During the second go-round of Bud & Travis, JAN MATTHEWS served as personal manager for Travis Edmonson, and recalls the experience with great warmth.
“I never remember seeing Travis when he didn't have a pen, pencil or guitar in hand. He was always composing and writing. Beautiful poetry. Tons of it.
On stage, he had the ability to put each and every member of the audience in touch with him. It was absolutely remarkable!
He is a beautiful, sensitive person, and in all the years I knew him, I never ever heard him make a negative remark about anyone. A wonderful man.”
Travis Edmonson's open-heartedness to enthusiastic young fans is a legend in itself. Even after an exhausting show, there was always time, not just to sign an autograph, but to chat and even give an impromptu guitar lesson in a backstage corridor.
PERRY BAKER has a story that even tops such encounters.
“Growing up In Tucson, Arizona, in the 60's, Travis Edmonson was like a God to me. The very first concert I ever attended was Bud and Travis at the U of A auditorium; I was 14. Bought the double live album, memorized every song. Bought all the other albums, memorized them all.
There was a coffee house on north Stone Avenue, called the First Step. 40 years ago they once featured B & T for two nights when I was 15.
My girlfriend could not attend a Sunday night show, so I asked them if they would sing her a song over the telephone. They agreed. I still have a very beat up photo of them singing into the phone I am holding, crammed into the tiny box office. Bonsoir Dame was the song. I still know the words.
Travis and I chatted about this tale at John Stewart's and Nick Reynolds' Fantasy Camp last summer, and he actually remembered the story and some of the details, like the address of this little club --they only played their once--etc. We laughed and thought it was a funny and fun story.”
LISA FARENTINO has a story about Travis Edmonson's generosity of spirit, and tells of a private concert she enjoyed as a small child.
“My grandparents were involved on the folk scene in Los Angeles. When he died, my grandfather had a big funeral. Apparently Everyone was there. But afterwards, my grandmother was all alone, and almost no one came to visit her. Only Travis Edmonson. He used to stop by frequently, and the rest of her life ,she always spoke of his thoughtfulness, and how much it meant to her.
I remember, once my mother and I were there with her when he made a visit. I was only four or five at the time, and to me, he seemed like a fairy tale prince in sandals. So tall. He played his guitar and sang for us. I'll always remember it."
JOHN CLEMENT in Nevada recalls seeing Bud & Travis live, and Travis Edmonson's very special qualities.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear of Travis Edmonson's passing. I have been a Bud & Travis fan since the mid-sixties, and was fortunate enough to see them in a club in San Francisco. What a memorable event. They became one with the audience and held us captive for the whole performance.
Travis would talk between songs, and it was as if he was speaking to me directly. He had a way of connecting that made you feel as if you and he were friends. My only regret is that this was the only time I got to see them in person.
Travis was an artist. It was so obvious, when watching him play, that he loved what he was doing. It wasn't "work" to him. It was fun.
The great composer and folk singer ERNIE SHELDON, who sang with The Limeliters in addition to his work in music for large and small screen, recalls Travis Edmonson from the days they sang together in The Gateway Singers.
“I loved working with Travis, hearing him sing and play every night at the hungry i. I learned so much from the songs he sang, the way he played them and the quality of his performance.
Travis Edmonson and Ernie Sheldon in 1958
as part of The Gateway Singers
And it was always amazing to see him eat steak - well done (or cremated as he used to say) and covered with sauce that burned like fire. I have never forgotten his enthusiasm and spirit.”
Though it's been a quarter century since they last met, entertainer BARBARA McKINNEY's recollection of her friendship with and admiration for Travis Edmonson typifies the long-lasting impact he had on people.
“I had the pleasure of knowing and loving Travis for many years... With my performing partner, Pat Horine, I met Travis in Atlanta in 1967 when he was trying out a partnership with Bob Shane at our club "Pat & Barbara's" (we alternated sets with them and that was one of the thrills of my young life. Travis introduced me to his friend, Whitt McKinney, whom I later married....
Travis was my dear friend, and I've loved and prayed for him all his life. It's wonderful to be able to find his music online. I don't find it in the music stores in Georgia...although I was able to order one CD. I have the vinyl disc of the Santa Monica concert and it is a treasure to me. To know him was to love him.”
Barbara King McKinney
Former Latin American correspondent MARTIN HOUSEMAN relates a great tale from the University of Arizona days.
"I attended the University of Arizona when Travis did, in the early 1950s.
One night, some other guys and I were in a panel truck driving across campus when we saw the feared and hated campus policeman, Frank Frye, chasing somebody and shouting, "Stop, or I'll shoot your goddamn legs off!"
It wasn't unusual for Frank Frye to chase people and shout threats, but this time he had his old .44 sixshooter in his hand like he really meant business. As we neared the Cherry Street exit from campus, one of the guys spotted two people running through the campus cactus garden. "Hey," he said, "we can save those two guys from Frank Frye!" The consensus was that was a good idea. We opened the backdoor, whistled to the fugitives, and two young men, both out of breath, ran up and dove into the panel truck.
Under a streetlight on Cherry Street, we recognized them as "Los Mariachis," two white guys from Nogales who spoke fluent Spanish, played guitars well and were the envied darlings of Sorority Row for their unsolicited post-midnight serenades of sorority houses.
One guy was Travis Edmonson, whose acclaimed hell-raising somehow had not compromised his mother's having been named Arizona Mother of the Year, the previous year, based probably upon the ccomplishments of his older brothers, a couple of academics, one of whom was a prominent Greek-language scholar.
