Archive for the ‘Ben Dorcy’ Category

5th Annual Ben Dorsey Day at John T. Floore Country Store February 26, 2017

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Visit their facebook event page for ticket info.

John T. Floore Country Store
14492 Old Bandera Rd,
Helotes, Texas 78023

Ben Dorsey, known as the the World’s Oldest Roadie, or maybe the World’s First Roadie, will be honored once again by musicians and friends next February.   Profits raised help support Ben, in his 90’s, who has been in the entertainment business on on the road for over 67 years.  He has worked with Willie Nelson & Family,  John Wayne, Waylon Jennings, , Johnny Cash,  Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and many more.  Ben still  works with several bands including Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, and Willie Nelson.

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Presumably at a 4th of July Picnic in the 1970's...Ben Dorcy, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Margot Kidder, and Bee Spears.

Ben met Willie Nelson in the early 1960’s when they were both working for Ray Price.  Ben was the roadie, and Willie was the bass player.  When Willie took his own show on the road, he hired Ben, who was already legendary for his ability to get the job done, despite obstacles and perceived impossibilities.

— www.KingoftheRoadies.com

Johnny Bush and Ben Dorcy at Willie Nelson’s Picnic

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Andybush

Thanks to Andy Bush, from Georgia, for his photo of Johnny Bush and Ben Dorcy, who kindly posed for him, at Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic Saturday.  Nice to meet you, Andy!

Andy said this about the show:

“The 3rd song (actually 2nd of the three) they sung together was “Reasons to Quit.” What a thrill it was to stand there a few feet from the stage and watch my favorite two singers together. I’ve seen them both dozens of times, but together only once before on the “Last of the Breed” tour. This was my first picnic and I got to meet Linda Banks to boot!

One funny thing that happened during their set together took place during “Poncho and Lefty.” Willie is so used to singing the song by himself every show now (I believe in the old days, Jody Payne sang Merle’s lines with him), he just went ahead and sang Merle’s line. Figuring out what he’d done, he just looked over at Merle and gave that priceless Willie Nelson smile. They laughed it off, no egos, just two class acts.

God thank you for such a great day!”

Andy and I took a selfie, too.

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“King of the Roadies” — help support the Ben Dorcy Story Documentary — Two Weeks Left to raise funds!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

www.13wmaz.com
by: Shelton Green

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — A 90-year-old roadie for musician Willie Nelson is now the focus of a documentary being shot by one of Nelson’s daughters and one of his grandchildren.

“King of the Roadies” is about 90-year-old Ben Dorcy, who has been with Willie since the 1960s. One of Nelson’s grandchildren, Trevor Nelson, started the documentary on Dorcy 11 years ago.

“Over the years, he was just always there.He was a fixture, so I didn’t realize how amazing he is and how he’s actually a piece of music history,” said Amy Nelson, one of Willie’s daughters and co-creator of “King of the Roadies.”

Dorcy worked as actor John Wayne’s chauffeur before he met Willie.

“Well, I knew him a long time and when he lived in Nashville, I said, ‘Hey, sometime I’d like to work with you.’ He said ‘OK,'” said Dorcy, talking about how he first started working for Nelson.

“King of the Roadies” has to raise $100,000 in two weeks. At last count, organizers were about a quarter of the way there.

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To donate funds to help complete the project, visit:
www.kickstarter.com
search for Ben Dorcy or King of the Roadies
Give what you can — and get a prize!

Support the making of “King of the Roadies” Ben Dorcy Story — Donate to Kickstarter Campaign, get cool gifts

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Amy and Trevor Nelson have been working on a documentary video about Ben Dorcy for 10 years, and are now launching a big push to get it finished. Ben just turned 90, and it would be great if Amy and Trevor could finish the documentary and Ben could enjoy watching it at the premier.

It takes money to make a movie, and A Kickstarter campaign has launched to help fund this documentary.  The site is open for 30 days only to raise funds to finish the documentary, and time is running out.  He site accepts donations from $10.00 — on up, and for each level you get a great gift.  Visit the site and see the gifts, and give what you can to make this happen!

