Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Twilites

Van Cook is a bass player from Texas by way of Mississippi. He's been playing bass more than 50 years. Van wrote to me after buying a copy of The Wives of Marty Winters. he wrote: "I'm really enjoying the book. Thanks for mentioning the Twilites :>)."

The mention of the Twilites in the book was brief. I wrote: "The heart senses a moment of magic. It is the evening of June 10. Elvis has just come home from the Army, and Marty is at the graduation dance at Priest Point Park. A mirrored ball flashes bubbles of light on swirling skirts, red and violet light floating across figures and walls like a laser show on clouds. Never mind that it was long before the days of laser light shows. Couples move together in ways that look more like sex than dancing, Jimmy Collins humping his date like a dog, while on the bandstand The Twilights play Pat Boone’s 'Love Letters in the Sand.' Charlie Sizemore lets loose with a long sax solo, and the singer, Randy White, grips the microphone stand and sways to the beat. The guys in the band are wearing light gray tuxedos with ruffled shirts and pink cummerbunds. The twinkling lights flash across the bandstand and onto the dance floor."

I answered Van. I said: "I'm glad you're enjoying it. I figured somebody ought to try and immortalize the Twilites."

He wrote back: "I read a lot, so I know a good writer when I read one....you, sir, are a very good writer."

Wow! Thanks, man.

The Twilites played for nearly all of the dances when I was in high school in Mississippi. They were so great that I moved them all the way across the country to have them play for a high school graduation dance in Olympia, Washington in my novel.

The first guy on the left in the picture is Van. We played together in a number of bands (me on drums, Van on bass), but never in the Twilites. They were the best, and I would have loved to play with them, but I never did. But that's OK. While they were on stage playing I was out on the dance floor where the girls were.

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