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Lubbock musician Joe Don Davidson battling cancer in Erie 

Friday, March 27, 2009, 11:05 PM


Not every great Lubbock musician is in the band backing the Lubbock Legends on Saturday night at the United Spirit Arena.

Electric guitarist Joe Don Davidson — whose work I have greatly admired since his younger and more carefree days with The Planets, then with Ace Liquidators and even during stints with the house band at the Cactus Theater — is battling liver cancer.

He presently is in Erie, Colorado, which Wikipedia says is west of Interstate 25 and about 35 minutes from Denver International Airport. Joe Don is not in hospice now. He is living with and being cared for by his son Justyn and Justyn's family.

No one is taking anything for granted. But it does not look promising. At the recommendation of physicians, Joe Don's other family members have been advised to go to Denver and be with him.

I also received an e-mail tonight (Friday March 27) reporting Joe Don's death, which is just not true!

So beware of those false reports.

I immediately passed that particular e-mail on to Joe Don's friend, Lesley Sawyer, who told me that she had just spoken with both Joe Don a second time and his son, Justyn.

Lesley said that Joe Don "is weak and tired, but his spirits are up. He still has his sense of humor. His kids are taking excellent care of him, and he seems very peaceful.

"They have managed his pain, and told him to visit with his family and take one day at a time. It is almost like a reunion for him, and he said he feels very blessed and fortunate. ...

"He's been catching up on some movies lately."

Already, local friends, including Larry Simmons, The Tornado Gallery and the Caprock Cafe, also have been discussing the possibility of a benefit concert of some sort.

But I think the obvious thing everyone can do right now (and this weekend) is to just send Joe Don your prayers — and your SUPPORT —and perhaps take a bit of time to discuss some of your favorite moments with JD or watching JD.

Share some happy memories.

I lost my father to cancer not long ago; on the other hand, my wife Jill is a cancer survivor — and she is the first to tell me (and everyone else) that so much depends on attitude and on knowing that a person with cancer also has the love and support of friends.

That the person is not alone.

In Joe Don's case, I have to believe he also has the love and support of thousands of faceless fans whose world Joe Don has helped rock time and again.

I'm told Justyn will pass on more information about his dad for this blog --- but please, don't waste a moment in letting JD know your own feelings.

Please pass this on to everyone you think might want to know about Joe Don Davidson.

Joe Don is just 58. He has cancer, but he is fighting it.

(The stunning portrait of Joe Don at the top is a photograph taken by Victor Mosqueda, who has been kind enough to let me use it. Be sure to check out his studio and his work. -- The live concert photo is a shot of The Planets playing at the first outdoor Joe Ely Tornado Jam. Joe Don is playing guitar with singer Denise Brissey and drummer Davis McLarty. Curtis Peoples loaned the photo, but he did not take it. Maybe he will let us know who deserves the photo credit.)

William Kerns 

Friday, March 27, 2009, 11:52 PM

I'll kick this off, and say that I have been praying for Joe Don and trying to confirm specifics since I heard the news this week.

And when I heard it, I recalled not only the Planets gigs, but a certain show at the Cactus Theater where Joe Don was able to show off his sense of humor.

Don Caldwell had announced a country number, and the Lubbock, Texas Rhythm Machine had played it straight almost all the way through, when all of a sudden Joe Don broke into about 45 seconds of beautifully played, screaming rock guitar. Caldwell looked at him, and JD just shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "Is something wrong?"

He plays well, and also knows the ins and outs of being a showman.

Jere Lowe 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 12:40 AM

Joe Don,
Wishing you and your loved ones the best.
Peace be with you and please keep good thoughts and a strong attitude throughout this ordeal.
My best thoughts of Joe Don are when he was working shows at Stubb's on 19th and I-27. Joe Don was not only enjoy the acts that performed there but he was having lots of fun bringing the public quality entertainment.

Best wishes,
Jere Lowe

Paul Bullock 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 10:46 AM

Even though my memories of Joe Don go way back to High School, I think more of all the times I danced the night away at so many musical events. After returning to Lubbock from some travels, I discovered The Planets and then followed The Ace Liquidators. Great bands! So my memories are ALL GOOD. I remember the anticipation before the music would start and how involved the crowd would become. We who have supported the Lubbock Music Scene have been graced with talent and musical creativity second to none. Joe Don is in my Hall of Fame. I am sure all of Joe Don's friends and fans are reminiscing about all the good times we experienced listening and dancing to the music that Joe Don helped to create. Thoughts and prayers abound for Joe Don and his family. Your friend and fan.

Victor Magri 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 12:13 PM

I know Joe Don as a player and a worker and mostly as a friend. I'm glad to hear that he is still with us and that he is still as funny as ever. I've seen Joe Don a lot recently, not where you would expect, but at WalMart, where we all wind up sooner or later. He'd come in at like 4:30AM, looking for Texas Toast. We'd talk about players, friends and family. He always went on about Justyn and how proud he was, as we all are, of Justyn's playing and his career in computers. Then I'd make dumb comments about his food choices and he'd tell me to go put more Toast on the shelves!
Joe Don is as unique a friend as you'd ever hope to find. He is uniquely creative, as one week, I spent hours following him around on the web as I looked at all the Websites he had designed. From that point on, whenever I needed a site or heard of someone needing one, I always called him first. Joe Don was really one of the first people to welcome me to Lubbock some....18 years ago now. His was the one opinion I always listened to, even when I didn't want to. Joe Don was always honest telling me one time, "You just can't get our of your own way, can you?" Every venture I've ever made or done since then, I've always been aware of where I am and I remember what he said. I sure love you Joe Don! I am eternally proud to be your friend!

Justyn Davidson 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 04:30 PM

Joe Don says: "I've got no regrets. I've lived the life of ten people."

Thanks for all the support, Lubbock. Pop is tired and weak today, but hanging in there. He's still moved by music and the other night we all sang along to a teary version of Leon Russel's A Song For You. Peace and love to all of you...

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 05:32 PM

Justyn -
My first excuse to hold a woman close to me was to the licks out of Jo Don's big fat Red Gibson . He mastered "The Last Time" in about 20 minutes. The Music Box just across the tracks.

I sat behind your dad in 1968 at our graduation. Tell him I'll put a guitar pick on Buddy's grave for him.

Robert W. Chapman

Larry Simmons 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 05:52 PM

I had the privilege of watching JD play with lots of different bands and people...from Ely to Belly to the Liquidators and so on but he'll always be The Planets guitar player to me. My all time favorite band, hands down.I saw him at so many different venues The Dawg, Rox, Roxz, Peaches, Nicks Uptown, the first Tornado Jam and he was lightning at every one. Joe Don never had a bad night on stage, not from this man's eyes. This man's eyes are teary tonight, but not from thinking about losing a friend but from remembering what good times I had listening to him with and without guitar. All my best to you Joe Don- to Justyn and his have done him proud.

Denise Tomlinson 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 06:02 PM

Oh boy, where does one start when thinking of Joe Don? I remember rocking out to the Planets & Liquidators over at Fat Dawgs - Heavenly sounds to a Rock & Roll girl from Dallas! Then, years later, working with him at Stubb's over on 19th. Joe Don booked some of the best bands in the universe into that place - I was amazed (and am VERY grateful). I'll let Jerry rave about his pickin' (he does it better than I do). Thanks for all the things you gave to us as a music community, Joe Don - you done good.

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 09:55 PM

I walked into the Wally World for fish food last week. And, I wandered around the plants. I saw a Black Mission Fig, and thought , " I need to plant a fig tree in the garden downtown. So I bought it a couple of days ago. Tomorrow, I'm finishing seeding it , and I'm going to plant "Joe Don the Fig " in the garden next to the Cactus Theater.

What a hoot, I was in the greenhouse tonight when I thought of it.
My mom's story about the Cactus, and her garden next to it ;

Wally Moyers 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 10:04 PM

Joe Don,

I will never forget the first time I heard you play, I said wow who is this guy. I was playing with The Warhorse Band and Debbie Blakley had told me about your great playing but I wasn't expecting what I heard with you and the Planets. It was a great privilege to later work with you and the Liquidators in the studio and later actually getting to play with you at the Cactus. What did we do, 150 performances of the Patsy Cline Show? I was always impressed at how a rocker like you would take seriously playing corny country licks, your a true professional. You played some great stuff on Pritchard's last CD, I don't think you played the same thing twice. I hope some day ,somewhere, we will play together again.

Most of all I appreciate your friendship.

God Bless You Joe Don,

Wally Moyers

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 10:21 PM

Joe Don was the only guy whoever invited me to fly model airplanes at 2 o'clock in the morning.

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:13 AM


I will add some more soon, but let's see if my blog is allowing me entrance.

It's a bit after midnight. Unlike my usual procedure at concerts (which is scampering away at the end to make deadline), I was able to stay for the entire 3-hour Lubbock Centennial Closing Concert at the United Spirit Arena, and then wandered through the backstage hallwaus and meeting rooms for another 90 minutes, chatting with the performers before they left for home, hotels or other cities.

But several already were talking about Joe Don Davidson backstage 90 minutes before the concert started. The first thing Doug Nelson asked me was what the heck was true. So many had received e-mails announcing that JD had passed away. (Again, not true.) Jay Boy Adams indicated that he and his child both went to bed last night with tears on their pillows.

Jay Boy was the first to tell me that he planned to dedicate "The Regulator" to Joe Don tonight. He mentioned JD, but Terry Allen already had revealed on stage earlier that Joe Don is sick.

Don Caldwell asked everyone at the pre-show production meeting to say a prayer for Joe Don, emphasizing that JD had contriibuted a great deal to Lubbock music.

It was obvious from talking to people who make and report on music here that they were thinking about Joe Don Davidson tonight.

More in a few minutes. (I hope this works. You won't know if it doesn't. LOL.)

Denise Tomlinson 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:18 AM

it worked. I'm reading it.

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:30 AM

Let me catch up here on some information that was e-mailed to me by Justyn Davidson after 3 a.m. last night (Friday night/Saturday morning). I had printed it out and taken it home to add to this blog — but for some reason I tried three times, and each time my blog treated me like a poor relative, slamming the door in my face.

I was busy all day today/Saturday, and so I apologize for making JD's friends wait for this information.

Justyn is, at 40, Joe Don's eldest child.
This is a portion of what Justyn sent to me:

"My dad has liver cancer. It has been diagnosed as advanced and untreatable. He is at home at my house, with me, my wife Michelle and my son Julian., and we are trying to provide him as peaceful and healthy an environment as possible.

"Pop is 58 years old. His birthday is May 4, 1950. He graduated from Monterey High School in 1968.

"He has three young children in Lubbock: Jayson, 16; Danielle, 14; and Savannah, 12. ... He also has a 24-year-old son in Florida named Paul Stern, and a 32-year-old daughter in Oklahoma named Carlye Rogers.

"He has an older brother in Albuquerque named Wally."

Justyn also mentioned: "It is apparent that Pop's disease was brought on by his rock 'n' roll lifestyle. But he has no regrets. He claims that he has lived the lives of 10 people, and was true to himself. In his illness, he seems to have found a new peace with himself and his friends & family. His attitude is as positive as I have ever seen it, although he dreads explaining his situation to loved ones. He does not want folks to pity him or express regrets."

Just an FYI: Justyn, of course, played in the band Electric Gypsies for a number of years. He said, "I now live in Colorado and work for a software company."

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:48 AM

More from Justyn Davidson:

I had asked Justyn if it might be possible to give me a rundown of the bands that claimed Joe Don as a member and lead guitarist.

He sent the following list:

* The Twilites (Joe Don was 14 years old when he played in this band with Joe Ely).

* The Nite Owls.

* The Rox.

* The Fugitives.

* Crushed Ice.

* The Traveling Salesmen.

* The Larry Trider Band (out of Las Vegas).

* The Planets (based first in Albuquerque, N.M., and then in Austin).

* Ace Liquidators (with Rolling Stones saxophone player Bobby Keys).

* House band at the Cactus Theater (in the Depor Entertainment District in Lubbock).

* The Mike Pritchard Band.

* Al & The Pythons.

Justyn also said, "I'm sure there are others. Plus he did a lot of studio work, and individual work."

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:05 AM

Hundreds of e-mails were sent out Friday, stating that Joe Don Davidson had passed away.

I know three people that sent them in large numbers to people they knew, and so I had tried to ascertain earlier where the rumor had begun.

Because let's face it. The incorrect news was not being spread by anyone who knew it was untrue. Rather, those who were informing the music community that JD was gone were themselves already no doubt upset because they thought they'd lost a dear friend.

In any case, I checked my e-mail early Saturday afternoon and saw that Pat Simmons had written to me at 10 a.m.

The subject of her e-mail was "The Truth About The Rumor."

This is what she had to say:

"I wanted to let you know what happened last night regarding the rumor that Joe Don had passed.

"I got a call from Kevin Mackey last night. He was upset, and I asked him what was wrong. He said that John Paul Cravens had just called and told him that JD was dead.

"I thought it was odd for this information to come from Austin, so I called Suzette to ask her if she had heard anything, and to please check her e-mails, blogs, etc. She told Jimmie (Mason), and he sent out his e-mail in good faith.

"I would not want anyone to think that Jimmie would arbitrarily send out such information.

"It turns out that John Paul's mother originally told him this news, so of course he did not question it, any more than I would if my mother had told me the same. I believe his mom was probably confused, or the information that JD was in hospice care lost something in translation on the way to Austin.

"Everyone who was involved in this situation feels terrible about it, and Kevin (Mackey) has personally asked me to apologize to everyone in Lubbock who may have been upset by this news.

"My heartfelt apologies go along with his. This is a difficult time for everyone who loves JD, and I would never knowingly do anything to make his family's pain worse than it already is."

Thank you, Pat.

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:19 AM

Well, in the interest of absolute accuracy...

I did find the correspondence from Pat Simmons in my Internet home e-mail, but...

Taking a closer look, I see it is a copy of a message she had sent to me via Face Book.

Sorry. I was in a rush to print it out before I left the house, so I could share it from work tonight after the concert...

Changing the subject just a tad...

I've really enjoyed reading ya'll's memories of Joe Don, and wish Colorado Bob the best of luck with his Joe Don fig. I hope we'll hear some more memories from some of the people who had to focus the past few days on the Lubbock Centennial Concert

Also, I do not want to start a new Post to announce this. But I was able to locate a few photos of Joe Don Davidson, and the A-J's GO Editor will upload two of them here on Sunday or Monday.

These include an absolutely wonderful professional portrait of JD by Victor Mosqueda. That will be the more recent image. Plus, Curtis Peoples sent me a color photo that I also love from the first Joe Ely Tornado Jam, with Joe Don Davidson (wearing a moustache back then) playing guitar next to singer Denise Brissey, and David McLarty playing drums in the rear.

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 02:57 AM

Oh jeez, I almost forgot.

Cards and letters to Joe Don Davidson can be mailed to:

Joe Don Davidson
c/o Justyn Davidson
3257 Cummings Drive
Colorado 80516


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:24 PM

Joe Don,

I'm sending you 57 sloppy headbone kisses.
I was thinking about watching The Planets softball games, and you as an outfielder, we were all amazed at your ability to catch balls with one hand, and not spill a drop of beer you held in your other hand. Ya know, that's when we nicknamed you "lightning."
I think of you playing video games with my dad.
I think of the Virgin Islands, and how much fun we all had.
I think of you Joe Don with every waking moment right now.
I love you J.D., and always will, I WILL kept remembering forever.

Your friend forever and ever,
Debra Raines


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 12:34 PM

I suppose I should proof read before sending, DANG!
Kept was meant to be KEEP.
I promise not to post pics of all of us in St. Thomas, hmmmmmm, but there is, just kidding.
Again, I love you Joe Don,

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:04 PM

I seem to remember Joe Don subbing in a musicians' softball game -- and the glove in one hand and beer in the other,

I'm sure Mike Pritchard can confirm.

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:07 PM

(Responding to an e-mail...)

In regards to the rumor that led to inaccurate information being e-mailed to many..
It was not my intention to throw anyone under the bus, but rather to help clear things up for those still asking. Again, no one involved ever intended anything to be hurtful, just informative.

Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:35 PM


It is clear that the inaccurate email was not sent maliciously, rather because people care about my dad a lot. There are no hard feelings, no ill-will from anyone in the family. Let's move on to happier topics!

Thank you all for the stories and kind thoughts. Please keep them coming; every anecdote fills in a slice of the "Joe Don Rock and Roll Saga". They are also great food for thought and conversation for us up here in CO.

Love and Respect,


Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:40 PM

BTW, I know Kevin, Jimmie, Suzette, and JP well - they are all great friends and allies of the JDD legacy... ;^)


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 01:44 PM

You have a great blog here. I don't see how anyone could place any blame on you for inaccurate info.
I want to thank you for having this here for so many of us being able to say what's in our hearts.
Yes, Mike can confirm about the softball games.
I don't think Joe Don ever missed a ball, or spilled a drop. J.D. seemed to just glide around in slo mo, and always got the job done. Thanks again Bill for providing us a place to say what's in our hearts!

Ingrid Holly Kaiter 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 02:20 PM

Thank you so much Joe Don for sharing your music with all of us who've had the pleasure of being in the audience.

My seven year old daughter proudly sports a Planets T-shirt and we listen to a Planets cassette tape that Debra Raines gave to us recently. It sounds just as good as the first time I heard you guys.

Your playing is strong and always has been. You are one of the very first guitar players I ever saw live. A true artist, you are and I will continue to stand in awe of you and the impression you made on me each time I saw you play.

I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer,and I wish you all the peace and love you can possibly stand!

Ingrid H Kaiter


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 02:24 PM



Sunday, March 29, 2009, 02:57 PM

Joe Don,
About the promise I made regarding not posting any pics from the St. Thomas trip, well I found some I think you would be proud of. With your permission, I'd like to make some copies to send to Justyn. Also, maybe one or two to Bill? Only with your permission though.
I'm also sending you 63 more sloppy headbone kisses, keep your hankie out, cuz I probably will send more....

Nina Powers 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 03:59 PM

Hey Joe Don,
I would have gotten my comment in sooner if I could have had help submitting from somebody who understands computers. It keeps firing back to me saying capcha error and am I spambot. Well no I'm not but it won't even let me answer. Not being computer literate, you know; I called Landa who referred me to Marnee who did a test as you can with the help of a few friends maybe this will get to the blog.
O.K., now that you're smiling, I gotta say when you took the room with one of those titillating guitar leads, those of us attuned to the music were inspired, raised to a higher frequency. Words fall short of those moments of which I speak. Thank you for the inspiration. It was your pleasure and ours.
Thank you Justyn for keeping us informed through this forum.
Thank you Bill for the blog.

Rave On Joe Don!

Love and Blessings to All of You,
Nina Powers

William Kerns 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 05:39 PM

Even if I'd SAVED my own Planets T-shirt, it would not fit me now. God, isn't that sad? Anyone have an XXL? LOL.

And Debra, as long as you're slipping people those tapes... Kidding. But I'd buy one. Maybe Ralph DeWitt still has some Planets recordings. He's always been a good source for loca music.

Finally, the real reason I write: Nina, not to worry. I think the problem could be on our end. I have joked about my own blog locking me out, but it's true. At the most inopportune moments, usually after a long entry, my post will be refused and the blog will ask, "Are you a spambot."

I mean, do I look like some robotic deliverer of spam messages?
(Don't answer that. LOL)


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 07:26 PM

Just looking at that great color picture brings back so MANY memories of The Planets.

That was one of the best bands Lubbock ever has seen.

Hey Kerns, do you know what happened to all of the other members of The Planets? Anyone?

Justyn, is there anything Joe Don would like us to send? Any books by his favorite authors? Any movies? Crosswords? Comics? Beer?

Oh, that is a kick-ass black and white photo, also. I would have put that on my wall, if I had one of me like that.


Sunday, March 29, 2009, 09:20 PM

Okay, just gotta' send out the love to Justyn for understanding about the message sent in error. And now, on to one of my faves..Joe Don and I went to this place in New Mexico as it was trade out for The Planets having played a party of some kind there. It was a really cool place....horses, fishing, log cabins and such. Davis was there at the same time...we went on a horseback ride one afternoon, it was just beautiful country in the mountains. There was about 8-10 of us on this ride and we came upon a tree log that had fallen across the road. Well, everyone's horses deftly hopped that log and kept on sauntering down the trail. Joe Don was last in line and his horse came upon that log and just the horse was doing a pretty good cantor this sudden cease in movement sent Joe Don sailing over that horse's head, he did this barrel roll on the ground, hopped right up to his feet, put his arms out and gave me one of those great grins...."I meant to do that" he nonchalantly utters. Love you darlin.....Suzette

Larry Simmons 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 10:25 PM

Thats gotta be Victor Mosqueda's photo...and I'm guessing the first Tornado Jam is the second...great shots. Wonderful stories of a great guy...from some of the coolest people in the Hub. If that doesn't tell what kind of man JD is you will never understand...lets hear the Georgia Satellites and all sing along.

doug pullen 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 10:49 PM

I always loved the Planets. There were a lot of reasons. They were a major league quality band, just in terms of the way their writing was evolving back in the second half of the '70s when I was there. They were solid singers and musicians, a fact proven by the longevity of players like Joe Don Davidson and Davis McLarty. They were consummate showmen (and women), both when Debbie and Denise did the bulk of the singing and after Debbie left, which allowed Denise to blossom all the more. Plus, they wrote a song called "Interview" that they told me was inspired by yours truly, then a rock 'n' roll loving student journalist whose first advisor that no newspaper was going to hire an entertainment journalist. Now they just buy them out.

The fact that I had a mad crush on Denise Brissey (and, on some level, probably still do ... unrequited love and all that) may have been key to my enthusiasm, too.

But first and foremost they were a band, I was drawn to their dynamic stage shows, mostly at the Rox and Fat Dawg's, but also other places I don't remember that well (toking away brain cells will do that to you). Joe Don's guitar playing was such a major part of that. The thing about Joe Don, at least back then, was he wasn't flashy. The guy could play. Especially when he cut loose on a solo. Scorcers, as I recall.

The other thing I remember about Joe Don was how low-key and gracious he could be, and how dry his wit was. I remember that he liked to party, but I don't remember him trying to be the life of the party. Not back then, anyway.

I once had the Planets over for a steak dinner. They'd been touring non-stop and I thought it would be a nice break from the grind. It was a lot of fun. We grilled in the backyard (I forget what street I lived on, 36th or something like that), drank wine, smoked the good stuff and just enjoyed one another's company. I remember how sincere Joe Don thanked me when it was time to leave.

Well, it's my turn now, JD. I haven't seen or talked to you in probably 30 years. But it says a lot about you as both a musician and as a genuinely good guy that after all I've seen, done and been through since then, I can still see you shaking my hand and thanking me for the meal. I can still see you up on the stage at Rox, that big red Gibson firing away from some other plane. Or is that planet?


Doug Pullen

(Hey, anybody got Denise's number? Hahahahaha!)

Jeremy Danial Boreing 

Sunday, March 29, 2009, 11:46 PM

Joe Don,

I have a lot of fond memories from the Cactus days, but my favorite was the day we moved up a matinee of BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY and the information didn't get to you until five minutes after curtain. Your entrance that day was legendary, and I chuckle about it every time I remember that show.

God bless you, sir, and Rave On.


Gary Boren 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 09:42 AM

Joe Don, you and your family are in our Prayers! I remember all of the Great Music, especially when you were with the Traveling Salesman from Monterey High School days. Our family loves your creative gift and talent. I appreciate Mr. Kerns mentioning that Don Caldwell asked everyone at the pre-show production meeting to say a prayer for Joe Don, emphasizing that JD had contriibuted a great deal to Lubbock music. I listen to Joe Don play many times at the Cactus Theatre and it was really a treat! God's Best Blessings on you, and your family.

jane prince jones 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 09:55 AM

hey joe don
Wow..what a drag for you to go thru this. I'm praying for you, Joe Don. I remember when your sweet Danielle was about 7 or 8 and how much she looked like my daughter Amy. Because they both favor their daddies, I decided you and my husband Randy have to be related! Just kidding, I know that's not really that comforting, huh? Joe Don, you have such an incredible talent...loved watching you miss seeing you..'heatin' things up' on the Cactus stage.

jane pj

Alan Haney 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 12:18 PM

Joe Don,

I hated hearing about you second- and third-hand from people who were only marginally informed about your condition at best. I finally got an accurate call from Rev. Al that cleared things up. I hope you're getting plenty of rest, dude; can it be that I haven't seen you since Halloween when we played that party downtown with the Pythons?


Just remember your Doc's advice: "Old rockers never die, they just can't get their g-string in tune anymore."

Hang in there, brother.

Best wishes and good thoughts from Doc & Genie

Lesley Sawyer 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 12:21 PM

The other night he would crack a joke and I'd sort of chuckle and he'd say, "That was a joke. You're supposed to laaauugh!" haha ;-)

We have had several laughing fits together, eh Joe Don?

One night we'd been up till the 'wee-hours' and for no apparent reason got the giggles that escalated into full-blown spasmatic laughter...Renee came flyin' in to tell us to SHUT UP which, of course, like church laughter, set us off again. I volunteered to leave before we got in big trouble.

I love you as big as the sky, Joe Don.

I hope to talk at cha soon. ;-)

Jerry Tomlinson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 01:17 PM

Our prayers are with you Joe Don.
I always thought you were one of the best guitar players in town. No doubt about that. I even remember The Traveling Salesmen, long time ago my friend. You were the best then and just kept getting better. A true musician's musician. Peace.

Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 02:19 PM

I pray for Joe Don many times each day. He played with the Traveling Salesmen for a time back in the late 1960's and he was a wonderful musician, as well as a laid-back, easy-going guy. His brother, Wally ("Wal-Bear") is still one of my best pals. God speed, Joe Don.
With love from my entire family,
Dan Atcheson

Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 02:29 PM

I spoke with Wally late last week and he took this story to Colorado with him:
When Joe Don was in high school, he decided to skip one afternoon and just hang around the house. The only problem was that his dad came home from work early. Joe Don ran out the back door and hid behind a shed for the remainder of the afternoon. Joe Don told me that he had no shoes or jacket and it was freezing outside. But the worst thing was that he needed to take a dump like a grown man and couldn't. LOL Wally promised to tell this memory to Joe Don.

Chris Oglesby 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 02:44 PM

Summer in the late 80's (87?) every Thursday night, The Ace Liquidators played the Spoon; with Danny Raines singing and Bobby Keys blowing the horn as fierce as he does with the Stones, Joe Don was as good as Keith or Ronnie. Some of the most ecstatic moments of my life...

Nicole Taylor 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 02:49 PM

I am Jesse Taylor's daughter. Please send Joe Don love from the Taylor family.

Debra Raines 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 03:01 PM

LOL! Was that the dude ranch in the Pecos Wilderness? I have the same memory. Were we both there? I know J.D.'s horse sure didn't like that log. The guy that bridled my horse put it's bit in backwards. There was no pressure to stop my horse, so the horse took off up the side of the mountain without any mercy for me, This happend after Joe Don did his "sailing through the air thing." I had laughed at him, then there I go...musta been karma.
It also didn't help with Jackson (Danny and my Great Dane) sticking his nose up my horses business.
Great fun and very fond memories...

Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 03:15 PM

Justyn, if you're listening, please show this to Joe Don: I think it will make him smile.

Colorado Bob 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 03:16 PM

" Joe Don the Fig "
For Joe Don Davidson

lesley sawyer 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 03:27 PM

THE WALL. Need I say more? OK. I will...

It was the first time I ever felt like a 'Rock Star'.

We laughed for 3 months straight.

I watched Justyn while as he watched you perform/play your 'Pink solos'. He was very proud and you were very humble. (Was it our lazer-light-show' that made the two of you seem to glow or was it pride and admiration?)

I woke on morning with sugar and chocolate cake all over my face. Once again, the night/morning before we were asked to quiet down. ;-)

Neither Todd nor I can remember the joke you were telling with such enthusiasm but we've laughed about the look on your face for yeeeaaarrrsss.

Thank you for you patience in so many scenerios...

Have I told you that I love yet? Well, I'll tell you again.

(never leave a dry eye in the house!) haha

lesley sawyer 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 04:00 PM

To be honest, I know that all of us have 3 or 4 dozen stories to share and then when we sit down to type or 'express' it doesn't seem to come out the way we wanted, or we forget pieces or we get chocked up and need to stop for a 'breather'...sigh....

That being said...I forgot to send 'love and hugs' to Joe Don's children and say to Justyn and Michelle - that I'm am so incredibly proud/impressed/respectful of you for taking such good care of your dad. It is bittersweet in so many ways and I get teary just thinking about it - but they are 'good' tears.

I love you BIG!

Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 05:19 PM

Joe Don's mom, Ann Davidson was elected as County Clerk in Lubbock and served for decades. She was also a very nice and pretty lady. His dad, Jack at one time was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table for selling a lot of insurance. Jack was a gentleman, as well as a gentle man. I was honored to know the family for so long. And good qualities from each parent were passed on to Joe Don (as well as Justyn).

Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 05:21 PM

And they were passed on to Wally, too, Joe Don's older brother. A man of honor and dear friend.


Monday, March 30, 2009, 06:04 PM

Miss Debra,
Thanks for filling in the gaps as Lesley referred must have been backing up your long term memory more often than I have. And how could I possibly have forgotten Jackson?? As I remember, he was just big enough to have his nose in all of the animals business. I have this great, great pic of Joe Don sitting in the restaurant, beer in one hand, smoke in the other, big Joe Don smile on his face. I also have some other pics from that of Davis leaning into the red Dodge Dart that I drove, after we got stopped by the police, and let go....good times (lol). I have never seen Davis laugh so hard as he did when Joe Don got a flying trip off that horse. Thanks girlfriend...and love to you JD, and Justyn, and Michelle. Suzette

Donna Dubose 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 06:14 PM

Joe Don,

I don't even know where to begin. The first time I met you was at Fat Dawg's. You were always a dear friend and I sure miss you being my backdoor neighbor. I look each and everyday to see if your van is there. I hope that you know that you mean the world to me. Everytime I came to your home no matter who might be there with you I always called out to see if you were naked. I always got the same response No, but come on in. I miss you even though I can't buy the right kind of ice cream.

Just remember that you have touched me and so many others through your music or just being Joe Don. I miss and love like a brother.

Donna D

Savannah Davidson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 06:36 PM

Dad, I love you and am always praying for you. Your the best dad in the world. I love you!


Danny Neel 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 06:57 PM

Joe Don, Love and blessings to you and your family.Thanks for all the great music and memories . danny neel

John Sprott 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 06:59 PM

Joe Don,
Catherine and I send our love, and we sure have you and yours in our thoughts. And everyone here that I run into playing around here feels the same way.

Doug Nelson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 07:11 PM

Joe Don,

Many people backstage and in the audience during the Centennial Concert talked about how much they admire and love you. My mind kept going back to all those nights I worked in Fat Dawgs and watched you perform...the sound of your guitar still plays in my mind. The other thing my mind went back to was all the beautiful females in the audience when the Planets performed. Each night I'd see one I liked, as the manager I did my best to impress her... I never did, they were all in love with you and Steve. All I accomplished was using up the tab Bruce gave me. For six long years the only time a girl looked my way when you played, was when I asked her what she was drinking.

You, Danny and Steve...were (are) special friends. The three of you looked out for me.

I Thank you for your kindness and your music. And like all of those people at the Centennial Concert...I love you too...


Dan Atcheson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 08:49 PM

Here's one I shouldn't 'fess up to, but here goes: In the late 1960's, I had a terrible hangover one Saturday morning. I called Joe Don and asked if "herb" would cure my condition. Joe Don responded, "I don't know about that, but it might improve your attitude about it. LOL Typical Joe Don.

Justyn, here's another smile for Joe Don, and tell him I'm still fast enough to play the drums as you hear them:
At 63, My hands are fast enough to catch and kill a fly if he lands in a place where I won't have to destroy valuable things to get him.


Monday, March 30, 2009, 08:49 PM

Test: Last time I wrote a big, long entry, spilled my guts and it didn't go through.


Monday, March 30, 2009, 08:55 PM

Seeing as how I may have figured this out I just wanted to add my 2 cents. It's great seeing everyone give it up for JD. He's my best friend and "The Brother I Never Had" (sorry, Wally, I guess that makes you my brother, too). I miss Lubbock. The best people in the world as far as I'm concerned. I could go on and on about Joe Don. I never had so much fun in my life as I did with him and the memories I have of playing in the Planets, especially at Fat Dawgs will be with me forever (at least the ones I can remember). Doug, you're right, the women in Fat Dawgs, Lubbock in general were about the prettiest I've ever seen. Especially at closing time. Keep it up. I know Justyn's making sure Joe Don gets all these.

William Kerns 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 09:28 PM

Wow. That is strange that the last post was from Steve. I'm just logging in this time to type in some comments that Steve Morelock had e-mailed to me at home -- this was after the Internet ate the volume he had tried to type into the blog (which I cannot explain).

The next paragraph includes some random comments from Steve's note, and he also said he hopes to get to Denver in the next few days if he can untangle some of his business and family conflicts.

Steve: "I have been in contract with Justyn, with Wally, and every few days with Joe Don. ..... Joe Don is literally the brother I never had, and my relationship with him is closer than just about any other. ..... We (The Planets) enjoyed a great run and I have memories (some vague and some buried!) that will last me a lifetime. ..... I also e-mailed Davis (McLarty) and I spoke with Denise (who is in Albuquerque) just to make sure that they are aware of the situation."

Back to Kerns speaking: I also wanted to say thanks to Mr. Morelock for his kind comments about the local coverage of The Planets. It is a trip just to be able to write about music you love. So...thanks for all that great music. Thanks to the entire band.

And finally, Savannah, thanks so much for writing what you feel. You almost made this old writer cry... I am so sorry.

Debra Raines 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 09:32 PM

Steve Morelock,
I'm glad you got your 2 cents in. Yes, lots of women wanted me to introduce them to Joe Don and Steve... An infinite amount as I remember. I also remember the women after Doug, yes Doug, YOU!
Had I not been with Danny, I would have been winking at you as well.
Suzette, I have some great pics I can share with you on that trip.
Justyn, we love you and thank you for sharing these stories with your dad.
And about Ann, she was the most beautiful woman, even in her senior years, both inside and out!
Wally, hugs and kisses to you too!
Doug, I'd love to get in touch with you again, I hope all is well in your kingdom.
Joe Don, here comes more of those sloppy headbone kisses, all 72 of them. You sure do have some good friends, and I'm enjoying stories about you that I didn't know. I bet you have lots of good stories you will keep secret, heh, heh....Just know you sure are loved by so many, it has to give you some warm fuzzies.


Monday, March 30, 2009, 11:29 PM

Hey Joe Don,

It was 1970 when I drove into Lubbock and I had no idea what was going to happen. It was you and Jessie Taylor that I had heard so much about. That was 39 years ago and it seems like last month. I was blown away the first time I heard you play and I am still this very day.

Unfortunately our wonderful lives are also accompanied by some regrets and one of mine is that I was so determined and focused on what I was doing at the time that I did not slow down long enough to enjoy what every one else was doing and not getting to know you better.

I have always had an enormus amount of respect for you and am so grateful that I finally had the opportunity to mix it up with you, Curtis, and Terry on Halloween last year. We definately got in the zone. It was rockin' and so pure!

Saturday night the big centennial celebration had some emotional moments that were brought on by the mere mention of your name. You have touched so many people with your soulful touch and powerful tone.

You are truly A Lubbock Ledgend.

Your friend,

Justyn Davidson 

Monday, March 30, 2009, 11:54 PM

I got this from Wally: Pop told him long ago, "The hardest thing about being a professional musician is that you have to play without making any mistakes."

Last year, John Cline sent some live recordings from the late 70's and apparently all the Planets were adhering to this "professional musician" rule because the playing is absolutely impeccable. Maybe the best live tapes I've ever heard, no joke...

Justyn Davidson 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 12:04 AM

Debbie, Pop and I were talking about Jackson just a week ago. According to Danny, Jackson was apparently "not a Great Dane, but he's a pretty good Dane" ;^)

John Cline 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 12:37 AM


You have always been my all-time favorite guitar player. It was a real treat to go to work every night and get to hear you play. I am seriously distressed to learn about your condition, but hearing your comment, "no regrets" is a testament to the joy and full-speed-ahead attitude with which you live life. God speed, buddy, you're a truly great friend.

I was the Planets sound engineer from 1975 to 1980 and have over a hundred hours of live Planets audio and video recordings. I've shared a few of them on the Internet. Here is a link to the Planets page on my web site, it has a video from the Planets last night in 1984 featuring Joe Don singing "Musta Notta Gotta Lotta." It's classic Joe Don.

I also have another video on my YouTube page from 1984, it has a truly inspired Joe Don guitar solo.

Mark Paden 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 12:43 AM

Been following this blog for several days now; these heartfelt and touching memories of Joe Don have brought many smiles and just as many tears. Joe Don has been one of my closest friends for 15 years, since we started playing in the Lubbock Texas Rhythm Machine (never have cared for that name; sorry Don) at the Cactus. JD was our ace in the hole. We always knew if we couldn't get the audience going on any given night all we had to do was turn Joe Don loose and the energy and fun would automatically go up a notch or two! And I don't recall him ever letting us down in that regard. Any aspiring guitar players out there would do well to get their hands on some footage of JD playing. His instincts were always right on target. He knows how to build a solo, carrying the audience with him, holding a little something back until just the right point and then just letting it fly. It's been 6 or 7 years now since JD has played in the band, and almost every show we do, someone comes up to me afterward and asks about Joe Don and how he's getting along, and we shake our heads and marvel at one of his remembered performances. We always videotaped our shows back then, and most Saturday nights the four of us (Steve Meador, Danny Dukatnik, Joe Don, and me) would end up at my house watching a copy of the video and figuring out how we could improve our performances. Usually Danny and Steve would go home first and Joe Don and I would sit there 'til the sun came up, talking about any thing that came into our heads. And I mean anything; religion, politics, our kids.... and I discovered that JD was a thinker as well, and almost always had a thoughtful approach to whatever subject we landed on. Joe Don, I still draw on some of your ideas from those late-night sessions, and I miss those days more than you know. My life has been enriched by your participation in it, and I'd give anything to be able to take away what you're having to go through now. But I know that life doesn't work like that, and we're all left with making the best of whatever comes our way. You're a classy guy, Joe Don, and I'm still learning from you. Take care, my old friend. I love you.



Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 08:53 AM


Sending you 'hugs and love!!'

I will call and leave you dirty messages on your voicemail. ;-) heeheee....


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:20 AM

I love that -- 'not a Great Dane but a pretty good Dane.." ;-)

Teri R. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:47 AM

Sending love and prayers from my family to your's.



Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:51 AM

Every morning, in my kitchen window, i see a painted coffee cup of my Dad with an animated smiling face inside the o of POP. Lately it reminds me of Pop Joe Don.
Over the years of knowing Joe Don in Lubbock and in the last 20+ years I have visited from Austin,I heard about the kids. All six of you. I've seen pictures of you all over the years and had the opportunity to spend some time with Justyn. You are all truly Joe Don's pride and joy. In my experience of knowing Joe Don, you are his favorite topic of conversation. You are all beautiful, smart, successful, and no doubt attributes to humanity. I think this says alot for your Moms as Joe Don certainly gives the Lioness share of credit.
Hey is there a Cafe Monet near you guys? Sure might be fun to see your 6 animated versions of Pop smiling.

Rave On Joe Don. i love ya!



Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:54 AM

okay...the message from Savannah almost 'did me in'... so sweet.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 11:19 AM



Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 11:29 AM

I just lost a thought or two on my first attempt with this blog.

Just wanted to say that growing up and going through the years with Joe has been magical in many ways. He never ceases to create; everthing he does becomes in some way a part of the world as he sees it. Playing music, arranging the house, writing, keeping his website entertaining---Anything. Including driving while texting.... But all of this energy comes from the soul of a truly genius person. He is very special. My hat's off for all of you who played with him and shared time with him on stage. You have to know what I'm trying to say.

Keep my bro in your hearts....



Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 01:29 PM

should I clarify??

I meant things like sandstorms, "west Texas wind kicking around the dirt again", mudpies...the amount of dirt that blew into my eyes, ears and nose while trying to get from my car to work...

...things like that... ;-)


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 01:46 PM

One night a few years ago, Joe arrived in Albuquerque for a weekend visit. It was about 11:30pm and guess what? Joe was out of his fav brew (BudLite)

and we had to head to a beer store without delay, like pronto, before the midnight deadline. Does this sound like Joe? So, we head for a bar on

CentraL Ave (Townhouse) that had a drive-up window. Turns out the drive-up wasn't happening when we get there, so we park and start to go in , when up

walks Steve Miller (guitar - Wet Sox, et al), who just happened to have a band in the bar getting ready on stage. The three of us sat down and talked

for a short while, then the band goes into this really sweet "Stormy Monday" thing. Steve tells Joe to grab his guitar and start the set. Joe straps

on the guitar and just lets go with the most searing, scorching, soaring lead anyone had ever heard. No doubt about it! It was like lightning had

struck the place from the inside.... At the finish, there was total silence, no movement, except smoke , looking for a place to go... Never will

forget the show. We then got the 12 pack and headed home for a quiet evening beers and conversation...

lesley sawyer 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 02:15 PM

I so love this:

"Joe straps on the guitar and just lets go with the most searing, scorching, soaring lead anyone had ever heard. No doubt about it! It was like lightning had struck the place from the inside.... At the finish, there was total silence, no movement, except smoke , looking for a place to go... "'s perfectly, poetically written...I could see, hear, taste and smell all of it. Thank you for this - thanx for all of them.

Robert Rogers 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 02:18 PM

Joe Don - I have said many times that you wre traped by Lubbock because you could have been the lead for any band in the big leagues. I remember when we were in High School Mike Pritchard and I went over to Jo Dons house to hang out and the his band the Planets were practicing. I was so amazed by his lightning fingers and the music they were covering from a band called " Little Feet ". Not only had I not heard Jo Don's band but was slung into a feast of music that was so different that it changed my style of listining. Thanks for thet treat my friend.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 02:24 PM

Remember when you finally talked Don into letting you play that song??
Or am I remembering the STORY about you finally convincing Don to let you play that song?

Either way, I would always imagine you laying down your guitar and setting it on fire - but I guess you did that, 'set the guitar on fire' without all the flaming dramatics.

Alyson Ely McInturff 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 03:11 PM


Debra Raines 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 03:29 PM

Yes, that was the exact quote Danny used about Jackson. Jackson is buried in my backyard, I think he was the best dog I ever knew.
Kirk Palmer sent me a youtube video that you and your dad might enjoy...Guitar Gently Weeps w/Prince solo.
I'm sending my usual headbone kisses, all 76 of them.

Alyson Ely McInturff 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 04:04 PM

Joe Don,

Rusty and I attended the Lubbock Centennial concert and were stunned by the fabulous talent that crossed the stage. It was an electric evening. I remember thinking that there had to be some kind of glaring omission when your name was not forthcoming. No way you could not be a part. I was really hoping to see you and cousin Joe Ely play together -- magical pair. You have always been so talented and confident in that talent. When it was announced you were ill I was deeply saddened and further saddened and disappointed that you would not be a part of the program.

After we returned home I began thinking about when were were students at Monterey. Do you remember asking me to Cowtown when we were juniors? We went as Sonny and Cher! Ha! What a kick! Those were some crazy years. I don't know if you ever knew it or not but I had a crush on you.

It was so good to see you at our high school reunion (40th -- doesn't that sound absurd!). All the girls were gathered around you (again). I remember wanting to shoooo them away so I could steal a few minutes and do some "remembering when". I was very flattered you took my picture with your cell phone.

Now, I read of your beautiful family and friends who share good memories of the impact you have had on their lives. You are fortunate to have so many who love you. Add me to the list. You were a part of the flower of my youth. Thank you for the memories.

Keep your head up! I am praying for you. The Lord may have more plans for you. He surprises us sometimes. Justyn, take good care of him.

By the way, the Mosqueda portrait is excellent. He captured you very well.

With great affection,
Alyson Ely McInturff

William Kerns 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 04:52 PM

"You were a part of the flower of my youth." What a beautiful phrase.

By the way, in another e-mail from Steve Morelock today, he mentioned that Denise Brissey has a daughter named Savannah. Obviously, our hearts have been touched by Joe Don's Savannah. It just makes me wonder if the Savannahs were named after a person or a song lyrics, or if it was just a very pretty name. Anyone?

Also, I'm hounding the A-J to track down whatever server problem has accused some posters of being spambots. I even lost a post. What I do now is, whenever I have finished writing a post, I make a copy of the whole thing before I click on Send. Then, if anything untoward happens (like my words disappear and I scream near-profanities), I can just create a new post, and paste the saved version in there and hit Send. Works everytime. My gut feeling is that we may get times out if writing super long posts.

And my gut desire is for everyone to be able to say everything that they want to Joe Don.

I noticed that Doug Pullen has been posting also. Doug is one of the very best rock journalists I've ever been lucky to call friend, and I'm not surprised that he was able to bond with the band over steaks and his own smokes. Doug, by the way, has been covering every major show in Detroit for a couple of Michigan papers for the last very many years. You know where the newspaper business is headed, and Doug accepted a very nice check and resigned in Michigan, intent on heading home to Texas to be close to his parents and much, much better Mexican food. But the ink is in his blood and, when the El Paso Times head he was back in town and called, Pullen finally said OK and he's now working for the EP Times.

I would love to be able to contact everyone who was in The Planets. Steve already is helping. If anyone else can help out, my e-mails are and

William Kerns 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 04:55 PM

You can also track me down on Facebook, otherwise known as Internet crack...

And by the way, I finally received the final confirmation that John Cline took that great color picture of Joe Don, Denise and Davis at the Tornado Jam -- on the opening page of this blog.
If possible, I'll re-edit that page and change the photo credit at the bottom.

And yes, Victor Mosqueda's photo portrait is a poetic capturing of the musician Joe Don Davidson.

Susie Sweenhart 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 08:09 PM

Wow, it's great to read so many wonderful memoires of Joe Don.
Joe Don and I go waaaay back. My brother, Lonnie Wallace, of "The Crushed Ice"
introduced me to Joe Don when I was 14 and Joe was 15. We started dating and spent many hours at places like The Music Box, Nickelodeon, and on and on. I traveled to Dallas to watch him play with "The Fugitives" at LuAnne's. I was there the night they opened for "Blues Magoos"; who showed up in their famous electric suits. Joe and I were reminiscing about those good old days last week.
Joe Don and I got married February 2, 1968, our friends teased us and said we would have a ground hog instead of a baby. About 5 months later he gave me the most wonderful gift of my life, our son, Justyn; or as Kyle Barrett called him "Little Harley Davidson". We were married for about 6 years, but Joe Don was restless and had so much talent to share with the music world that he took off. I was just a working Mom and stayed behind. He was playing in Las Vegas with "The Larry Trider Band" at the time. We remained good friends, spent time together, and loved each other through the years. I even became good friends with Renee, wife #2, and their kids. Every year at Christmas I would visit Joe and Renee and bring presents for Jayson, Dannielle, and Savanah. They called me Aunt Susie. Renee, I hope you don't mind me calling you wife #2, as I wouldn't want to use this blog site to disrespect anyone, or hurt anyone's feelings. We all had our role and place in Joe's life, and after visiting with him recently, I know he loves us all.
Joe and I shared a wonderful night together 12 years ago when our grandson, Julian, was born. What a joy he is. That brings up Justyn's wife and Julian's Mom, Michelle. She is one of the most wonderful, caring, lively, positive, fun people that I know and I'm lucky to call her my daughter-in-law. She has been instrumental in home care for Joe, cooking healthy meals and standing by Justyn during this time of sadness. I was honored to spend a recent evening at the hospital with Joe Don and his family. We sang songs while Justyn played the guitar. Joe even fussed at Justyn's guitar playing, took the guitar from him and showed us how it was supposed to be played. It was then that Joe requested we fetch a song from ITunes and play it for him. It was Leon Russell's "A song for you". There was a great silence in the room and many tears followed, but what a memory we all have.
I can't tell ya'll what a wonderful job Justyn, Michelle, and Julian are doing in loving and caring for Joe Don in their home. They have the most wonderful attitude and spirit and Joe is right where he should be.
Hello to everyone out there that I knew in the past, and thanks for the memories.
My love to you, Joe Don! I wish you peace and comfort.
Susie (Davidson) Sweenhart, wife #1


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 08:33 PM

Prayers first cuz that works! I just want you to know Carolyn & I will send ours frequently. I'm glad we got to jam together a bit some weeks back at The Spoon. Brought back ole times. Sheena lit up the mike but JoeDon (as always) lit up the room. The best time of my life was the CRUSHED ICE and MIDNIGHT HAMBURGER BAND days. JoeDon, Curtis, Randy and our beloved Guy had voices that could blend like a string quartet or just blast you like a tower of power horn section. I loved those days, I loved the music we all created then, I love our 40 year friendship and I love you. God Bless You my friend. Hang in there, fight and NEVER GIVE UP!! LOVE, bleep & carolyn

Jack Moore 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 08:37 PM

All of my love and prayers to Joe Don, Justyn, Jayson, Danielle and Savannah. You are part of my family and I love you all!

Jack Moore 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 09:30 PM

I thought I might share a quick Joe Don story. One night back in the 90's, we were playing at The Spoon. At that time we were blessed to have a great following and the club was packed. At the end of the night, I was talking to people glowing in the attention and Joe Don walks up to me. I gave Joe Don a hug and then he said to me "Jaxon, you know I love you but you cannot play a shuffle to save your life"! He than had someone come up and show me how to play a blues shuffle. He was right, I didn't know how to play a shuffle but I do now! To this day when ever we play "Pride and Joy" I think of Joe Don. Thank you for being honest, helping me be a better player and being in my life. I love you,

William Kerns 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 09:31 PM

Ms. Susie,

That was such a loving and informative remembrance...

Everyone's going to be able to read that just fine, no one's feelings will be hurt, and you have helped fill in some gaps for the rest of us.

I'm wondering how you and Joe Don met and where you were married.

Joe Don, I hope you can feel it. prayers keep rocketing your way from all directions.

Larry Simmons 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 09:37 PM

In my life I've never read...heard...felt anything as truthful and full of emotion as Ms. Sweetheart's is perfect.

Beverly Grim Gobin 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 09:50 PM


Beverly Grim Gobin 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:10 PM

Joe Don I guess we go back to junior high @ Hutchinson (1962-1964) when you used to turn your eyelid inside out & just disrupt class from all the laughter going on. You were so much fun! Thanks for saving my boring 2007 New Years eve when I pleasantly ran into you at the Nest. It was so great to see you and reminiscing for hours was great! Then seeing you at Monterey High School 40th reunion was a bonus because I so wanted to give you Guy's drivers license that I had held onto for years! Joe Don you have always been a fave of mine thru the years! I luv you, be tough, you are so special to many, many people!! Thanks for lots of fun memories!

Colorado Bob 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:33 PM

Joe Don -
There is this axe man on John's Island South Carolina, his name to me is "Sturg". His real life is now being a carpenter, but every weekend he's playing "Mustang Sally" for crab and beer. He's told me of playing on the road , a week at Ruidoso 25 years ago. Sounded like being in the van with "Belly".

When I went to get a pick for you, I got one for him as well. I don't know why,
I guess for all the times we all played "Mustang Sally" . He's sending me a pick, so one of his will be "Pickin' with Buddy".

I'm thinking of setting up a site called "Pickin' With Buddy" ...... If you send me a pick, Ill take it out there. Whoever the picker maybe.

Colorado Bob
Tornado Gallery
1822 Buddy Holly Ave.
Lubbock, Texas 79401


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:48 PM

HISTORY OF THE PLANETS AS I REMEMBER IT (which may have some time-line issues and omissions beyond my control).
We started out in 1976 with me on piano, Billy Maines on bass and Carl Silva on drums. Carl and Billy were older and were in bands I idolized as a kid. Carl was Albuquerque's answer to Paul McCartney. Even looked like him! We were the house band at Neds and our stage was a converted booth. Seriously. A booth that had a tray that pulled out about 2 feet. We managed to put a piano and a small set of drums and our amps were on shelves around the stage next to potted plants and such. Kind of an Elton John thing. No guitar.
Fast forward about a year. (There was another bass player in there, Joe Schmidt for a minute so I'll mention him as well) Denise Brissey was dating Billy and she and I had sung together for years and at the time she was a waitress at Neds and would come up and sit in...a lot...until she was asked to join because she made us sound great. Billy was a great guitar player and we were looking for a bass player to round out the band.
One night a friend of ours from a local country band named Nestor Eaton (Charlie's brother) said he knew a great guitar player that wanted to sit in that had just been fired (I think) from Larry Trider's band. In walked a tall, blond, skinny Texan that had about everything he owned in his Buick (or was it an Oldsmobile?). Of course, it was Joe Don. He brought in his amp and that famous Red Gibson and proceeded to completely blow us away. Turned out he knew all our songs or played like he did. We brought down the house. Seemed like a nice guy, too. When the night was over I was dying to ask him to join the band but out of respect for Billy I kept my mouth shut. About that time I walked by and overheard Billy ask Joe Don to join the band. Problem solved! Joe Don joined, they enlarged Neds to have a decent sized stage and we started sounding really good. I mean, there were nights when we played old rockers (Carl knew the lyrics to every old rock n'roll song known to man, Buddy, Chuck Berry, you name it) when I thought, no I knew, we were the best rock n' roll band in the world. Of course we weren't but there were moments when you couldn't convince me otherwise. It was magic.
Carl's wife, Yvonne died suddenly of MG. It was devastating. She was cute and beautiful and funny and in her early 20s and it was the saddest thing I'd ever experienced at the time. Carl needed some time and "temporarily" quit the band and Billy ended up in prison (long story). About that time we met Debbie Blakley and hired John Harris on bass and Waldo (can't remember his last name) on drums. Debbie was great, the vocals kicked ass but it just wasn't the same. The rhythm section just didn't blow it out like Billy and Carl. Waldo made us realize that we had a tendency to speed up songs and Joe Don and I discovered we liked speeding up songs and we missed it.
About that time, Davis McLarty's band started playing Neds and we fell in love with his playing. Debbie and Joe Don knew him from Lubbock and he was such a great drummer and had the best vibe on stage as well.
Out with Waldo, in with Davis. And he didn't seem to mind speeding up songs! That was the Planets that first came to Lubbock. Bill Kerns wrote a great article about us after our first Rox gig, Davis became a kick-ass booking agent for us and we went back to speeding up the songs again. It felt great. After a while, our lifestyle didn't quite suit Debbie (she's smart that way) and she decided to quit.
Then, we met Danny Raines. The most kick-ass, fun-loving, best-singing down and dirty bass player I'd ever met. He was playing with Jay Boy at the time. At some point, we managed to talk him into playing with us and we fired John. That was tough. John was amazing. Maybe the best bass player I've ever played with but....he wasn't Danny. Danny just kept that bottom Rockin'. Nothing fancy and his vocals were incredible. And he was the most fun person I think I'd ever met. I ended up playing with the Planets for 10 years, about 9 of which were with Joe Don. And I enjoyed every minute I spent with the guy.
And ....I'm leaving out the good stuff....
(Hope this ain't too long and boring but thought if anyone would care it would be some of you bloggers)

Chris Whitworth 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 10:55 PM

Hey Dude,
This is my first rodeo with this "Blog" thing so I have no idea if you will get this or not. So sorry to hear the bad news. I've been to that party myself. Brain tumor in 2001. Ain't no fun but my prayers are with you every night. I think about all the good times often. Wouldn't trade them for anything. All those afternoon practice sessions with the Twilights at Gary Bass's house. The gigs at the Music Box and Eli's at the bowling alley. Lots of great memories. All the way back to our original meeting at the Hocus Pocus hamburger joint on 34th at lunch in 7th grade. Hang tough, my friend, and hope to talk to you again one day. Later, Chris

Colorado Bob 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 11:07 PM

My friend Nell Thompson was a bass player in Estes Park. He was the solid guy in the group, the one who knew the sound, the one who owned the P.A. We were both captured at 3:00 A. M. in the Ramada Inn kitchen naked one Sunday morning taking the door off the walk-in cooler. Nell had a Swiss Army knife. We were after beer for the crowd in the sauna.

In 1986 he came to Lubbock, and the one thing he wanted was to see Buddy's grave, so I took him out there, and as he stood there, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pick.

