Category Archives: Starkville

The Ravin’ Blue

The Ravin’ Blue recorded two 45s in Nashville for producer Jack Clement and the Monument label.

Lead guitarist Bob Bernard wrote their best side, “It’s Not Real” and co-wrote “Love” with band members Art Christopher and Larry Nix. Art Christopher Jr. wrote the top side of their second record, the more pop-flavored “Colors” which was backed with “In My Sorrow”.

Neither record seems to have done very well, though their first received a release in Germany, France and Italy, and “Colors” also had a German release with a rare picture sleeve of the band.

I hadn’t been able to find out much about the group until I heard from Charlie Davis, drummer of the Cavaliers of Mississippi, who wrote to me:

I played drums on the session with The Ravin’ Blue…. “Love” and “It’s Not Real”. They were all attending Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS and were called The Knights from Starkville. We also had Jo Frank and the Knights from Leland, MS: “Can’t Find a Way”.

The Viet Nam war was raging about this time and The Knights drummer was drafted. We [the Cavaliers] were playing a gig which [Knights bassist] Jimmy Johnson had heard about and was looking for talent (for the manager of The Gentrys out of Memphis). He phoned me afterwards and asked if I would do the session. I had just completed my sophomore year of high school.

We laid down the instrumental tracks at a studio in Memphis, TN named Sonic Studios owned by Roland Janes, where Travis Womack cut the instrumental “Scratchy”. And yes it was produced by Jack Clement from Nashville. They also changed their name to The Ravin’ Blue. The vocals were added at Sun/Phillips studio the following Monday but I had returned to school. So, later on Jimmy Johnson mailed me one copy which I lost and never heard the songs again until I made contact through a friend that knew Bob Bernard about six years ago.

That was the only session or time that I was hired but Jimmy Johnson did phone me a few months later to join the group and to be on the TV show Hullabaloo but I was already in a rock ‘n’ roll group and still in high school. I don’t know if they were ever on that TV show..

sleeve for ’60s Italian release

sleeve for ’60s French release

Rare German sleeve for “Colors” that shows the only photo of the band I’ve ever seen
Does anyone have this sleeve or the photo in better quality?