Keith Sherman died today, as did a part of many in Chattanooga who remember “growing up” listening to Overland Express at Yesterdays in years past. Keith, one half of Sherman Williams, and songwriter/singer/player for Overland Express was one of the greats ever to come out of Chattanooga.
My boss, Joe “Dixie” Fuller, broke the news to me today at Riverbend’s office. One look into Dixie’s blue eyes and I could see that he was heartbroken from the news. Dixie started lugging music equipment around for the band in the 70’s. He went on the road with them and their manager, Dennis Haskins, who would later go on to fame as Mr. Belding from “Saved By The Bell.” Dixie got the taste for the music business with Overland Express and it hasn’t left him to this day. Dixie went on to work with Alabama and several other bands for much of his career, before becoming Production and Talent Manager at Riverbend. Keith Sherman & Rick Williams gave him his start.
When I was but a yute, or possibly a young man, I would put on some cologne and head out to Yesterdays. Even then, I loved music and always had some “favorites”. Overland Express was one of those. Their harmonies were so good, and many of their original songs were excellent. Apparently I wasn’t alone, as many in town were impressed by Overland. I hated it when they would go out on the road and miss a few weeks of playing at Yesterdays or the Brass Register.
Overland Express had two albums that I can remember, and I had both of them. I found one online in a music store in Omaha, Nebraska. They were nice enough to not only send the album, but also to copy the album onto a CD. I remember showing Rick Williams my CD once and he was befuddled, because at that time Overland had never released a CD. I still listen to many of those songs and have them on this new fangled gizmo called an Ipod.
Each and every time I listen to those wonderful songs, it takes me back to a different time and place. From Field of Dreams, “And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.” The same can be said for Overland Express and Keith Sherman’s songs. I feel as though I have been dipped in magic waters and the memories and smells are so fresh in my old mind. The one constant in my life has been the music of folks like Keith Sherman and Overland Express.
For more local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com. You will find great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.
Email Bob Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.