I never saw another man do a more kinder, and gentler thing, than Nell placing that pick on Buddy's head stone. And I never really understood what being a musician was really all about till then.
I wish I could have been one. It's a brotherhood I'll never know. I envy you, and all the musicians, what a great gift ... to call one's self a musician.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 11:20 PM

Wow. These posts are great. I have been living these memories over the past couple of weeks and there are so many people who have their own. Sometimes I feel like the time Joe Don and I spent together was just yesterday. I am remembering so much....Debra, my long term memory is coming back. Ned's El Portal, Jackson, Sadie's resaturant in Albuquerque (found out what the difference between red and green chili), Danny's purple truck, my red Dodge Dart(Davis called it "The Ray Gun"), the pics all over the kitchen cabinets at Davis' house(to this day I still tape things on the inside of my cabinets for that reason), softball games w/ The Planets and Jaws and Casey and Bill Kerns; going to Gary's out in the Sangre de Cristo mountains and "waitin' on the harvest to come"; Morelock's piano went more places that you would have thought possible; seeing Justyn as Rumplestilskin in a high school play. It is all a moment in time that I will treasure. Miss Savannah, your dad is one of the best human beings I have ever known. Never forget that. Shout out to Wally. Glad to hear from you brother. Doug Nelson, it's all true. Women were all beautiful, and the drinks were on The Planet's tab. Love to you Joe Don.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:14 AM

I forgot a couple...the Planet's station wagon, and the gear truck with all of the naked women pictures in it. And Fang, and Frank. And the night Danny tried to impress a female cop with his field sobriety test didin't work. We had to wake up Davis to get bail money. Sigh...good times. Great posts. Thanks Bill for putting this out there. Love, Jimmie and Suzette

William Kerns 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:49 AM

Thanks so much, Steve. It's nice to know I did something right, clicking on The Planets and introducing them via the print medium so soon.

I don't know why, but earlier tonight I was going brain dead and thinking back and totally forgot who was playing Planets bass. Man...Danny Raines...of course. Another of those wonderful pieces needed to create such an impressive whole.

Joe Don, do you still have that red guitar that has stuck in everyone's mind?

And Steve and Debbie and Davis and the rest -- and Justyn ask Joe Don too, maybe -- I'm wondering which song each of the Planets looked forward most to playing each night.

And for the rest os us, what were your favorite Planets songs? Did you go so far as to make requests with some currency or a beer? Doug, I think yours must have been "Interview."


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:52 AM

I am late finding out. Joe Don Davidson, I am so very sorry you are ill. You don't know me. I was just a big fan. But I paid the cover and saw you guys play a lot.

I am praying for you a lot.

Justyn Davidson 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:52 AM

Steve, it was a Buick. And I think many people in this thread would argue that there were many moments when the Planets were indeed the best rock band in the world. I grew up with (literally "with") the Planets since I was 8 years old and I didn't really comprehend the greatness of the band until I was about 30. As a punk kid I took it all for granted.

Glenda Bluhm 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 01:54 AM

Good morning my friend Joe Don Davidson, this is your old buddy Glenda.

I pray you are able to read or at least listen to someone reading these wonderful comments to and about you! I have never in my life been so touched. I know each and every one of the people you have touched has to have a Joe Don story.

Not so long ago I had a problem with my cell phone and lost all my numbers. One day while working my butt off I get this text asking what I was doing. I replied back, I have lost all my numbers, who wants to know? Here's the answer I received, "I have a _____ ex-wife, lots of kids all over the world, and when I am not rearranging my house I am playing the blues." I simply replied," Hi Joe Don whats up?" This pretty much sums it up for his life as I know it, life, children, and music.

A few years back I was managing Big Johns Sports Bar, where Rev. Al and the Pythons was our house band. Not long after I went to work there Joe Don started playing with them. This was a high light in my life for sure. As time went by JD and I came up with this great idea for him and Mark Paden to play acoustic guitars. This would be held on Wed evenings. So for seversl months JD and Mark would get together on Tues evenings and learn new songs. I sat in on several of those sessions and I cannot begin to tell anyone how much I enjoyed watching two of my favorite musicians play and learn together. They were so awesome, Mark even got to where he would crack jokes on stage. I have truly been blessed in my life with these two men.

I want to take this moment to thank Joe Don for simply being himself. JD you are truly a one of a kind that many look up to and respect. I have always told my children, "When you die if you can count on one hand the TRUE friends you really have, then you have had a good life." Well Joe Don, you my friend have had a grest life, I love you from the bottom of my heart and feel honored to have been a part of yours. I will hold our memories close to my heart for ever and ever.

Your friend,
Glenda Bluhm

PS Hello to all my long lost friends, good to hear you are all doing well.

Lesley Sawyer 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 08:43 AM


How is everyone?
I wanted to try and call last night but didn't get off work until late. ;-(

That story that Jack mentioned was funny/classic. Was it Steve that played the shuffle for him? OMG..we used to have waaay too much fun at the Spoon.
Joe Don is always so proud when watching Justyn play. ;-) (when talking about his kids, in general, he lights up)

I was thinking about the sparkle/glitter underwear I sent all the guys from The Wall one Christmas.
Renee and I laughed until we cried while wrapping them...then Michelle either called or sent a letter saying, "Justyn just modeled your Christmas gift for me"...but I think Joe Don just rolled his eyes at me...haha...I don't blame him. Don't know what I was thinking.
Actually, I think he was speechless - he had not words...he just shook his head and turned away. Renee might remember, because she and I started laughing hysterically again. ;-)
We laughed a lot at your house Joe Don!

Doug Bossi 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 11:01 AM


When I moved to Texas and started playing with the Electric Gypsies I remember our bassist Justyn asking if his Dad could sit in and play guitar with us (I immediately thought sure - your Dad - maybe he just learned how to play for fun!)...I had been told of amazing guitarists throughout Texas but I was definitely not prepared for JD! I was so blown away by his phrasing, tone and great feel on the guitar...I never would get tired of listening to him! In fact I remember telling him to finish the night one night as I was not wanting to play after him hahaha! He played the guitar with everything he had and I remember thinking that he always seemed to possess that calm intensity about him that I admired.

Recently we had a reunion with the band and he got up again and played with did not want to play after him again! A true Texas legend in my prayers are with you guys and I know I will spend the rest of my musical life chasing that passion I saw in JD's playing.

Much Love and loud Texas guitars,



Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 11:10 AM

Another quick thought - -

Joe told me people often asked "how do you play like that?"

He said he couldn't figure out why people thought it was hard, "there's just not that much to it as far as I'm concerned."


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 11:13 AM

I can see your smiling face when I read your messages. ;-)

I love: "the drinks were on the Planets tab."

Justyn Davidson 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 11:55 AM

Related to Doug's comments: I've heard my dad sit in a hundred times on a hundred different amps with as many different guitars. He always, always sounds like Joe Don. His tone comes from his fingers, not the hardware. And you can tell his playing a mile away. Not many guitarists are ever able to successfully emulate others, much less have a signature style of their own. Pop is the real deal. Or maybe I'm biased...

Jack Moore 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:09 PM

It was Steve who got up there and lovingly showed me how to play a shuffle. It has taken a while but I think I might be getting it now! I am truly thankful for that night. Who know's with more night's like that, I might have turned out to be a pretty good drummer. Ha! That's what I love about Joe Don. That honest criticism was from his heart. He has always treated me like family.
I also wanted to send my love to Susie, Renee and Michelle. Susie, I loved what you wrote about you and Joe Don's life together. You are an amazing woman and I'm so glad to know you! Renee, I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you and the kid's and you are in my prayers. Michelle, you are an amazing wife and friend. You should get an award just for dealing with your husband, Justyn!

Debra Raines 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 12:15 PM

okay, I knew better... I shared too much, and so I was a spambot, been called a lot of things in my life, that's a first. I will just mail a letter to Joe Don, Wally, and Justyn...sending 93.4 headbone kisses. The .4 is because my upper lip wore out.
I wish all of you a blessed day...


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 01:28 PM

I don't think I've ever met Debra but I love her stories and especially her 'headbone kisses'. ;-)

Jack - you are too funny...remember back in the day when Tanner got up to help you load your gear because - he told me, "Lesley, I have to help this guy pack up...cuz I've never seen a drummer work/play so hard." ;-) (that is probably paraphrase but he was a sweetie back then)
Steve is 'the master', tho'... that's what made him and Joe Don such a great/clever/magnetic/inspirational team, eh? ;-) and then adding everyone else - and, actually, just spending time with them inside or outside of the music (adding Danny Duke, Mark..etc) I loved every minute of it!! Absolutely Every single minute!
Gotta run - - choking up a little....


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 01:38 PM

where do i start....I was so young when I first met Joe Don, I think Justyn and I had just graduated from high school back in Albuquerque!!! Justyn took me to Lubbock to meet his family I thought wow his dads a rock star!!!! I loved watching Justyn and his dad on stage jammin together, thats one of my favorite memories. They would sit in the living room , listen to a song turn the volum down pick up the guitar and play what they just heard...They are a BIG reason why I LOVE AND APPRECIATE live music !!!! Justyn has always been one of the most amazing peolple i have ever met. He is just a great friend and person, if anyone knows our history they know what Im talking about. I know how close he has alwys been to his pops...Michelle and Justyn are doing a wonderful job taking care of him (like always) Michelle you are wonderful im sooo happy we are friends...please give pops a kiss for me tell him im thinking about him as i am all of you LOVE YOU GUYS shannon...

Angie R 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 02:07 PM

Hey Joe Don,

What a wonderful tribute to you and all of your achievements!! I have just been reading all the wonderful things that are being said and I am so touched. To me you were not only my Brother-in-law but a good friend. I just wanted to let you know that we are all thinking about you and your family right now. I also want to say Thank You to Justyn and Michelle for flying the kids in to spend time with their Dad. I know they will forever be grateful! They were so happy that they got to spend that time with their Dad. When they got home they shared some stories and memories with and were sad that they had to get back to school. When Jayson got home he shared some sweet memories with me about his Dad that they had shared while he was there. He expressed to me how much he loved the fact that his Dad was at all his football games. Joe Don wouldn't miss any. Jayson also shared with me how he longed to go back to Colorado to be with his Dad. He said, "Aunt Angie, I just want to know more about my Dad and I want to be with him right now". The next day he was on a plane to Colorado. Thanks again Justyn and Michelle for all that you have done! Jayson, I am so proud of the young man that you are! You take care of your sisters and your Mom and I thank you for that. Stay Strong and know that I am always here when you need to talk. Danielle is an up and coming rock star like her Dad. She loves to sind and perform on stage. What a beautiful young lady you are! You make your Daddy proud! Savannah is the genius in the family! She will be president one day! She excels in everything she does! I love you guys and you can always count on me. Renee and the kids have been reading the blogs and want to tell everyone Thank You for all the love and support. The comments are comforting to all of us at this time.

Joe Don, I always knew you were the best guitar player in Texas, but I never knew you were a player with the ladies too. Not Joe Don.

Love You
Angie Rohrer and family

Susie, wife #1 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 02:12 PM


Susie, wife #2 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 02:32 PM

Mr Bill,

As I said, my brother Lonnie introduced Joe and I. He and Lonnie were sophomores at Monterey High, and were best friends. Lonnie just brought him home one day after school, we met, and rest is history.

Joe and I were married at the First Baptist Church there in Lubbock. The day we got married, his Mom, Ann, made him go get a haircut. When he got home, she wasn't satisfied, said it was still too long, and made him go back and get it cut shorter. Of course, Joe was NOT happy about that! We didn't have much money and were going to spend the night at our little garage apartment, but my folks sprang for a room at a great hotel there in Lubbock. I can't remember the name, but it had a great indoor garden and pool. (I didn't get to swim, cause I had spent too much money having my hair done for the wedding. What was I thinking?) The next day when we went to our apartment, it was full of fumes from the gas heater we had lit the day before. I don't think Joe, Justyn, or I would be around if we hadn't stayed at the hotel. Thanks Mom and Dad, you literally saved our lives.

After Joe and I split, we became better friends than ever and I am soooo thankful for that. Sometimes when we got together, we would wonder why we didn't make it work together. I tink we were just too many worlds, or should I say PLANETS apart. Oh well,if we had, as Michelle said, there wouldn't have been Renee, Jayson, Danielle, and Savanah and that would have deprived us of all the joy they have brought to our lives.

One more thing -- I had come to Albuquerque for Justyn to visit Joe in 1975 and I took Justyn to see Joe play at Ned's. There were lots of young, beautiul girls there and one of them asked me how old I was. I said 24 and her response was, "I sure hope I look that good when I'm 24". I'm not sure how young she was, but that blew me away. I didn't know I was supposed to be working at looking young back then. I also remember that when Ned's burned, Joe's red Gibson (Les Paul?) guitar was laying just below the step up onto the stage. It was the only thing that didn't burn, and he used it to crank out many more years of his awesome lead guitar playing.

Thanks, Bill, for getting this started. It's wonderful to read all these loving and fun messages.

Love and prayers to Joe Don and ALL of his family --



Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 03:33 PM

Hey Joe Don,

How are you today?
We've all been 'gabbing' and I didn't ask.

Justyn and Michelle, how are you?

Jayson? Danielle? Savannah? Renee? Julian? Susie? Everyone?

I guess we have all said, 'to let us know if you need us to do anything' but just in case we need to remind you. . . "let us know if you need us to do anything"

love you BIG,

(here is something that Joe Don might 'get a kick out of':
two of my 4ft tall students (boy and a girl) have challenged me to a basketball, 2 on 1 game tomorrow morning - in front of the entire school...I'm 6'1... ;-) height isn't everything but, in this case, it should help, eh? heehee (they were pretty cocky when they challenged, so I better win, eh.)


Justyn Davidson 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 04:00 PM

Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts and stories. Please keep them coming!

In traditional Joe Don fashion, April Fools Day is the day that he chose to leave this world. At 1:45 Lubbock time, Pop very peacefully slipped away in his sleep. I was with him and I am completely sure that his passing was perfect; the destination he chose at the time of his choosing.

Joe Don has left the building. Let's celebrate his life with more smiles and laughs than tears. Plans will be forthcoming here on the blog. I will be returning as many phone calls and email messages as I can.

Peace and love to all of you ;^)


William Kerns 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 04:19 PM

Thank goodness the blog is here.

There is no way that I could send out this news in e-mails without fearing that some would believe it was a cruel April Fool's Day joke.

Joe Don Davidson is dead -- as of 1:45 (p.m., I presume) on Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

A part of me, a small part, kept hoping for a miracle.
On the other hand, just think of the miracles still facing Joe Don, only without the pain.

And doesn't it feel good knowing that Joe Don was able to hear from friends and know how loved he really was -- is -- before he said goodbye?

Justyn says keep the memories, thoughts and feelings coming.

I hope you will.

Justyn, we'll keep an eye out for details.

Danielle Davidson 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 04:31 PM

Daddy i love you so much i will always remember when i was a little girl and you would always brush my hair for me and how you always would correct me when i hit a bad note when i would sing. i will mever forget how you always asked me to sit on the stage at the Cactus when you played i guess that is where i got all of my talent from thanks so much dad! I LOVE YOU!! (Dani Don)

William Kerns 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 04:46 PM

I suspect there will be a gap here before friends express any more, if they do at all.

Losing a friend or a loved one never is easy, and always rips out a part of ourselves that we never get back.

Having said that, I want to say that I am so happy that so many friends ... and relatives ... and fans ... were able to get together here and trade stories ... like they were at a big guitar pull. And what made this amazing is that, in less than a week, all of these people were lured back into the same room because of Joe Don Davidson.

What a beautiful power, to be able to inspire so many to just come together for a common purpose. How many tears did he inspire, even when he was asking for smiles? How many prayers did he inspire? How many times did God hear someone mentioning the name Joe Don? How many laughs did he bring to the surface? And how many of you will stay in touch with the people you had lost touch with?

Thank you, all of you.

And let me also say, I'm sorry about the server problems here sometimes. I think the system times out, and if you write a really long post, you stand a chance of some sarcastic computer system eating your post and asking if you are a spambot.
Again, when writing a long message, just copy all of your words, and then hit send. If that fails, you then can start a new post, paste in the words you'd copied, and hit send again.
That has worked every time for moi. Happily, hits have far outnumbered misses.
And so once again, I just feel the need to say thanks.

William Kerns 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 04:53 PM

You might want to right-click on here and hit print, to keep the entire blog yourself.

Although I do hope to hear more of your thoughts and hopes. I know that Lubbock musicians are not finished paying their own tribute, from the bits and pieces I've heard around town.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 05:12 PM

This is truly a sad time for all of us left behind, but I'm sure that Joe Don would rather we keep the good times rollin via this blog than sit around and have a pity party.

When we all listened to Leon Russell's "A Song For You" at the hospital, he sort of dubbed it his farewell song. I would suggest that as many of you as can, fetch it off ITunes or wherever and give it a listen - it spoke volumes to me.

I can't say thanks enough to all of you who have shared stories and given such great support to Joe Don and all of his family members, especially his children.

Keep it going, as they could use it about now.

We miss you Joe Don, but your legend lives on!

Peace and Love


Paul Stern 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 05:14 PM

It seems like a such a twist of fate that I had finally found you and now I find myself again without you. These last few years have been amazing getting to know my long lost family. They are all amazing people and I can see you in all of them. I recall our first meeting in Orlando. I didn't know what to expect but within five minutes of talking to you, I felt like we had known each other for years. I will cherish every moment we had together and never forget the warmth with which you welcomed me into your family. I could not have asked for a better father and friend. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and prayers. I had no idea that Pop had touched so many lives. I love you and I will never forget you.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 05:39 PM

So long Joe... You done good. I'll never forget you - Your friends and fans won't either. Thank you for meaning so much to me through the years. You have left us so much richer in so many ways. Your kids and grandkids are beautiful, each and every one. You'll be alive in us forever....

Thanks to all for sharing this with us. It means a lot to hear the things said....

Have a safe and beautiful trip, my Bro . . . .

Dan Atcheson 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 05:50 PM

Justyn, Susie and Danielle,
I'm so sorry. I loved Joe Don ("Butt") and your family since junior high school. Joe Don was one of my loved ones because he was Wally-Bear's kid brother, and because he was such a nice, soft-spoken and humble guy. One of the best git-fiddle players I've ever met. He was an honorable guy, too. I could go on and on about him for hours.
Justyn, I can remember when you were in diapers. And I always thought that your mom, Susie was such a beautiful woman. I recall that she became an airport controller, which is a trememdous achievement.
I'm so sorry I never got to meet Danielle. I intend to keep up with you via Wally-Bear.
God bless all of you and may He bring you His peace, which passes all understanding.
Dan Atcheson (Satch)

Paul Bullock 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 06:40 PM

I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Joe Don's family. Unfortunately we have seen several of our fine musicians leave us much too early. Music heals. Music teaches. Music brings people together. Joe Don was a healer, a teacher, and a man who always brought people together. As I stated earlier, Joe Don is certainly in my hall of fame. Thank you Joe Don so much for the music... and so much more.
Friend and fan
Paul Bullock

Debra Raines 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 06:40 PM

To all of Joe Don's family,
You know all of our hearts ache, we will still have a many tears, then we will keep rocking and rolling.
Justyn I got a 5 page letter in the mail to you guy's before 5 today, I sent you a very handsome photo of your pops. I'm so sorry it was late.
I wrap my heart around all of you.
Bill, thank you for this.
Well...If there is rock and roll in heaven, you know they have a helluva band...Headbone kisses to you all. I wish you all comfort and peace....

Mike Pritchard  

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 06:47 PM

I just recieved an email from Bill Kerns that Joe Don has passed away. I want to say that he was a life long friend and I admire the hell out of him.I want his kids to know that he loved you with all his heart and was so very proud of each of you. It was my honor to have played many , many shows with him and it would be hard to find a better guitar player . Joe Don played on all the guitar on my last CD and will forever be a part of me.
We , his friends and fellow musicians will miss him and remember him always as a cocky, strutter who could back it up anytime he stapped any guitar on.
Joe don you will be so missed!!
To his family , I am at your disposal for anything.
With Deep Respect and Great Sorrow

Donna Dubose 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 07:01 PM

To all of Joe Don's Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Joe Don was truly a wonderful friend to me and to many others. I am glad that he is in a better place than we could ever imagine. If there is anything that I can do please let me know. Just remember that he loved all of his children and was so proud. May he rest in peace and may we continue to remember him and what he brought to each of us. I'll miss you my friend.

Donna D

Colorado Bob 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 07:05 PM

LEON RUSSELL - A Song for You (1971)


Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 08:22 PM

I'll remember you
the clouds moving over you
the leaves moving under your feet

I watch you float low against the earth
above layers of stone and grass
and circle lazy in the deep blue sky
the world spreading out below you

I'll think of you there
easiness in your heart
spilling down

I watched you float low against the earth
above layers of stone and grass
and circle lazy in the deep blue sky
with the world spreading out below you..

Barbara Hawkins Johns 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 08:55 PM

I hope that you are getting to read these wonderful memories. I have always admired your dedication and deep desire to produce your art, "Music". Of course, our memories began back in 1956 (maybe even in the toddler's playroom where we hung out while our parents went to church) at First Baptist Church in Sunday School, then on through school. Do you remember that Susie sat next to me in art class our senior year? Being with you at our 40th high school reunion last September was great. To laugh and joke with you at our reunion was such fun. I am staying in contact with Robert and Wally. The news I get from them I pass on to the Monterey gang. Lots of people are praying for you JD.

Wally Moyers 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 09:48 PM

Hey guys,

Joe Don has a great website that really shows his personality. I has a lot of great videos and photos.


Wally Moyers 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 09:50 PM

The site is


Victor Magri 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 10:03 PM

When You are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly hear, and remember that triumphant look,

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But this man loved the pirate soul in you,

And loved the joy of your changing grace;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how life fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

---- with all due apologies to W.B. Yeats.

There will always be other crowds on other mountains and they will always look up to you, Joe Don.

May God Rest Your Merry Soul!

Jack Moore 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 10:08 PM

This last New Years we played a gig in Amarillo, Tx. Justyn was filling in on guitar. Justyn called me and asked if Joe Don could do an acoustic set before we went on. Justyn did not have to ask. His Dad was always welcome on the stage, it was an honor. I had my son Zackary (10) and Justyn had Julian his son there at the show. We all sat and watched. They were playing Hotel California and I thought that I might get up and play drums and sing some background harmony's. I got up and started to play and soon Justyn jumped up and played bass guitar. Joe Don looked over at us and just smiled. It was a smile of approval. As we played Joe Don ripped into one of those fiery solo's that only he could do. As Joe Don is playing, I looked out and there is my son and Justyn's son Julian watching in amazement. It was not to long after this show that Joe Don got sick. I will always remember that night.
Joe Don thank you for being in my life. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for raising the bar and never mailing it in! Thank you for never bitching about what key we do Mustang Sally in. And thank you and Susie for bringing your son into this world and into my life.
My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with all the Davidson family.

Terry Akin 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 10:18 PM

Well............I had really hope that this day would not come.......but as I read all the stories you all have written I realized how lucky and fortunate I have been to be a small part of these things. From my days of starting in the music scene and doing gigs at Fat Dawgs,The Rox, Abbey Road, Roxz and many more too numerous to mention. There is one man that always stands out in all those memories and that is Joe Don Davidson......whom I was fortunate enough to work with the most over the years; from my days with the Liquidators to the Depot District and this summer at the Krusty Krab Marina. He has been an idol and mentor of mine since the first time I saw him playing with the Planets. I don't think I ever heard Joe Don play a lead the same twice when he was the Liquidators and I heard ‘em all...LOL I don't think there was another guitar player who could touch Joe Don because of his immense versatility.

And as luck would have it, this summer Butch Fisher and I put together a band to cover a last minute gig. I called Joe Don and he came out and played and I got to fulfill one of my life long dreams that night and that was to play onstage with Joe Don Davidson. Thanks Joe Don for all the music and friendship you shared with us all on and off the stage.
Justyn and Wally I love you like brothers and my thoughts and prayers are with ya'll and your families

Terry Akin

While I am here I would like to thank you, Bill Kerns for your long time support of live music in Lubbock. I truly believe that with out you the Lubbock music scene would have never grown into what it is today.

And thank you also for setting up this blog.........your the dude..........!

Doug Bossi 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 11:09 PM

I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Joe Don's family as well...I know that Heaven's band is excited to have Joe on guitar...I am blessed to have gotten to know him and his son...I only regret not having more time with him. Time to show love and appreciation to Justyn and the family for doing this and letting us all see different sides to this incredible man.

Much love,


Anthony Garcia 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:17 AM

Joe Don,

Violet and I are thinking of you and praying for you! Stay strong, man!!!1 I know you will! You're in our thoughts, my friend.

Anthony Garcia

Anthony Garcia 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:28 AM

To Joe Don's Family - Letter to Lesley Sawyer


I found it and left a note on the blog and posted only to find after I left it that he had passed away April 1st. Not sure, but I guess that was 'yesterday' for you (as I am out of the country)
I didn't know him long, but for the time I did know him, Joe Don was a cool guy. I remember first meeting him at Jazz on a Sunday. And we talked for about an hour. There aren't too many people that you can just sit down with and talk to nowadays that are just cool, no ego, and he's one of them. Also, remember running into him at O'hana's steak house when he was with his daughter. And finally the last couple of jazz jams at Murphy's pub on Tuesday nights. I rememeber the last time we saw him he was cracking us up with his stories about ex girfriends,. He was a funny dude, and will certainly be missed.
Thanks for getting back to me.

Colorado Bob 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:54 AM

He sat in from of me at my high school graduation ................ May 15th 1968. ( This number may be wrong, by a few days )
He told me of how he was distressed because the only mind altering element he could find was some "Bennies".
How could a guitar player from Lubbock, Texas, find some "White Crosses" in 1968 ?
Yes, Joe Don did a running monolog of our high school graduation, it was better than Howard Cosell.

" I dont care if my liver is hanging by a thread
Dont care if my doctor says I ought to be dead
When my ugly big car wont climb this hill
Ill write a suicide note on a hundred dollar bill
cos if you wanna run cool
If you wanna run cool
Yes if you wanna run cool, you got to run
On heavy, heavy fuel "

Mark Knopfler

doug pullen 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:11 AM

Nothing could be more fitting on such a sad, somber occasion than to click on the links on John Cline's post (ah, John, another part of the Planets' universe that's back in my orbit all of the sudden) and simply enjoy the fiery passion that Joe Don brought to the guitar.
Somehow it just seems right to hear Joe Don rocking out Joe Ely's "Must Notta Gotta Lotta Sleep Last Night" (on vocals and guitar, no less) during the final performance of one of my favorite bands of the 1970s, a band that was part of a scene that was so "alternative" to what ruled the music industry at that time that I don't think any of us thought anyone from those days (including Stevie Ray) would ever make it big outside of our little musical sphere.
It has been a joy reconnecting with many of you, and, of course, the surviving Planets, albeit from afar, in this space. Thanks, Bill, for the nice words and the chance to let us all remember the special times, bonds, bands and, of course, a special man we all shared at some points in our lives. I realize how much I miss it. I guess that's what happens when you can't have it back.
Now, if the rest of the Planets would just rendezvouz for a tribute concert ...

Sam Allen 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:14 AM

Only met Joe Don and some of his children once, and had the privilege of playing guitar with him one evening while at his brother Wally's house. My condolences to all those who loved him for their loss.

Barry Bishop 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:26 AM

To Wally, Justyn, the kids and the entire Davidson family. I send you my deepest heartfelt condolences and sympathy. I feel like I've just lost a family member. Joe Don always treated me like a little brother, and you guys always made me feel like family. I'm so thankful for all the memories that I have of Joe Don and all you guys. When it gets a little easier, I will share some of those memories here (thank you Mr. Kerns for this blog). But for now, I think I'll watch Boz's "Runnin' Blue", one of mine and Joe Don's favorites, and remember the last thing Joe Don told me: "It's All Good". And he was...

Peace and Love


Renee Davidson 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 05:43 AM

I love you and will miss you thank you for our 3 awesome children you were a great DAD and they miss you so much.I will write more later this is a very hard time for our kids and me we were together 22yrs i have alot of great memeoires . Thanks for all the wonderful stories from all of thier dads friends. It means alot to them they will truly treasure each one . Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts all of them will be treasured by All of Joe Dons childern. I feel very blessed to have been able to visit with Him last Thursday we had a beautiful and loving talk with a few tears What a Man,Dad and guitar player. I love You always Renee


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 06:59 AM

I am gratified to have been hipped by colorado bob to joe don and to this site and what it's was nice reading all the comments about your friend and nice to have been let in, to kind of be there with you all.....Thanks.



Thursday, April 2, 2009, 07:29 AM

as mark, my little friend from Mur-val (maryville) tennessee was so fond of saying:

"god bless the picker"

John Weathers 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 08:33 AM

Joe Don, Ely, and myself played in the "Twilites" together in about 1964. Joe taught me my first lead licks. He was 14 yrs. old. Amazing!!! (he also charged my $5.00).


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 09:55 AM



Thursday, April 2, 2009, 10:19 AM


William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 11:31 AM

First of all, a message to Ralph DeWitt, Frank Schaff, even my wife Jill and others who have e-mailed me and said that their blog messages have somehow been blocked by our server, and that they have received an Error messge and the question, "Are you a Spambot?" A-J technicians are trying to pin down the problem. One problem is that we are slowly changing the process, and that those who set up the original are not here anymore. At least, that's how I understood it.

