|"JUST WAVE AS YOU GO BYE"
Back in the good 'ol days, the place to be in South Jersey was a niteclub in FRANKLINVILLE called The Cedarwood Inn. All the well-known Country Stars would play this room on their way to and/or from NY/New England, basically a pick-up gig.
As it happened, my band, JERSEY SOUTH, was the "Houseband" at the Cedarwood, when, one day, we were told that JUSTIN TUBB would be giving two shows and we were to back him up. Needless to say we were exited and started woodshedding on Tubb songs.
Weeks later, sure enough, J.T. comes in for the shows. He did a lot of storytelling to start the show, and then kicked off with "Walkin The Floor" and some other of his Dads hits. He called off a song that we hadn't heard of and said "Just follow me boys..."
All at once, Justin starts turning around and waving at us, forcing a very uncomfortable smile. By God, he was waving right in the faces of our steel player and guitar man. So they started waving back, smiling, picking...having a grand old time. This went on for the rest of the first show, everybody smiling and waving at each other, but Mr. Tubb's demeanor seemed to be getting a little anxious. We, on the other hand, were a little uncomfortable trying to pick thru these songs we didn't know, but, what the Hell, it was Fun!
After the first show, Justin came up to me and said, "What the Hell are you guys doing!? why ain't y'all following along?" I said we were doing the best we could with songs we'd never heard. He said, "Hell, I'm showing your guys the changes and they're just smiling at me and playing what they want...and what the Hell are they WAVING at me for...!!!"
Years later, when I moved to Nashville and met Chas Williams, I recanted this story, and God, did he laugh! I'm happy to report that ALL the members of that 'ol band now know the NASHVILLE NUMBER SYSTEM by heart. I have this show on video cassette, and many nights I have sat and laughed till I cried at us Jersey Bumkin's...waving and smiling back at a frustrated Justin Tubb!! We could never figure why old Justin would wave with five fingers...then one...then four... Ahhhh, the innocence!!
Written By: Paul Evans Penderson