning a stint in the United States Navy, time with the Ice Capades and a turn with Hollywood’s Nudie Cohn, the man who put rhinestones on rhinestone cowboys like Porter Waggoner?
Dorcy’s also featured in Kinky Friedman’s – BMHoF Living Legend 2009 – “Roadkill” novel and forged friendships and working relationships with the likes of John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.
Access to virtually any tour bus, known by virtually every musician in the business, a fixture at every venue in Bandera for decades, Ben Dorcy is the definition of unique and he’s spent most of his life in service to the music industry and musicians.
Ben H. Dorcy III was born on May 19, 1925 in Dallas and grew up in San Antonio where he attended Jefferson High School. He joined the Ice Capades in 1940, touring the United States and Europe for three years. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Navy, completing his service in 1946 and then it was back to the entertainment business.
Dorcy worked for John Wayne as a gardener and chauffeur and played a Tennessee volunteer in Wayne’s “The Alamo,” adding film to his resume. Always drawn to the music business, he found his way to Nashville in 1950 where he hooked up with country swing legend, Hank Thompson. He was with Ray Price when he met Willie Nelson in 1961. “He’s still a roadie,” Nelson said. “He’s a hard worker.”
BMHoF 2013 Living Legend, Walter “Tooter” Ripps talks of a gig where it started to rain. “Ben jumped up,” Tooter recalled, “and started unplugging and helping. I never saw anybody move so fast!”
Almost everyone who knows him has at least one “Ben Dorcy story.” There was the birthday party, meticulously planned for him. Everyone showed up except Ben. “I kept that cake in the trunk of my car until I finally caught up with him,” the hostess said. “Of course, by then it was mostly mold, but darned if he didn’t take it anyway and thanked me! I was so mad and he actually seemed pleased!”
As for Dorcy himself, in an Internet interview he offered, “The most amazing thing that ever happened to me was one time in Las Vegas when Ann Margaret asked me to dance!”
At 3 pm, Sunday, Nov. 9, join Ben at The Farm off FM 2828 as he accepts the 2014 BMHoF Living Legend award. There’ll be plenty of the music that’s defined Ben’s life.
Thank you, Jenny Thompson, for taking this video from last night’s show in Oklahoma!