Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
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Still Fond Memories of Aycock Band
Editor's Corner - by Mike Brown
Rockdale Reporter - 2016-12-15
Our friend Fate Arnwine, Aycock High School graduate and resident of upstate New York, has sent another column of reminiscences.
This one is about the well-remembered Aycock Band. Here’s Fate:
I Played in the Band As far back as I can remember music was an important part of Aycock.
Several students could play the piano. Many had good singing voices. Both males and females were soloists and sang in quartets.
There were the Robertson sisters, Bobbie and Sybil, and many members of the Lovelady and Jackson families.
Sam Tucker could fill an auditorium with his huge voice without the aid of a mic.
John Tindle sang tenor. Etta Walton sang with such emotion she brought tears to her own eyes. If there had been such a thing as “The Voice” or “American Idol” back then a lot them would have gone very far.
In the mid-40s my brother was studying to play the trombone. On any given evening, about a block from our house in town, you could hear Frank Jones practicing the trumpet.
Around 1953 there were rumors of starting a band. This caused a fervent rush of students, eager to learn.
Some went on to become exemplary music teachers (Sansom/Wilhite-Lovelady) and band directors (Fred Wilhite).
Mildred Wilhite played the piano and sang. Her younger brothers were also talented, Fred on trumpet and O. E. Jr. on trombone.
The Samson sisters, Eula (clarinet) and Barbara (alto sax) had parents who both played the piano. Barbara was a very accomplished pianist.
Charles Byrd played tuba in the band.
On occasion we would get together for a jam session. We mastered “Night Train” and B. B. King’s “Woke Up This Morning.”
Charles — also known as James — would play the guitar, not tuba, and do vocals.
He played guitar well.
Aycock’s band was looked up to by other schools, some a lot larger.
All the hullabaloo created by Aycock’s winning the state football and basketball championships overshadowed Aycock’s award-winning band.
That band did a lot of good for the school. Some students who were unable to participate in sports were ardent members of the band.
Seven of my classmates were members or otherwise associated with the band and two members of the football team played in it. The were myself and John Tindle.
John was also a soloist and played all sports.
I imagine most of the students ended their musical endeavors upon graduating from high school.
I met some musical people while in the Air Force and continued with my sax playing.
After the service, my playing dwindled down to Christmas carols with a co-worker during the holidays.
Sometime around 1967, I gave my sax to my nephew.
In 2005, during a lunch break, I passed an organ sales store. They offered a program called “Keys to Fun.”
For a very nominal fee they would give organ lessons. I studied with them until they relocated about a year later.
I’m very proud of my association with the Aycock High School Band.