Visit their website for more information:
www.KingoftheRoadies.com

Donate to the project via Kickstarter:
https://www.kickstarter.com/ — search for Ben Dorcy or King of the Roadies

Follow on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/kingoftheroadiesmovie?fref=ts

Meet Ben Dorcy (Part V)

King of the Roadies: The Ben Dorcy Story (you can help make it happen)

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

www.KingoftheRoadies.com

?#?90yearoldroadie? ?#?kingoftheroadies? ?#?BenDorcy? ?#?LoveyIsAllYouNeed??#?LaGear?
?#?roadiemovie? ?#?MaytheDorcyBeWithYou? ?#?Lovey? ?#?roadie?

Meet Ben Dorcy: #3 – “King of the Roadies” documentary — help make it happen!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

A sneak preview from the upcoming documentary KING OF THE ROADIES. Join our Kickstarter campaign so you will have the opportunity to see the finished film.

Visit www.kingotheroadies.com

You can contribute through the Kickstarter campaign:  www.Kickstarter.com, search for Ben Dorcy or King of the Roadies.

Willie Nelson will narrate this feature length documentary about Ben Dorcy lll, aka “Lovey”.  Directors Trevor Doyle Nelson and Amy Nelson present KING OF THE ROADIES, a counter-culture tale of longevity through perseverance and adaptability.  The film will chronicle the extraordinary life of Ben Dorcy, the world’s oldest and by most accounts, first roadie ever.  We will revisit the six decades of music & film history that Ben helped to shape; including his time spent with John Wayne, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash,  Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and many more.

Some of the artists who have already appeared in the film to share stories and discuss the living legend are Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Kinky Friedman, Jack Ingram, and Jamey Johnson.

The film will focus on Ben’s past as well as his present day life, that of a 90 year old working roadie.  His unique situation challenges the preconceived notions of what it means to grow old, and it raises some questions: Why must self-value diminish with age?  How do our perceived limitations shape our reality?  Is society serving it’s elders by encouraging them to retire?

Ben has kept the show on the road for over sixty-five years and he still tours with several bands including Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, and Willie Nelson.  He is a trailblazer and a shining example of humanity whose story will inspire generations to come.  KING OF THE ROADIES will leave you a changed person, if for no other reason than spending an hour and half with Ben.  For more information about the film, visit www.kingoftheroadies.com

 

Meet Ben Dorcy (Part 2)

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Enjoy this sneak preview from the upcoming documentary KING OF THE ROADIES.

Join the Kickstarter campaign and help raise funds to finish the film about Ben Dorcy, the world’s oldest Roadie.    Then we can all see the finished film.

Visit www.kingotheroadies.com

www.Kickstarter.com — search for KING OF THE ROADIES project.

Thank you.

Meet Ben Dorcy Part I: King of the Roadies

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Enjoy this sneak preview from the upcoming documentary KING OF THE ROADIES.

Join the Kickstarter campaign and help raise funds to finish the film.    Then we can all see the finished film.

Visit www.kingotheroadies.com

www.Kickstarter.com — search for KING OF THE ROADIES project.

Thank you.

Willie Nelson and Ben Dorcy

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Presumably at a 4th of July Picnic in the 1970's...Ben Dorcy, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Margot Kidder, and Bee Spears.

Ben met Willie Nelson in the early 1960’s when they were both working for Ray Price.  Ben was the roadie, and Willie was the bass player.  When Willie took his own show on the road, he hired Ben, who was already legendary for his ability to get the job done, despite obstacles and perceived impossibilities.

— www.KingoftheRoadies.com

BEN

King of the Roadies Kickstarter fundraiser starts today!
Help raise funds to finish the documentary about Ben Dorcy, who turns 90 today.

www.kickstarter.com – search for King of the Roadies project.

www.Kickstarter.com

“King of the Roadies” — Ben Dorcy turns 90 today! Help document his life — KICKSTARTER campaign starts today! (May 19, 2015)

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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“Ben has become a living legend. Countless stars would not have shined without him.” – Willie Nelson

“The way you can tell if a musician is any good is if he’s worked with Ben Dorcy.” – Kinky Friedman

“Big Ben’s a living legend and he will outlive us all.” – Waylon Jennings 

Help make history!
Preserve the legacy of Ben Dorcy, the world’s oldest roadie
Kickstarter campaign starts today.
www.Kickstarter.com

Happy Birthday Ben Dorcy, the world’s oldest and the world’s first roadie celebrates 90 years today! Today the Kickstarter.com crowdfunding campaign starts to complete the KING OF THE ROADIES documentary, narrated by Willie Nelson.

