Matt Lucas was born in Memphis, Tennessee in on July 15, 1935 and grew up in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. From an early age Matt knew he wanted to be in entertainment and became very interested in the drums, Matt would beat on pots and pans and by the time he was enrolled in Mark Twain grade school he was playing drums in the school band. No surprise that his idol was Gene Krupa and it was Gene Krupa that provided Matt's obsessive musical interest.
Matt wanted to meet his idol and to do so he hitched hiked to St. Louis and met Gene working in a night club there. Matt was so impressed with Gene's set of Slingerland drums that he saved all the money he earned to buy a set for himself no easy feat for a young teenager but determination is not something Matt Lucas takes for granted.
Matt enjoyed all types of music while growing up in Poplar Bluff he specially enjoyed KWOC which played hillbilly music and he became familiar with Ernest Tubb, Eddie Arnold, Faron Young and other hillbilly artist. Matt also liked jazz, rock'n roll and rhythm and blues. Soon he developed his own style.
As with all young men Matt got the call of the wild and headed west to California to find his fortune. In 1953 Matt headed to Los Angeles in a 1937 Plymouth and $ 35.00. Matt had ambitions to be a movie star but his love for music brought him to work with the likes of Big Jay McNeely, and Joe Houston. The Los Angeles fast lane life style was just a bit to fast for Matt and he decided to return
to Poplar Bluff and think things over as to what would be his next move and that next move would be St.Louis.
Matt begin playing the clubs in St. Louis and became hooked on the style of music Chuck Berry was playing at the Dugout Club there. Matt met Narvel Felts and joined his band and they began to play rock'n roll. Matt left Narvel's band and moved to Chicago playing on the south side with different bands. The experience in Chicago proved to be wild so wild in fact Matt decided it might be a little safer to return to Poplar Bluff and think things over again. Once again Matt and Narvel's path's crossed and they became a team with a new band. Matt added his Chuck Berry style of rock' n roll along with country, jazz and rhythm & blues they begin to work one nighters in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Canada. Matt had a record contract and his records were selling good so good in fact they changed the bands name from the Narvel Felts Trio to The Matt Lucas Trio.
Narvel and Matt worked with Conway Twitty, Ray Smith, and Ronnie Hawkins and many other bands while they were in Canada. Matt and Ronnie Hawkins became good friends a friendship that has lasted till this very day. Narvel went on to have huge career of his own and Matt and Narvel have also remained close friends. Down through the years Matt Lucas has recorded for many record labels among them are Smash records with his national hit " I'm Movin On ", b/w " Oooby Dooby ", Karen records " Baby You Better Go-Go, Dot records "Maybellene" , Good records, Tradin' Kisses, Quality records "Zoo Blues", Underground records "Newspaperman Blues", Kanata records "I've Paid my Dues b/w "The Old Man", Celebration records "You Gotta Love", CJG records "Put Me Down", b/w "Cat Blues",an album on the Congo label with ole familiar favorites as "Ubangi Stomp", "Annie Had a Baby", "Baby Lets Play House",and "Tongue Tied Jill", Blue-Jam records with "Ugly Ugly Ugly", and "The Nut House", and "The Lonesome Travler". Matt Lucas has worked with many artist including Ike Turner Jimmy Forest, Bobby Ward, Cats Bradley, and some of his recordings had been produced by Ollie McLaughlin, and Roland Janes and he has worked with Jack Clement. Matt Lucas has had a career that most entertainers only dream about he has rubbed elbows with everyone who's anybody in the in the music industry. Those musicians who have had ( 20 ) # 1 hits and all America knows them by name don't have the clout of Matt Lucas, not many artist can pick up the phone and put you in touch with the biggest names in the music business not only can Matt Lucas do it, I've been on the receiving end of one of those calls made by Matt Lucas. Today Matt Lucas lives on his ranch in McAlpin, Fl, and travels at his leisure with his lovely wife Barbara to their second home in New Mexico and all in all live the good life. Matt still records and does selected shows both in the USA and Europe. Matt Lucas has been inducted into The Rock a Billy Hall of Fame and The Southern Legends Entertainment and Performing Arts Hall of Fame.
