with The Jim Dye Combo in 1966
just prior to shipping out to Vietnam
In Bill's words:
I grew up in Vincennes, Indiana and listened to all types of music that I was always keeping beat with on pots and pans and anything else I could find that made noise. When I got the chance, I started playing drums in the 7th grade band and continued on to the Lincoln High School Band in Vincennes where I played in the Concert Band, the Marching Band and also the Dance Band. During my Junior year in High School, myself and two of my buddies who played guitar formed our first band called “The Furys” We played anywhere we could draw a crowd... Parties, dances - we just had fun. After I graduated from High School, I started playing professionally with a local band called The Seventeens.” We played around Vincennes and in Terre Haute at the Club Idaho in 1963. We were the house band there for awhile and opened for a group called “The Champs” (that had out Tequila), with Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, later to become “Seals and Crofts”. They were there with us for a week. We also played in Evansville in ’64 on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, opening for, Johnny Tillotson, Paul and Paula and Gene Pitney. In late 1964, “The Seventeens” went to Nashville and made a record.. It was on the Starday Record Label and the first side was called I’m Not talking and the flip side was Fanny Mae... The songs were sung by our band’s leader, Jimmy Dye. We went on tour after that and played in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and back to Indiana. We came back home to Vincennes and reformed the band as “The Jimmy Dye Combo” and played locally at the Showboat across the river from Vincennes until I was drafted into the US Army in May 1966. That ended my professional career as a drummer. I went into the Army, and ended up staying in for 8 years and doing two tours in Vietnam. After I got out in 1974, I got a job in Law Enforcement in Michigan and did that until I retired in 1999. I started playing drums as a hobby again to keep me busy after retirement... I have always loved playing music of all kinds and loved entertaining people. So, after an almost 40 year hiatus, I enjoy the second chance to be able to play music again and as I said it is a hobby that keeps me busy and out of trouble.
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