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Enjoy these pages that are long overdue. Remember that the idle of idol youth is playing near your home town soon as the "Economy with Dignity" tour never ends.
How did this thing start? What's new?
Who Is Webb Wilder?
What kind of music does Webb Wilder play?

All Music Guide

The WW Credo- what is it?

Who is the "Ionizer"?

Who's in the band now?

Where is the Twangler?

The Tone Chaperone takes a break

Was that Webb Wilder music played during the 1994 NBA All Star Shootout?

Is Webb in the movie "The Thing Called Love"? What about other movies?

Webb's choice of backing musicians if he could choose them:

CORN FLICKS - good eating or good viewing?

Is there a musical background in Webb's family? What is it?

Did Webb Wilder ever make a music video?

Did Webb Wilder ever have a DJ gig? Can you say XM radio?

How did this thing start? What's new?
The ORIGINAL Webb Wilder page started thanks to a time when I was able to teach myself HTML and had free access to the internet at its humble beginnings. I kept the original page very simple. Over the years the website has bounced from site to site. Originally hosted at Notre Dame and then to Tripod because it was free. The pop ups were annoying and we found our own home with the url of so it was easier to find.

Eventually Webb started his own site and it is great. This is a tribute page with lots of history so enjoy! I have a life. In fact, it is a busy home life (kids, job, etc. !), thus it has become much more difficult to update these pages. So here it is. Now on with the show!

The bottom line is this - you like Webb, I like Webb. His music is great and we hope to get more soon! Enjoy the page!- Ken Drew

Who Is Webb Wilder?

Who Is WEBB WILDER you ask?

Webb Wilder is "the last of the full-grown men, the last of the boarding-house people, a man who was never a child and will never have children, a guy who knows every thrift shop and plate lunch joint in town, a guy who's never quite bald, never quite wall-to-wall, a guy who has dedicated his life to both kinds of music: rock and roll". Webb Wilder is an electrifying artist, the idol of idle youth. We are the adoring public.

Seriously, Webb Wilder is a man , along with his band- The Nashvegans, who plays great music. Plus, Webb has a great sense of humor and is a pleasure to catch in concert. In today's world, bands that play the music they want to play and not what is being played on the radio are hard to find. Webb Wilder combines the best of straight ahead rock and roll with country music to give a sound that is unique. If you are tired of the same old crap on the radio or MTV, give Webb a listen. You will like it. You may even recall "Tough It Out" or "Meet Your New Landlord" from his Doo Dad album. Great stuff!

Webb was born on May 19, 1954 as John Webb McMurry and is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

What Kind Of Music Does WW play?

A: Webb plays rock and roll with heavy Nashville influences. As Webb says "I came to Nashville as kind of a hunch, an educated guess that it would be a good place for me. Rock 'n' roll and country have more in common than not. We don't have the typical Nashville country sound, but we thought we could use that to our advantage. It's sorta like we're a roots band for rock 'n' roll fans and a rock band for roots fans"

The following have been used to describe his music by his fans: "Swampadelic", "Service-station attendant music", "Uneasy listening", "Psychobilly"

Webb says he hates to be categorized but if he has to be categorized, they should do it correctly. The term "uneasy listening" was coined by Bobby Field.

Q What does the All Music Guide say?

A: Biography for Webb Wilder:

Music Style: Roots-rock Instrument: Group The Webb Wilder character was created for a short film about a backwoods private detective who fell out of the 50s and happened to also be a musician. As a group, Webb Wilder combined the surf guitar of the Ventures with the rock roots of Duane Eddy, drawing on the feel of both country music and film noir.

Though sometimes bordering on the gimmicky, they are quite humorous and play serious music. IT CAME FROM NASHVILLE featured a cover of Steve Earle's "Devil's Right Hand," appropriate because, like Earle, Wilder rocked too hard to be country but kept a twang that might put off mainstream rock fans. Their next two albums didn't necessarily forge new ground but refined their sound somewhat, making their R&B influence more apparent. In concert, Wilder often gives stream-of-consciousness recitations that touch on motor homes, voodoo, television, and other somewhat kitschy subjects; usually they're funny enough to work. Written by Robert Gordon, All-Music Guide (NOTE: What does this guy know???!!!)

The Webb Wilder credo- what is it?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em!" The true story dates back to the first out of town gig in 1985. It was Easter weekend, we'd been at George Street Grocery in Jackson, Mississippi. R.S. "Bobby" Field (see here) said, you know you're going to start doing interviews. He got out a boombox and we started recording a practice interview. At the end he said, "Is there anything you'd like to add?" and Webb said, "work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em!, the Webb Wilder credo," and that was that.

