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Legends of Southern Rock: Cowboy


The Legends of Southern Rock Series

 

When Tommy Talton moved back to Florida from Los Angeles in 1969 after playing solo gigs and writing songs, a friend of his introduced him to Scott Boyer.

"She introduced us and we both had our guitars," recalls Talton. "I know this sounds made up but this is exactly what happened... we sat down and pulled our guitars out and Scott played me “Livin’ In The Country,” which was a song we did on the first Cowboy album. I felt it was so neat to find someone else that also wrote their own music and that the music was good, I forget what I played for him but after I showed him a song we just sat down and asked each other who could we get in the band."

The duo got together with Tom Wynn, a drummer friend of Tommy's who had played with him before in We The People,and they asked George Clark, another friend from Orlando to play bass. Scott knew a piano player named Bill Pilmore from Jacksonville.

"Well, I was living in Gainesville with our keyboard player, Bill Pillmore," recalls Boyer. "We were hanging out and picking on some guitars - and I had met Bill at Florida State and there was another friend Pete Kowalke, and the two of them were on the swimming team at Florida State. Pete came and saw us, or did a gig with us at some point in Gainesville and said that he knew this guy that was a very good songwriter and that we should meet. I went and met him in Orlando and that’s when Tommy and I met."

"We all met up and literally within the  next three months of our meeting we were all living together in a house in Jacksonville and doing nothing but working up original songs and playing all day and all night longm" says Talton.

"Duane (Allman) showed up on our doorstep one morning," recalls Boyer. "We were living in an apartment house that had been sectioned off into an upstairs and downstairs apartment. We had a practice room downstairs and in this old house. About 7 AM one morning someone comes pounding on the door. It was Duane and he was driving a camper on his way back from Daytona to Macon. He wanted to hear us play something. So I woke everyone up and scrambled down into the music room to play a few songs for him. The next thing I know, Johnny Sandlin, whom I previously knew from Miami, showed up and we did a set for him. After that we were called up to Macon. We had a place in Coco Beach, a little split level home in suburbia and these high school girls that lived there thought we were cooler than heck, but their parents didn’t really want us in their community. So we called Phil Walden and he said to come on up because they had a band house."

"At some point, Phil asked Johnny Sandlin to come to Jacksonville to hear the band," recalls Tom Wynn. "He did. And when he went back to Macon, he apparently told Phil Walden he thought we had something worth hearing. So that was it - Duane told Phil; Phil sent Johnny. Phil signed the band, Johnny was our producer, and Duane got famous. The lesson must be - always help your friends."

Cowboy recorded four albums for Capricorn, five if you include the Talton, Stewart & Sandlin release Happy to Be Alive, which could have easily featured the Cowboy logo on the cover. There was also a double album that repackaged the first two releases plus a 1993 Best of collection.

Cowboy was also the backup band for Gregg Allman's 1974 On Tour album, which featured two Cowboy songs on the double record set.

In 2007, the entire original lineup of Cowboy reunited at Johnny Sandlin's Duck Tape Studio in Decatur, Alabama to record a reunion album which has yet to surface. Having been there during the sessions, we would all benefit from it's release. It is remarkable music.

Tommy Talton now leads The Tommy Talton Band, with two albums available.

Scott Boyer continues to perform solo as well as with The Decoys.

 Cowboy Discography

Reach for the Sky  1970

Five'll Getcha Ten  1971

Why Quit When You're Losing?  1973

Boyer & Talton  1974

Happy To Be Alive  Talton, Stewart & Sandlin  1976

Cowboy  1977

A Different Time: The Best of Cowboy  1993

 

 

 

 


The Legends of Southern Rock Series

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