BUT, I myself may be delaying the solution because I have begged technicians not to experiment or do ANYTHING that could possibly result in this blog just disappearing entirely.
So I've tied their hands a bit.
But this blog is just too important to lose, right?

Moving on, Mr. Schaff asked me to post the following for him:

Maybe I missed them. Have Denise and Danny been found and informed? I was hoping to read their comments about their fellow Planets member too. Where are they?

Will there be a benefit concert to help Justyn out with expenses?

Doug: Maybe you can see Steve and Davis and Debbie and Denise and Danny share a stage again, at least for a song. But who would they pick to play lead? Mighty big shoes to fill, ya know.

Glad the blog was here to anchor this. I don't think anyone would believe this final news if it just arrived in an e-mail on Apri Fools Day.

I have not stopped clicking on the Leon Russell song. It is so damn appropriate.

If Joe Don wanted us all to be happy, someone better put on a tribute party soon. Cuz right now I'm feeling pretty sad.

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 11:42 AM

This is from the technicians, who hope they have solved the problem, at least for some friends and fans using AOL. here is what was sent to me:

We followed a tip on the forums to take that IP check out.
It seems to cause problems with everyone who uses AOL.
Please try again and tell me if this resolves the issue.

Back to Kerns talking: Please try again, especially if you are an AOL user. Mr. DeWitt, Mr. Schaff and Jill all use AOL, so we have our fingers crossed.

Jamie Cunningham 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:00 PM

Joe Don, thanks for always being so sweet to me when I was a kid - I was just 18 years old when I married Darren Welch and you were always so much fun to be around when you two guys would be playing at the same event, or not. I have seen you do some amazing things on your guitar that I will never ever forget. But mostly, I will remember your smile and your kindness. Texas music wouldn't have been the same without you and we were all lucky to get to listen.

Sally Bean 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:05 PM

I do not know the blogging rules, but some people have asked what bands Joe Don Played in. I know William Kerns answered that question very early in this blog, but it is hard for some to wade through all of the letters to find it.
So I am cutting and pasting it below.
I just figured some folks might want to see it and some might want a reminder. I personally only saw a few of these bands live.

Anyway, this is what William Kerns posted earlier. I forgot to write down the day he posted it.

More from Justyn Davidson:

I had asked Justyn if it might be possible to give me a rundown of the bands that claimed Joe Don as a member and lead guitarist.

He sent the following list:

* The Twilites (Joe Don was 14 years old when he played in this band with Joe Ely).

* The Nite Owls.

* The Rox.

* The Fugitives.

* Crushed Ice.

* The Traveling Salesmen.

* The Larry Trider Band (out of Las Vegas).

* The Planets (based first in Albuquerque, N.M., and then in Austin).

* Ace Liquidators (with Rolling Stones saxophone player Bobby Keys).

* House band at the Cactus Theater (in the Depor Entertainment District in Lubbock).

* The Mike Pritchard Band.

* Al & The Pythons.

Justyn also said, "I'm sure there are others. Plus he did a lot of studio work, and individual work."

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:40 PM

Wow. And I do mean, wow.

Someone sent an e-mail to my wife, Jill, that had the very first two stories that I had written about The Planets, a review and an interview from a long, long time ago.

What a blast from the past.

Anyway, Jill e-mailed them to me, and, with a little help, I think we have fixed the link so that you can check out my early impressions here

Click here: The Planets

Michael "X-Ray" Corbin 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 12:41 PM

I too have been an admirer of Joe Don's for some time. I have told Joe Don how I wore out a copy of "The Planets" trying to cop some of his stuff. More recently I have become friends with Joe Don and had a few opportunities to play with him. I will never forget playing at The Blue Light with RiverWind one night, when I saw Joe Don come in the back door and stand back by the bar to watch us finish a set. He was on a break from The Cactus Theater a couple of doors down. We finished this particular set with the Free song "Alright Now". I went over to say "Hi" and Joe Don proceeded to tell me that I was playing the main riff to "Alright Now" wrong! He asked if I would mind if he showed me how to play it. This was like be offered a free private lesson from Chet Atkins as far as I was concerned. So we went up on stage in the dark, he took my guitar and showed me how to play it "right"...and I have played it right ever since. God Bless you Joe Don!

Administrator (William Kerns) 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 01:13 PM

Wow. And I do mean, wow.

Someone sent an e-mail to my wife, Jill, that had the very first two stories that I had written about The Planets, a review and an interview from a long, long time ago.

What a blast from the past.

Anyway, Jill e-mailed them to me, and, with a little help, I think we have fixed the link so that you can check out my early impressions here

Click here: The Planets

robert Hake 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 01:34 PM

I was a planet, sort of, a gopher really, my 78 black monte carlo was the planet's squad car for awhile. i was a hidden planet. i remember joe don saying one day at about 5:30 a.m. as we headed back to albuquerque from santa fe, "here comes that ugly ole sun again." well jd. I am glad you got to see so many days of him with us. I also remember once when the band was going to be "advised" on how to be, someone told you how you might want to move around a little on stage since it looked like you were waiting for a bus as you blasted us to another planet with some of the fiercest guitar the world has ever know! i will play your planet album today. once for me and once for you!!!! rock on.

doctor bobby


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 01:48 PM

Good-bye Cuz,
I am sorry I did not get to see you more. I am sorrier I never heard you play. What I will remember always is a young boy who would visit from very far away. Whenever Aunt Ann and the boys, (Joe Don and Wally) visited Bassfield, MS, all of the relatives would descend making for a tremendous sleep-over at the grandparents house. With fifteen grandchildren, not too far apart in age, we created many loving memories. I hold those in my heart, Joe Don. Your quiet demeaner your ability to cut to the truth, seeing you in my mind skipping stones as a child will always give me a sense of knowing you. Sleep in peace, cuz, knowing you are loved.


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:12 PM

To Love and to be Loved, what a beautiful way to go out of this world. Justyn, may God bless your family and Thanks for being what a son is supose to be. Kendall

Elvis T. Busboy 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:18 PM

First of all, my sincerest condolences go out to all of Joe Don's family. Please, keep us informed regarding services we might attend and of any fund raisers or like. I met Joe Don when I was starting out at Belly's. When I look back, I'm amazed at all the great talent I was exposed to at that tiny club. Anyway, I had to laugh at everybody talking about JD correcting them on a riff or something. JD and I got to talking, one night, about old songs that we liked, and 'Runaway' by Del Shannon came up. Well, we hit a point of contention regarding the instrument that was played on that solo, and what year it came out. So, I've got a head full of useless knowledge, and JD and I went round and round about this, eventually, betting $5 on it. I went and dug up a book, that I had, which clearly outlined what year it came out and what was played on the solo and proved me right. But, even after showing JD the book, he refused to buy it, so I never got to collect my $5. It's was funny to me. I always had a great time hanging out with Joe Don, and I always enjoyed his playing. Unfortunately, I didn't get to play with him often enough. He will, certainly, be missed, and my heart goes out to his family.

Thank you, Bill, for this forum.


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:30 PM

testing again,not a spambot, and where are my other blogs

Corey Hicks 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:37 PM

Joe Don and my dad (Guy Hicks) were great friends through high school. My dad passed away of liver cancer 2 years ago almost to the day. I wanted to say how much it meant to me and my family when Joe Don came to my dad's memorial. The wonderful stories I've heard my whole life about "Joe Don and Davis" just take me back. I am so sorry that the family is having to go through this. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I am so terribly sorry to hear of his passing and of course if there is anything we can do please let us know.

Tressa Dukatnik 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:40 PM

I wrote this before Joe Don passed away. I've tried to submit it 3 times but apparently I'm a spambot. I know people enjoy reading about the good times so I'll go ahead and post. I would also like to tell Joe Dons children...I've been to Joe Dons home several times with Danny. I have never been there that JD didn't have pictures and stories of his children. He loved each of you in such a special way. When he spoke of your accomplishments the pride made him glow. Please know your dad always thought of you, you were always in his heart & in most of his conversations!

I never had the pleasure of the "Board Meetings" between Joe Don, Danny, Mark & Steve but the next day Danny would entertain me with a recap!! You guys were nuts and Danny enjoyed every minute of it.

Doug Pullen mentioned how gracious Joe Don was after a steak dinner. I have had the pleasure of cooking for Joe Don on many occasions. He always made me feel as though I was a top notch chef!! He was always appreciative and could talk up a regular pork chop, mashed potato and gravy meal as if it were a 5 course dinner.

Everyone who's heard of JD knows he's a phenomenal guitarist but he is also a man who thirsts for knowledge. JD is always learning and interested in new things. Joe Don came out to the big city of Whitharral in December to help with harvest. He rode the stripper, module builder & boll buggy and wanted to know how everything worked. He also played in the cotton and rode the 4 always a kid at heart. Our enjoyment came from the gleam in his eyes.

Joe Don you're a good man, a great friend and a wonderful father........Justyn caring for you is a testament to the later. You & your family are in our prayers. We love you

Danny & Tressa Dukatnik


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 02:54 PM


I love what you wrote - those boys, together, were very entertaining...endlessly entertaining...even when only mildly entertaining. . . ;-)

John Cline 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:17 PM

Today feels strangely different than yesterday before I learned of Joe Don's passing. The timing of death, like the ending of a story, gives a changed meaning to what preceded it. Over the last few days, I've been watching old Planets videos from my collection and they certainly have a different meaning than they have previously.

I joined the Planets a couple of weeks after Joe Don in 1976. My very first impression of Joe Don was that he was a "good old boy" who could play the guitar exceptionally well. I quickly learned that Joe Don was significantly deeper than just that. We became close friends and spent a lot of time hanging out outside of the band. Friendships are freely entered into, freely given, freely exercised. We played Backgammon for hours and discussed everything. Joe Don was a philosopher in that grand West Texas tradition. He had a unique outlook and I couldn't help but to incorporate some of it into my own. There is a part of Joe Don in me, but I'm sure each and every one of us can say that.

As we all know, there was never any pretense or ego with Joe Don, he was universally liked and admired. There are literally thousands of good musicians out there, but the great ones, like Joe Don, FEEL it and it just flows from them. Every time he strapped on a guitar, he was letting us all inside. Joe Don has left quite a legacy, both musically and personally. In the coming weeks, I plan on posting more Planets photos to my web site and videos to my YouTube site. I've sat on this stuff long enough and I feel a renewed sense of urgency to get some of it out there for others to enjoy.

The Planets Web Page

My YouTube Web page

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:24 PM

Landa, i don't believe I have seen your other blogs. I hope you will try again.I know it can be a hassle.

Movingon, the image of Joe Don giving a free guitar lesson, in the dar, during an intermission, just strikes me as cool.

Debra Raines 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:33 PM

Oops, spambot again, I'll use word document this time.


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 03:41 PM

Someone asked whether Danny and Denise knew about Joe Don's passing. I spoke to them both yesterday and gave them my email address so that I could reply with this link. I just sent it to Denise and I'm sure she will have her own thoughtful insight. I've always called Joe Don "The Brother I Never Had". Well, I'd have to say that he and Denise were definitely "The Brother and Sister Neither One of Them Ever Had (or maybe wanted!)". They, mostly Joe Don, would kid each other endlessly and provided hours of entertainment in the old Chrysler station wagon Denise dubbed "La Muerta".
One day before one of our excursions to L.A. to be "discovered" I drove up to Joe Don and Wally's place to find Danny busily trying to find a way to install bullhorns on the hood of La Muerta. The next day as morning traffic was just kicking in on the L.A. freeway we were arriving and waving to all as they couldn't help but admire our ride.
I share what John Cline just wrote. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes losing someone to reunite a family. In the past few days I've been following this blog closely and recognized old friends and been moved by people I've never met by what they've had to share about Joe Don and I'm truly amazed by how many Joe Don touched.
In the past few weeks I've shared wonderful conversations with John, Wally, Justyn, Susie, Debbie Raines, Denise and Danny and have been reminded as to why I love them all.
Thanks Bill, for putting out this blog.

Michelle Abdoo 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 04:11 PM

The world will be less bright without Joe Don. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him some years ago and he was always so welcoming, kind, charming, funny & loved Justyn more than anything at that point (before Jayson, Danielle & Savannah). He passed on his incredible gift to Justyn who will make sure his music continues to live on, I'm sure. He was always so silly with Barney (his viszla) which warmed my heart to see. He was an amazing man and will be missed terribly.
I will continue to pray for Justyn & the entire family!

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 04:59 PM

I mentioned to Debbie Raines recently, and also to others this week, that I have been so moved by the number of people who, despite losing touch over the years, have been brought back together to express their love for Joe Don Davidson -- and that I truly do pray that everyone is able to stay in touch from here on out.

Family and friends -- sometimes it takes a while, but all of us eventually learn that family and friends deserve our highest priority.

I am ecstatic to have been able to play a small role.

Moving on...

"Reverend Al" Warner just contacted me and said that we shoukd all circle Sunday, April 19, on our calendars. A benefit concert will be held for the Davidson clan from noon to 9 p.m. at the Texas Cafe.

More music will be added, but already confirmed to play, according to Reverend Al, are Dangerous Dan, Mike Pritchard, The Owen Franklin Band, John Sprott & Co. and Reverend Al & The Pythons.

Justyn Davidson will be playing with the Pythons, in his dad's absence.

You can contact the good Reverend by calling 470-8945 or sending off an e-mail to

Let's rock...

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 05:02 PM

When I communicated with Justyn today, he let me know, "Joe Don will be cremated, but there will be a monument of some sort. Most likely at the same graveyard where his parents are (City of Lubbock Cemetery), if it is possible, but I can't say for sure. I will know more in the next couple of days."

Julie Cruz 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 05:21 PM


We justed wanted you to know that we love you and are thinking of you and your family......

Julie and Mark

Debra Raines 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 05:49 PM

Some people have asked if I'm Debbie Raines. Yes, it's me. I'll let you in on why I am now using my proper name. I saw an episode of Bob Newhart when I was in my twenties.
Bob had hired a temp receptionist, she was older, maybe 60ish and dumb as a rock..Her name was Debbie. I vowed then and there that when I got old I'd be Debra.
As I wrote in my journal last night, I realized some things I would like to share.
One being how amazing this blog about Joe Don took on a life of it's own, as he lost his life. It snowballed! I have read posts from many people I always thought of as friends, but haven't thought of many of them in years. Joe Don brought so many of us together again by us sharing so many great memories. I think Joe Don was surprised to know just how many people loved him, and respected him. I am so grateful to Bill for giving us this chance, and for Justyn and Wally for relaying our messages.
This also shows how we need to let our friends know how much we care for them.
In our last conversations we had with friends, did we leave them with a smile? Did we have time to really listen to what they had to say? To all my friends I have seen on here, I want all of you to know how much I have enjoyed reading the memories, even just seeing your names made me smile. Thank you for being a part of my life.
My heart is still wrapped around Joe Don's family, wishing them peace. For all his friends, I wish all of you peace. I know we all cried many tears yesterday, we lost a very special man.
Thank you Wally for giving us your brother's website. I guess you and Justyn will receive the letter I sent to Joe Don tomorrow. The photo of Joe Don is so handsome, I hope you enjoy it.

Jerry Goolsby 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 05:54 PM

I haven't talked to Joe Don in about 30 years, but I still honor the wonderful memories of him.

My favorite memory: Joe Don and Vince Hopkins got into a discussion about whether or not Vince could play faster than Joe Don—something about an Alvin Lee lick, I think. Joe Don said something like, "I just try to play the best notes, not the fastest ones." I remember having to sit and think about that. I admired his playing so much.

Thanks to everyone on the Blog for the wonderful streams of memories, especially seeing the names from so long ago. So much music and dancing and joy in the Buckle of the Bible Belt—the wonderful contradictions.

Thanks, Joe Don. Thank ya'll for the memories. God's Speed, Joe Don.

Terry Akin 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 06:48 PM

Debra Raines
It is good to see you your name too. I sure miss those good ol' Liquidator Days. I would love to see all those guys.Especially Danny Raines, I would even give up all of the broken sunglasses I now save beacause of him just to see him. Now if that is not a sacrifice I don't know what is...................LOL. I hope that someday real soon we can all see each other again.
I am watching this blog very close and I think it is cooler than the invention of the electric guitar..........well almost...
Joe Don would be very proud of all of this.

Terry Akin

Ralph DeWitt 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 06:50 PM

Well, Joe Don, you certainly made your mark in Lubbock. You leave a lot of good music, good memories and good friends. You hold the distinction of being in the only band my parents ever saw at "Fat Dawg's" (Planets). You also were in the only band where I've gotten on stage to sing (MP5). You even put that video on your website, which made me feel important. You were a good Dad, I know. Every time I went to Waters Elem. to see my kids in a talent show or awards ceremony, you were there, usually with your camcorder. Every time you came into my store, you had a kid with you. I helped you put together a band (Stolyn Trophyz), sold some of your stained glass in my store and partied with you on the Millenium. Once, when we talked about The Planets, you brought me videos of the band the next day. We had some good times, brother!

Till the next time,

P.S. Just like you to go on April Fool's Day, just to keep us guessing...

Angie R 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 06:54 PM

Just wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. He is truly missed! Your family is in our prayers and we will always remember what a true gentleman your father was. These blogs are a great comfort to me so I know they mean so much to the Davidson family. Keep them coming! Thanks for all the community support.

With Love,

Janna Toney 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 07:23 PM

Jaws is making his special lasagne... Joe Don loved it! Peace, Love, and many healing prayers. Janna & Chief Toney

Terry Akin 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 07:26 PM

I have not heard anyone say anything about Paul Rogers who worked for the PLANETS. He now is George Strait's tour manager/production manager I had his phone number at one time but do not have it anymore. If some one does I know he would want to know about Joe Don.
I worked with him when I worked at Billy Bob's.Before and after he worked for George.

Terry Akin

John Cline 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 07:37 PM

I read in an earlier post about a "discussion" Joe Don had about Del Shannon's "Runaway, here is a link to an MP3 that I recorded of Joe Don playing it live at Neds in Albuquerque with the Planets in 1978. (Debbie Blakley is singing lead and that's Waldo LaTowsky on drums.)

Planets - Runaway - Live at Neds(1978)

John & Alaura Nellos 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 07:38 PM



Thursday, April 2, 2009, 08:52 PM

If Joe Don had worked on your computer Bill, that damn overzealous security agitator would be history.


Thursday, April 2, 2009, 09:18 PM

Once again, as i was saying...Awhile back I wrote that over the years of knowing Joe Don, 'the kids' were his favorite topic of conversation. that includes Julian and Michele as well. Seems I remember a picture of Julian a few years back with a mohawk, or was that blue hair, or both?

Yesterday at 1;45, I was sitting in a laundromat doing my office linens and finishing a card to Joe Don. Had to smile to myself remembering how a year are so ago he has gone on about how it really was fun to go to the laundromat. The thing is he kind of liked to make things as interesting and fun as possible. The laundromat at night was sociologically an interesting different dimension.

When i got the phone call, I had to ask, "Was the sand blowing in Lubbock today?" With his dry wit he seemed to somewhat enjoy a good spring sandstorm. Oddly enough the sand actually hit here in the Hill Country this morning . A brown haze obscured the hills
from my house and the skyline on my way into the city. Made me wonder if you guys were being sandblasted in the flatlands.

I sure wish we could have seen Joe Don playing into his 80's. He was 58, the same age as my Dad when he made his transition. I keep my Pop's coffee cup in the kitchen window. I'm still learning from my experience with him. Now when I look back at his pictures, I realize he was young and good-looking when he left. Joe Don has left the building early but in his favor he will always be remembered as a gifted quitar man, vibrant, brilliant, and good-looking.

Peace, Light and Love,

Colorado Bob 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 09:36 PM

Corey Hicks -
Yes your dad and Joe Don were great friends. ....... and funny together.
Like Rowan and Martin by the lockers.

What a hoot.

Nina -
Yes, the sand was blowing . Yesterday's flavor was more powdery than our usual crunchy variety .

Colorado Bob 

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 09:51 PM

From Joe Don's site :
On April 26th, 2007 at about 7:00 PM when Mike called and told me of Guy's death, I set down the phone and, alone, leaning on the kitchen table, I had to cry out loud for a few moments. Then, as I gathered my emotions, I realized that the tears weren't for Guy, but for the sorrow I felt for myself, knowing that the rest of my time here on Earth, whether long or short, will be spent without my oldest and closest friend.

The world still spins around and the Sun still rises every morning, and I still tend to my busy life every day, but the list of male friends that tell me they love me is growing alarmingly short. I'm just thankful that the last time we talked, the last words that I spoke to him were, "I love you too, Guy..."

Written by Joe Don Davidson in Loving Memory Of Guy Hicks

Michelle Davidson 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 12:33 AM

Dear Friends and Family-

Thank you all so much for the incredible stories of Pop. I read some of these to him before he passed away and he said he felt "very dignified" we both chuckled a little at this, but his eyes filled with tears and we read on.

Everyone talks about what a great musician Pop was, but to me he was my husband's dad, my son's grandfather and my father-in-law. To me, in these roles is where his sweetest music was played.

We had many of those "boring" family moments when we would talk about Justyn and the rest of the kids and how amazing each one was and how proud he was of them.

The last month while he was here, Pop would read a recipe to me and I would create it in the kitchen. Even when he was on his death bed he could inspire me to do something new and be excited about it.

Joe Don was a special man is so many ways and I am honored that he was in my life.

Thank you again for all your love and support

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 08:05 AM

Thanks John Cline for bringing back the music.

Thanks Terry Akin for the reminder and the information.

Thanks Rev. Al, for setting things in motion.

And thank goodness I do not have any other coverage conflicts on April 19. I know where I will be...

Teri R. 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 08:13 AM

My heart goes out to you and your family. What a great thing that you were able have that precious time with your dad. Remember to ROCK ON in your heart!

Love and Prayers,


Friday, April 3, 2009, 09:47 AM

I want everyone who shared their thoughts on this blog to know how much this has helped me get through this sad time in my life. Joe was my only

brother, my lifelong confidant, and for much of our lives, my best buddy. Now, I must go through each day without a phone # to reach him. I'll sorely

miss him until my time comes. Knowing that you all share this loss with me surely helps. I anticipate seeing many of you in the days ahead. I hope

to thank you each personally for being part of his world. I feel especially blessed to have such a beautiful and loving family, and for all of you who

shared a part his magical trip through this existence. A most special thanks to Mr. Kerns for the blog, John Cline for the wonderful media, and Joe's

former bandmates. You all make me so proud...

And it goes without saying, I love my family, our most special family. Joe will live on through us...


Friday, April 3, 2009, 12:15 PM

Many may not know this... Joe Don and I went to jr. high at Hutchison at the same time. I was very unassuming,a wallflower,just the kid no one talked to much,it wasn't a very good time in my life. You remember how goofy guys that age are,I call it gussin'around. The details aren't all clear, but during a drill or program in the auditorium, Joe Don and I crossed paths in an awkward manner,bumping into one another,jumped back and went on our on way.A few days later,we saw each other again and introduced ourselves.He was kind and remembered my name,not Linda or Wanda or Lana, just Landa.I can only tell you how important he made me feel,that I mattered.I tear up to this day remembering this. From then on in our lives we continued to cross paths,especially with the music scene a'happening in Lubbock.During the high school days when I heard him play,it was mesmerizing and to watch his fingers move,to watch Joe Don fine tune his craft,to run into him and he remembered my name.It's like watching a butterfly emerge,for both of us I suppose. Our lives went on,I watched him play so many venues,continued to be in awe of his talent, his ability to communicate with his audience, to inspire his fellow musicians, and to be at his best when he played his guitar.And he remembered my name. Joe Don was a beautiful, caring ,kind man,in and out. His chilren are to be so proud of his legacy.Joe Don has left a big footprint in Lubbock,for his family,for aspiring musicians,all musicians,and all the fans that witnessed his flittery fingers and his lightin' licks. He is and will continue to be a Lubbock Legend.


Friday, April 3, 2009, 12:17 PM

Bill, I want to thank you so very much for giving all of this opportunity to share and reconnect.


Friday, April 3, 2009, 01:10 PM


I hope you are doing alright. I've been trying to call for several days now - my phone has been blowing up or my work schedule has been insane.

In the meantime, I love you and am wondering how you and the kids are holding up.
Pat says that we need to run out to the canyon and yell into the let's do that as soon as we can.



John Cline 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 02:55 PM

I just posted some never-before-seen Planets photos on my web site featuring a number of photos Joe Don. There is a particularly good one of him wearing a Planets t-shirt and playing his old red Gibson.

Link: Planets Photos from the archives


Friday, April 3, 2009, 03:08 PM

I was playing a show about 1.5 years ago and after the show JOe Don came up and started talking to us. I knew who he was and had known for a long time but had never met him. He was beyond cool to me and my bandmates. Rick our bass player discussed Joe Don's band "The Planets" with him and it was a fun night. We cut up like musicians do and just hung out for about an hour after our show. He was humble when he did not have to be that night, he is a living legend. I was so so glad to get to talk to and meet him. I rarely go out but ran into him at and Electric Gyspies show when his son Justyn was filling in for Daran. I was talking to Joe Don and I was telling him how great his hair looked, it looked like the top picture on Bill's blog but was longer, I told him "Man Joe Don - your heair looks kick ass and I wish mine would do that, I went on to say "You and Justyn look like rockstars!" He replied with a confident grin" We ARE rockstars!". It's a great memory for me. I'll always remember how cool he was to me. I just with I could have known him longer. He will be sorely missed. (I got to watch him sit in with the band that night and he ripped as always

Pat Simmons 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 04:31 PM

Bill Kerns,
Thank you for this blog. It is wonderful to see the outpouring of love and memories from so many...

My love and prayers go out to Justyn and all of Joe Don's family and friends. I am so lucky to have danced to his music and laughed and laughed and laughed at his wit...

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 04:34 PM


So sorry to hear the news about Joe Don.

He was a great friend and a great guitar player. He played lead guitar in two of my earliest Lubbock bands, The Twilites and Rox, Ltd.

To lose a band mate is like losing a part of ones self. Thank goodness those he inspired will carry on where he left off.

Here's to you, Joe Don. I love you brother...

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 04:51 PM

John Cline: Dang, thanks for all those great photos. Joe Don does looks great -- but so does Denise Brissey, and I sure wish someone would tell the lovely Ms. Denise how many people have expressed hopes that she would write some of her own memories.

I'm sure she has made her connection with the Davidsons in her own way. I'm certain she also is heartbroken. Still, it would be nice to hear from her.

In other news, another person close to Joe Don has told me that bass player Danny Raines probably won't want to be involved with the blog or the tribute concert. I wish him the very best.

Finally, dadgum it, Cline, that picture of Joe Don with the red Gibson just makes me miss my old Planets shirt and music all the more. How have you managed to save all these photos and videos from more than 25 years ago? You must be super-organized. So I'm wondering: Who made those shirts? Was it James Jester, or someone in New Mexico? Wouldn't it be great if someone could recreate the original Planets shirts, and sell them to all the folks on this blog who want them before the tribute concert on April 19?

Just a thought... LOL

Jesus Martinez 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 08:24 PM

Has Joe Don Davidson's family hired a funeral home, or made plans for a memorial service in Lubbock or elsewhere? A funeral home will help them get the death certificates they need, and also I think will contact all the newspapers in the cities where he has family members. I think his son Justyn said Joe Don was or will be cremated. I think it is super to have a tribute concert, but I keep checking the obituary pages in Lubbock and Denver, and I don't see anything yet. Did I miss the memorial service?
I am super glad the blog is here. I just wonder if we can help out, or show our presence anywhere else.

Debra Raines 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 08:27 PM

Hello all,
I agree that Danny Raines will probably not be here.Steve said he gave him this website. Danny could very well be keeping up with it. Danny lives a much different life now. If he doesn't participate here, or with a memorial,he is with us all in spirit.
I know Danny's heart, and he loved Joe Don,and J.D.'s family very much. Yes, we all wish Danny well.
James and Jancy Jester made the t-shirts, and it would be GREAT to have them available for everyone. LOL, remember the Motel 6 tees, and the ones that had The Planets baby pictures on them?
I'll try to call James next week, and see what he might be able to do.

Amarylis Attix 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 08:43 PM

Justyn, Wally, Renee, Susie & Family,

I am so touched by all the tributes to Joe Don and the outpouring of warmth his friends have for all of you. Truly Joe Don was a man who touched so many lives in such diverse ways.

I wish I had known him as a man, but the opportunities to visit were when we were children; as adults, time and distance seemed always a factor. He and his family didn't get to Mississippi often and we didn't often go to Texas.

By following this blog, visiting Joe Don's website and other sites that feature him, listening to his music, I feel as though I am coming to know him. I have such an appreciation for the person he was to all of you. Thanks, Bill, for giving us this forum to express our sentiments, sympathy, grief and all the great memories.