Direct Link:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kingoftheroadies/king-of-the-roadies-the-ben-dorcy-documentary?ref=nav_search

Help preserve Ben’s legacy forever and be a part of history.  Fondly known as “Lovey”, the world’s oldest bandboy is the subject of a new documentary being produced by Amy Nelson and her cousin Trevor Doye Nelson. They have taken on the noble project of documenting the colorful life and times of Ben Dorcy, known as the world’s oldest Roadie.  Amy and Trevor have been working three years following Ben around and filming him, collecting stories and taking photos of Ben Dorcy.  .

Ben has been working a long time for some of the most famous names in the music business. He has been employed as a roadie since 1950, when he started out working for Hank Thompson. and in that time has worked with Willie Nelson, Wayon Jennings, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Jerry Jeff Walker, Randy Rogers, Jack Ingram, Ray Price, Elvis Presley (“when he was young”), Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Leon Payne, Johnny Bush, Faron Young, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, He reportedly worked for John Wayne, too, as a valet.

Narrated by Willie Nelson, the documentary will have interviews by famous musicians who know and respect Ben Dorcy: Johnny Bush, Jack Ingram, Kinky Friedman, and others.

It takes so much energy to bring a project like this, a documetary, to fruition.  And by energy, I mean money as well as time.   Amy and Trevor have been laying the groundwork for years, planning and gathering information.  Now they are initiating a Kickstarter campaign, to help raise funds to complete the project.

If you want to be part of history,  visit www.kickstarter.com, and search for the King of the Road project.

To learn more about the project, tune in to the Dallas Wayne show in Willie’s Road House, Sirius XM Radio, Channel 59 on Wednesday, May 20th at 2:30.  Ben Dorcy will speak live on the show, celebrating his 90th birthday and the launch of the Kickstartercampaign and sharing stories from his legendary career.

Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Jamey Johnson, Kinky Friedman, JohnnyKnoxville, Randy Rogers, and the directors Trevor Doyle Nelson and Amy Nelson will be on air to wish Ben a happy birthday for Ben Dorcy’s 90th Birthday Bash and the King of the Roadies Kickstarter Launch Party.

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If you haven’t seen the trailer for the documentary, here it is:

www.kingoftheroadies.com

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#90yearoldroadie #kingoftheroadies

Please visit www.Kickstarter.com today and search projects:  King of the Roadies and be a part of history!

Ben Dorcy, “King of the Roadies” turns 90 — and you can help support documentary project

Monday, May 18th, 2015

www.ksat.com
by: Paul Venema

SAN ANTONIO – As he reflected on his life on the road, Ben Dorcy said, “I love the road … the road is my life.”

Dorcy, who will turn 90 Monday, still travels often with country music legend Willie Nelson. In addition to Nelson, Dorcy has worked for other entertainment legends including the late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

“I’ve worked with some pretty nice people,” Dorcy said.

Nelson considers Dorcy more than just a roadie.

“He’s family,” Nelson said. “A good, hard-working man.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Nelson’s youngest daughter, Amy Nelson.

“Ben is the oldest of our tribe,” she said. “We respect him and want to preserve his legacy.”

To that end, Amy Nelson and her cousin, Trevor Nelson, are producing a documentary on Dorcy’s life called “King of the Roadies.”

“The man is a legend among legends yet most people have no idea who he is,” Amy Nelson said.

Dorcy is not totally comfortable with the term “legend.”

“I’m simply a roadie .. somebody who takes care of the equipment and makes sure the show goes on,” Dorcy said.

He said that he’s finally ready to slow down.

“I’ve had a good life and I love the road,” Dorcy said. “I guess it’s as they say, the road is my life.”

