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By the time I was 16 my best buddies and I had formed East Hampton, CT’s proverbial high school band. As ‘The Specials’ we played at all the local school dances and I even persuaded the movie theater owner to let us play between matinees on the weekend. That was definitely a first in our town!
Then came the stint in the U.S. Navy and I formed ‘The Signalmen’. The ship’s captain liked the band so well he arranged for us to perform before officials and dignitaries in Italy, Subic Bay, Hong Kong, China, Spain, Africa and Hawaii.
After the Navy I spent several years on Staten Island performing with ‘The Country Echoes’. Just before going on a live radio broadcast the DJ realized he had trouble pronouncing my name. He asked who my favorite guitar player was and I replied that it was Duane Eddy. He said, “Good. For today your name is Bob Dwayne”. And it stuck!
The call of Nashville came next. While there I formed and fronted ‘The Bob Dwayne Show’, ‘Red Hot Ricochet Band’ and ‘Connection”. We played country, top 40, southern rock, oldies and threw in some blues. Between the last two bands, I spent about three years fronting for Grand Ole Opry artist Stonewall Jackson.
I performed at all the major (and some not so major) clubs in and around Nashville and did demo work at four different well-known studios. And I was on the road a lot; all over the country at state fairs, conventions, college campuses, tournaments, fund-raisers, sports arenas, auditoriums, military clubs, country clubs, night clubs, hotel lounges and ballrooms.
Then it was on to the Atlanta area where I re-claimed my real name. After performing with ‘Class Reunion’ for a while, I formed ‘Robert Allen & Co.’ and began playing locally. Then I went on an extended USO tour entertaining in Turkey, Italy, Greece and Spain. After returning I assisted at a recording studio doing everything from administration to demos. I finally took the opportunity to stay put and record some of the material I’ve written over the years. And I was able to help promote others! I co-produced, co-edited, directed, and hosted “Songwriters”, a 30 minute Atlanta area community access TV show featuring unsigned songwriters of all genres.
Now I’m back in the Nashville area making more music and loving it!
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
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