To all of you who loved him so much, may you be comforted by the memories you hold so dear in your hearts.

Peace to you , Joe Don,

Your cousin, Amarylis

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 09:37 PM


Others have e-mailed with similar questions. I've chosen to try my best not to ask Justyn more than once about new obituary details. He said he would let us know more in the next couple of days ... if he can.

Let me add that there were some folks who were upset with Jill and me for not running an obituary announcement right away for my dad when he died in August. I knew it would run only once, and I wanted to make sure that I had everything that dad wanted in that notice.

Plus, grief is not something that helps anyone focus. Justyn will let us know everything when he has it pinned down.

Until then, I will make every effort to hold off starting so many Center Stage blogs that this one would be pushed to the next page.

Keep checking here, and also keep telling as many of Joe Don's friends as you can. And I will try to inform some more people who might not know via at least a part of Sunday's column in the A-J.

God bless you.

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 09:50 PM


Amarylis Attix, one of Joe Don Davidson's cousins, lost contact with you and wants to reconnect.

If you will e-mail me at, I will forward Amarylis' e-mail on to you, and I will send yours to Amarylis Attix.

If anyone out there knows where to find Susie, tell her she's got mail, so to speak.

William Kerns 

Friday, April 3, 2009, 09:55 PM

A reminder:

I may have mentioned that I do not want to tickle the opening page of this Blog at all, for fear of accidentally deleting something. But I also always intended to give credit where it is due for the bottom (color) photo on the first page of this blog.

That photograph was taken by John Cline.

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 01:09 AM

John Cline:
Here's yer "Atta Boy" for the red Gibson pictures.

Paul Bullock showed up on Buddy Holly Ave. tonight. I was so proud to show him "Joe Don the Fig". He was the first person to ask me. Nothing but joy. It was a packed crowd in the Cactus playing to a "blue haired crowd" tonight. "Joe the Fig " was playing extreme stage left out in the garden.
What a hoot.

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 01:35 AM

I watched Joe Don play "Yardbird Licks" on that axe. When the Yardbirds were releasing those records. Many of us here did as well. I watched Joe Don play every note of "Play With Fire" on that big fat Red Gibson. I only guessed at how special those nights were. But I knew I was watching someone who was special.
Years later in places like Douglas, Wyoming, or Fallon, Nevada ..... when I heard Mormon guitar players, Joe Don was my Texas yard stick to measure them by. They were a very short stick folks, a very short stick.
Lubbock will spoil you when it comes to guitar players.

Colorado Bob 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 02:25 AM

To all of Joe Don's love ones .....
A word about this garden . It's a 5 foot strip of land that Don owns south of the Cactus. I started it last year with the help of Tony Greer, Jennifer Greer , and Larry Simmons. We didn't tell Don ... better to say you're sorry, than ask permission.

I did it for my mother, she died of liver cancer in Nov. 2002. It's called "Peggy Chapman's Gardem". We raised 82 gourds , and a lot of flowers and herbs. This year it's Hopi Blue Corn, and much more flowers.
Let yourself in by the gate next to Tornado Gallery, pick as many flowers as you want. "Joe Don the Fig " is back by the fire exit.

William Kerns 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 02:44 AM

almost 3 a.m. ... keep treasuring the memories ... thanks, colorado bob

John Cline 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 05:27 AM

First of all, I'm really glad that people are enjoying the Planets media, I've got plenty more where that came from. To answer Bill's question; Yes, it seems that I am "super-organized." It's a curse.

I just got back home from a visit with Joe Don's brother, Wally and his wife, Mallory. I stopped by their house to drop off a collection of Planets DVDs and CDs that I wanted him and Justyn to have and ended up staying for six hours. I have always appreciated the friendship of both of the Davidson brothers.

craig kelley 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 10:12 AM

My sincere condolances to Joe Don's family. When Joe Don said "I've lived the life of 10 men"........Joe Don was a 10 all the way through, in every aspect of his being. Thanks for all you gave us. When Robert was sharing the "stage left fig" last night I thought my,my...what a special place Tornado Alley is building into


Saturday, April 4, 2009, 10:42 AM



Saturday, April 4, 2009, 11:04 AM

Hi Bill,

Again, thanks for this forum. It just blows me away to see how Joe Don touched so many peoples lives in such wonderful ways. Just watching this blog grow does my heard good.

To Colorado Bob - The garden sounds great. Can't wait to see it. I loved it when you mentioned flying model airplanes a 2:00 am. I remember one night, when Justyn was about 2 or 3 years old, we went out flying U control models. It was about midnight and we stayed til 2 or 3 am. when we got home, we were all COVERED with mosquito bites. I just knew one of us would end up with encephalitus . We did a lot of things in the wee hours with Joe.

To John (re-cline) Cline - When I get back to ABQ, I would like to get in touch with you and maybe get a copy of some Planets music. Have you talked to Mike Linham lately? We worked together at Albuquerque Center, and he was always talking about you. Thanks for all you have done in getting things on your web site. It's awesome!

To all who have written and shared stories, thanks. It means so much to the family. It's also great to re-connect with so many people. I am looking forward to seeing and meeting many of you at Joe's memorial concert/s and/or events.

Peace to all,


Donna Dubose 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 01:54 PM

When Debra Raines mentioned the t-shirts that had the baby pictures on itthey were done in 1984 which was my 10 year reunion that the Planets played. I had gotten with each mother and they sent me the baby pictures to have put on the t-shirts and James was the one who made the shirts for our reunion. I do not have a copy of the shirt but, I would love to have it redone if James still has those photos or a shirt he could duplicate.

I do know that we need a fund raiser for Joe Don's children. I know that whatever we can do to raise money would be greatly appreciated. I will do whatever needs to be done to get this accompished. Please call me 806-535-1920 and let me know what you need and I will see what I can get done. Thanks Debra for the memories of the baby pictures. I will never forget that night nor will I forget the Planets.

Donna D

Larry Simmons 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 02:06 PM

A word about the t-shirts and other Planets merch...The flying guitar graphic is by Randy Fisher...Fish...look on the album cover lower right and it says Fisher. It was done for me as a poster promoting the Planets at Peaches, early 80's gay bar that I ran for some time. We wanted a really cool poster so Fish did this one, airbrush acrylics and gauche, Black and hite just f'n stunning. The bottom has a line with the dates and so forth. This is a great poster, i think the only ones i know of are Pat's and Suzette's. Bob Shattuck had a couple of them.. The original was bought from Fish by Robbie Gamble who was one of the owners at Peaches, when he split to Vegas, Tommy Politte's wife Carol got it. When they recorded at Fat Dawgs, i had Fish up here and Davis asked him to design the album c. That missing original is at Pat's house courtesy of Fish.over, Fish did a new illustration but they didn't like it as well so they used the Peaches poster without the date and location lines. I still have mine, along with a MOtel 6 T and 2 Planets long john shirts. I prepaid Davis $40 for a black and silver satin jacket, JD's was the only one I ever cool in those pre Mtv days, still waiting on that one. I treasure my Planets Pearl Harbor Day concert button and the Kamikazee production t from Jester...That band was the best. We are thinking about having some of those graphics reprinted, Fish still owns the artwork rights, maybe help raise some funds where needed...
Thanks Bill great and peace to all the folks in this blog, lets keep his talent and memory alive.

John Cline 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 02:47 PM

On the topic of graphics design... Here a little known piece of Planets trivia: The ubiquitous Planets logo was designed by Denise Brissey.

Susie: "Re-cline", I haven't heard that one in a while! It is, perhaps, more appropriate these days than ever. Yes, I see Mike Linham fairly often. There has been some very preliminary discussion about me recording the Joe Don memorial gig in Lubbock, Mike would probably be part of the crew I would bring from Albuquerque. Do get in touch with me when you get back in town, either here on the blog or my e-mail address is on my web site.

I'm going to post another piece of Planets media today on the Internet and I'm just sitting here trying to decide what it might be. Any requests?

Lonnie Wallace 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 05:06 PM

Unlike Susie and Justyn who are blood, Joe was only stuck with me for 3 years as best friend and 6 more as a brother-in-law. We met at Monterey in 1965. I can't remember exactly how. Joe already had a reputation with his guitar and I was a wanna be musician. We played together first with the Fugitives and later with Crushed Ice and we had way too much fun! In 1970, with a draft number of 66, my musical ambitions and getting to play and have a great time with Joe and the rest of the guys was over. I never made it back to Lubbock except to visit and eventually Joe and I lost touch except for news bits from Justyn and Susie. I got to see Joe and Wally at Justyn and Michelle's wedding. It was great getting to see Joe and catch up some. Just wish both of us would have done what we promised in terms of keeping that going.

I told Justyn the other day in an email that Joe was one of those people who was inexplicably in my thoughts all the time, for forty years. I admired him in many different ways and I am sure Joe left with fewer regrets than most in life. I hope to see him again someday so we can play catch and have more dog fights with U-Line airplanes like we did at Mackenzie Park.

This is for Corey Hicks. Your Dad, Joe Don and I had some incredible times playing music, snooker and doing a lot of crazy stuff together. I will never forget the three of us (there might have been more people there with us) going to a laundromat and giving Guy a ride in one of the big clothes dryers. It was his idea and man was it funny. That was typical of the zany stuff your Dad would come up with.

This blog has been an amazing tribute to a man who clearly was loved, admired and appreciated by so many. Thanks, Bill. And thanks to John Cline for all the video, pictures, etc.

Our thoughts and prayers are there for Justyn, Julian, Michelle and all of Joe's children. You too Wally and Mallory. I hope to see and meet many of you when we get together to honor Joe.

Norma DeWitt 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 06:17 PM

Well,I was a huge fan of Joe Don's and will always remember his unbelievable guitar playing. I will miss his smile,his wit,and the way he'd do his "thang" on stage.
I frequently visited his website just because it was so entertaining,and always hoping to hear of a Planets reunion.
Even though I wasn't a close friend,I cried at the news of his passing...the overwhelming feeling of we just lost a very "powerful,lovely,spirit" just won't be the same,,,Joe Don has left the building.:(
peace and love,

Doug Nelson 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 07:50 PM

I want to inform everyone of a Joe Don Davidson/Larry Williams clip I have. When I came back to Lubbock in 1996, after a decade in Los Angeles, I filmed West Texas musicians for a week. During those sessions Larry performed a song with Joe on guitar. Last week I asked the Webmaster for StoryTellers and MusicMakers, Janis Stalcup, if she could add that clip to our site. She did and it's ready for viewing. Go to and click on "About Us" if you'd like to see other musicians from STT and MM two seasons, click on "Guests" I hope the clip adds to all the wonderful memories in this blog.

Janis had the brilliant idea of adding more musicians from those 1996 sessions. In a week or two she'll have them on. I'd like to add that Jimmie Mason and Mark Murray recorded the audio during that week.

I have been very moved reading all of the messages left here. Thank you Bill Kerns for getting us together again. I starting remembering so much...I'd like to meet and talk again...I believe in April something is planned? Please keep me informed.

Briefly: Steve Morelock, I remember attending your wedding while I lived in L.A. Seeing you play in the clips on the web took me back to Fat're a special person. Thanks.

Dan Atcheson, I drove the Traveling Salesmen van for a year, 1974 or 1975...I worked with another person. I even sat in on drums once or twice for a "percussionist dance break" I remember driving that old van in a blinding snowstorm by myself. I prayed in five languages that trip and I have trouble speaking english.

Debra Raines, yes, I'd like to talk again, hopefully at the April event. Danny took care of me. I was thrilled to be on stage with him playing drums during Fat Dawgs closing night.

Justyn Davidson I hope to meet you.

Take care all...So many years, so much music, so many memories,



Saturday, April 4, 2009, 08:15 PM

The Planets were one of my favorite bands at Fat Dawgs...Joe Don always put on an amazing show with them...Fat Dawgs was a special place for all of us and he is always in my memories when I think back on 2406 4th street.... I wish him and his family the best in this new journey.

Dan Atcheson 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 09:12 PM

I've Joe Don to the memorial page of our website. Go to and click on "In Loving Memory."

Debra Raines 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 10:12 PM

I'm in my flying guitar tee and thought of another story...
Here's a visual...Planets driving from Dallas to Lubbock. Late at night, in the station wagon. HUGE thunderstorm. Windshield wipers stop working. They took off their shoe strings, tied them to the wipers, manually worked the wipers the whole way. Uh huh, they did good again!
Terry, I have wondered about Paul Rogers too.

Rita Ryan 

Saturday, April 4, 2009, 11:04 PM

♫ Wow, What a shock to my system. I will remember Joe Don fondly.

Say Hi to my Brother Dan Dan the Sax Man, Joe Don

Justyn your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Love you son,


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 12:38 AM

I was in the truck on that trip but I heard they stopped at a gas station and Danny went into the bathroom some thinking ("that's where I do my best thinkin" he said) and got some shoes out of his suitcase, took out the strings, loosened the nut on the wipers that connected them to the broken wiper motor, tied a string to each wiper and the driver pulled one way and the passenger pulled another. Don't know how many miles they went but that's the stuff of legends.

Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 02:46 AM

The Red Guitar: That classic Gibson ES 335 was the only surviving piece of stage gear in a fire when a club Pop was playing at burned down. I can't remember the name of the place, but it might have been the Hob Knob? Anyway, the guitar almost got looted after the fire, but when Pop got it back and plugged it in, it was good as ever, although the finish was peeled and cracked. He played it for 25 more years, then traded it for a Paul Reed Smith (bad idea, IMHO). I'd love to know where that thing is today.

I've been hearing this story since I was a wee tot. Or maybe this is only a legend...


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 02:49 AM


You never told me that story about you, Joe, and Guy. That was great! I'm sure there are a lot more stories not necessarily fit for this blog.

Love you brother,


P.S. Justyn and I are trying to think of some of the bars in Lubbock back in the late 60's and early 70's - let us know what you remember. Justyn says the Red Gibson did not survive the fire at Ned's, but was in some fire in Lubbock. Was it the Hob Nob or something like that?

Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 03:04 AM

Hi, everyone,

Once again, thank you for all the support. I am working on putting together a memorial event for JD. A regular funeral is not only something he requested NOT to have, but it just doesn't seem right. Anyway, I am gathering memorabilia, photos, music and lots and lots of ideas are coming from this blog. Of course, music will be a great part of it and there is a lot to think about there, as well. Believe it or not, we are working to do it ASAP, and I will let you know where and when as soon as I know myself.

Another thing I wanted to let all of you know: My dad spent the last few months of his life organizing his thoughts and reflecting on the many positive experiences he had. Once we brought him up to Colorado, he didn't really have anything negative to say, no complaints, only smiles and positivity even though he was in a great deal of pain much of the time. The strength and courage with which he faced his final days was extraordinary to witness. He had no bitterness, no anger and to my knowledge, no fear. There were many tears shed and none were the bad kind. I'm proud and honored to have been able to share those days with him, but as you can imagine, there are many things I think of now that I forgot to tell him or just missed the chance to.

Now, like so many folks here, I can only share these things with those around me and hope that all our voices together will cross space and time.



Debra Raines 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 03:53 AM

Was it The Golden Inn, I know it burned down. Steve may know, or maybe John.
You are a sweetheart Justyn,we are all with you in spirit.
Steve, Danny always said if he had string and duct tape, he could fix just about anything. We went through a lot of duct tape...

John Cline 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 05:46 AM

I've just uploaded another couple of Planets videos to YouTube. I went WAY back into the video archives for these two.

The first one is 32 years-old from March of 1977 and is the earliest video I have of the "original" Planets with Carl Silva on drums and Billy Mane on bass. It's an excerpt from a thirty-minute live TV show the band did on KGGM-TV here in Albuquerque. It's of "Six Days on the Road." Joe Don has a pretty amusing little bit at the beginning. We coerced him into doing the intro to the song coming out of a commercial break and were kind of surprised that he actually did it. You can see Denise's reaction when he finished. It also features Joe Don doing some relatively rare slide work. I remember that Denise was a little tweaked that the TV station insisted that she wear an... ummm... female chestal-area supportive device which was not a usual part of her wardrobe at the time. The other funny part was that this was a Saturday afternoon show called the "Country Affair" and it normally featured local old-school country and western bands. I was doing sound for the Planets but was also doing audio for this show as a side gig. I told the producers that the Planets were a country band (which they obviously weren't) but I got them on the show anyway and the TV station's switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree with a flood of complaints from the show's much older, conservative country audience. Regardless, the college crowd loved it. Joe Don was 26 at the time and Steve was 23.

LINK: Planets - "Six Days on the Road"

The second video selection is a result of a phone conversation that I had with Steve this afternoon, he mentioned how much he really liked Debbie Blakley's version of the Sons of Champlain song, "Saved By the Grace of Your Love." I concurred and dug it up. I videotaped this live at Neds in Albuquerque in the Summer of 1978.

LINK: Planets - "Saved by the Grace of Your Love"

Finally, about Joe Don's torched Red Gibson guitar... I know it wasn't the fire at Neds. The owner of Neds, Ken Gattas, had the bar torched for the insurance and he had it done during the only time of the week when there was no band equipment there. The Planets were out of town anyway. It also wasn't the Golden Inn, (another fire that was set by the owner) this time there was band equipment in the bar, but it wasn't the Planets gear.

Terry Akin` 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 08:44 AM

If there is anything I can do to help you just let me know. I will help you out in anyway I can to put together something. I hope all is well with your family. You have been a real man through this your POP would be proud of you.

Terry Akin

DB Cohen 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 09:21 AM

2:00 A.M., April 4

The wind is blustering around trying to pick a fight with the cottonwood and ball willows outside my window and it's riling up all the neighborhood dogs. Can't sleep. So, I decided it's time to get up and put in. Please forgive my silence; it took me a while to find the words.

Wally, Susie, Renee, Jayson, Danielle, Savannah, Paul, Carlye, Michelle, Julian, and dear Justyn. You, and those who have put their hearts into this love letter, are your pop's legacy, and a fine one it is. I pray that the peace that passes understanding draws you into God's rest.

For ten years, more nights than not, I had the privilege of standing next to your pops as we showed ourselves to anyone who cared to listen. I never tired of hearing him play (or anyone else in the band for that matter). I can't imagine anyone loving their music more than I.

It was a wild ride and most times I imagine we were hunkered down in shotgun and lettin' the devil drive. But, creatively speaking, it was the best ride I ever had.

Joe Don, I'm hoping we'll see you inside the gates, idling that pink Cadillac, waiting to pick each of us up when it's our turn to come on through.

"And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, grief, crying, or pain, for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4.

Amen brother.

Terry Akin 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 09:22 AM

Does anyone remember the old ladies pantie hose Danny Raines kept under the "madaress" as he said aka "matress" in the sleeper of the truck. Now I know what your thinking but they were kept there just in case we lost a fan belt. We never used them as the Liquidators but were they ever used with the Planets. Also does anyone remember the sax player named Danny ?.....What was his last name? there was Danny Raines, Danny Darlin.........and Danny? I remember he started playing right after Don Wise left to go play with Delbert full time.

Terry Akin


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:31 AM

In case anyone was wondering, DB Cohen is Denise Brissey. I was wondering when you were going to chime in on this. Love you, honey.
Ps. I was asleep on the couch at Paul Culver's house (my home away from home until Dave & Susie's house) in Lubbock, hungover (duh) when the phone rang. It was Danny. We were to drive to Albuquerque that day for a gig that night. He said, "Steve, Ned's burnt down last night". I said, "Does this mean we don't have to drive to Albuquerque?". He said,"I guess not". "Good", I said and went back to sleep. A couple hours later I woke up wondering if it had been a dream. Lots of memories in that place. We missed having our gear there by one night.

Colorado Bob 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:34 AM

The Red Guitar: That classic Gibson ES 335

Joe Don doing "the wind mill lick " on "It's All Over Now" at the Music Box.
Giant grin on his face, because showmanship had just joined musicianship on stage with him .


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:44 AM

As I've discussed with John Cline, I have a really hard time listening or looking at old Planets stuff. Especially the last night. I was so tired, and burned out and drugged out and it's painful for me.
But, seeing Debbie sing Saved By The Grace was amazing. Damn, that woman can sing.
Thanks John

Colorado Bob 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:45 AM

"the mill lick " -

We ate it up.

Mallory Davidson 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 12:41 PM

Dearest JoeDon....
Albuquerque, 1978..........I-70 Jersey to Land of Enchantment.....first stop Neds El Portal featuring the Planets.....I became an immediate fan.....each and every one of you had incredible talent and charisma...
When I first met you clearly we had two incredibly important parts of our lives in common....the world of music and little did I know....your brother/soulmate , my husband Wally Don Davidson. I recall after Wally and I "tied the knot" you whispered in my ear...."Now that you've beached the whale....what are you going to do with it?" You had incredible wit and humor all your life and entertained all....
I recall you always talking about your bro and then music....Leon Russell and The Allman Brothers ....roadhouse rock and of course, the blues.....southern blues-your Mississippi roots. During your young years spent on the Bassville, Mississippi farm, Grandfather Barney Broom most definitely instilled southern music rhythm in your souls.
I thank you from my heart for all the years of entertainment, wit and humor. You were always creating...writing music, articles, incredible stained glass pieces, designing and building in and outside of your home, creating a superb business and family web never stopped creating.
All of your best qualities are within your children, Justyn, Paul, Carlee, Jayson, Danielle and Savannah.
I will always cherish all the wonderful moments our family experienced many great times with Ann and Jack Davidson, my nieces, nephews, Renee, Susie, Michelle, Julian....all talented and full of love.
If each person in this world was given as much love, care and understanding as your entire family has given you through the years - up to the very last moment of your life....the world would be at peace.
To all that may get a chance to read this......JoeDon passed on with dignity and peace realizing that his incredibly strong family will move on toward wonderful years ahead.
We love you so much Joe.....


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 01:59 PM

Watching this great compilation of Planet's videos (thank you soooo much John) takes me back to a magical time in my life. Each player in the Planets was a master of their own special alchemy. No other band on earth could cast this kind of spell, and that's no lie. I know I was always transported to a place beyond mere mortal existence every time I was fortunate enough to be there. And, Joe Don Davidson was the best rock and roll guitar player this guy ever heard..... These videos capture much of the force. Truly magical!

Debra Raines 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 03:52 PM

What a beautiful passage! I saw your video on youtube just a couple of weeks ago singing, Just One Look. I was so very happy to get to see you. Thank you for being a part of my life, and being in my fond memories. I'll always admire and love you,sista.
Terry, It was Danny Ryan...

Kate Mortimer 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 05:07 PM

Thanks, all, for your moving memories of Joe Don. My "ex", Ted Mortimer, another guitarist-fan-and friend of Joe Don's, just sent me this link. I have been holding Joe Don in the Light for days since I first heard the news. I remember Joe Don as a superlative guitarist and musician as well as being very modest about his abilities. That comment some one remembered earlier about "nothin' special" sounds right on.

I remember him as one of the kindest men I have known, providing some words of comfort at a low moment once, and encouraging me in my own musical ventures. I also remember feeding him at our home in Albuquerque, I think with Steve (remember 14th century stew", Steve?) and how appreciative he was of the meal. The stories of the Planets in the early days at Ned's and at The Golden Inn, the links, video clips, all have brought back so many memories....and yes, Steve, I remember when you guys arrived in L.A......

My love goes out to you all, especially Steve and Denise - and all of Joe Don's family and friends. He got a lotta livin', lovin' and a lotta music in his life, far more than any ordinary person has, and he has left a legacy of memories to live on afterwards.

Thank you, Joe Don.
(Thetford, Vermont)

Joe Belt 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 05:29 PM

I don't remember how many times I saw Joe Don play, nor how many times I helped load and unlaod equipment. But I do remember him at Bobby McGee's and the Turtle Club, as well as the Community Centers, all in Lubbock, and little bars and honky tonks all over West Texas, and then there was LouAnn's in Dallas. There was also a short-lived band named Arnold Apricot and the Switchblades, back in the early 70's.
My thoughts are with his family, especially his children. I am sorry for their loss, as well as the rest of us.

Chester Marston 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 06:12 PM

Joe..the Switchblades used to practice in Speedy Perez's basement on Main street in the late 60's early 70's. They entered a battle of the bands sponsored by Womble Olds in their showroom on avenue Q. The band consisted of Joe, and sometimes Jesse on guitars, either Rick Carnrick or Tiny McFarland on drums, I'm not sure who played bass, and featured Jack Dillon on lead vocals, and Drew Pennington on harp. The backup singers were Nancy Pennington, Debbie Dillon, Connie Boyd, and Speedy. They performed Delta Lady, which was a perfect for this group of west Texas "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." Although they blew away the competition, they only got second prize because, God knows, you can't have a scruffy bunch of hippies winning over a pop song-singing bunch of high school kids. These guys were regulars at the HobNob club on Ave K., and I remember many nights when the doors locked and the music went on and on.
You cannot think of Lubbock music without Joe Don right in the middle.
I miss him.

Joe Belt 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:07 PM

Thanks for the help, Chester. I think it was Rick Carnrick. You are right about the others and I think Tooter even got in on the act, occasionally, with a harmonica and maybe tamborines. The HobNob was at the same location, I think that Bobby Mc Gees was...not sure which was there first.
Joe Don was a special musician and a special person.


Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:16 PM

MY thoughts and prayers are with Savannah and her family at this time and I know what she is going through because I lost my grandpa on March 8th. Savannah's dad is probably her new guardian angel and is watching over her and saying '' Don't be sad that I am gone but rejoice I'm with my brothers and sisters.'' I have known Savannah through softball and I thnk that she is the brightest, funkiest, most caring person I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Colorado Bob 

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:49 PM

One of the first nice pieces of leather work I ever did was a harmonica bag for Drew Pennington. I haven't thought about that harmonica bag in thirty years.

Hey Joe Belt -
You draw us a nice 2 color print using that : Red Guitar: That classic Gibson ES 335 for this concert on the 19th, and I'll take it over to Advanced Graphics, and get us some T-shirts for this fundraiser.

As a man who lost $10,000 on Buddy Holly's 50th birthday party, I think there a few people who would like to have something to take with them on the 19th, and a few more for those who can't make the trip.

Besides, Lubbock needs another good Joe Belt T-shirt you'll never get better excuse to do one.


Monday, April 6, 2009, 12:59 AM

Make mine a pocket-t in medium. I just gotta have a pocket.


Monday, April 6, 2009, 01:31 AM

I keep coming back to this blog..even though I don't want to. My Motel 6 t-shirt is in a box somewhere. Wish I had it now, but it would probably be a bit tight. Tooter has the baby pictures t-shirt. I guess. I read all of this, and you guys talk, write about him like he is still here. I cannot, at this point, believe that I, we, will never see him again. Debra and I talked the other night in very quiet tones, like we didn't want anyone to hear. I watched Jaws cry at the O-Bar the other night. I heard the wind kick up on the night of April 1, and after awhile I knew what it was. It was God telling those boys "TURN IT DOWN". But I wanted them to "TURN IT UP LOUD, TURN IT WAY UP". It was all the West Texas musicians that we have seen go before us, putting there instruments down, cuz the talent was there. And Jesse was his greeter, and Stevie Ray introduced him, to God.
I am a lucky person. I knew him, and I heard the big body Gibson, and that black guitar that he liked so much. And now I am talking about him in the past. So it is, and so it will be.
My love and prayers to Renee, Justyn, Michelle, Jayson, Danielle, and Savannah. And to Wally and Mallory. The past is the past. The future is bright as long as you have sunglasses on. Thanks to Jon Cline and Bill Kerns for the opportunity to express, and the path to some wonderful memories. Love, Suzette

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 01:38 AM

There ya go Steve, I didn't have shirts with a pocket back in 1986.

Davis McLarty 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 02:28 AM

I really love reading all the comments about Joe Don. He was a special nut case for sure....(all meant with love). He plucked me out of my jr high band and into his own band "arnold apricot and the swithcblades" I was very proud to be invited. and then on to G whiz with the funny and wonderful Guy Hicks....and then some god awful cover band (nickolodeon) at papa omars on Slide Road, but we did get to make some money for awhile when the drinking age dropped to 18..... but thru it all Joe Don turned me on to so much good music back in the 70's.......little feat, van morrison, steely dan,j geils,boz skaggs, frank zappa, small faces.....all the right stuff...naturally it was pete daia and joe don that led me to Stubbs on East Broadway....