A Kickstarter launches tomorrow to support the King of the Roadies Project”  For More Information visit the website, which will have a live link on TUESDAY MAY 19th to the Kickstarter site.  It takes a lot of all kinds of energies to make something like this, I hope we can all  help make it happen.

www.kingoftheroadies.com

“King of the Roadies” — Ben Dorcy documentary — sneak preview

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Amy Nelson and Trevor Doyle Nelson are working to document the life and times of Ben Dorcy, the world’s oldest and most famous band boy. The film, narrated by Willie Nelson, is in production.  It takes a lot of resources to make a movie — for more information on how you can help and to donate to help make this happen —

www.kingoftheroadies.com

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“King of the Roadies” — A documentary about Ben Dorcy, by Trevor Doyle Nelson and Amy Nelson

Monday, May 11th, 2015

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www.KingoftheRoadies.com

Ben Dorcy: The First Roadie Ever (Texas Monthly, March 2015)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

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Ben Dorcy, who turns 90 next month, has been a roadie since 1950, and in that time has worked with Willie Nelson, Wayon Jennings, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Jerry Jeff Walker, Randy Rogers, Jack Ingram.

“I’ve learned I have the perfect person to steer me. When I’m contemplating one of life’s difficult decisions, I generally consult with Ben Dorcy. Bless his barely thumping heart, Ben is my canary in the coalmine. When faced with a difficult decision, I observe Ben and do the opposite of what he does.”

– Willie Nelson (with Turk Pipkin),
The Tao of Willie, 2007

www.texasmonthly.com
by:  Paul Cullum

Like a band of gypsies, we go down the highway,” read the lyrics to “On the Road Again,” Willie Nelson’s 1980 paean to the itinerant touring life. Thirty years before Willie wrote those lines—on a plane, of all places—Ben Dorcy III was already the proto-road warrior.

Known far and wide as “Lovey,” after his preferred endearment for everyone he meets, Dorcy is credited by Willie with being the first-ever roadie—and as “the world’s oldest living roadie” by nearly everyone else.

Given the tangled switchbacks of history, it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Dorcy, who turns 90 in May, started as a bandboy in 1950 for Hank Thompson—in that day, more a personal valet than the seasoned road crew celebrated in songs by Motorhead and Tenacious D, or on screen in the 1980 cult classic filmed in Austin, Roadie, starring Meat Loaf. In the 65 years since then, Dorcy has toured and/or worked with Ray Price (with whom he relocated to Nashville for half a decade), Elvis Presley (“when he was young”), Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Leon Payne, Johnny Bush, Johnny Cash, Faron Young, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, and Willie, among countless others lost to time.

This colorful legacy extends beyond the stage, where he served as a muse of sorts to Waylon Jennings (“Ode to Ben Dorcy”), Red Sovine (“Big Ben Dorsey the Third”), and Kinky Friedman, who based a character on him inRoadkill, his novel set aboard Willie’s bus. Even before he found his life’s calling, Dorcy was already a veteran of the nomadic lifestyle: Dropping out of high school in San Antonio, he toured with the Ice Capades, a kind of ice-skating spectacle, and may have been bound for the Winter Olympics before WWII interceded. He served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific, and still carries shrapnel in his knee from a Japanese Zero at the Battle of Cape Gloucester. During a five-year diversion to Hollywood in the sixties, he was a deliveryman for Nudie Cohn (tailor to the Singing and later Rhinestone Cowboys), and later a gardener and chauffeur for John Wayne, whom he met while playing a Tennessee Volunteer in The Alamo (filmed in Brackettville). Along the way, he danced with Ann-Margaret; rubbed shoulders with Sinatra, and shared a private joke with Marilyn Monroe.

Dorcy was the first inductee into the Roadie Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2009, and he now serves a new generation of Willie disciples and denizens of the road—performers like Kevin Fowler, Cory Morrow, Josh Abbott, Cody Canada (who he insists on calling “Cody Canadian”), Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson, Brooks & Dunn, Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen, and especially Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen, who have kept him on the road for much of the last decade. In Dorcy they discovered a living embodiment of the principles that drive them, so to speak, toward the elusive horizon.

Or, at the very least, they’ve been on the receiving end of Ben’s living credo, and his advice to all those who fall within his purview:

“Get your shit together.”

