DFW Music News

The Lost Single By Evelyn Balis (Yes, Danny's Mom) and Hoyle Nix's West Texas Cowboys

Courtesy Danny Balis
A couple of nights back, my ol' pal Danny Balis -- a radio producer of some kind, a musician of some note -- sent me the link to a scratchy 45 released in September 1955: "Another You," credited to Deonne Dome With Hoyle Nix And His West Texas Cowboys, released on the Queen Records label out of Snyder. Now, Western Swing-er Hoyle Nix I know -- somewhere in my collection is his debut single, "I'm All Alone" b/w "A Big Ball's in Cowtown," released on the late, great Dallas label Star Talent. (The B-side, of course, would become a country-western immortal.) But Deonne Dome? That was a new one.

Courtesy Eric Rheingans
Not to Danny. Because,  you see, Deonne's his mother -- Evelyn Bradford Balis. Deonne Dome's the name under which she performed in the 1950s. Said Danny via e-mail: "She used to tour the Louisiana Hayride circuit with Lefty, Patsy, Hank, Jerry Lee, Elvis, etc." He told me he grew up listening to the song, but that his mother's only copy had gotten cracked and become unplayable. Evelyn, incidentally, still lives in Knox City. "Sharp as a tack," says her boy.

Danny hadn't heard the song since he was a little kid. So, a week ago, he Googled her stage name and, sure enough, up it popped here. Danny saw that the Hillbilly Researcher had posted a picture of the single's A-side ("Real Rockin' Daddy," sung by Jay-Bob Howdy). So he asked if maybe he could post the song from the B-side too, if only so Danny could listen to it again. "And he did," says Danny. "Pretty cool."

I dug around a little bit myself and found the original Billboard review of Deonne's track. Short and sweet: "She'll keep on searching for another like him. A weeper. Disk sound should be better." I sent it to Danny. In return he shot me this photo, the only one his mom still has of her performing days. "Probably from the mid-'50s," he says, "possibly at a stop on the Hayride circuit." The song's below. I expect Danny's cover version is forthcoming, any day now.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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