My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Glenn Bowles (formerly of the Van-Dells) concert at the Hillsboro Church of Christ last Friday night, a benefit for Operation Shoe Box. What a wonderful evening of music, and may I add for a very worthy cause.
After the concert, longtime friend Dayne Puckett arranged for he, my wife Patty and I to dine with Glenn and his wife Lynn. Before going into the happenings of our dinner with the Bowles family let me explain that Dayne has been arranging meetings with me and musical stars for many years.
For example, in May of 1977, the telephone rang just prior to my radio show and a sweet female voice answered and asked to speak with Herb Day. “That is me,” I responded.
“Well, hello Herb, this is Dolly Parton,” and “Sure it is!” I shot back, and hung up, knowing this was someone pulling a prank. Two minutes later, the young lady called back and explained that Dayne Puckett had asked her to call, and just getting home from the road and making plans to enjoy her wedding anniversary she thought she would call. When she mentioned Dayne, I knew I had just hung up on the REAL Dolly Parton! All I could think to say besides apologizing was, “Do you know who you are?” Well, she did.
I explain that just to point out that Dayne Puckett has always been so kind to bring me together with artists and celebrities down through the years, and Friday night was no exception. Being huge Van-Dells fans, Patty and I were thrilled.
Glenn shared that he spent the better part of 25 years with the musical group, and in recent years retired from road work, and without regret. He now does solo engagements, a lot of which are gospel in nature.
He shared that prior to joining up with the Van-Dells he enjoyed quite a lucrative musical career doing an Elvis Presley tribute show throughout the country, and he even won the first ever World Champion Artist when he won the “Images of the King Contest” in 1987 competing against more than 100 impersonators from around the world. He had played Vegas with his tribute show several times by the time he was 18 years old.
With all that on his side, you would think that there would be much in that arena to attribute to his notoriety, but sometimes fate can be cruel to the ego.
Glenn shared that he and his wife Lynn attended a Rod Stewart concert one year and during Stewart’s concert he would kick autographed volleyballs into the audience, one of which Glenn caught. Later that same year, he was in Memphis singing at some of the Elvis tribute concerts during Elvis week in the King’s hometown. Just as he was either entering or exiting one of the events, an admiring fan reached through the window of the car Bowles was riding in, took his cheeks into her hands and exclaimed, “Look Mom! This is Glenn Bowles! You know, the guy who caught the volleyball at the Rod Stewart concert!” You could almost hear the ego deflating all over again as he related the story to us.
Having been a Van-Dells fan as well as fans of Glenn’s vocal talents for many years, not only was it a thrill to break bread with he and his wife, but equally thrilling was it to realize that he felt comfortable enough with us to share such a humbling experience.
Patty and I expected a terrific evening of music, but we were blessed additionally with the company of the star of the show and his wife, and the company of our dear friend Dayne Puckett.
We are blessed.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.