This oft-repeated motto recently adorned the commemorative T-shirt for the third annual Ben Dorcy Day, held February 22 at the John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, on the northwest outskirts of San Antonio. Mr. Floore, whose venerable Hill Country dancehall was established in 1946, was dubiously memorialized for his mercantile prowess in Nelson’s song “Shotgun Willie” (“John T. Floore was a-working for the Ku Klux Klan…/Made a lot of money selling sheets on the family plan”), and Floore’s was both where Dorcy first met Hank Thompson on Halloween night in 1950, and where he met Willie a decade later. It was also there, in the venue’s green room—now rechristened the Ben H. Dorcy III Green Room (as certified by commemorative plaque)—at a Willie Nelson show in October 2012, that John Selman, Willie’s tour manager, had the brainstorm for a concert to unite the successive generations that Dorcy has left his mark on.

“I was sitting right here at this desk looking at all these posters,” says Selman. “I thought, ‘Let’s have a Ben Dorcy Day while he’s still here.’”

“Before Poodie passed [aka Randall “Poodie” Locke, Willie’s long-time stage manager, who died in May 2009], he asked that everybody take care of Ben,” says Joel Schoepf, with whom Selman shares custodial duties in looking after Dorcy. Together they took the idea to Floore’s Managing Partner Mark McKinney, who enlisted General Manager Becca Payne to handle logistics, and the inaugural event launched February 20, 2013.

Every year since, many of the above and more have traveled to Floore’s, a way of bringing the road to Dorcy. At last month’s celebration, Randy Rogers served as unofficial emcee, and Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott, Corey Morrow, Ray Wiley Hubbard, William Clark Green, Johnny Burke (sitting in for a sick Kevin Fowler), and Doug Moreland (who created a chainsaw sculpture bust of him for the green room) all came together to honor Dorcy in his natural element. The man of the hour sat onstage for most of the show, but debarked early so he could get to the merch table in plenty of time to sign autographs. (Proceeds from the event go toward his living expenses.)

Also playing that night were clips from a feature-length film about Dorcy’s storied life, King of the Roadies. The documentary is co-directed by Amy Nelson—“Willie’s youngest daughter … that we know of,” she says—and her cousin Trevor Doyle Nelson. The camera (which Willie bought them, earning him an Executive Producer credit) “has been rolling for three straight years, through a million private moments,” says Trevor Nelson, steadily chronicling Dorcy’s life.

There’s a tenderness about the film, in large part because of the Nelsons’ close connection to Dorcy. “We grew up around Ben,” says Amy. “He doesn’t have any surviving family; our road family is his family.” Trevor adds: “There are a handful of people who are highly respected in this world who have banded together around Ben to support him. It’s interesting that he’s spent his life serving people, and now they’re here for him.”

An impressive roster of famous musicians are interviewed for the film, some of them elevating Dorcy into the mists of legend. Johnny Bush calls him “an enigma” (even though “I don’t know what enigma really means”). Jack Ingram calls Dorcy “one of us,” in The Godfather sense. Kinky Friedman labels him “a talisman,” “a spiritual hall of fame all to itself” and, quoting his own “Wild Man from Borneo,” “A hairy, scary, legendary screaming souvenir.” Selman compares him to Forrest Gump.

But one of the most enduring testaments to Dorcy’s influence is another visual document, an amazing never-before-seen-by-the-public videotape shot on the Highwaymen’s first tour, March 15, 1990, in Niagara Falls, New York, which has been passed down by insiders from one to the other. In it, Willie, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny and June Carter Cash hold a spontaneous roast for Dorcy in the Eagle’s Nest banquet room of the Niagara Falls Convention Center. (In a telling detail, given that Dorcy was intentionally kept out of the loop, his name is misspelled in the hand-lettered sign.)

Colter, who appears to be the ringleader and chairs the proceedings from a makeshift dais, speaks at length to Dorcy’s character, calling him “one of the most loyal people I’ve ever run into,” and presents a “Master of the Impossible Award to the Good Doctor Ben Dorcy,” so named because “we have seen him pull things out of the air that nobody else could do.” Waylon tells of the time Dorcy was driving him to a show in Houston and they were running late. From the back seat, Waylon demanded they turn down a one-way street to save them two minutes, over Ben’s spirited objections. When a cop pulled them over and told Ben to roll down the window, he just hooked his thumb over his shoulder at Waylon. Willie, wearing a “World Peace by 2000” T-shirt, says, “People are trying to remember Ben Dorcy stories; I’m trying to forget Ben Dorcy stories,” before launching into two or three—including one long story, widely repeated elsewhere, in which his first wife put Dorcy in the hospital. Willie’s current wife, Annie, holding one of their toddlers, weighs in from the floor: “I guess I owe Ben my sanity, because if it wasn’t for his timing, we’d probably have four kids.” And Cash, calling Dorcy a straight shooter, presents him with an original Gene Autry cap pistol. Four-term Niagara Falls Mayor Michael O’Laughlin even makes an appearance.