Webb says that he's been living this all his life, and in verbalizing it, he realized he'd be living it the rest of his life. It's an economical bit of philosophy- the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. And if it don't work, the rest will take care of itself.

Who is the "Ionizer"?

A: R.S. "Bobby" Field. Webb and Bobby were at a home that had an ionizer. They had never seen one before and asked what it did. They were told it put out negative ions. Negative ions create a positive effect. They thought this was funny. Webb and Bobby have been working together for 25 years and he has been known as the "Ionizer". NOTE: see the
Ionizer section of this site for more info.

Who's in the band now?

Webb Wilder- guitar, lead vocals (OBVIOUSLY!!!)

As of 2009, the road band consists of:

Bob Williams - guitar

Jimmy Lester- drums

Tom Comet- bass

This rotates often as there are many great players in Nashvegas.

OLD UPDATE: April, 2001

Joe McMahan (guitar) appears to have left. I have no news although I am sure that is was on good terms as it is with almost every player Webb has had in the band.

You never know who will show up in the WW band. Depending on schedules, you may see a combination of Jimmy Lester (aka Les James) or George Bradfute playing on drums or bass/guitar, respectively.

OLD UPDATE April, 1998:

Steve Ebe , Webb's recent drummer, wrote this on 4/5/98

"I will certainly miss rockin' with all of our wonderful friends & fans out there! Of course, you just never know when I might make a guest appearance!"

"I plan to stay home & do studio work in Nashville & be home with my family. My baby boy is 7 months old today! I'm also teaching drum lessons at Fork's Drum Closet. But, when the Last of the Full Grown Men needs a substitute drummer, I'm sure I'll jump at the chance to go out and rock."

The following players can sometimes be found filling in if schedule conflicts arrise:

Backup Guitarists: George Bradfute- the Tone Chaperone

Backup Drumers: Greg Morrow or Brian Owings

Backup Bass Players: George Bradfute or Scott Esbeck or Dave Jaques

At the April, 1998 Dallas & Austin Texas shows, Ken Coomer of WILCO filled in as the drummer since Jimmy Lester couldn't make it.

NOTE: This may seem strange to the fans, but it's unfortunately the way things work in Nashville right now. There are so many bands and so many players, and the rent is so high that everyone has to play in many bands and projects. All these players are really good, too, and they are always in demand. Needless to say, you always see a high quality show when you see Webb live and in concert so don't worry.

Jimmy Lester (aka Les James Lester) has played drums with Los Straightjackets.

Kelley Looney is currently on tour with Steve Earle.

Cletus is playing with a band in Houston, TX called The Hollisters.

Rich Ruth is working in the film and video industry in Nashville.

Where is Donnie Roberts now?

Donnie Roberts, known to many as "The Twangler" is living the Phoenix, Arizona area totday. He is not doing much music lately in order to spend time with his children. He has a real job working with his brother as an architect.

Donnie left the band in early 1994 to pursue other projects. In 1998, Donnie played with Ned Massey on the 1998 release "
Almost Drowned" . He played with Timothy Craig for a while as seen here.

The Tone Chaperone takes a break from the road (circa 1996)

Below is a note sent from George to me on 6/17/96

I, George Bradfute, the Tone Chaperone, am taking a leave of absence from the live touring ensemble of Webb Wilder's band. After nearly 3 years in the van, I can no longer stand the endless stream of banter from Webb about: guitars, amps, knobs, pickups, speakers, output transformers, horses, cowboys, Indians, boots, saddles, hats, western wear, not to mention, gigs, venues, motels, cities, towns, etc. Yes, the road is a bit much for the Tone Chaperone sometimes, and during this sabbatical, I will be opening a combination health food store and restaurant, with massage therapy, reikei, and spiritual counseling, and bike shop, with adjoining guitar and amp museum. JUST KIDDING !

Although there is some tiny bits of truth in all of the above, IN REALITY, I am taking some time off to work on some recording and producing and engineering projects in Nashville, in addition to actually taking a break from the rigors of road life in a van.

HOWEVER, I will return to participate in live performances with Webb in August 1996, for several shows, including a planned trip to France. I will be working with Webb and RS Field on some upcoming studio projects, and will continue my long friendship with both, whether on or off the road. So, in case you're worried, this leave of absence in no way reflects any displeasure with Webb, or the World of Wilder touring organization, or anyone else in the organization. Many thanks and greetings to all interested and involved, and new friends made along the road in the last few years ! We'll see you all soon !

Take care,

1996 NOTE from Ken:

George has been very instrumental (no pun intended) in getting Webb Wilder on the internet and providing a view from the road. George will continue to help the WW cause from the sidelines- let's hope he rejoins the touring band soon. He assured me that the new player, Joe McMahan, is a good musician. We will see......

