The Kavemen

Kavemen, Dallas 1965
The Kavemen, Dallas 1965 from left to right: Roland Allen, Jimmy Allen, Rodney Vinyard, Tommy Fonseca, Bill Walden & Jerry Colwell

Roland Allen – vocals
Jimmy Allen – vocals
Rodney Vineyard – lead guitar
Tommy Fonseca – rhythm guitar
Jerry Colwell – bass
Bill Walden – drums

The Kavemen came from the southeastern section of Dallas, Texas. Jerry Colwell had discussed the Kavemen in a longer interview about his career with Kit and the Outlaws and other bands:

Later joined the #1 Dallas band The Cavemen [sic] and played battle of the bands against Jimmy Vaughan and his band, and the Royals and others. In 1965 the Cavemen was the home band for a Night club “Surfers A Go Go” in Dallas, where we played with Chuck Berry, Roy Head, the original Drifters, Jimmy Velvet and Johnny Green and the Greenmen. We played at clubs all over Texas, my favorites were the “Bamboo Hut” in Galveston, and “Panther Hall” in Fort Worth, a televised event every week. We also played at Louanns many times.

As it turns out, they recorded four songs at Sumet Sound Studios which were never released. Carlene Fonseca sent me the songs from their unreleased acetate and passed along this info from her ex-husband Tommy Fonseca:

The band got together first as an instrumental group playing at Twilight Time Skating Rink, in Dallas, TX and playing for high school dances at H. Grady Spruce High School and E. B. Comstock Junior High. Jimmy and Roland Allen were singers and they went to Spruce Hi and heard the band and offered to sing for them.

The recording was done at Summit [Sumet] in Dallas. The recordings were not released. The jumps & skips are because of a defect in the master dub. Tommy said somebody dropped it and it was chipped at the spot where the 1st song was on the 1st side and the 1st song on the flip side.

Rodney Vineyard, the lead guitar, left the group to play with Sunny Satin and the Mysterians. The Kavemen couldn’t find another lead guitar so they broke up. When the studio was ready to release it they declined since the group was no longer together.

Tommy recently spoke to Roland Allen. He lives in Gun Barrel City and he told Tommy that Jimmy had passed away the just the week before. We cannot locate Bill. He was the drummer. Rodney lives in Balch Springs, TX and he still plays for VFW Posts occasionally.

Because of the chip in the lacquer, my favorite song “Can’t You See” suffers from skips and drop-outs for the first thirty seconds. Same with the first song on the second side, “Why”. The other two, “Without You”, and “I Feel the Same” are fine. I’m hoping to get a photo or scan of the acetate labels. Despite the flaws, these are fantastic examples of mid-60s Texas rock ‘n roll!

The Kavemen – Can’t You See
The Kavemen – Without You
The Kavemen – Why
The Kavemen – I Feel the Same

28 thoughts on “The Kavemen”

  1. I am truly sorry to hear that Jimmy Allen may have passed away…can you confirm this…He couldn’t have been over 65 yrs. old? Do you know if Larry Allen is living near Dallas? Did Roland continue singing? I remember his singing “Try Me”, “Oh, I Apologize”(Barrett Strong),”I Stand Accused”, “Good Thing Goin'”(Rolling Stones)…He was very sexy, and I remember the car they drove, a Baracuda…Remember “California” from Surfer’s??? Janice

    1. Hello Janice, other friends, and other Kavemen,
      Yes it is so sad but it is true that Jimmy Allen passed away. He was a great man and still had his velvety sounding voice and could still sing and sound just like he did in “Without You” the song you can play above thanks to Tommy Fonseca. It is also sad for all family and friends that Larry Allen has passed away. He did so twenty-three days after Jimmy’s passing. Larry did many things but still loved to dance and was very good at it. Right now, Roland is recovering from an illness and is just out of the hospital and a bit under the weather, so no visiting just yet please…if you would like to, however, and I am positive it would cheer him up, and you want to drop him a line or a card, or a note, just email me at whitettexas@gmail.com and I will be happy to share the address with you. Thanks a million….Tara White

  2. I too, am very sorry to hear of the passing of Jimmy. He was a cherished friend, long before we ever considered playing music together. My wife insists that I have already begun my second childhood, as all I seem to want to do anymore, is play drums. Although I’ve performed with numerous notable musicians through the years, my heart and soul seems stuck in the 60’s. Bobby Block of KLIF re-named our group The-Cavemen, during an event at Flag-pole-Hill. We were all pretty hairy-looking those days and Tommy at the time was again well-overdue for his twice-a-day-required shave. After Jimmy Rabbit introduced us during another Patter-party event, the name just sort of stuck! I’ve recently enjoyed reunions, playing again with precious friends and band-members from the Cavemen including Rodney Vineyard, Tommy Fonceca and Ronnie Blocker. I hope to find Johnny Colwell and Jimmy Allen, before more of us come up missing in in-action.

    1. Hey to all you guys who WENT TO BRYAN ADAMS and were in a band – or every played at BROADWAY SKATELAND…
      This is Lana Blocker, Ronnie Blocker is my dad – I’ve been searching the internet trying to find old newspaper/magazine articles or pictures of my dad when he played with Ricky and the Royals…or a copy of a record they recorded (if they ever did) – thought it would be a neat Christmas present to get some special piece of memorabilia like that framed or something. Does anybody have ANY suggestions on where I could start? I don’t even know what the names of the newspapers were back then! HELP! Every time I Google Ricky and the Royals, this is really the only search result that comes up (really cool blog by the way)…so I’m counting on you guys!! Any suggestions at all?