The other guy was Roger Smith, whose daddy had a shirt shop in Nogales where he custom-made cowboy shirts for bull riders and other rodeo performers, entire western bands, etc. A shirt with a Buck Smith label was prized by cowboys and wannabees.
Asked why the hell they were running through the night from Officer Frank Frye, after catching his breath and interrupting himself several times to sort of "blow" like a mule laboring up the trail from the floor of the Grand Canyon, Travis said he was a cultural anthropology major, that the next week was Semana Santa, Easter Week, and he was doing a class project with the elders of a nearby Yaqui village.
In order to ingratiate himself with them, he had promised to get plenty of palm fronds for the village's traditional Palm Sunday procession. (The village vegetation was pretty much limited to sage brush.) So they were helping themselves to palm fronds on campus when the ever-vigilant Frank Frye came upon them.
Travis' buddy from high school, Roger, also a UofA student, was just helping him. Travis' subsequent musical trajectory is well known. Roger Smith also made a name for himself as a co-star of the popular 1950s TV series, "77 Sunset Strip," and has been married to Ann Margret for about 40 years."
Martin P. Houseman, San Diego
LIN HOLLAND of Medford, Oregon selects the boleros Sin Ti and Malagueña Salerosa as her favorite Travis Edmonson performances.
“I first heard Bud & Travis music when I was in high school in the 60's. My brother-in-law would sing and play these wonderful songs and had this great guitar strumming he called bolero. He said he was learning this style from a "Bud & Travis in Concert" album. He let me borrow the album and I was mesmerized. These two went right to my soul with their musical style. Their singing, guitar playing and comedic patter filled my young life with so much happiness. I am sorry that Bud is now gone and that I never had the opportunity to see them perform, but their music will go on forever .
You see performers today trying to capture their audience with the entire stage filled with musicians, instruments, dancers, fog, lights, fireworks, explosions.... All Bud & Travis ever needed was an empty stage, 2 stools, their guitars and a spotlight. They were true stars.
Travis has such a wonderful, clear, clean tone to his voice, and his guitar playing was magnificent. I would LOVE to have a personally signed CD from him. I would consider this a personal treasure!
I thank Travis Edmonson for his wonderful gift to the
BO SHETTERLY in South Carolina was on hand for the recording session of a much-beloved Bud & Travis album, and shares the vivid memory.
“I was in law school in Washington, D.C. and one of my classmates said he was going to see Bud and Travis at The Cellar Door. I had never heard of them but said I would go along.
I remember the opening act was a singer that most of the crowd did not particularly like. Someone suggested that he must have paid The Cellar Door to get on stage. The crowd was a bit restless.
However, when Bud and Travis came on stage with the rapid beat of "Gimme Some", they owned the house. I for one was mesmerized. I can recall thinking, these guys are really good. Their versatility and musical ability were outstanding. I even liked the "Latin" numbers even though I had no idea what the lyrics said. The guitar playing said it all.”
BARBARA SMALL sent the following reaction after receiving a CD from the Travis Edmonson Collection.
“How can I thank you enough for sending me part of my past years in such a special package? Spotlight arrived and brought with it all of that wonderful harmony, sweet feelings and fun times long ago.
I can't believe that I remember each song exactly - all of the lyrics, word for word - even the Spanish (phonetically). I got the giggles at knowing that I never took Spanish, but there it was in this much older brain. Our college group heard it because we had the only phonograph in the group and had two records of Bud and Travis
Two special men with close harmony singing as a single voice at times. It struck me in later years that the two sang of people things - sad and happy. After all of the years, we all learn that those are the important, lasting things.
Travis, there must be a wealth of warm feelings inside to think of us who hold you in high regard. Great music sang with sincerity.
I must tell about a trip to the Yucatan peninsula (Chichen Itza) in about 1971. We stayed at the Archeological digs there and one night had dinner in a little place where they had strolling musicians. We were the only Norte Americanos present. I requested Malaguena Salerosa and saw the light in their eyes while they were playing it. Not as good as your recordings, but we all loved it - so far from home.
Thanks so much for all of the memories wrapped up in that little CD.
Best to you,”
Heartwarming and charming Comments about and Recollections of Travis Edmonson sent in to the website during the last six years of his life
Travis Edmonson in Memoriam - the touching tributes which poured in after his passing on May 9, 2009
Travis saluted in May 2008 on the occasion of a concert held in his honor
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GREAT GIFT IDEAS
from other Travis fans
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Travis Edmonson made his breakthrough with The Gateway Singers, resident group at the hungry i
Be sure and check out the website celebrating the great San Francisco club at www.hungryi.net
For More of the best in 1960s entertainment, Click the logo above to check out the ultimate illustrated guide to "I Spy" with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby at www.l23.org
Travis Edmonson Recommendation! Love the music of Bud & Travis? then you're sure to enjoy the fabulous STREET MINSTRELS.
If you're in Arizona, you can experience their music live, and even have them perform at an event you're arranging. But music lovers all over the US and beyond can experience the great STREET MINSTRELS sound on CD. Just go to www.streetminstrels.com to hear them and get ordering info!
We also recommend!
“Tales From The Teacher Patrol” by Gwen Tatera, a warm-hearted and charming book capturing the witticisms of school children. Click the book image below to order and be thoroughly delighted!
Have a ton of fun at the Julie & Brownie website
Check out the newest CD from Ava Victoria. To listen and buy "Hybrid songbird Kickin' Up Life," just click the allbum image below