But it may be June Carter Cash who carries the day: After a heartfelt preamble in which she notes Dorcy’s selflessness, and how some of those early in his career “used him sometimes like a slave,” she summons her nerve and relates a story from when she toured with Thompson in the early fifties:

Ben could do something that the other boys couldn’t do. And I didn’t really realize what that was until we got near the end of the tour. When we crossed the line going into Oklahoma, I woke up in the middle of the night, about midnight, and I heard this roar – I mean, all the boys were outside, Hank Thompson and all the band and Ben Dorcy, outside, singing their heart out. Something like, ‘There’s a green light, let out your clutch…’ [a 1948 minor hit by Thompson, later recorded by Ernest Tubb]. They were just singing with the greatest gusto, and I thought, ‘Why didn’t they come ask me to sing ‘There’s a Green Light’ as we crossed the border? It’s my first time to go into Oklahoma with this group. And what was happening, I found out a little bit later – they were a little bit afraid to tell me – was they were outside seeing who could pee the furthest. Without splattering. And I would like to say, for Ben Dorcy, that Ben peed the furthest without it splattering.

The participants in this year’s Ben Dorcy Day happily volunteer their own Ben stories, which show no sign of subsiding. Singer Josh Abbott, backstage in Ben’s green room before the concert, throws yet another log on the campfire of tall tales about Dorcy, recounting the events of a recent concert down on the border:

“We were coming back from Laredo or somewhere, and we knew we were going to get stopped by Border Patrol. So I told everyone, ‘Make sure there’s no pot on the bus. Sure enough, they pull us over and make us get out. I’m pissed off; I’m in my underwear, it’s four in the morning. They bring the dog, and on the side bay where we keep our luggage, the dog starts going nuts. The bus is in my name.

“So they open up the bay, and the dog’s going ballistic on this one bag. The band’s all telling me, ‘I swear, I don’t have anything.’ Lovey’s out there smoking his pipe. The bag is locked, so the agent says, ‘Whose bag is this?’ We’re all looking at each other, and Lovey says, ‘It’s mine.’ And you could see the faces on these Border Patrol guys—‘Are you serious? We’re not going to bust a 90-year-old guy for pot.’ Finally, they just went, ‘Alright, you guys are good to go.’” Dorcy interrupts him in the middle of the story to work out the arrangements for the next weekend’s run.

But Randy Rogers cautions against the impulse to turn Dorcy into living history. “I don’t feel like I’m carrying around some kind of heirloom,” Rogers says evenly. “He’s my friend. And I’m very protective of him. The sonofabitch is solid gold.”

Once Dorcy’s certain that things backstage are running smoothly, the guest of honor joins me on a tour bus belonging to Paul English, Willie’s long-time drummer, which he drove down from Austin specifically for this purpose. Dorcy, frail and with a voice so soft it’s almost impossible to make out at times, runs through a few of his obligatory stories that I’ve heard elsewhere: The time Hank Thompson’s drummer threw him in a snow bank and the bus went off and left him; the time he took Willie’s clothes to the bus, leaving him without a stitch to wear. Most of the good stories he won’t tell, since they would betray secrets he’s promised to take with him when he goes.  But he tells me one I hadn’t heard before, involving Johnny Cash:

We was at a service station in Encino,” Dorcy says, “and he got out of the car. It was brand new – I’d say only five or six months old – and he walked around the car and said, ‘We’re gonna need a tire here.’ I said, ‘No, Cash, these are brand new tires.’ So he pulled his gun out of his boot and shot the tire out, and we had to get a new one.