Don was born in Fort Sill Oklahoma on June 3, 1944, Don's father was stationed there during the Second World War. In 1948 his family moved back to Nashville Tennessee where they were both from. Don was raised in Nashville Tennessee, living South of the ‘old' City limits in an area referred to has South Woodbine, Randor, and Flatrock.. As a young preteen and teen was influenced by his neighbor, Country and Rockabilly Songwriter/performer the late Billy Wallace.
At age 13 Don started his first record company, CAR Records Inc. He produced and recorded his first record, ‘Kidnapped' a novelty record and performed the record on the Noel Ball TV show. The record was also on several jukeboxes in Nashville and was the number one record in Sparta Tennessee.
Over the next few years Don started two other record companies and produced a hand full of records, including a Johnny and the Moonlighters’ cover of Hank Williams, ‘You Win Again’ that received a bullet in Billboard. During this time Don was exposed to Rhythm and Blues and meet R&B legend Ted Jarrett and WLAC DJ John R.
In the early-mid sixties Don wrote several songs with country songwriter the late Vince Matthews.
Don moved from Nashville in 1969 and work briefly as radio time salesman/DJ at a small radio station In Indiana.
In the Seventies Don worked in the Poverty Program in neighbor organizing. He was also a Civil Deputy in the Marion Country Sheriff’s Department for two years and worked in Real Estate buying land and houses.
He worked in Information Technology for twenty years developing the leading Accounting-Billing and Management Reporting PC Software for the Creative Service Industry. After the company was sold he attended a four-week intense Film Production workshop at The New York Film Academy in NYC in April 2002.
Don wrote and Directed three short films Ripple, The Bumbling Detective, Welcome to Kentuckiana in 2002.
Losers Lounge his first feature and winner at 2004 Bare Bones International Independent Film Festival (Best Film Noir) and screened at the 3rd Annual IU South Bend Independent Video & Filmmakers Festival and the Cherokee Film Festival in 2004. and in St Louis in 2004
Don’s started writing his next feature Somewhere In Indiana began in early November 2003. Shooting begin in late May and was completed in early July 2004. Somewhere In Indiana was premiered on December 3, 2004 at the Indiana Historical Society Theater in Indianapolis Indiana to almost 600 people. Somewhere In Indiana is distributed by Echelon Entertainment.
In July 2005 working with Chera Federle Don completed the screenplay that was a fictional dramatization of the late night disc jockeys who played Rhythm and Blues during the 50’s through the early 1970’s.
Don has appeared on Television and Radio numerous times ( WDI-TV, WFYI FM, WIBC AM, to name a few) He has been interviewed in The Indianapolis Star, Nuvo, Dawgnet. and National Publications including Moviemaker Magazine, Indie Slate and other print publications.
In 2006 he converted Losers Lounge to a Novelette and published the book.
Don’s short movie The Report, completed in 2006 was an official Selection of Indiana Actors Dot Com Film Festival, Bare Bones International Film Festival, and won a REMI at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.
Don worked part-time teaching Computing Programming and Office Automation tools at Professional Careers Institute for three years. He currently works doing Telephone Technicial Support for Bender Consulting Services asigned to Wellpoint.
Both of Don’s children took their musical path far.
Freda Love, his daughter, a songwriter, drummer, and founder of ‘The Blake Babies’ and ‘Mysteries of Life’ alterative Rock Band. She has played coast to coast and border to border and been interviewed in all major music magazines and appeared on CBS ‘Good Morning’ and NBC “Late Night’ and several videos were shown on MTV. Freda and her family live in Nottingham UK, were Jake Smith, her husband teaches Film Studies. At The University of Nottingham.
Zirque Bonner, his son, is an accomplish basis and performed with Jazz guitar Stanley Jordon and Chris Spheeris, Ralf Ilenberger and many others. He was the recipient of the Milt Hinton Jazz Award in 1990, and a guest performer at the International Society of Bassists Convention and the JVC Jazz Festival. Zirque lives in Sedona Arizona where he is currently the Director of Music and Arts Department Chair at Verde Valley School and an adjunct faculty for the Zaki Gordan School of Independent Filmmaking where he teaches sound design.
Photos through the years at http://www.dl-sites.com/ssoc-1.htm
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