Bill Dewey is a singer/songwriter/musician born in the Midwest USA. He grew up
working on the family farm raising corn, soybeans, hay, and Hereford cattle.
However, music seemed to always be a constant in Bill's life. Dewey was especially
influenced by Johnny Cash from the start.
As a child, Dewey wore out several toy guitars pretending to be a singer like Cash. At
the age of nine, Bill became a member of Drum and Bugle Corps of America, playing
bugle. Then he graduated to cornet/trumpet, and played in several forms of school
band until graduating high school. Halfway through high school however, Bill
embraced the instrument he always loved the most- the guitar. He once took some
lessons in second grade, but the teacher stopped offering lessons to the class
before Dewey could get a good grasp on technique. Then in high school, he again
took a few lessons, "got a grasp", and it stuck. Now it was in his blood.
"For years I had been developing my voice by singing along with my Johnny Cash
and Statler Brothers records, at the same time, I was learning strumming technique
by "scratching" on an old beginner's guitar in time with the records, not knowing any
chords. My parents noticed this and presented me with a brand new guitar for
Christmas one year, in hopes I'd take lessons again. I loved it, but I still wasn't
serious about it to the extent of playing outside my own room. So I had wondered if
they had wasted their money. Finally one day I decided to learn to play this thing. So I
took a few lessons and learned a few chords. Even then I wasn't serious about
entertaining anyone but myself really, but I loved to pick and sing."
Despite his lack of seriousness at the time, Bill was destined to pick and sing for
many. Dewey met a person at a nursing facility, [his grandmother was a
resident there], that person’s name was Shirley Suby.
The two became friends right away.
"She was stricken with polio while still a child, and confined to a wheel chair thirty
years before we met. Shirley is the person who convinced me I should sing for
people. We listened to tons of records together, but when she found out I could play
and sing, she didn't stop talking about it until I brought my guitar. So that's where it all
started. Pretty soon I was entertaining a whole room full of residents every Sunday
before church. Shirley and I remained great friends. She was a wonderful person,
and a great inspiration."
In memory of our pal Shirley Suby Hall: Dec. 5, 1934 - May 30, 2004.
About this time, friends of Dewey's who had a local band invited him to guest perform
at a few of their gigs. At that point, his professional career in music had begun. A year
or so later he formed his own band- "Bill Dewey and the Blazin' Broncos". They
played nearly every weekend in the regional area performing at clubs, fairs, private
functions, and parades. They played as much as they could, anywhere they could.
Dewey was also writing his own songs and recording demos of his material locally.
He picked up more and more musical influences through out this time period.
Singers and musicians like- Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam, to Buddy Holly and
Ritchie Valens. Other notables include- Carl Perkins, Don Rich, Pete Anderson, and
Stevie Ray Vaughn. He grew to love all types of music, from big band to hard rockers.
In the field of hard driving rock and roll, KISS is the definite favorite among others.
Incidentally, while all this was going on, to make a living other than being a local
professional musician, Bill hired out to farmers and
also worked in the grocery business.
Next, the opportunity came to make his first record. A 45rpm disc consisting of two
original songs: "Well Enough Alone, and "Just Pleasin' You".
The record was cut at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. The same
starting point as many of his heroes, including Johnny Cash. The 45 was sold
regionally, and got some airplay. By this time Bill had changed band members a
couple of times, and changed the band's name to the "Dynammics". They continued
a busy schedule of gigs on the local regional circuit. This eventually led to an
invitation to perform at a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and
pilot Roger Peterson. The three stars and their pilot perished in a plane crash after a
concert in Feb. 1959, now regarded as "the day the music died". The tribute show
gave Dewey national attention. Enough attention, that for a time he
was slated to portray Ritchie Valens in a movie which was to be about the Big
Bopper. In years to come Bill and his band became favorites
at the official Buddy Holly Tribute. The world famous tribute has been an annual
event every year since it's inception in 1979. It is held on the anniversary of the days
surrounding the tragedy; in the same building the three stars last performed in- the
fabulous Surf Ballroom.
Bill Dewey and the Dynammics then continued to perform on a regular basis to
bigger and bigger crowds. Besides attracting people to the shows, Bill and his group
received attention from some heavy hitters in the music business. Those relations
still continue. According to them, the main attraction [besides his music], is Dewey's
stage presence. One thing which sets Bill apart from some others is his group's
constant attempt to exude a professional attitude. He and the band maintain a dress
code, and are there for the people. It's a serious thing.
"We like to leave the venues with sore fingertips and feet and tired right out. Then we
feel we have done our job, and we'll play even harder the next time."
Dewey also attended some college to further his musical knowledge. Studying very
hard he managed to earn a 4.0 GPA. Very soon he would follow direction from his
management and move to Nashville. Bill had visited Nashville several times.
Ironically, on his very first visit he met his lifelong idol, Johnny Cash. What he was
now about to embark on was a long eventful journey.
"The whole story will have to wait until I write my book before
I can tell it all. Some of it is stranger than fiction!"
Upon getting settled in Tennessee, Bill again worked in the grocery field for a day
job. Eventually he moved into the residential and commercial construction business.
Bill specialized in metal stud framing and drywall hanging and finishing.
At the same time, to start things off musically in Nashville, Dewey joined a rockabilly
four piece combo. They played all over Nashville and surrounding areas. An album
released by that group "Justin Curtis-Rockabilly in 3-D”, would
have Bill on lead guitar.
Jack Hale, [a former member of Johnny Cash's band], became Dewey's producer.
They began recording Dewey's original material, and a quest to gain attention. He
ended up getting some too; narrowly missing a spot on Nashville major label
[Mercury]. He has been considered by others as well, and came real close a few
times, but was told at the time his style wouldn't always fit in a "mainstream country"
category. However, interest in his artistry is still current and ongoing. Currently, Bill
continues writing, recording, performing, shopping his material, and promoting. He
was a member of several bands in the 90's as a lead guitar player and singer,
performing at many locations in Tennessee and the Southeast U.S.A. Most recently,
he is back working again with his band [The Dynammics] performing in the upper
Midwest, looking forward to traveling nationwide and beyond.
"At first I thought I'd start a new group in Nashville. But then I decided to free-lance it.
This taught me a lot because I was able to meet and work with many musicians and
get lots of experience I perhaps wouldn't have received working with the same group
all of the time. So, it allowed me to cover a lot of new ground."
For "the rest of the story", and current events, continue to visit Bill Dewey.com!
|Photo- Karen Hickey.
|Doing guitar overdubs on very
first record at the legendary
Sun Studio, Memphis, Tenn.
1988. Photo by then owner of
Sun Studio: Gary Hardy.
|Memphis,1987. Standing in front of
the Sun Studio, home of Sun
Records. Starting point of some of
Bill's heroes including Johnny Cash.
|Copyright © 2003- 2016 BILL DEWEY ENTERPRISES. Home of Pro-Caliber Music, Nammics Records Nashville, Bill Dewey and the Dynammics, and Bill
|A WEB SITE ABOUT RECORDING ARTIST / MUSICIAN - BILL DEWEY