Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Merry Christmas To All, But Especially My Musician Friends

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - by Bob Payne
Santa is Coming!
Santa is Coming!
- photo by Mrs. Claus

Well, another year has come and almost gone and Christmas is upon us. It’s a special time, as we get together with loved ones and friends, think about the year that was, and dream of a better 2014. We say a special prayer for those that have loved ones that may be sick or those that lost loved ones this year, and especially those that have gotten sick or passed away during the holiday period.

I am certainly thankful for a wonderful family and many great friends. I don’t play the lottery, but last week I thought of many ways I could have had fun helping people I love with 600 million dollars. I could buy my Brother that house he wants. I could get my sister and her husband a fun cruise for two of the hardest working people ever. I could buy musical instruments for kids and schools that need them. I could make sure my grandkids had college money. I could take Pat around the world. I could help finance the Shriners Hospitals for many years to come.

But, I didn’t win. I can give my love to all of these people and more. I can try and be a better person. After several years of writing this column, I am sure you have noticed that I try to remain positive and not criticize anyone. My Brother, a fine musician in his own right, told me when I started writing this column a few years ago to not be overly critical toward musical acts, even if I thought they were terrible. He told me that they had practiced and tried, just as the good bands do. He also said that while I may not like his or her music, someone probably does, so criticizing it would be counter-productive. Nobody made me the boss of the applesauce. 

I will say this – my life is better because of the friends I have made in the music world. Not only have I gotten to enjoy the fruits of their labor, I have made some very wonderful friendships that may just last a lifetime. I can’t name them all, but I will point out a few, until I get tired of writing them all or Christmas is over. I wish all of you a happy holiday, a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Thanks my friends. People like Chris Gomez, Karen Phillips, Jim Rhodes, Johnny Smith, John Cady, Jimmy Tawater, Roger Alan Wade, Bexy Ribeiro, Mark Herndon, Tyler Southern, Cody Bunch, Brandon Singleton, Chris Deal, Johnny Campbell, Preston Parris, Jimmy Dormire, Debby & Keith Corey, Randy Johnston, Ellen Ireland, Carle Vickers & Jo, Nathan Farrow, Davey Smith, Mark Trundle, Time Starnes, Kris Phillips, Dennis Massengale, Christy Roberts, Wes Crider, Janella Hayes, Cody McCarver, Debi Crabtree, Rebecca DeBord, Jim & Rhonda Denham, Shani & Kenny Palmer, Tim Jester, Gail Lindsey, Mike McDade, Paul Stome, Steve Thurman, Darrell Kelly, Jeff Hight, Barry Wilde, Dennis Brown, Courtney Daly, Ivan Wilson, Misty Pettit, Ashley Brandon Williams, Mike Andrews, Mike Stansell, Maria & Josh Sable, Robert Grier, Mike LaRoche, Randy Price, Husky Burnette, Greg Rudder, Dennis Phillips, Channing Wilson, Bob Hasselle, Tracy Ingram, Scott Chase, Kelly McCoy, Chuck Wilkins, Matt Downer, Jeff Styles, Kevin West, Robert Floyd, David Anthony, Landis Batts, Bill Brewer, Tim Lewis, Donna Coleman, Gabe Newell, Rick Rushing, Jeff Renfro, Bobby Williams, Pee Wee Moore, Eddie Norwood, The Beaters, Overland Express, Dr. Vibe, Black Cat Moon, Slim Pickins, SRO, The Stratoblasters, Sweet n Lowdown, Hillbilly Sins, WTM Blues Band, Crossfire, the Chattanooga All-Star Bands, Bud Lightning, Milele Roots, Power Players, Sweet Georgia Sound, and now I am getting tired. If I left you off, it’s not because I forgot you – it’s just because my fingers have stopped working. One person I didn’t forget was Roger Carlton – he passed away this year, but is now comfortably resting in God’s care, playing with the best band ever.

Merry Christmas to the folks that own or manage venues that play live music. Thank you for allowing me to listen to LIVE music in your establishment. Also, a big shout out to the servers, bartenders, and cooks that do such a wonderful job of caring for me when I visit.

To everyone that has a musical act or band – thank you for your hard work and for entertaining me. While it may not be financially rewarding, know that what you do makes people smile and forget their worries, even if for only a short bit. Also, a big Christmas shout out to my “out-of-town” friends in the music world -The Railers, Here Come The Mummies, and so many more. 

My best Christmas wishes go out to my brothers at Chattanooga Masonic Lodge #199. You make my life better in so many ways.

To my oldest and dearest friends – Bruce Hagemeyer & Susan, Randy Taylor & Pam, and Randy Brooks & Kathy – Merry Christmas and thanks for decades of friendship. Also, Merry Christmas to my “other” family – Carol, Jean, Jim, Sandy, Cindi and Kitty and “Pa”.  An of course, a Merry Christmas to Pat and all of her family of Yankees. Y’all rock some “pop” this season. 

And finally, to my friends at Riverbend – you are incredible. Dixie, Karen, Donica, John, Chip, Randy, Patty, Gina, Amy, Jeff, Barbara, and Mickey all rock. Merry Christmas to all of you!

For more local music info, try You will find great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site

Email Bob Payne at or catch him on Facebook at

Bob Payne
Bob Payne
- Photo2 by Elf Number 12742

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