Was that Webb Wilder music played during the 1994 NBA All Star Shootout?

A: Yes, the NBA used "Horror Hayride" as the music to shoot to during the 1994 NBA All Star 3 point shootout. It was edited to 1 minute. I was amazed that the NBA had the brains to use such a great song.

According to the San Antonio Express-News
Starting five: Five greatest All-Star Weekends

5. Minneapolis (NBA) 1994: This game makes this list strictly because of the 3-point contest, and mostly because of the music that accompanied it, Webb Wilder's "Horror Hayride." The guess here is that not one of the 3-point contestants ever had heard the frenzied tune accompanying their race around the 3-point line. The infectious guitar licks of Donny "The Twangler" Roberts built the tension to a peak as the shooters launched. It must have inspired Cleveland's Mark Price, because he made 18 in a row in the finals, missing only six of 30 shots in one of the top long-distance showings ever. Besides, Wilder's inane credo could serve as a maxim for all NBA players: "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."

Is Webb in the movie "The Thing Called Love"?

A: Yes, he plays the role of Ned. This movie was directed by Peter Bogdonavich and was River Phoenix's last movie. It was on NBC 6/17/96 so you best have watched it! It is on HBO and other cable networks all the time. But wait, there's more

Webb's choice of backing musicians if he could choose them:

A: James Burton on guitar, Charlie Watts or Steve Jordan on drums, Ian McLagan on organ, Geraint Watkinson on piano and accordian, and Neil Finn as an alternative lead singer (taken from a compuserve forum in June 1993 -thanks Fiona)

CORN FLICKS: What is it?

To movie critics, Webb Wilder the actor is "Fess Parker on thorazine," a "saturnine hybrid of James Brown and Jack Webb, whose cavernous deadpan intonations and crack timing make
Corn Flicks a must." Of Corn Flicks, a compilation of short films featuring Webb Wilder and written by R.S. "Bobby" Field aka the IONIZER and director Stephen Mims, the Chicago Tribune said "it's Twin Peaks with MTV thrown in the middle," while the Los Angeles Times described it as "a fertile field of free-form word play that reflects a literary underpinning."

B-movie and drive-in movie specialist Joe Bob Briggs called it "One of those 'you have to see it' flicks."

OTHER ask? See the IMDB by clicking here

In brief, here's the list
Pueblo sin suerte (2002) .... Ross Sullivan
The Thing Called Love (1993) .... Ned
Corn Flicks (1992)... Webb Wilder/Host/Hipster/J.C. Penney security guard
Horror Hayride (1992) .... Webb Wilder/Mr. Frye
Paradise Park (1991) .... Cowboy (aka Heroes of the Heart - USA: video title)
Webb Wilder, Private Eye in 'The Saucer's Reign' (1984) .... J.C. Penney security guard/Webb Wilder

Drop Zone (1994) (performer: "Baby Please Don't Go")
The Thing Called Love (1993) (writer: "BIG BAD LOVE")
In Country (1989) (performer: "High Rollin'")

Tough It Out! Webb Wilder Live (2006) (V) .... Himself
CMT Greatest Moments: Johnny Cash (2006) (TV) .... Voice-Over Narrator
The Perfect Specimen (1999) .... Himself/Radio Preacher

Is there a musical background in Webb's family? What is it?

A: Yes, Webb's aunt was into music The full story is below.

The woman who ran Trumpet, Lillian McMurry , kept incredibly concise and detailed session log books. Everything was turned over to the Blues Archive on the University of Mississippi campus where it is a treasure for blues historians.

For the definitive story on this pioneering Jackson, Mississippi record label Trumpet Records, which was founded by Lillian McMurry, a young woman who loved the blues, read "Trumpet Records" by Marc Ryan (who owns Accoustic Archives). The book can be ordered from
Amazon (and perhaps directly through Big Nickel Publishing, P. O. Box 157, Milford NH 03055). She lived in Jackson, Mississippi. As a matter of fact, she appeared at the Delta Blues Museum on a panel in 1998. She also appearred at the Handy's that same year where she showed up unannounced and received a standing ovation.

Trumpet recorded many classic records; the first "Dust My Broom" Elmore James with Sonny Boy Williamson, the first "Peace In The Valley" by the Southern Sons (gospel and the only lost master), Sonny Boy's "Eyesight To The Blind", "Mighty Long Time", "Mr. Downchild", "Nine Below Zero" and others.

Lillian Shedd McMurry
December 30, 1921-March 18, 1999

Lillian Shedd McMurry, the founder and owner of the legendary Trumpet Records label and the Globe Music Corporation, died in Jackson, Mississippi, after suffering a heart attack, on March 18, 1999. She was 78.