Joe Don took me to Vegas for my 21st birthday (1975) and then on to visit his big brother Wally in San Fran...I dont really remember a whole lot from that trip, but hey, who cared. I was on the Left Coast and hangin out! then, joe don pulled me into The Planets and all heck broke loose. We did some damage in new mexico, colorado, california and texas and finally landed in austin in 1984. We disbanded and I stayed but did some flex time with the Liquidators in 85 and 86.....but as much as I loved growing up in Lubbock, I couldn't really , uh...stay there. so I have been in Austin for over 20 years and am shamelessly sending a younger generation of musician/warriors out on the road in the name of Buddy Holly, Bobby Keys, Roy Orbison, Waylon, The Maines Brothers, Terry Allen, Joe Ely, Delbert Mclinton and yes...

I hope we can pull of this Planets reunion that Justyn is trying to organize as I would like to see if Justyn can cut it on that red gibson.. (i bet he can)


Justyn Davidson 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 04:18 AM

So there you have it - looks like there may be a memorial show featuring the Planets, among others. Working on the logistics, more info forthcoming.

Lots of other creative stuff in the cache as well. Roses do grow...


Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 09:43 AM

Justyn -
Wasn't trying to horn in on your plans, I just saw Joe Belt's name there, and well ....... The boy draws a damn fine shirt . I was lucky enough to print a few.

Larry Simmons 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 09:46 AM

This is simply the finest tribute to a fallen warrior thats ever been done...Reading the thoughts from all JD's friends is beyond what anyone could expect, see everyone on the 19th. Good luck with the reunion Justyn...I'll be there.

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 11:32 AM

In bound Email today from Joe Belt -

Hey, Robert...............good to hear from you. I would be more than willing to do a shirt design. Do they already have one in the works? Couldn't tell from your second response. Let me know. I'll start on it tonight, if no one is doing might think of the wording that we might put on it.

Out bound from me -
Thanks Joe -
It warms my heart to hear from you. You're the first real artist I ever met. I met a lot more later on, but you were the first.

John Cline up these as well : ( Joe sent pictures of Red Gibsons, I told you he was good.)

I don't think they even gave a shirt a thought, but I want one .......... sometimes I type before I think. That's why I walked that back a bit.
I'll post your response on the thread ..... Let's fish for some copy for it there . This thread has turned into a bit of an event here.
A naming contest might be in order.
I'll front the costs, and we give Justyn the profits, if that's cool with you.

Debra Raines 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 01:50 PM

I'm working with Jester Art Service. Can any of you get written permission for the flying guitar t-shirt?
Thank you, Debra
John Cline, Jesters has the original Planet's logo on file, was it you that said the flying guitar is copywritten.
Please let me know if I should have any tess at all printed.

Debra Raines 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 01:56 PM

I'm trying to type fast as I can, so I'm not a spambot. A friend gave me a great idea on t-shirts we have in boxes that we can't seperate with. All of mine, I'm have a quilt top made. I just thought it was a cool idea that I wanted to share.
Davis, I knew you were keeping up with this. hugs and kisses to you too!

Debra Raines 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 02:04 PM

I just read back through the messages. Larry can you get ahold of "Fish?"

Nancy Johnson 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 02:11 PM


Susie Sweenhart 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 02:38 PM

Joe Belt

I was super thrilled to see your name on this blog. How's the family? I sure would like to keep in touch. I remember when you sent me an email, out of the blue, about 7 years ago. My email is Write me a line, then maybe we can catch up.

Lookin forward to seeing your T-shirt design and YOU.

Again, Bill K., thanks for this blog, it's amazing to see so many people publish such wonderful memoirs of Joe Don. I am anxious to meet you and many others at the upcoming Joe Don tributes.

Okay, I gotta say Hi to "David Ray", WOW, seeing your name on this blog took me back a big bunch of years. I'll look forward to seeing you, too.

Susie, Creamcheeze (I've been called that many, many times during my life), Sweenhart

Nancy johnson 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 02:38 PM

Wally,Justyn,Michelle,Renee,Susie,Jayson,Julian,Danielle and Savannah,
I am Wally and Joe Don's cousin on the Davidson side. Wally and Joe Don were the only "siblings" I had growing up as an only child in Lubbock. We spent every Sunday in the church balcony and later in the day at Grandma Davidson's house in the country (now, Slide & 29th drive). Many happy Easter egg hunts and Christmases. It is a wonder we did not become very ill from all those hard boiled eggs we hunted and re-hunted every year! I can vouch for the fact that Joe Don was a kind person for his entire life. He and Wally were a very significant part of my childhood and extended family. I was priviliged to hear Joe Don and Wally play many times growing up and, in later years both Joe Don and Justyn. I will say that the Planets were absolutely the best ever. No matter where I saw him or when or how long it had been, Joe Don always greeted me with genuine warmth (Nancy June). It has been said that you will be best remembered by how you treat others and, in reading this blog, obviously that is a true statement. I have never written on a blog so please forgive me if I make some terrible error here. This seems to be a way of communicating in today's world. Joe Don was a year younger than me but he always seemed so much younger - I think because he lived the life he wanted and did the things he loved. He was always a proud devoted father - we talked of children many times in the later years. I loved him and there is a sadness of loss in my life now. Can you imagine what Joe Don will add to heaven's band? With Love you are all in my prayers, Nancy J

Gary Mathews 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 04:55 PM

Justyne, Wally and family - Please accept my condolences on the passing of Joe Don. I enjoyed working with and getting to know Joe Don in the '80s. Joe Don always reminded me of one of my cousins who grew up in Levelland and I enjoyed the "west texas philosopher" in him (good coin, John)

The planets were a lot of fun to work for ('cept that damn piano :! ) and Joe Don was really laid back most of the time and could always be counted on for a great lead or some early morning company on an overnight drive or breakfast at the wafflehouse. Nice to hear from you steve and davis. John: thanks for posting all those cool old videos. I'm hoping I can make it to the reunion to see all of you knuckleheads.

Gary Mathews

Terry Akin 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 05:51 PM

Hey All

I just got off the phone with none other than Danny Raines. It was so good to talk to him. I did not have a current number on him but the good Lord lead me to him. I talked to him and laughed as much as you can in 10 minutes. I am gonna talk to him again this evening. I told him if he did not come up here I was gonna come stay at his house till he was sick of me. LOL........I know he will not be participating in this blog since I am told he still can't check voice mails on his cell phone yet ..........which made me laugh so hard, that is soooooo..........Danny Raines. Any way even if I have to go and fetch him myself I want him to be here with the rest of the guys. He said he had talked to Justyn about a reunion but wasnt sure the date for sure at that moment. Any way I am hoping and praying this works out. I told him there are a lot of people that would really like for him to be here. So help me out here and pray that we can get him here. I think I can, I think I can.

Justyn just let me know what youre planing and I will help anyway I can.

Terry Akin

William Kerns Spambot 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 06:58 PM

Yep, I wrote too long. I was refused, called a spambot. But I copied my message before I clicked on "Post Comment" -- and hopefully, I can just paste it in now!

Wow, I'm unable to get on the computer for a couple of days, tnd that is enough for another 50 or so mesages. LOL. I think...ut who's counting.
I am thrilled to read from Denise, and I'm thrilled to read about Danny Raines. Makes my heart feel good to know all are at least checking in.
And from the great Joe Belt, too! Another wow, though we've never met.
Is Vermont the longest distance a blog visitor has traveled?
Oh my.

As for the T-shirts, I had asked Debra to check into who had a copyright of any visuals, and I believe she is in the process and will keep all informed.
I see there was an actual T-shirt style request. How outlandish! LOL. I'll buy whatever I can get, but if wishes were horses, I'd be riding any colored (not white) T in XXL with a pocket, also. ut I'll just settle for XXLs in any design.

(By the way, a trivia question: What is the very most you've ever paid for a concert T? Calling myself an idiot at the time, I shelled out $55 for a Jimmy Buffett T-shirt one summer at Starplex, just because the shirt was practically a work of art. LOL)

Out of trivia and back to the serious:

All I know about the April 19 tribute concert at the Texas Cafe is that it starts right after church (heh heh), OK, at about noon straight up, and will go on until around 9 p.m. But I don't have the details and total band line-up yet -- and in fact, that might be a great place for someone to set up a running blog, and let people know who was on stage, what songs they played, what was said, and who showed up out of the blue to sit in?
Rev. Al is the main person sending me info about this show.
No doubt more info to come, and Rev, please post your e-mail and phone number again so folks don't have to shuffle back in this message list to find it.

There will be another memorial concert at a later date, and I have no problem whatsoever with plans for two and T-shirts and quotations for both. Someone on this blog already has touched on plans for any proceeds, and only touched the surface on what Justyn hopes to accomplish. My suggestion, tho, is that we avoid guessing games and just let Justyn see what all he can get done during this troubled time. He is going to let us know if and when plans are finalized.

Finally, I was listening to a fine, new self-made project by another Lubbock singer-songwriter recently, a young talent named Andy Eppler. And one of the things that ran through my mind later was that there is a whole generation of folks around here that never got to see or hear The Planets I hope they're tuning in, checking out Cline's classic vids (which blow me away), and I'm wondering how much it would cost (probably too much) to transfer The Planets to CD. Thinking too big? Well, it was just a thought.

At some point in time, someone might also make sure to print out this blog -- edit out the tets if uou want -- and prepare copies for Joe Don's relatives as a remembrance of how many lives he touched. Again, just a thought.

I'm very moved by how many have shared their memories, even to the point of researching club names.

William Kerns 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 07:01 PM

hurrah, it worked.

Savannah Davidson 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 08:12 PM

One of the last most cherished moments I had with my dad happened a few days before he went into the hospital. I had learned how to play chess about 2 years ago but was not that interested. I started to play against other students at school this year and really developed an interest for it. Right after Christmas I was talking to my dad about it and asking him if he knew how to play. He replied yes and said that it would be neat for us to play together. So he went out and found a very nice oriental chess set and the Tuesday of the week he went to the hospital we played our first game of chess together. At the time I had no idea that dad was a master at the game of chess. One pointer he gave me that in my opinion doesn't only apply to chess but to life too is this:
Always think ahead of the move you are making
In life I think it means to think about the choices you are making because they will affect you later in life. Dad lived by that motto because he chose to do what he loved most, play music, and it not only affected his life positively but also the people around him. I lost that game of chess but will never forget it. I asked him why he wouldn't go easy on me and he said he wanted me to one day be as good as him and if he let me win that wouldn't happen. We never thought that that would be our first and last game of chess together. I loved and will always love my dad; he has affected my life so positively! Thanks for all the comments!

(Sorry about all the spelling and grammar mistakes.)


Monday, April 6, 2009, 08:22 PM

Finally read all of this blog to date. thank you all. this has been a healing space.
Thank you especially Justyn and all of the Davidson clan. It's clear why he loved you all so much.
Justyn, those comments about Joe Don's views and his state of being through this stage of his life is a beautiful legacy to leave. Your sharing that is a real blessing to us all as we all have that bridge to cross.
Sure would like to hear that song Danny use to sing. Was it, "Into the Night"?

Light , Love and Peace,

William Kerns 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 08:59 PM

Never mind, Rev. Al. I cut and pasted the contacts from yesterday's column in The A-J.

Those wanting to take part in the tribute concert on April 19 at the Texas Cafe -- i.e., the Spoon -- should contact "Reverend Al" Warner, of the band Reverend Al & The Pythons, by e-mailing or calling 470-8945.

Pat Simmons 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 09:12 PM

This is so wonderful! Reading all these stories about Joe Don and sharing memories that each person cherishes. I will always hold dear the ride back from Santa Fe to Albuquerque when Joe Don and I talked and laughed the miles and night away while Suzette slept sweet dreams in the back seat.

Justyn - please let me know if there is anything I can do to help for the 19th.

Suzette - my Motel 6 t-shirt is also buried in a box somewhere,along with my Pearl Harbor Day button. I will keep trying to find them. I did take out The Planets @ Peaches print and the original Fisher painting of the double-album cover they turned down. I smile every time I see them...

John Cline - great videos on uTube. Thanks for posting them!

Pat Simmons 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 09:16 PM

Is that Nancy June Johnson? My almost daily telephone call to Junction hollering for help with Banner?

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 10:01 PM

More on Guy Hick's & J.D. by the lockers.

Standing one locker over , was Joe Belt. If Guy and JD were "Rowan & Martin" ..... Joe was Arty Johnson feeding them lines, and firtin' with Goldie Hawn.

What a hoot.

John Cline 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 10:18 PM

William Kerns said, "I'm wondering how much it would cost (probably too much) to transfer The Planets to CD."

Funny you should memtion this, after about eight hours of work, I just this minute finished remastering the Planets album and am creating a CD master. I'll have to talk to all involved, but it probably wouldn't be too cost-prohibitive to re-release the Planets album on CD. Commercial CD replication generally has a minimum order of 300, so if the demand were great enough, maybe it could happen.

Along the same lines, I've received quite a few e-mails asking about the hours and hours of Planets videos I have and whether I would be making some of it available on DVD. A lot of them have already been remastered and put on DVD, however, since a lot of the Planets material were unique versions of other peoples songs, copyright laws and synchronization rights kicks in. It's relatively simple and inexpensive to obtain the rights for an audio CD, but obtaining the rights for a video release is vastly more complicated and way more expensive. At this point, the DVD masters exist, but I can't legally sell them or even give them away. I'm probably pushing my luck just posting some of them on YouTube. I'm looking into it, but I dont' want anyone holding their breath.

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 10:52 PM

This platform eats prose, good prose.
Save before you send reader, save before you send.

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 10:55 PM

Joe Don Davidson ........ a Comet Amongst the Planets

See, that's not bad.

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 11:01 PM

Joe Don Davidson .... " A good Dane, but not a Great Dane."

Colorado Bob 

Monday, April 6, 2009, 11:13 PM

This is where JD would give 15 mins. of echo back of great lines.
Men are really silly, and one of our better silly habits is trading lines. Joe could run with the big time, like a Chinese ping pong player.

The guy worked vaudeville in a past life.

Joe Don Davidson .... More licks per pick.


Monday, April 6, 2009, 11:44 PM

John Clne,
Check your e-mail on your website plz. Thx. Suzette

ron lipton 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 01:20 AM

Unsuccessfully tried to post earlier;trying again. Its late on Monday night but just remembering the countless times I saw the Planets at Ned's among other places, and the handful of times I sat in with them, which they were generous enough to tolerate even though I was still a semi-beginner in those days. Didn't know Joe Don very well then, but sure admired the way he played, and have been blessed to have become friends with his brother Wally and sister-in-law Mallory, as well as Denise (from the Planets), in subsequent years since the old Ned's days...I sent Wally and Mallory an email with my condolences and prayers this evening, and received a very kind and gracious reply from them. I hope all of you here who knew and loved Joe Don are finding some love and comfort in each other's remembrances. Ron Lipton, Albuquerque

Debbie Blakey-Eaton 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 01:51 AM

It has been good to read about Joe's family. I look forward to seeing and meeting you all in Lubbock at the reunion. I saw you, Justyn, when you were a small boy, and always knew from the tenderness in your dad's voice when talking about you and your mom, just how much he loved you.
Joe was always kind to me...sometimes onery like a brother, but thoughtful and considerate, also. He drove me to the hospital one day going well above the speed limit to get me to the emergency room ASAP. (That was the surgery that took me out and brought Denise back to the band.) I loved Joe Don and remember his laugh and wonderful sense of humor. I had emailed him Christmas to tell him of a dream I had about the Planets reuniting. Little did I know that correspondence would be our last.
I was honored to be a part of the Planets. The road trips, playing to wonderful audiences, the long tedious rehearsals that would erupt into side splitting laughter, watching the boys carry that big Yamaha upright grand down a flight of stairs to a basement club, (which I have a picture of) and praying constantly that no one would slip and be crushed. There are levels we gauge our musical successes by, and the Planets was mine. I hold great love for every member of the band and I am thankful to God for that part of my life, for the life I've had since, my own children and grandchildren, and the opportunity to be a part of Joe Don's memorial and the Planets reunion. See you all in May.
God Bless,
Debbie Blakley-Eaton


Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 11:34 AM


Debra Raines 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 12:24 PM

Thank you James and Jancy for your generosity.
Larry Simmons said he could get written permission from "Fish" for using the copyright on the flying guiter tees. Seems it would be apropos for this. The Jester's found a file full of The Planets t-shirts, many options...

mike pritchard 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 12:31 PM

I know where the Red 335 is. I can't say until I ask him if it's OK. He is someone who really looked up to JD. I will call him and ask if it's cool.

mike pritchard 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 12:49 PM

When I was in the4th grade at Roscoe Wilson we had a foot ball team. I was big for my age so I playrd with the 5th and 6htgraders. One day after practice I was cahnging from my brand new football shoes to my street shoe and along came the dreaded Joe Don and Kyle barrett . Both 6th graders. They took my new shoes ,tied the laces together nad threw them into the top of the highest tree on campus. They were laughing hard when I began thedreadful trip home to face my DAD. I vowed to both of them that I would grow up bigger than them an beat the tar out of them
.....................time passed.............
One night at Fat Dawgs after a Planets gig about 4am we were yuking it up and I decided to get my revenge!! While sitting at the bar next to JD I started to recount the episode and acting like I was getting madder and madder told him I had carried this burden my whole life and I was readdy to take care of business. You should have seen his face. I turned around and winked at Danny Raines and then told Joe Don the only way out of it for him was to give me a hug and buy me a beer.Danny said it was one of the highlights of his life.
Also we had many beersoaked hungover softball games that I played with the Planets team . Mostly whipping up on ths AJ team.
Joe Don and I combined on 5 homeruns in one game against Bill Kerns pitching. Thoes were the days Mike

Victor Magri 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 02:26 PM

God Mike, warn me before you make me laugh so hard I spewed beer on the keyboard! (I also missed the fly ball!)

Danny Darling 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 02:50 PM

I will always remember and keep in my heart the friendship and Musicanship we had together. Playing drums in the Liquidators was good ole rock n roll fun. Especially holding down the groove while you Joe Don played a blistering solo on that red 335 Gibson. All I can say,Man it was great. You treated me with respect and honor, and I thank you for that. We spent some good times together on the road and on stage.
I will miss you my brother. Peace!
Danny Darling

Justyn and Family my prayer's are with you.I am so sorry to hear of this. I am just now finding out and I am so sad, but happy that I got to experience part of your Dad's life, to share the stage with him and travel's. He was a great person, legendary Texas guitar player, a true Texas friend to me, and wonderful Dad. God Bless You and family.

Justyn , I have some legendary recordings of the Liquidator's with your Dad on guitar, Don Wise on Sax, and Danny Ryan. Danny Raines on Bass and myself on Drums. Plus I have some cool videos of us playing, plus still shots of your dad and the band. I would love for you to have copys of these. At this time they are in my storage in LA. But, I will work on getting these to you and your family ASAP
I am hear for you and the kids and rest of family. Just let me know what I can do for you.615-335-3253
God Bless!
Danny D

Justyn Davidson 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 04:14 PM


The Planets reunion will take place in the form of a benefit concert in the month of May. The date may be the 17th, but it's not set in stone yet. There are other Lubbock musicians that may be participating also, so I'm trying to coordinate schedules. There will definitely be several acts - I know the electric gypsies are going to be involved - and I will let everyone know who and when in the next few days.

April 19th benefit show:
The show at the Spoon on April 19th is the Jam For Joe Don, featuring Rev Al and the Pythons, among others. I will know more about that one tonight.

Both shows are benefitting nothing other than Jayson, Danielle and Savannah. And, of course, the entertainment sensibilities of all the folks who attend them.

JD Memorial service:
I will coordinate the memorial service with the Planets reunion show because I know a lot of people who will come in from out of town would like to be at the service to share in the fellowship. Details about that will immediately follow the firming-up of the other thing.

Thanks again, everyone, for your support and for keeping this blog going. Peace to you all.


William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 06:00 PM

Advice anyone?

First of all, it pains me to hear of lost prose.

I wish we didn't have this problem, but we're in the process of creating a new blog space for me. The people who developed this server, with its present problems, no longer work here, I'm told.

So the best thing to do is click on your entire message and SAVE IT before you hit "post comment."

That way, if you lose it, you can immediately begin a new message, just paste your saved material in there, and hit "post comment" -- and your submission should be right there.

another suggestion:
Just go to your Mail directory and send yourself or a friend a letter with all the comments you want to share. Then you have your own copy.

Then just copy it, and paste it, into the blog as smooth as you please.

Eliminates a lot of stress and lets you write as long as you wish.

I hope this helps.

William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 06:24 PM

I seem to remember kidding Mike Pritchard many moons ago that, somewhere on his own headstone, he would have printed in small type at the bottom, "And I could always take Bill Kerns yard in any softball game he pitched." I'm old(er) and, as much as I dearly love the game, I cannot even play on a dinky softball field any more, much less a baseball diamond.

But all those stories are true, and I miss the weekend softball games pitting musicians vs. journalists -- and frankly, we had some journalists who took this "game" far too seriously, making me want to play on the musicians' team.

I think Pritchard said the only way that would happen is if I could still pitch to him. Meanwhile, Joe Don just had that smooth follow-through that said, "THWACK!" and he circled the bases like it was just a part of everyday life.

Away from baseball, I loved the story about a Planets concert where all military, and former military members, got in free. And then someone found out there had been a run on used military uniforms. That just cracked me up. I'd never heard that tale.

I love, also, that this blog is bringing together so many musicians. And yes, it is damn sad that it takes someone passing away to bring people together again.

Everyone had favorite bands in Lubbock. I recall, for example, the first time I saw the line out the door and circling around the corner of Main Street and University Avenie when Joe Ely was on stage inside the Main Street Saloon. What was the name of that band with Glenn Burch and John Ellis before they changed the name to The Harry Leeds Band. (Gotta love that name.) And for that matter, has anyone let Glenn and "Big John" know what is happening; Ellis might want to drive back from Nashville and play some hairy leads at a tribute.

You also had to love Ace Liquidators. And a dozen more. And yet, there was something about the high-flying Planets that ensured we never would forget. So many links making a glorious whole, fueled by Joe Don's electric guitar. We were so lucky to have experienced as many concerts as we did.

I better copy this, or I'm a dead Spambot for sure.

William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 07:06 PM

My, oh my, does anyone else out there remember hearing Denise Brissey singing a certain jingle on local radio?
Evidently it went like this:

Orlando's Jingle

Some people sing the blues
but I sing the blahs,
and if you lend me an ear
then I'll tell you the cause.

The same old foods I eat
sit on my tummy like concrete.
Give me the blahs,
the low down blahs.

But friend don't you despair.
cause there's some people who care
at Orlando's.
24th and Avenue Q.
Italian and Natural Foods too.

(Replace with "70th & Indiana too.")

They're gonna do it for you.

I value Loyd Turner, who may be the biggest supporter of local music when it comes to Lubbock businessmen, as a friend --- and I warned him that I was going to post this jingle after we talked about him finding it.

I asked for some facts, and he e-mailed, "This was the Planets' jingle for Orlando's. I found the hard copy. The Word file was dated 1995, but the jingle could have been made long before that date.

"I have not looked for a cassette tape or CD of it. It's been a while, and it might be a serious hunt. But I think we surely must have saved one, since I saved so much stuff. I remember the jingle very well, now that I read the lyrics again. Anyway, that is our own Planets connection. I know we used it extensively on the radio once we had it made."

I sent Loyd a few more questions and he e-mailed back a few more answers:

"I am not sure how many Planets members were on the jingle, but I know Denise was. Denise did the vocals for sure, because we all wanted her voice to be on it. Wally Moyers might have done the sound. I am pretty sure some other Planets members were involved, but I am just not positive."

Loyd Turner later said he'd found some other jingles on tapes that may have been recorded prior to 1991 -- which makes him nervous. He said, "I plan to take them by KK Crafts and get CDs made of them before these cassette tapes crumble into irretrievable dust."

Hmmmm, all this Orlando's talk.
That's one good thing about working long hours downtown. I can skip over to Orlando's and get my favorite salad -- which is what I'm going to do right now.

But before I go, a couple of questions:
Denise, Steve, Debra and anyone else, do you recall singing on this jingle? Did you make any other commercials for local businesses? Buddy Holly jingles even wind up on his tribute albums; I bet that would have surprised him.
So as long as anyone is talking about transfering Planets tunes to CD, how about a jingle as a funny filler ... if someone finds more than the written hard copy, that is? Just a thought...

William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 07:16 PM

Dadgum it, I was all the way to the car with a Crossroads Chicken salad on my mind, and it struck me that I'd skimmed over an e-mail from Joe Don earlier -- which he'd asked me to post for him.
So I better go find that. LOL

William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 07:41 PM

Dang. Never mind.

I scanned back, and it looks to me like the e-mail that Davis had asked me to post .. has already been posted. He must have done the deed himself when I was out ill.

Sorry I wasn't around when you needed me, Davis.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 08:00 PM

First, THANK YOU Bill. It's so good to here from
everyone & all their LOVE for Joe Don. I miss him so
much & I miss each & everyone of You.
Justyn, Wally, Renee, Susie, Suzette, Davis
write if you can ! Or Anybody ! LOVE !
Wally, JD & I skipped church together
smoke cigs at Broadway Drug Store.

John Cline 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 08:17 PM

Pink Cadillac is up on YouTube...

LINK: The Planets - "Pink Cadillac"

danielle davidson aka dani don 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 08:41 PM

hey everyone i just wanted to say thanks for all of the prayers and memories. one of my most recient memories of my daddy was when he was in the hospital in denver and we were all singing songs and i started to sing "hit me with your best shot" the song i was supposed to sing at me last voice recital but i didn't go because my dad didn't want everyone to see him all sick but when i sang that song that night it was like my daddy was back he was correcting me like he used to always do. ever sense then every note i have sang has been followed by a subtle tear because my daddy tought me everything i know about music and i will try to make him proud in the future by singing and keeping his artistic memory alive. one of my other memories is when i first found out that he had cancer and i was on the ohone with him and he told me to be his strength because he was so weak and i was so strong and how he asked me what was wrong and i said daddy i'm scared and he said why and i said i don't want to lose you and that is when he told me to be stronge for him. ever sense then i have tried so hard to be strong and it is so hard but reading all of the wonderful things all of you have wrote makes it a little easier.i cant wait to meet some of you at the memorial and to see some of you who i haven't seen in a while.and if you want to point me out in croud i will be the 14 year old girl that looks just like my daddy.

Daddy i love you so much and miss you a bunch. i will always cherrish the cd with the song daughters on it that you made especialy or me. daddy i hope you will be proud of me every time i sing a song and everytime i hit the wrong not i will try to correct myself. i love you so so much!!! and i will always be your little girl and your dani don.!!

thanks again to everyone you all rock.!!

love the daddys girl dani don

David Cea 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 09:51 PM

I still remember those nights at Fat Dawgs as a young man freash out of high school. One of the first bands I saw at Fat Dags was the Planets with Joe Don wailing on the guitar.
It is a wonder I ever got through college since I spent 4 nights at week at Fat Dawgs watching bands like the Planets. It was during this time that I fell in love with live music and I still love it today. I don't think I ever missed a show that the Planets did in Lubbock. I still remember my partner dancing on a table at Fat Dawgs while the Planets rocked the house.

It was years later that I got to know Joe Don after the Planets wrote and recored the first jingle for Orlando's. I think we paid them $500.00 for it. I got to know Joe Don and he always treated me like a dear friend. I still have a copy of the Planets album. I also have a copy of the Maines Brothers album Panhanlde Dancer where Joe Don played lead guitar on the song FlatLand Farmer.
This is still one of my all time favorite songs.

I will never forget Joe Don playing at Caprock for my 50th bithday party last year at Caprock on 34th.

I will miss him and his music!

I will keep him and the family in my prayers.

David Cea

John Cline 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 10:29 PM

Denielle, that was just beautiful and Savannah, that story about the chess game was incredibly touching. I'm looking forward to meeting you both at the concert.

John Cline 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 10:52 PM

Oops, that's Danielle. Sorry I didn't spell your name correctly.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 11:27 PM

Wait a minute. We got paid $500 for doing a jingle? I have no recollection of it (which doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen) but I want my cut!

William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 11:58 PM

I was about to ask how much Orlando's paid for a jingle back then. It was more than I would have guessed, David.

In other news, Joe Don's children are about to reduce me to tears again.

I had forgotten about Joe Don playing on "Flatland Farmer." Boy howdy, I loved that album.
I don't know that I've seen any Maines memories here. Can someone let all the Maines clan in on this blog; I'm betting they also have lomg memories of Joe Don, don't you think?

In fact, I don't know why I was stuck on just rock memories in a prior comment. The MBB quickly was forging its own rock solid claims as music royalty.

Dang, this ol' town had great music and then some... Anyway, it would be great if the Davidson clan could read comments from everyone who traded a lick or a handshake with Joe Don.

Pat Simmons 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 08:53 AM

Bill - was Dancing Dean and the Green Beans the Glenn Burch/John Ellis band you were thinking of? I can't remember if they were before or after Harry Leeds, but I think after. Talk about a great name for a band! They were also a hoot to watch and listen to.

