In 1957, the group was on the Red River Jamboree show on KFTV radio in
Paris, Texas. One of the members of that show, Johnny Case, of the Cases
wrote and told us a bit about this group.
The Ramblers were the most popular rockabilly act in Northeast Texas
back in the mid-to-late 1950s. William Harris did vocals, his brother
Otis did lead guitar. Another set of brothers, Dean and Ray Martin
played guitar and bass. Ray would slap/play the upright bass, much in the
way Bill Black would play it according to Johnny.
The Ramblers were from the Talco-Mt. Pleasant, Texas area. At the time
they were on the Red River Jamboree show, Williams was only 18 years
old and his brother Ottis was only 14. The Harris brothers had been singing
together since about 1952 or so, based on a newspaper article in 1956. For
the first two years of their 'career' up to then, they performed by themselves.
Then they met up with the Martin brothers and decided to combine their talents.
They appeared at one time on radio stations KIMP in Mt. Pleasant, TX and
KCAR in Clarkesville, TX and many of the other stations in East Texas.
The group won many a talent show and shared the same show and stage with
such major acts as Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, Roy Orbison and Patt Cupp.
They also did guest shots on KCMC-TV in Texarkana, Texas as well as in
Around October, 1956, they were backing up Riley Crabtree on many of his
Trivia / Timeline Notes
Group members included:
- William Harris, vocals
- Ottis Harris, lead guitar
- Dean Martin, rhythm guitar
- Ray Martin, bass fiddle
Credits & Sources
- Cowboy Songs Vol. 6, No. 54, December 1957;
Americn Folk Publications.
- The Paris News; October 17, 1956; Paris, Texas;
article courtesy of Johnny Case.