Apocryphal? The gospel truth? Live long enough, and you own the past. Like Waylon Jennings says in his “Ode to Ben Dorcy:”

He’s the talk around the campfires and the tales get mighty tall/
Big Ben’s a living legend and he will outlive us all.”

Dorcy will be traveling with Willie this Saturday, March 14, to the Austin Rodeo. On the road yet again.

EXTRA: Willie Nelson Tells a Ben Dorcy Story

(March 15, 1990, Niagara Falls, New York, at a makeshift “Ben Dorcy Roast” on tour with the Highwaymen):

“One time, me and my first wife, Martha, had been having a few problems at one point, and Hank Cochran and I went down to a place called the Wagon Wheel in Nashville – y’all know where that used to be. And we was having a couple of drinks, it was about two in the morning, and Martha was bartending down there. So we got into it, kind of. Who knows what was said? Who knows whose fault it was? But we got up to leave, and she picked up a shot glass and threw it at me, and it hit the wall, bounced off and hit Hank Cochran in the jaw. So we take him to the hospital. He’s there getting his face worked on at 2:30 in the morning, and the doctor is there, and I’m giving this doctor all manner of trouble. I said, ‘What qualifications do you have to be working on this man? He’s in show business; his face is part of his future.’ I said, ‘If you were any good, what are you doing working this time of night?’ Hank is saying, ‘Let him sew me up!’ About that time, I look up and here comes Ben Dorcy, and he’s got a big turban around his head and there’s blood everywhere. He said something, and I think Martha hit him in the head with an ashtray. Am I making this up or is this true?

(Dorcy nods.)

So Ben is working a little bit for Faron Young. And Faron had Shelley Snyder, who was his manager at the time. So Shelley is telling Ben that he can make him rich off this injury that he has received. So he pretends he’s talking on the phone to this lawyer at an insurance company, and he says, ‘No, a million dollars won’t touch it.’ Ben says, ‘Take the money!’ Shelley says, ‘Ten million or nothing, hoss,’ and he slams the phone down. Ben says, ‘Take the money!!’ The same thing happens for several days in a row. Shelley’s talking to the guy, now it’s down to a thousand dollars. Ben’s saying, ‘Take the money!’ I could go on and on, but I won’t.

Read entire article here:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/%E2%80%9C-first-roadie%E2%80%94ever%E2%80%9D/page/0/2

 

 

International Ben Dorcy Day

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

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www.WillieNelson.com

Ben H. Dorcy III was born on May 19, 1925 in Dallas, Texas. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas and attended Jefferson High School. Ben first ventured into the entertainment industry in 1940 working for the Ice Capades, which was a traveling entertainment show featuring performances on ice rinks. Ben worked with the Ice Capades and traveled throughout the United States and Europe during the years 1940 through 1943. In 1943 Ben enlisted in the Navy where he served his country for three years, completing his service in 1946 as a seaman. He was soon to return to the world of entertainment.During the years 1950 through 1953 Ben met and began working for Hank Thompson. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to Willie Nelson.

Ben met Willie at John T. Floore’s Country Store. In addition to Willie and Hank Thompson, Ben also worked on and off with Ray Price.While traveling, Ben fell in love with California and moved to Hollywood. He took a job as a delivery boy for Nudie Rodeo Taylor, the man who “Set Rhinestones in Fashion History.” It was at this time (1962-1965) that Ben met John Wayne. Wayne took a liking to Ben, whom he met at Nudie’s shop and hired him first as a gardener, and later as his chauffeur. Although Ben loved working for Wayne, he longed to return to the music business.Ben moved to Nashville. While in Nashville, Ben reunited with Hank Thompson, Willie Nelson, and Ray Price. It was during this time Ben met Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. Ben worked in turn for each of these musicians.Ben had a gypsy soul and a heart has big as Texas, hence his nickname, ‘Lovey.’ Ultimately, he returned to central Texas and became immersed in country music with acts that included Merle Haggard, Jerry Jeff Walker and David Allan Coe, to name a few.

Currently, at the age of eighty-nine, Ben still makes the rounds. Few people in the music industry will ever have the impact Ben continues to have. He has a heart of gold, a passion for the music, a strong work ethic, and the desire to persevere, all of which drive him to keep on keeping on. Ben is truly living history and is an inspiration to those of us who want to learn what he so freely offers.

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