Mallory Davidson 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 10:13 AM

My dear Danielle and Savannah:
As the days pass, I've been reading your magnificent letters - you have touched the hearts of all. Though we live miles away, you're always in my heart and of course Uncle Wally's too. Each time we get together you give me a boost of energy, inspiration and love.... you've got to realize how much you mean to us.....
we're so very proud of you....
Love Aunt Mallory

John Cline 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 03:00 PM

I have some video of Dancing Dean and the Green Beans from the Phi Psi Phandango in October of 1981 at the Lubbock Convention Center. The Planets headlined this show and there was also a "Battle of the Bands", which the Beans won. They were a hoot and certainly deserved the win.

Carla Senning 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 04:33 PM

I was living in Austin when the Planets moved there. I was privileged enough to have Joe Don become my roommate. When they got booked as a house band on Sixth Street, my roommates and I, including my sister Nancy, thought WE had gone to heaven to be able to see them play on a regular basis. We all have so many wonderful memories, it's hard to single one out, but I chose this one for a reason. Anyone who knows me knows I can make a short story long, but I'll try not to. One night Joe Don was asked to play with Jesse Taylor at the Continental Club. You can bet I went too! Knowing what a fan huge fan of Jesse's I was, Joe Don invited me to stay after hours and meet him. I was star struck, just sat quietly and listened to them converse until the wee hours of the morning. I never forgot how thoughtful Joe Don was to do that and how gracious Jesse was. He included me like I was a friend. If I had related this story to Joe Don, he would have probably remarked, "So what you're saying is that I am one of the few people that ever shut you up." I am always touched when I hear the song "Night Shift" by the Commodores. I was wondering if anyone that is going to play for Joe Don (Elvis?) would consider doing that song as I know Joe Don and Jesse are doing the night shift together once again. My heart goes out to Renee (can't wait to see you) and all of Joe Don's family. I have never seen a light like the one that shone in Joe Don's eyes any time he spoke of any of his children. God Bless.

Carla Senning 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 04:34 PM

Night Shift

Marvin, he was a friend of mine
And he could sing a song
His heart in every line
Marvin sang of the joy and pain
He opened up our minds
And I still can hear him say
Aw, talk to me so you can see
What's going on
Say you will sing your songs
Forever more, evermore

Gonna be some sweet sounds coming down
On the night shift
I bet you're singing proud
Oh, I bet you'll pull a crowd
Gonna be a long night, it's gonna be all right
On the night shift
Oh you found another home, I know you're not alone
On the night shift

Jackie, hey what you doing now
It seems like yesterday
When we were working out
Jackie, you set the world on fire
You came and gifted us
Your love it lifted us higher and higher
Keep it up and we'll be there
At your side
Oh say you will sing your songs
Forevermore, evermore

Gonna miss your sweet voice, that soulful noise
On the night shift
We all remember you
Ooh, your songs are coming through
At the end of a long day it's gonna be okay
On the night shift
You found another home, I know you're not alone
On the night shift

Debra Raines 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 05:11 PM

I have never met you, but you can bet I'll be looking for that beautiful young woman that looks like her dad.
Your dad and mine liked to play video games together (such as they were in the ‘80's.) Those two were so much alike, both spoke slow and soft. Both were so very intellectual people.
My dad passed away in "97. I now live in my dad's house that I grew up in. When I moved back into this house, it felt good, I was home. I like to work in the backyard on the lawn. I began to notice that I kept finding pennies. Plant a flower, find a penny, dig up a weed, find a penny, take out the garbage, look down, find a penny. I decided that I was "finding pennies from heaven." I know it may sound silly to some, but I felt like my dad was sending me pennies. I am still finding pennies.
I believe with all my heart that our dads are always with us. Your "pennies" may come as a rainbow, sunrise, sunset, a smell, maybe music. Who knows? I believe you will find your pennies, too.
I remember one night singing with your dad (anyone that has heard me sing knows that is not my best attribute.) J.D. keep telling me I was ½ an octave off, I would try harder, then he would say, "Now you are singing unison!" We only worked on this about 10 min., there was a party going on, after all! It was still fun though. The only people that enjoys my singing is my dogs. I'm proud that you got your dad's talent..
You sound like such a sweetheart, I can't wait to meet you, and I bet I can find you in a crowd.
With much tenderness,

Loyd Turner 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 07:00 PM

William Kerns--KK's played the cassette and it still worked and it is the jingle in question. They are putting it on MP3's and I will forward you a copy when I get it later this week. I'll leave it up to music historians to verify it was Denise, but I think it was, because all of us at Orlando's were in love with the Planets. I remember Steam Baths at the YMCA with Danny Raines doing situps on the floor.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 08:19 PM

This tribute to Joe Don has become a book that I can't get enough of. To read about how he touched so many lives through out his life and what an impact he had on each and everyone. It has helped me re-remember how many super talented musicians that have come out of the "Hub", and still are.Reading about the Planets makes me smile until my face hurts, as does the Travling Salesman, to the Hob Nob club, Eli's,the Music Box,if there was a club,we were there,if there was music playing,we were there too.
When Lubbock first went wet (on the outskirts),my Mom was had some liguor stores there,in Dickens, and Kalgary,(in between Post and Crosbyton) A lot of musicians would come by the stores, and I was told by one years ago, that when there is oppression,as in Lubbock,folks tend to become more creative and artistic to push against the the grain for self expression and a voice. There was nothing else to do here.Look at how many grains, I'll say sand, have been pushed aside,stirred up to grow the expressive array of talent we commiserate today. Those sandstorms,tumbleweeds, flying dirt and mudballs must be fertilizer for the essence of West Texas musicians, artist and writers.
It's a beautiful thing to celebrate Joe Don in his passing. His ability to entertain sooo many fans has defined sooo many moments in our lives. This blog is a wide recognition of his deeds.
I would like to rejoice and pay tribute to Joe Don and his family and if there is anything I can do,please let me know. God Bless the children.

Clif Magness 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 10:28 PM

Well. In 1978, I first witnessed The Planets live in Albuquerque. What a night! I was especially impressed by the guitar heroics of Joe Don. I was at the same time giddy and intimidated. It was an overwhelming emotion for a Texas lad of 21 to be in the full-throttle envelopment of such talent and precision.

Fast forward to 1979 in Encino, Ca. I had built an 8 track recording studio in my garage. The Planets were on a tour and I offered to record them free of charge. Mainly to hone my recording and producing chops and, well frankly, to be a fan, listening at close range.

The results were perfect. An 8 track recording had never sounded so good. The musicianship was extra-terrestrial. The band members were incredibly complementary and forgiving.

I hold you and your family in my prayers and will always remember Joe Don fondly and with the most respect and regard.

Clif Magness

Larry Simmons 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 11:24 PM

I was at the Pearl Harbor Day show. I really think it was Stewarts Raider the Rox's locationon 4th but Carlo was out of it, again- I think. It was a U.S O. show,,,Bob Hope entertaining the troops...yes -Servicemen in uniform in free, that was brilliant, but when the lights came on there was Jester, dressed like Patton, chrome dome ...probably stolen ROTC helmet...paraphrasing the opening "Patton" movie speech and when it comes to the what you did in the war part James blasts the crowd with " saw the Planets on Pearl Harbor Day in Lubbock!!!!"...the place goes nuts...greatest theme party promo I've ever been to...great music and a great crowd...killer T-shirts

Samantha Birkman Nance 

Thursday, April 9, 2009, 08:55 AM

Joe Don was one of my favorite guitar players. Watching him play was like watching passion in motion, or a freight train speeding past you. You just wanted to close your eyes and grab hold for the ride.
Danger be damned.

I have so many memories of those days; it is difficult to pick one.
The one that stands out, after reading these posts though, has to do with Danny Raines dog Jackson. The Planets were playing in Albuquerque and Lubbock suddenly had a cold snap. Jackson was left in Danny's back yard. A friend of mine I dated for years lived on the same property as Danny in a little house in the back. It had iced over so no one was driving, and of course, my car had died. We walked over and got Jackson and walked him back to my house. You should have seen the looks we got walking that animal down 19th street. We had no furniture in those days but we had a beautiful brindle Great Dane, (and 3 other dogs). I was working at Chelsea Street (or was it John Igo's Silver Dollar Saloon?) at the time and managed to get a message to Danny via JD that his dog was fine and living in the lap of luxury at our place. Jackson was perfect. I remember getting something together in the kitchen and looking over at him, and there he was, lying on our dinning room floor, ears and neck erect and paws crossed. I STILL miss that dog. What did Dan have tattooed in his ear? Seems like it was D. Raines?

I feel so blessed and fortunate to have grown up in Lubbock and been exposed to such great music. The truth is, we were all spoiled rotten. Had I known then, what I know now, I would have savored those moments longer.

After having spoken to some old friends recently, I would like to say to all those Lubbock musicians that don't play anymore?
When God hands you a gift, don't let it go, don't give it back.
The gift of music is given to you for a reason. You were chosen as its instrument, and not by accident. Rejoice and be glad in it.

My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to Joe Don's family.
...Till we meet again.

Lesley Sawyer 

Thursday, April 9, 2009, 10:24 AM

I've been enjoying, as everyone has, the stories.

Very cool that Clif added his input. ;-)

I hope you all are doing well -- are happy, healthy and wealthy (wealthy in the ways that are important to you)

See ya'll at the Joe Don's Hoopla. He would be tickled about it, eh. ;-)

William Kerns 

Thursday, April 9, 2009, 05:59 PM

My wife, Jill, who has been in Lubbock for just 10-11 years, actually sends an e-mail to ask, "Bill, was there really a band called Dancing Dean & The Green Beans."

You bet, hon. And they were good, too!

As for the blog, sometimes I just get scared that I'll wake up and everything will be gone, LOL. Here's hoping that someone is maintaining this testament. What a gift of love and appreciation for family members wondering if Joe Don had an impact. Wow, we should all be so loved.

I think it is nearing the length of early Stephen King novels. LOL

I have been so durn busy that sometimes I cannot keep up as much as I'd like. That just means more to read.

By the way, can someone from the Spoon check in and let us know if they plan on having enough food and parking. The liquid refreshment and power to the stage, I am not worried about.

By the way, I know I don't know everybody, and I think it would be great if somebody would volunteer to either emcee or keep track of everyone who shows up, for posterity's sake.

While I am just yapping, my bride already has asked Allan and Victor and the rest of these involved for permission to set up a separate page for the Jam for Joe Don poster -- so that folks can log onto it and send it on to their own friends' groups.
What is the registered capacity at the Spoon?

Dang, I'm hungry. Lloyd if I stop off for a Crossroads Chicken Salad, can I get a copy o the jingle.

God bless, people.


Thursday, April 9, 2009, 08:39 PM

Geez, I just right clicked on the blog, did Select All, ctrl c, and copied the entire thing to a Word Document. It is 91 pages....of love. Thank you John Cline....for Pink Cadillac. That is a wonderful, special trip in the way back machine...and I am in love all over again...with The Planets. Looking forward to The Spoon, and the reunion. Love to all, Suzette


Thursday, April 9, 2009, 09:40 PM

But Bill I do love the name Dancing Dean and the Green Beans. I just found it hysterical.

A facebook page has been set up for Jam for Joe Don. I sent it out and asked that everyone send it to everyone that they've "friended" on facebook. You can also search for the event. It is listed: Jam for Joe Don. If you have trouble finding it let me know at and I'll hook you up. Just another way 2 get the word out!

You keep loyd in business with crossroads chicken salads! LOL

John Cline 

Friday, April 10, 2009, 04:40 PM

It's been interesting to re-read all the comments here and see in which period of time people became fans of Joe Don and the Planets. There were actually five incarnations of the Planets, each of then with a slightly different musical style. Only Joe Don, Steve and Denise were in all the versions of the band. (I was in all of them except the last with Danny Raines.) I don't really have a point here, I just found it interesting to read people's memories at the different places in the Planets orbit. One thing remains consistent throughout the posts on this blog, Joe Don was universally liked and admired long before and after the Planets.

One other interesting thing of note. I've had a Planets page on my web site for years and it got maybe 5-10 hits a day on average. In the last two weeks, it has gotten close to 1000 hits a day, primarily as a result of traffic brought by Google searches for "Joe Don Davidson." He sure touched a lot of lives...

Gary Mathews 

Friday, April 10, 2009, 07:18 PM

John – you are correct. Joe Don, in the performance of a lifetime, has re-ignited a flame. I have viewed the planets page and all the videos, read more about the band and heard more names from the past than I can recall in a long time! Even had to pull out some of my period journals.

Since this is starting to read like a book, I'll add some more fuel to the fire: can someone recall with accuracy the story of a certain guitar or guitar amp whose demise was finally orchestrated late one night at Mount Baldy? A fireplace? Joe Don's part in this? I was not there but remember hearing the tale from Kurt years ago but cannot recall any details.

I also found a journal entry from 1983 recalling the one nite gig in LA at the palomino club. The trip begins with the scene in which "the musicians" have just finished mounting bullhorns on the hood of La Muerta Blanca. Then (good lord) we split up a bunch on coors longnecks for the drive (given to the band as a sort of cheap Bon Voyage from a Santa Fe club owner). There is mention of speeding across the desert on their way to LA in the dark of night at 130mph – not sure if this was poetic license or really happened that way....(steve,davis?) Also a mention of Francis, our light guy – and his habitual barking whenever a hot girl walked by.

The song "Motel 6" was a true anthem of the band at the time – who wrote that and what's the story? A true road song. We all had our own TV keys! (I have never stayed at a motel 6 since and never will again)

One last thing – more a Planets story than about J.D........Kurt recalls how much of an embarrassment he and Scott T. were to be around and that John Cline eventually refused to be seated with them at restaurants!

Maybe more later - Gary

Ralph DeWitt 

Friday, April 10, 2009, 08:55 PM

C'mon, guys! "Dancin' Dean & The Greenbeans" was Dale Hunter on keyboards, John Ellis on guitar, Tim Hanlon on bass and Kirk Hamilton on drums. A mighty fine 80's band, did a great version of "Rock Lobster". I still have my "Dancin' Dean" keychain! Of course, I still have everything I ever owned. And speaking of that, I have some great "Planets" photos from the AJ archives, taken by Milton Adams. I would like to put these together with any other Planets photos and memorabilia out there and put together a scrapbook. We could sell these at the Planets Reunion show (if it happens) and give all of the profits to Joe Don's kids that night. If any of you have anything you think should go into the book, bring it by Ralph's Records. I will give you credit in the book and will return it to you after the book is printed. Any photos, ticket stubs, ads, press releases, etc. would be nice. Lemme know what you've got!


Friday, April 10, 2009, 09:20 PM

I knew John Ellis was in that band. Such a great name...
that last part made me laugh so hard I cried. Now that's what I'm talkin' bout...can't sit with me...nope.

Terry Akin 

Friday, April 10, 2009, 09:49 PM

I have a lot of favorite stories I remember them telling about the Planets travels. But I think the best one of all is the story about Frank in The Virgin Islands. I remember most of the story as I was told but I was not actually there. Does anyone that was there care to share the story again.
And I remember Joe Don telling me about Danny mounting the horns on the station wagon but if I remember right the real kicker to the whole story was they had those things mounted on there all the way to LA and back and hauled ass back to Lubbock the night they returned to make it to Fat Dawgs for last call, and did, only to go inside and have a few drinks come back outside and discover someone had stolen the horns off of the car in the parking lot of Fat Dawgs.

Terry Akin



Justyn Davidson 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 02:30 AM

Benefit Details:

I have been asked what will become of the money raised at the benefit. The answer is complicated and simple. The money will be placed in a college fund for Jayson, Danielle and Savannah. The complicated part is setting up the account. It requires a trust to be set up by a tax attorney, then an EIN established, before a bank account can be opened for it. Additionally, I will probably need 3 accounts in the long run, but I'll cross that bridge later.

I will hopefully have the bank account opened by next weekend, the time of the first benefit. I am just learning about all this stuff and it's seemingly much more complicated than it needs to be - but such is life.

In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contribute, I will have the name of the trust by MONDAY, so leave the TO line blank until then.

IF YOU ARE A TAX ATTORNEY OR KNOW A TAX ATTORNEY who is interested in helping out, please contact me at my email ( I have contacted one guy here in Colorado but I'm not sure how it's going to work out with him.

I'm really looking forward to the Jam for JD next weekend. It looks like I will be able to be there after all. Al has done a great job of putting the thing together. Thank you Al and everyone else involved.

Owen Franklin 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 11:41 AM

One of the biggest treats of my life was to have the privilege of playing music with my friend, Joe Don Davidson. I am so glad our paths crossed and that we became friends. An absolut genius, that man. It is so awesome that we're going to have the Jam for Joe Don. I know it is going to be a memorable and historical event that all will cherish being a part of. Joe Don, I love you man. Thank you for being my friend, touching my life so positively, and most of all, for being you. I miss you man, as I and everyone always will.

Debra Raines 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 01:20 PM


I know the story about Frank. I have pics of him after we had to save him from the ocean. Long story...
My cell # is 806 470-8823.
Give me a call sometime, would love to hear from you.
I've been in touch w/ Jerry Huddleston, he is wondering where you are.


Pat Simmons 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 02:17 PM

I was just thinking about the night at Peaches when the guys from the Planets and the guys from the bar got into a fire extinguisher fight after hours. I can't remember who started it, but it was so funny watching them chase each other around with big white clouds coming out of the extinguishers. Everyone was covered in it. They looked like they had fallen into barrels of powdered sugar. Somehow Steve got rolled up in the stage rug...things were a little out of hand by then...

About Dancing Dean and the Greenbeans. They had a habit of changing the words around in the cover songs they performed. So instead of singing "Took her home to my place, watching every move on her face." John Ellis would sing "Took her home to my place, tied her up with electrical tape." Oh they were so twisted, but in a good way you know...

Pat Simmons 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 02:43 PM

Suzette - Thanks for the tip on saving this blog to Word. I also transfered it to a flash drive and will continue to do so as the blog grows.

Bill Sim 

Saturday, April 11, 2009, 03:02 PM

One of my fave Planets stories was told to me by Danny Raines on one of our long drives in the equipment truck.
The Planets won some sort of award (I think it was from Buddy Magazine) and were given a plaque. They had it with them in La Muerta Blanca when the car was pulled over by a Texas sheriff for speeding. As the cop was about to write a ticket, he asked, "Say, are y'all some sort of band or something?" Danny held up the plaque and said, "Yes sir. We're an award winning Gospel group.
The cop let them go without writing the ticket.


Saturday, April 11, 2009, 05:32 PM

The amp story: We'd carried this amp with us for years and miles (can't remember the brand) and we were playing up at Mount Baldy in CA and either my amp (probably) or Joe Don's stopped working. So we got out the backup amp didn't work either. Later that night we were hanging around this round fireplace in this ski lodge and were cussing the amp. I finally looked at John Harris and said, "let's burn it". We walked over and got it off the stage and carried it over to the fireplace and we both took an end and started counting, 1....2....3". Neither one of us knew whether the other was going to let go but on "go" we both did and man, what a sight! The flames went up about 8 or 9 feet (it was a huge fireplace) and we all marveled that we'd actually done it. Great fire. Never missed the amp.
Oh, I have to say that I wrote Motel 6 and if you recall the baseball shirts we had printed up with the logo had the going rate at the time of $11.95 a night. Long time ago, huh?

Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 01:28 AM

The amp was a Lab Series. He kept it as a backup because solid state amps are supposedly more reliable than his regular tube amps (ha). I actually remember that thing from childhood...

An old bandmate from my first band, DVS, called me today. His name is Rob Haack and we went to HS together in Albuq. He expressed his condolences and then went on to say "I can't believe Joe Don is gone. He was a huge influence in my life." Before I had time to consider this, he went on to say, "he taught you, you taught me, then our band learned everything we knew from Joe and the Planets. I would never have gone on to work at Fender had it not been for this background." (Rob worked at Fender designing amps for the better part of the last decade).

I had never thought about Rob's motivations or his connection with Pop. It's amazing how many people keep appearing that have been touched by JD. Constant reminders that a simple life can have a lot of impact... Funny that I'm learning this lesson only after my dad is gone.

Barry Bishop 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 07:33 AM

Steve and Gary,
It's funny how all these stories make the rounds. The one about the amp sacrifice was told to me by Joe Don less than a year ago, in typical JD humor. About a year ago Owen, a friend of mine and Joe Don's, had me procure an amp for him that he had wanted for quite some time. The amp was a Lab Series L-5. I located one, bought it, did a little work on it and got it sounding pretty decent (for a solid-state). Owen was totally happy with it and really proud of it. One nite, he and Joe Don were at my house when he started telling Joe Don all about his new amp and how great it sounded. Joe Don, very nonchalantly, said; "Well, I really can't comment on how good they sound, but I do know they make excellent firewood!" I almost fell out of my chair laughing and Owen was in a state of shock, wondering, "How could anybody do such a thing?" JD then proceded to tell us of the demise of the fabled L-5. Hope you guys get a laugh out of this like I did, and still do.


Debra Raines 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 12:03 PM


Speaking of amps...One time on your pop's birthday, Danny and I were at a loss for what gift to give him. The Planets were playing in Lubbock at The Silver Dollar Saloon on his birthday. I am fortunate enough to be friends of the family members of Buddy Holly. I got permission to take Buddy's old Music Man amp to The Silver Dollar Saloon for your pops to plug in and play through that amp on a Buddy Holly song. I don't think it had ever been on a stage since Buddy had played through it. With Danny and I not having much money we felt it was a pretty good gift. Of course Danny guarded the amp with his life.
I didn't know if any of your family knew about it, anyway I thought you guys might find this to be pretty cool.
I hope you got the photo of your pop that I sent.
I'm wishing all of you peace on this Easter Sunday.


Susie Sweenhart 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 06:24 PM

Dearest Justyn, Michelle, and Julian,

What a wonderful family you are! A joy to call my own.

I admire your spirit, your goodness, and your generosity. I love the way you face each day with a commitment to life, to your family, and to the things that really matter.

I love your face it head on and plow through each challenge, attitude. I admire the decisions you make, and the perseverance you have shown when others would have given up.

I believe each of you possess extra-ordinary strength and an endless supply of resilience. Your enormous amount of courage was beautifully evident in the loving care that you gave Joe Don during the last days of his life. I can just see him up there with that lazy grin smiling down on all three of you with so much pride and love.

Thank you for taking such good care of, Pop, my dear friend and once upon a time ‘lover'. You are truly a special family; a rare and beautiful gift to all of us.

Love and Peace,

Mom/Susie/Granny Sue

John Cline,

Mike Linham gave me a DVD of the Planets New Years Eve, '84/85'. I am sure I have you to thank for that, so Thanks.

Hope to see you at the shindigs.


Lesley S,

I was going through old photos and things the other day and came across the envelope full of flower seeds that had a picture attached to it. You gave it to me after "The Wall". I believe the picture has Denise and ???? others in a vintage convertible. Were you one of the others? The note you wrote me was nice, too. You addressed it to Suzie Cube. Just a fun memory. Julian and I were there on Halloween, in full costume. I in my cat suit and Julian as Gene Simmons, tongue and all. I took some pictures that night, but of course they came out sort of pink and dark.

See you at the hooplas. Your right, Joe Don will be tickled :-)

Suzie Cube

Jayson, Danielle, Savanah, and Renee

Danielle and Savanah, what beautiful memories you shared with us all. Treasure those memories and keep write-n-em down when you can. Some day you'll be glad you did.

Jayson, I know you're out there, and it sure must be hard for a young man at your age. Your Dad was sooo proud of you, all three of you! Thanks for helping me move stuff when I came to Lubbock a few weeks ago.

I met your brother, Paul and his family, while I was at Justyn's last week. What a lovely bunch they are. Paul looks lots like Joe. Renee, Holly and I decided that somehow the three of us are strangely (in a good way) like sisters. I've never met Carley's Mom. A long, lost sister I guess!

I dug through all of my old pictures last nite, scanned them, and put them on my IPOD. (I'm kind of proud of myself, cause I am somewhat technically challenged - ask Justyn!) Anyway, some of them are from a visit with you guys when Savanah and Julian were about 18 months old. Cute Stuff. Thanks, Renee, for letting me be a part of your family. I also have some great pictures of Joe Don from years back. Some go back to when he was 14 or 15. Ya'll will enjoy seeing them, and I can make you some copies if you want. I was on the MHS alumni web the other nite and there in the Hall of Fame was a picture of Joe Ely, 1965. Low and behold, Joe Don is in the picture of the band. He was 14 at the time and even though the picture is a bit blurred, you think you are seeing Dani with short hair, wearing a black suit. WOW!

I hope to see all of you on the 19th.


Aunt Susie

Wally and Mallory,

I hope you two are doing well. I enjoy reading your thoughts on this beautiful blog. I wasn't in ABQ long enough to get together with ya'll, but when I get back from OK I'll call.

This is such a beautiful way to remember Joe. I check the sight every day and save it. It is probably up to about 110 pages of love now.

I hope to see you in LBB on the 19th, but if not, in May.

Much love,


Joe Belt,

Thanks for the beautiful picture of your family! I can't believe our kids are in their 40's. I found that picture of Justyn and Brandi in bed together when they were about 2 yrs old. Remember us laughing and joking about them starting their romance at a much younger age than we did? (if that was possible) Didn't ya'll have an apartment on Main St. or was that Joe Don and I. Anyway, I think the picture was taken there. I never got to meet Jennifer, but she too, is lovely. I'll send that picture and a few more to you in an email soon.

Love and Peace,


Hey Tooter,

I sure enjoyed our phone visit the other nite! It will be great to see you and ketch up! Will we recognize each other? I think I'll dress late 60's early 70's (probably not a great idea at my age).

See you the 19th.

XOXO Susie

Bill K,

And another thing I love about this blog is being able to communicate with so many wonderful people. It's just awesome!

See you the 19th.


Susie, wife #1

Susie Sweenhart 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 06:25 PM

Dearest Justyn, Michelle, and Julian,

What a wonderful family you are! A joy to call my own.

I admire your spirit, your goodness, and your generosity. I love the way you face each day with a commitment to life, to your family, and to the things that really matter.

I love your face it head on and plow through each challenge, attitude. I admire the decisions you make, and the perseverance you have shown when others would have given up.

I believe each of you possess extra-ordinary strength and an endless supply of resilience. Your enormous amount of courage was beautifully evident in the loving care that you gave Joe Don during the last days of his life. I can just see him up there with that lazy grin smiling down on all three of you with so much pride and love.

Thank you for taking such good care of, Pop, my dear friend and once upon a time ‘lover'. You are truly a special family; a rare and beautiful gift to all of us.

Love and Peace,

Mom/Susie/Granny Sue

John Cline,

Mike Linham gave me a DVD of the Planets New Years Eve, '84/85'. I am sure I have you to thank for that, so Thanks.

Hope to see you at the shindigs.


Lesley S,

I was going through old photos and things the other day and came across the envelope full of flower seeds that had a picture attached to it. You gave it to me after "The Wall". I believe the picture has Denise and ???? others in a vintage convertible. Were you one of the others? The note you wrote me was nice, too. You addressed it to Suzie Cube. Just a fun memory. Julian and I were there on Halloween, in full costume. I in my cat suit and Julian as Gene Simmons, tongue and all. I took some pictures that night, but of course they came out sort of pink and dark.

See you at the hooplas. Your right, Joe Don will be tickled :-)

Suzie Cube

Jayson, Danielle, Savanah, and Renee

Danielle and Savanah, what beautiful memories you shared with us all. Treasure those memories and keep write-n-em down when you can. Some day you'll be glad you did.

Jayson, I know you're out there, and it sure must be hard for a young man at your age. Your Dad was sooo proud of you, all three of you! Thanks for helping me move stuff when I came to Lubbock a few weeks ago.

I met your brother, Paul and his family, while I was at Justyn's last week. What a lovely bunch they are. Paul looks lots like Joe. Renee, Holly and I decided that somehow the three of us are strangely (in a good way) like sisters. I've never met Carley's Mom. A long, lost sister I guess!

I dug through all of my old pictures last nite, scanned them, and put them on my IPOD. (I'm kind of proud of myself, cause I am somewhat technically challenged - ask Justyn!) Anyway, some of them are from a visit with you guys when Savanah and Julian were about 18 months old. Cute Stuff. Thanks, Renee, for letting me be a part of your family. I also have some great pictures of Joe Don from years back. Some go back to when he was 14 or 15. Ya'll will enjoy seeing them, and I can make you some copies if you want. I was on the MHS alumni web the other nite and there in the Hall of Fame was a picture of Joe Ely, 1965. Low and behold, Joe Don is in the picture of the band. He was 14 at the time and even though the picture is a bit blurred, you think you are seeing Dani with short hair, wearing a black suit. WOW!

