Evelyn Martin, Buddy Simmons, Johnny Reese, Tommy Kizziah, Ed Whittaker, Eddy Zunck, Jack Kizziah
Tommy Kizziah is born, into a musical family, in 1915. He has a cocked eye, and most people think Tommy is retarded, including his father, who is ashamed to be seen with the boy. However, in years to come, Tommy's talent of playing the guitar and singing show them they are wrong.
His father relents to his wife’s wishes, and buys the nine year old boy his first guitar. Tommy teaches himself to play; singing comes naturally. However, because of his eye, his father still refuses to allow him to join the family on the medicine show circuit.
After his mother's death in 1929, the fifteen year old Tommy hitchhikes to Oklahoma City where he meets his idol, the father of country music, Jimmy Rogers. His talent is quickly recognized by Mr. Rogers. Rogers gives Tommy the name Sonny Rogers and immediately puts the young man on his daily radio show. Jimmy provides Tommy with new clothes, his first pair of eye glasses and a place to live.
After weeks with Mr. Rogers, now Tommy’s father has accepted the young man and wants to work with him. Jimmy finds the family a job on a medicine show but Tommy only stays with the show a short time.
He moves on to play with numerous bands in Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas. In 1948 he leaves Texas, and the woman he loves, to join his brother and pursue his musical career in the state of Oregon. He puts together the band known as Tommy Kizziah and his West Coast Ramblers.
The book his daughter wrote takes you through Tommy’s life in the music business and beyond.
Tommy Kizziah was truly the
Star That Twinkled but Never Got to Shine.
The West Coast Ramblers were nationally recognized as one of the top five bands in the country. They performed live radio shows form the stage of…The Wagon Wheel Park, The Division Street Coral and other venues across the west coast. Their show aired every Saturday night right after the Grand Ole Opry. Many times WCR featured guest stars such as Lefty Frizzell, Maddox Brothers and Rose, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Marty Robbins, Ferlin Husky, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Rex Allen, T. Texas Tyler, Johnny Cash, Faron Young and many more.