Arizona's Official State Historian, MARSHALL TRIMBLE, noted storyteller and folk singer, the “Will Rogers of Arizona,” reflects on his earliest memories of long-time friend Travis Edmonson.
I first met Travis back in 1959 when I was a college student at Arizona State University. He and Bud were playing in a small coffee house in downtown Scottsdale called Portifino's. The place was packed that night and those two guys really put on a show. Both were excellent classical guitar players and their voices blended wonderfully. I remember they sang an Everly Brothers song, "Let It Be Me," that was better than the brother's version.
And, their patter was such a refreshing change from most of the folk singers, who took themselves far too seriously. Bud and Travis were having a party on stage and everybody in the audience felt a part of it. Travis was so doggoned good looking, all the girl's in the audience were in fantasyland. I remember afterwards my date was so love struck she wouldn't even hold hands with me. I made up my mind that night to get a guitar and become a folksinger too.
Bud and Travis had two records out at the time and I bought both of them. I still have them but had to transfer them to compact disks because I plumb wore out the grooves on the vinyl's. I have every album they ever recorded along with some of Travis's solo albums.
Over the next few years I saw them every time they appeared in the Phoenix area and also saw them often on national television shows like "Hootenanny," where they always stole the show from the other folk groups. Those two guys could sure light up a stage. At the peak of folk music's popularity in the early 1960s Bud and Travis were the top duo in the country.
I've always loved Mexican folk music and nobody could sing and play them like Bud and Travis. It was Travis, a native of Nogales, who introduced Mexican music to mainstream America. One time in a Mexican cantina in Nogales, I asked a member of a mariachi group if he could sing Malagueña Salerosa like Travis Edmonson, and he replied, "Nobody can sing Malagueña Salerosa like Travis Edmonson." And that's a fact.
Official Arizona State Historian
Photographer BOB ROSENBAUM recalls a cherished memory, and offers us a new picture of Travis Edmonson
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