I hope to see all of you on the 19th.


Aunt Susie

Wally and Mallory,

I hope you two are doing well. I enjoy reading your thoughts on this beautiful blog. I wasn't in ABQ long enough to get together with ya'll, but when I get back from OK I'll call.

This is such a beautiful way to remember Joe. I check the sight every day and save it. It is probably up to about 110 pages of love now.

I hope to see you in LBB on the 19th, but if not, in May.

Much love,


Joe Belt,

Thanks for the beautiful picture of your family! I can't believe our kids are in their 40's. I found that picture of Justyn and Brandi in bed together when they were about 2 yrs old. Remember us laughing and joking about them starting their romance at a much younger age than we did? (if that was possible) Didn't ya'll have an apartment on Main St. or was that Joe Don and I. Anyway, I think the picture was taken there. I never got to meet Jennifer, but she too, is lovely. I'll send that picture and a few more to you in an email soon.

Love and Peace,


Hey Tooter,

I sure enjoyed our phone visit the other nite! It will be great to see you and ketch up! Will we recognize each other? I think I'll dress late 60's early 70's (probably not a great idea at my age).

See you the 19th.

XOXO Susie

Bill K,

And another thing I love about this blog is being able to communicate with so many wonderful people. It's just awesome!

See you the 19th.


Susie, wife #1

Bill Sim 

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 11:51 PM

I'll never forget a Halloween gig where I was told to "find Joe Don", so the band could take the stage and play. I looked in the bathroom, in the parking lot and everywhere else I could think of. Finally, a big Black man in overalls and a straw hat got up from the audience, went onstage and strapped on a guitar. It was Joe Don, dressed up as Stubb.

John Cline 

Monday, April 13, 2009, 12:24 AM

I just posted a video of a feature news story on the Planets on WFAA-TV in Dallas. This video features interviews with Joe Don and Denise. I'm pretty sure this was aired on March 14, 1984.

LINK: Planets Feature Story on YouTube

(Make sure to hit the HQ button in the lower right corner of the video window for maximum video and audio quality.)

Justyn Davidson 

Monday, April 13, 2009, 01:51 AM


Never heard the story about the Buddy Holly amp - that's a great one, too. I did get the picture along with the letter. I will be looking forward to seeing you in person soon, perhaps at the Spoon this coming weekend? Can't wait to give you a big hug...


Penni Lawrence 

Monday, April 13, 2009, 07:32 PM

I know that this is late, but I wanted to send out my sincere condolences to Joe Don's family. He was such a great talent to the Lubbock music scene and he will be truly missed. I enjoyed working with him and listening to him "tear it up" when he'd have the time to sit in with my group. He always had kind words to say and was very encouraging to me in my career and with my CD project. Renee - I am thinking of you, girl, and those precious babies. I truly wish that I could be there for Joe Don's benefit this weekend, but I will not be able to. I know it will be a huge success and a true honor to Joe Don's memory.
God Bless you all.......and let's keep the music alive!


Penni Lawrence 

Monday, April 13, 2009, 07:34 PM

Also wanted to say "THANK YOU" to Bill Kerns for posting this blog. What a great way to allow us "fans" and fellow musicians to pay our respects to such a great man.

Take care

Art Carnrick / Shucks / "Arturo" 

Monday, April 13, 2009, 08:37 PM

I remember my first "paying" gig... Me, Joe Don, Dale Piercy and TJ (Tiny) McFarland were hired to play a birthday party at the Seahorse Swimming pool. We really didn't have a good amp with a reverb, so we went to Rogers Music and said we were interested in buying an amp and got a loaner to take to the party. All three of us plugged into the amp and Tiny played drums. We only knew 4 songs: "Caravan", "BullDog", "Walk Don't Run", and Walking the Dog"... and exhausted our repetoire in 14 minutes. We got paid all the cake and ice cream we could eat. Dale played "Love Letters In the Sand" as he was the only "real" guitar player in the band at that time. Within a few years the Nite Owls, the Shucks, the Planets, the Traveling Salesmen etc. would be a force in West Texas playing the music of the Beatles, the Stones and the Yardbirds. I don't play that stuff anymore unless my grandson is on stage with me, but I can't help thinking about where I got started and how Joe Don inspired me to get up in front of crowd and start picking. It was fun... still is...
Art Carnrick formerly of the Shucks, dba "Arturo"


Monday, April 13, 2009, 10:07 PM

I remember the Stubb costume...this tall black guy started talking to me and I wondered "Who in the hell is this??". I also remember the Buddy HOlly amp...this little bitty thing. That afternoon he was setting up at Silver Dollar Saloon and I wandered down to the earring place and got a second hole in one of my ears. Thought it was the right thing to do...still do, and keep a diamond stud in it that I got from a good friend and his wife for Christmas one year...Belly and Robin. Sigh...good times. Love, Suzette

Lesley S 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 10:42 AM

Susie Cube ;-)

haha.. "Cube"? sometimes I tell myself I'm 'a wit'. (sigh)

I remember those costumes! I had forgotten but was happy to be reminded. I wonder if I have any pictures from that night?

I can't remember who was in the photo. Look for the 'stick' with the 'big hair'.If there is one, THAT would be me. ha!

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun that show was.
Joe Don and I used to say that "it was one of the coolest gigs we have ever done." - and the most fun.
We literally laughed for 2-3 months straight, I think.
As a matter of fact, the last time I talked to him - out and about - we laughed about that time and I asked him, laughing, "Joe Don, WHAT was that joke you were telling at the cast party??" He thought hard but coudn't remember.
Hilarious, tho'.

I can't remember if Justyn and Michelle took me skydiving before or after the Wall gig. ? Once again, one of the coolest experiences of my life. Interesting that your son and daughter-in-law seem to be a part of the 'coolest' things in my life, eh? ;-) Interesting, but NOT surprising.

I love what you wrote to them/about them up above. I once found a nice description/definition of 'CLASS'...I copied it down and gave it to described them to a 'T'.

I can't wait to see everyone. It will be bittersweet but mostly SWEET.


William Kerns 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 01:25 PM

Press reminder -- at least this is what I've turned in for The A-J's GO on Friday...

The first Jam for Joe Don, a benefit staged for musician Joe Don Davidson by family members, friends and fans, will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Texas Cafe & Bar, 3604 50th St.

Lubbock musician Davidson died on April 1; funds raised will be donated to a college fund for his children.

Paul Bullock will recite his poetry between sets. There is no admission charge; donations are requested.

Call the Texas Cafe at 792-8544 or Rev. Al at 470-8945 for more information.

Participating bands are:

* Noon, The Cotton Pickers, acoustic set.
* 1 p.m., Who's Driving.
* 2 p.m., Bad Habits.
* 3 p.m., Dangerous Dan.
* 4 p.m., The Bentwood Rockers.
* 5 p.m., Kliffnotes.
* 6 p.m., John Sprott & Co.
* 7 p.m., Hat Trick.
* 8 p.m., Reverend Al & The Pythons.
* More: Lesley Sawyer and Ingrid Kaiter are among those expected to sit in.

Davidson's surviving children are: Jayson Joe Davidson, 16, Monterey High School student; Danielle Don Davidson, 14, Evans Junior High School student; and Savannah Renee Davidson, 12, student at Lubbock School for Young Women Leaders.

And a last question for the blog -- Do you think you'll have time to drop by for a while?


Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 08:24 PM

Such a wonderful blog.
From all that I have read, Joe Don touched so many, in so many ways. He was a Father, a brother, a friend, a musician, and much much, more.
I knew him mostly from afar. The Planets were the first live band I ever saw. Even though my uncle was Buddy Holly, I never was really interested in getting into music until I saw The Planets. I had to use a fake ID to get into Fat Dawgs to see them, but it worked everytime.
I followed Joe Don when he played with Ace Liquidators, as well.
One of the most incredible things that ever happened to me was when I was singing at Belly's one night and Joe Don got on stage and played an old Sam Cooke song I used to sing, Bring it on Home. I was in such awe, I lost my place and forgot to come back in. He took another lead and nodded at me to guide me right back into place. He came backstage from time to time and was just as humble and nice as could be.
Debra Raines was right about borrowing Buddy's Magnetone 250 (sp) amp for Joe Don's birthday. As I recall, Joe Don was one of the few to play thru that amp until my brother Eddy unfortunately had to sell it to Emmy Lou Harris. Her husband was a player and a big Buddy Holly fan. Glad that Joe Don could brake it in for Emmy's husband.
I look forward to meeting the family this Sunday. It will be an honor to sing a tune or two.
Happy Trails and God Bless, Ingrid

Larry Simmons 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 10:06 PM

Attending with bells on...

John Cline 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 10:16 PM

I can't attend this weekend's Jam for Joe Don, but I fully hope that those that do attend will post their impressions here on this blog.

I do fully intend to make the trip from Albuquerque to Lubbock for next month's Planets reunion and memorial concert.

William Kerns 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 02:29 AM

To Larry:
Where, exactly, does the dapper young man wear his bells these days?
But you DID get my point: I was hoping more will check in, in advance that is, and let all know whether to expect them Sunday.
I doubt that Jill and I can stay the entire day -- our jobs won't allow it -- but I fully expect to arrive at least twice, stay as long as possible, and maybe even plan for dinner with my brew, provided there is eating...

And to practically everyone else:
I have been trying like the dickens to avoid blogging much on Center Stage -- which is not exactly my job -- that is, I am SUPPOSED to be adding more (haha) -- but then, I figure the best defense is a 300-comment offense.

That said, eventually I will add a couple more blogs that will NOT eliminate this blog --- but WILL make it slip back to the next page of blogs ...
... thus necessitating one more click to find it each time.

Question: Do you think that will scare many off ... if the blog is not on the page that opens right up when you arrive at Center Stage?

Just curious.

Larry Simmons 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 08:56 AM

Find a dapper young man and ask him BIll...LOL. I think people will keep coming back as long as they know its here. I'll be in and out but trying to stay there after around 8 and will make it to the one in May for the entire thang. This has been a very cool way to say goodbye to a true local music legend, JD is a real Road Warrior.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 11:03 AM


I will expect to see 'Bells' on you at the gathering.


Susie Sweenhart 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 01:02 PM

I will be there on the 19th from about 2:00pm on.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 04:35 PM

It will be nice 4 me 2 put faces with names. Looking 4ward to meeting everyone. Can't wait 2 see Larry's bells on. :-)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 05:45 PM

Mallory and I will be at the Texas Café for the Jam for Joe Don. It will be great to see you there!
Reading all your comments, remembrances, and stories has moved me to tears so many times.... I would like to say something to each of you on the blog, but guess I'll have to say it personally this coming Sunday. Thank you for being such good friends of Joe's,
Wally D

Debra Raines 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 05:57 PM

Awwwwwwwww Wally,
I'm happy to hear that you and Mallory can make it.
I think I can speak for Joe Don's friends in saying, we thank Joe Don for being our friend!
I am going to try to be there for the duration.

Yes, I too want to see Dapper Larry w/ bells on!

Looks like lots of hugs, smiles, and tears coming up.

Larry Simmons 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 08:03 PM

oh hell...

michelle davidson 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 09:52 PM


I just wanted to tell you that our family would not be as loving and generous without you being a part of it. Every visit we have together you remind us how incredible the world is and how we should enjoy all it's beauty and the beauty in the people that make it up.

We would not have made it through this without you. Please know you are a precious gift that has been given to us. I strive everyday to be half the woman you are and hope I can make you proud in the meantime. When I married Justyn, I not only got an awesome husband, but an incredible mother-in-law.

I love you Susie-


William Kerns 

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 09:22 AM

For many, introductions may be needed Sunday. So fear not, Larry. You still have a couple of days left to go with the flow and find yourself some little bells to wear -- or bigger bells if you've a statement to make, I guess -- but either way, you'll need no introduction.
Unless you can talk a friend into wearing bells, instead, and arriving disuised as you.
How you dilute your dapperness is another challenge.

Seriously, what can I say? Sorry, bro.


Thursday, April 16, 2009, 09:45 AM

Wow! A lotta names here I remember from my days in Lubbock. I only new Joe Don to speak to him, but his playing was hard to forget. He played "Jeff's Boogie" at the Monterey Senior Assembly when I was a sophomore. Ever since then, I have aspired to be a guitar player. Never quite made it though. RIP Joe Don.

Dustin Garrett 

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 10:37 AM

Hey Joe Don!

I know your rockin' somewhere up above now! You were an awesome guitar player, and I remember all the days at the Cactus when I would watch you from the wings and think it was the greatest thing in the world. I fondly remember when I must have been only 8 or so, and one of the Cactus kids hit one of your pedals and a very loud and fowl sound roared from that twin you were playing through. You just sighed, smiled at the kid, and turned it off. It was hilarious. My dad couldnt stop laughing!

We will miss you!

Dustin G. RIP Joe Don

Jerry Dale 

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 06:35 PM

I want to know, will someone be acting as an emcee or host, and introduce the people who arrive, either in the club or maybe between songs on stage. I do not know any of the people posting here, although I'd like to put a face to their names, or drop by a table to say hello.
This blog has been almost as good as Chris' book when it comes to learning about people who play music and the music families of Lubbock.
I hope someone is maybe taping the Sunday show, selling T-shirts, and that everybody who is there will come back to here and write their impressions.
I can say I saw Joe Don play a lot, but I wonder what Joe Don would say if he knew so many people were saying such wonderful things about him.
Do his friends in NM and Austin and Dallas know about this blog? And did his son ever finalize anything for next month's Jam Tribute Memorial Burial Concert Thing?

Kathy Smith McLarty Ferguson 

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 11:29 PM

Just found out about Joe Don's death. Reading all these comments have brought back way too many memories. Susie, would love to hear from you. We both know all the "stuff" that went on with your entangled lives. I always refer to the line from Poison when I think about my Lubbock days, "I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then". Not exactly sure how that works. I always think about the practices we would sit in on at the McLarty's house on 65th street. The song that comes to mind is the Pennington girl singing "I feel the Earth move" over and over again and again trying to get it perfect. I have wonderful memories of Justyn and Keeley as children. Sorry I cannot be there for the memorial. I hope someone will take pics and email.
Joe Don was truly a special guy!

William Kerns 

Friday, April 17, 2009, 01:31 AM

Hey, all I ever did was appreciate Joe Don Davidson as a musician and a good guy, and open up a blog so that folks could chat if they wanted.

Who could have dreamed this response?

I've also rceived quite a few personal e-mails at my AOL account. Which is just fine. I've learned a lot -- off the record -- about old tales, great concerts, near misses at fame, relationships, even a fistfight or two (LOL), and even some good comments about the blog comments.

Suitably confused yet?

Bottom line: now we're only a couple of days away from the Jam for Joe Don.
The editor of Go Magazine and Spotted at The A-J asked me Thursday if I would be attending Sunday, and also if I expected a big turnout Sunday. Jill and I will both be there. (It's a date, hon!) And I just told the editor that my gut says Sunday is going to be a special day, but then, my gut's been off before.

It's not the Academy Awards; it's not a live radio broadcast or interview (near as I can tell, so far anyway). Don't make it out to be what it's not.

What we have is another opportunity to hear more great music by musicians we know (and some we don't know yet). We'll get to drop a few dollars in the pot for a darn good cause, drink some beers or cokes, and generally have a good time.

Please don't ever let a guy's notepad fool you. I'm not alone at all when I say the only thing better than good music, is good music played live.

That sort of music can make me forget the day's troubles.

And Joe Don, along with all of the super musicians who were with him on stages, helped me set aside a lot of those troubles through the years.

What a bonus that has been. See ya Sunday.


Friday, April 17, 2009, 11:37 AM

At the loss of such a loved member of Lubbock and the world's music community, I think Joe Don would have dug nothing more than what is going to go down Sunday at The Spoon, and I know he will be there with us all. This will truely be another legendary day in Lubbock's music history and the fact that it is not only in celebration of Joe Don's life, but that also we will be raising money for his childrens' college educations means that this Sunday will indeed live on for generations to come!
I have volunteered to emcee and look sooo forward to this Live Music Community Reunion!
Much love, and my thoughts and prayers to all of JD's family...including his EXTENSIVE music family.
Traveling Zoo Productions

Victor Magri 

Friday, April 17, 2009, 11:58 AM

Hey! I just saw the "Jam For Joe Don" Poster at Ralph's and it's just the GREATEST thing! Yes, Paul Bullock, will be MC'ing as I understand it, and I'm sure there are others there as well who can help. I too am looking forward to seeing everyone.

Victor Magri 

Friday, April 17, 2009, 12:00 PM

Oh Yes, I also managed to procure a copy of Andy Epplers CD, Amanda Shires latest and "Dirt" from Lesley Sawyer. Didn't see any Planets records, but I didn't look either.

Pat Simmons 

Saturday, April 18, 2009, 12:41 PM

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the Spoon tomorrow. It will be bittersweet to say the least. This blog and the concert tomorrow and in May are wonderful tributes to a hell of a guy. I especially look forward to seeing Larry in bells. Good music, good friends, good memories.

Mike Haynes 

Sunday, April 19, 2009, 12:17 AM

I'm just a fan who saw the Planets several times at Fat Dawg's in Lubbock. I loved their music and performances and certainly remember Joe Don's guitar and wry humor. His family and friends are in my prayers. --Mike Haynes, Amarillo

Justyn Davidson 

Sunday, April 19, 2009, 02:13 AM

Can't wait to see everyone tomorrow. I also want to say thanks to all the musicians and others who have contributed to this show. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.



Pat Simmons 

Sunday, April 19, 2009, 10:35 PM

I just got home from the Spoon and as I was congratulating myself on the beautiful guitar, I began to look, really look, at the signatures written there. The faces behind all the names assaulted me with the words I heard tonight and once again I was laughing and crying and remembering why we all came. This guitar is precious to me and always will be. So many friends, so many sweet, sweet names. But I would be a liar if I pretended it was complete. I am blessed to know the people behind the signatures on my new guitar, and I am blessed to have known the one who could not sign. Somebody, though, has got to come over and tune this puppy, I fear I haven't the skill. I love you all...

mike pritchard 

Monday, April 20, 2009, 09:42 PM

Just a quick word about the Spoon yesterday. I am so proud of all of you who were there. The sprit of this town just keeps blowing me away. There is no way to start naming people who made this possible and whether you were a musician or a doorman or one of the many many workers that were there all day, or one of the beautiful people who made it what it was. Lubbock shined like a four pound diamond and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. The family was overwhelmed and will never forget.

jeny davis 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 10:01 AM

how many lives can one man have?
how can one man give enough to keep giving?
and who would know how to keep it?
joe don knew the answer,love. no matter who
or what, jd cared enough to love us all.
for me that's what made him special.
thank you,and good-bye old friend

Robert Palmer 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 11:45 AM

Sunday was a very fine day. It was a fitting tribute to one of the funniest, cleverest, most talented guys ever. JD, i'm sure is proud of the classy way his family is handling this situation. robt


Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 01:00 PM

I can't remember the last time I laughed and cried all night because I was so happy to see so many faces that I haven't seen in so long.
I was/am tickled that Joe Don got us all together...I wonder if he intended such a incredible reunion? ;-)
I was so hoarse the next day from talking all night - - ;-)

Holy Cow! There were so many people I kept intending to backtrack to...let's catch up soon!
Let's not forget to stay in touch...

Hey Al,
You did a very fine job! Very fine, my friend. Kuddos!

Justyn Davidson 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 05:27 PM

Incredible time Sunday, folks. We raised $7780 and counting. But the value of that benefit can't be counted in terms of dollars. I think we all took part in something that was really exceptional.

To see Danielle take the stage and totally kick @ss was priceless.

As I've said many times, I was completely uninvolved in the preparation for the Jam for JD - the thing really fell out of the sky; but behind the curtain there were many people that were very busy and very focused on putting a great event together. Thanks again to all of them, especially Al, Chelsea, all the great musicians and all the auction donors.

I know there were some folks taking pictures, so where can they be found? I gotta know...



Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 03:39 PM

Justyn, I have the pix I took posted on Walgreens and will be glad to forward them to you if you will provide your email. It was an awesome day!

Larry Simmons 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 07:37 PM an idea for the reunion, am talking to DC about it and helping out downtown with it at the gallery...let me know if you like the idea.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 10:19 PM

On facebook, I have posted, as have others, the pics from last Sunday...a wonderful celebration of an oustanding human being..your Pop.
It WAS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU...Love to Susie, Wally, Mallory, Renee and the kids...what a good lookin' bunch. I look forward to the next celebration...The Planets...who knew??? Love and prayers always, Suzette


Thursday, April 23, 2009, 10:36 AM

my pix are also up on facebook and on myspace (indiansue60 is the ID). my email is or when/if i have time i will try and post them to the AJ photo galleries also.


Thursday, April 23, 2009, 11:09 AM

I want to say how great it was to see so many of Joe's friends at the Jam for JD. Lubbock has really shown its affection and respect for one of its own. I feel so much pride in having had such a fine brother, and for having you all as friends for so long. Thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts!

There is a news article on Joe Don in today's Albq Journal. If you want to look online, go to Hope to see ya'll in May....
Peace and love,
Wally D

Samantha Nance 

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 05:06 PM

It was a privilege and a pleasure to be part of the celebration of Joe Don's life on Sunday at the spoon with his family and friends. Although I cried, when I told myself I wouldn't, it was wonderful to see old friends and remember a life well lived and much loved. My prayers are with the family this coming year and the years to follow. I took some pictures and some video that I will be sending to Mr. Pritchard in the near future. Please don't hesitate to mail me with any questions about the picts and the video that was shot, at

Rebecca Hopkins 

Sunday, April 26, 2009, 12:59 PM

I sat in the audience many times watching those nimble fingers navigate the frets of the guitar and wondering how I was going to stop "chair dancing." Joe Don was a very talented guy and a wonderful man. I saw him perform many times at Fat Dawgs or Chubby Puppies as my gang called it. Coors Light and The Planets.

I also saw Joe Don perform with Larry Trider.

I will be anticipating seeing him in heaven performing with all the great musicians who have gone before him.

I will be at the Memorial and The Planets reunion if I'm still alive.

It's great to see Landa and Chester and all the others like Joe Belt and Wally Moyers and the rest of you too online. Joe Don was a guy who lived the lives of 10 men. He was a power house guitar player with his own sound. My condolences to his family and I admire how you've supported him and the rest of us through this trying time.

About the technical difficulties: Ok, I just got the Spam Bot message and as an experienced web developer and computer programmer, I can tell you Bill that the problem is that the program or code that checks for the entry of the numeric code at the end is not accepting our entries into the numeric code field or the code is simply not passing the parameters (the number code entered) into the SpamBot checking code. My phone number is 368-3208. Have the programmers call me if they need some help. I work cheap these days.


Sunday, April 26, 2009, 10:25 PM

Those of you with pictures and video could you please put them on the Facebook Jam for JoeDon page - that way they can be shared with all that joined. Thanks!

Terry Akin 

Monday, April 27, 2009, 10:15 PM

I was just checking out and realized all of the videos and started watching them and stumbled on to the video of Darkness #10 and during the course of the song I think Joe Don plays every note on the guitar at least once. That solo at the end of the song he does is incredible. Ya'll just have to watch it.! Good to see all at the "Spoon". And I must say Mike Pritchard what a class act you are...........good job..!!!!

Mike Musgrove 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 01:34 PM

Danny Darling was in my venue in Fort Worth Saturday night and told me of Joe Don's passing. I was in Lubbock in the late 70s and was fortunate enough to witness the PlanetsMania that blew in and captured the whole town in an instant. I was an aspiring guitarist at the time and one of many that would lean over the front of the stage to see how he set his knobs on that twin to get that big fat tone. On a couple of occasions when I had the chance to speak to him I was surprised by his humble nature.

My short interface with Joe Don revolved around the Planets and I have to say to this day I have never seen a band put out such a positive energy. From the catchy tunes to the musicianship to the incredible singers to the magical sound coming from those A7s...truly a magic that can never be duplicated.

From time to time over the last 15 years since the internet has become so convenient I have searched to see what all the Planets were up to. I stumbled on a few years back and have frequently watched the videos and enjoyed the memories. I was in the audience for some of those videos and they instantly took me back to a better time.

I still keep in touch with a few former Lubbockites...John Ellis, Dale Hunter, John Skouloudis, Denzil Smith.

When the final curtain draws, mostly what we have left are our memories. I have so many wonderful memories from my brief intersection with Joe Don Davidson that I know his "memory chest" has got to be absolutely over-flowing. I don't know if people can every appreciate the positive impact they have on the lives of those outside their immediate orbit. There are many of us that he didn't really know that are better off because he was here.

I'm one of them...

Mike Musgrove 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 03:43 PM

BTW, Mike Pritchard....I think I painted some apartments with you back around 1980...University Village...same guy?

mike pritchard 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 04:50 PM

Yea Mike I remember and yes it was me. Hope you are well and thanks for remembering me . Mike

John Cline 

Sunday, May 3, 2009, 01:31 AM

Mike Musgrove: Funny that you should mention those A7 speakers that I used with the Planets. I still have them, but they haven't done a gig in close to 20 years. Just last week, someone was in my garage and asked, "John, why do you still hang on to those huge things?" Well, I bought them in the late 60s and used them with folks like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and then through years on the road with the Planets and beyond. I'm not about to get rid of them, way too much great live music has gone through them. In some strange way, perhaps it's fitting that the A7s have been silent for so long as many of the people that have played through them have also fallen silent.

MIchelle Davidson 

Monday, May 4, 2009, 11:40 PM

Happy birthday Pop

Justyn Davidson 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 12:42 AM

59 would-be years old today. I miss you, daddy-o...

Debra Raines 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 01:31 PM

Joe Don's B-day is May 4th or May 5th? I want to put it on my calender.
John Cline, You have a beautiful and loving soul, thank you for sharing so much with us.
Peace be with all that loved Joe Don Davidson. He remains forever in my heart.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 06:22 PM

I used to be a busboy at the Line Camp in Pojoaque, NM back in the late 70's and one the perks was being able to listen to all the great musicians that performed there. The Planets were definitely my favorite "local" band and every time they performed there it was always to a packed house and I mean packed! Pink Cadillac, Don't get me wrong, I keep my fingernails long, were just a few of my favorite songs by the Planets. What can I say about Joe Don other than that he was one kick ass guitarist! I am a musician too and I can honestly say that the Planets inspired me to be the best drummer I could be.

My special memory of Joe Don was years later I saw the Planets perform in ABQ and surprisingly enough Joe Don remembered me and he gave me a cassette of their music. I remember him for being down to earth and just a fun guy to be around. The sad side to this story is that I have been racking my storage room searching for that cassette and cannot find it. I would love to cover some of those songs as a tribute to Joe Don and the Planets legacy. If anyone out there has a copy of that cassette they would be willing to share with me, I would be eternally grateful.

God Bless Joe Don and his family. He was certainly a blessing to us all who heard his music. Joe Don, just keep the porch light on for the rest of us down here on Earth. We love you and we miss you but your legacy will live on in our hearts and our minds for ages to come.

Rob Haack 

Thursday, May 7, 2009, 07:20 PM

Joe Don,

You have demonstrated that it is possible to go down to the crossroads and come back with all your soul. Your wise words and notes echo clearly in my memory, now decades later. Thank you.

dani don 

Friday, May 8, 2009, 02:19 PM

daddy i know your birthday was on monday the 4th but i just wanted to say happy birthday!!!!! I love and miss you so much.

Rod Gallegos 

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 10:50 AM

"If you want to learn how to play a great guitar solo, listen to a sax player." -JDD

Just one of the countless pearls of wisdom that Jo Don passed on to me many years ago that have enriched me as a musician, and as a human being.


John Cline 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 09:34 PM


I am working on remastering the Planets album for release on CD. I had been hoping to have them available for the reunion concert this weekend in Lubbock, but I couldn't get it finished, duplicated, printed and packaged in time. The transfers from the original master tapes sounds great and the CD turned out amazingly well. I will have them for sale on my web site soon.

Debra Raines: Thank you for the incredibly warm compliment.


Robert Henley 

Thursday, May 14, 2009, 05:17 PM


I used to play with a band called Ole Scratch in the 70s. We performed regularly at Neds. Joe Don and the Planets were always a group that I really looked up to. He will be missed very much for the amazing person and musician that he was.

I wish I lived closer so I could attend the May 17th concert. (I live in Washington D.C. now) Please let me know where I can send a donation.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Robert Henley


Thursday, May 14, 2009, 09:04 PM


Thanks for responding so quickly. I will definitely keep an eye out for that CD. Let me know when the CD is available, I definitely would like to be one of the first fans to buy their CD. Thanks a bunch!




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