McMurry's Jackson-based label, which released blues, spirituals, country, pop, and rockabilly records, was one of the first independent labels in the South. But it was blues that Trumpet became best known for in the early 1950s. Commercially, the label didn't rival Chess, RPM, King, Imperial, or Specialty, but Trumpet's recordings were innovative and the label introduced several important artists to the public. Under McMurry's supervision, Trumpet recorded Sonny Boy Williamson [Rice Miller], Elmore James, Tiny Kennedy, Big Joe Williams, Willie Love, Percy and Luther Huff, and Jerry McCain.

McMurry became involved in the record business by chance. In the late 1940s she was working as a bookkeeper in her husband's furniture shop. Willard McMurry bought a hardware store on North Farish Street in the black part of Jackson and sent his wife there to supervise the liquidation of the remaining inventory. The shop still had some "race records," which she enjoyed listening to and which sold very quickly. McMurry found out that such records were supplied by distributors in New Orleans and were not easy to obtain in Jackson. She visited these distributors on a trip to New Orleans and returned with a trunk full of blues and spiritual 78s. Those records also sold quickly, and before long McMurry was phoning in record orders to New Orleans and Memphis.

The McMurrys kept theNorth Farish location open as a combination record shop and furniture store called Record Mart-Furniture Bargains. The store attracted a lot of walk-in traffic and it also became a busy mail-order outlet through advertisements over radio station WRBC. "We had listening booths in the shop with the record player on the counter," said McMurry in a 1984 interview. "Groups of black men would crowd into the booths and I found out they were singing spirituals along with the records. Some of them were really good. By the middle of 1950 I started thinking, 'Why can't I make a record?' Gads, I didn't know what I was getting into."

Trumpet's initial releases by the Andrews Gospelaires and the Southern Sons were recorded at WRBC and aimed at the spiritual market. However, McMurry wanted to record blues and auditioned Joe Hill Louis, Bo Carter, and Tommy Johnson‹but she didn't think they were good enough to record. She had heard about an entertaining harmonica player in the Delta and went looking for him to see if he was worth recording. In December of 1950 McMurry found Sonny Boy Williamson in a Belzoni juke joint and signed him to a Trumpet Records contract. Sonny Boy would be the label's key artist over the next five years.

Sometimes Sonny Boy would be in the studio until two a.m., until he recorded a song right," said McMurry. "If he said, 'Let's get out of here,' or made a few boo boos while recording, that was all right as long as the feeling was in it. That's what sold records.... I had an advantage over some producers being so close to the record shop and hearing what sold. Back then if you had the No. 1 Billboard hit, you¹d be lucky to sell 50,000. We never did that but we did well with Sonny Boy's Nine Below Zero, Mighty Long Time, Cat Hop, and Too Close Blues."

Sonny Boy also served as a talent scout and was responsible for bringing Elmore James to the label. James's lone Trumpet release and recording debut, Dust My Broom, would be the label's only R&B chart entry. Sonny Boy also recruited pianist Willie Love, whose Nelson Street Blues was a best seller in the Delta. Other artists gravitated to Jackson once they heard there was a lady there who made blues records. McMurry went as far as building a studio in the back of the record shop, in which many of the sessions were conducted.

Unfortunately, poor sales and escalating debts forced McMurry to shut Trumpet down in 1955. She sold Sonny Boy Williamson's contract to her pressing plant and worked for several years to pay off bills the label had incurred. During the 1960s and '70s, she worked with her husband at their store on Gallatin Street. For years she sold Trumpet 45s and 78s to visiting blues collectors for a dollar each. In 1974, she liquidated the remaining stock at a nickel a disc to a New England collector.

In the early 1980s, McMurry used reissue royalties to purchase an impressive granite marker that was placed over Williamson's previously unmarked grave in Tutwiler, Mississippi. In 1985, she donated her written records, files, and remaining masters and rights to the University of Mississippi Music Library's Blues Archive. McMurry is survived by a daughter, Vitrice (Willard McMurry died in 1996). She is buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Jackson.

written by JEFF HANNUSCH (originally found

Did Webb Wilder ever make a music video?

A: Yes, Webb's only video is for "Human Cannonball". As one would expect, it involves the circus. It cost a ton of money to make, was shot in balck and white, and was hardly ever seen on MTV. Yet is available

Did Webb Wilder ever have a DJ gig? Can you say XM radio?

A: Yes, Webb stint on XM Radio (X Country on channel 12) came to an end in 2005. Webb's show was Monday through Friday from 1pm to 4 pm CST. He was been able to play tons of cool music including most everything produced by R.S. Bobby Field aka the Ionizer as well as stuff produced by long time friend and former/sometimes fill-in bandmate George Bradfute aka the Tone Chaperone. Below is Webb in full DJ mode