      1. Hey Lana, I remember Ricky Pearson and The Royals from my very early teen years. My sister used to date Rickys brother Chris. I remember that sometimes they practiced at night at a barber shop…I think it was on Centerville. Yes, I know they recorded at least one 45, and yes, it did get a little air time on KBOX and KLIF-1190. They actually recorded STAND BY ME. I totally loved their version. The flip side was AND NOW NOTHING. Ricky and Chris wrote that song. Loved it too. My sister had a copy, of course. But I think we played it to death. Many years later in 1996 I discovered that my friend Glenda Jones had it on her juke box at a bar she owned called THE CLUB. Glenda has since died. Don’t know where the 45 went. Hope this was helpful. I DO KNOW that they recorded at least 2 songs.
        Brenda McCary
        brendamccary@ymail.com

        1. it’s so great to see all these comments….I am Chris and Ricky’s sister from Ricky Pearson and the Royals and I know that I would love to hear anything that you had to say. Yes, I still have the record they recorded. You may reach me via email….txjanice1950@gmail.com

  3. I am so glad to see this site has been put up. I want to give love to all you people that I ever knew. Yes, It really breaks my heart to tell all yall that my beloved brothers are not with us any more. I, myself, am still the real deal loving rock music to this very day. I do miss Jimmy and Larry very much and my friends and I think of them daily. I really dig people who love themselves, but you really got to know yourself to love others, right? I have many friends that I enjoy listening and dancing to music with. I’m hanging in there for my friends, and all of you that I don’t get to see anymore. ♥Please Keep on Rockin’♥

    P.S. I Love You All, Roland

    1. Hello Roland,

      It’s been a lot of years my friend. I hope you are doing well. I am so sorry to hear about Jimmy and Larry. Way too young to be leaving us. I would love to make contact with you. My cell is 817-706-4700. Give me a call. I hooked up with Jerry Colwell and Ricky Page last year via Facebook then telephone. It was great catching up with them.

  4. Hey Roland good to hear you are still rockin. Not sure you remember me, i played rythem and later bass for the cavemen. Also did some back up vocals with you and Jimmy. Sorry to hear about Jimmy and Larry. Call or email me. 817-706-4700. emmett@eohind.com

    1. Are you sure about Freddie? I hate that. I had wanted to get in touch with him. Do you have any info about his death….Please let me know. I knew him and actually ran around with him and Sammy Campisi. He was so much fun. Gayle

      1. Hi Gayle!
        I’m looking for Gayle Peacock who may have been in El Paso, Texas in October 1964. Might you be her?

        Thanks for your reply!
        Lynnette

        1. My name is Gayle (Peacock) Brooks. However in 1964 I was only 14 years old. I don’t remember being in El Paso. I have been there a few times, but not in 1964. I grew up in the Lancaster, Tx area and Dallas area. Sorry.

  5. I was one of the Kavemens biggest fans way back when and dated Jimmy Allen for quite awhile off and on. So sorry about his death. I had not heard anything of him in about 40 years. Back then was not a good time for him.
    I also knew Tommy and Rodney and they were all sweethearts. I wish them all well and would love to hear their music again although I am now 64 instead of a teenybopper LOL

    1. Rodney is my husband cousin . Last I heard he’s back in Balch Springs . I had heard they played here in Seagicie at a place called Teen Town too

  6. Hello all,
    I just got word from Roland’s oldest daughter Shelley that Roland passed away October 2013. I know we are all sorry to hear this.

    1. Yes, very sorry to hear this. Let his family and friends know that I am so sorry for their loss. It has been a year, but I just saw Rick Pages comment.

  7. Hi Roland. I just came across this site and was so excited to see some familiar names. I am very sorry to hear about your brothers, Larry and Jimmy. I had no idea.
    Ok…let me tell you how I know you and the Kavemen. In the later 60`s y’all played at the skating rink in Lancaster, Tx. My friends and I loved your band. Matter of fact The Kavemen was our favorite. I am the idiot who married Jr. His parents owned the skating rink. Anyway, after we broke up, you and I dated for only a few times. You were great and one night you actually made Jr. leave my apartment when he showed up unannounced. I also know Emmett and I remember Bill Walden…knew him as “Freddie”‘ I hope you are doing well. Continue to take care of yourself.
    I now live in Littleton, Co. Been married almost 45 years. Would love to hear from you. Thanks for the memories!!! Gayle

  8. So sorry to hear about the passing of Roland, Jimmy and Larry, I attended school with them and loved their music as a teen. I also, played in a local progressive country band from the Grove “The Trinity River Band” which consisted of myself, Jacky Lockmiller, Ronnie Cox and Jimmy Draughty. We also did a set called Ronnie and the Rockets.

  9. I think Emmett Hickey were on the tail-end of the Kavemen. Emmett was on bass and brought me on board about 66-67 on keyboard. Jimmy and Roland on vocals, Rodney Vinyard on Lead and Freddie Walden on drums. We had a pretty steady gig at Shamrock in Lancaster along with Broadway and Twilight. At the time I was dating Ricky Pearson’s sister Janice who I married in 1969. As I recall Roland and Rodney had a falling out and Rodney was replaced and we played a few more gigs and Roland announced his wife was pushing him to quit so we split. I played in another band with Freddie called the Mind Garden for a whole then traded my equipment for a piano and got married. I was selling pianos and sold an organ to nightclub in East Dallas called the Candle Club and started playing there with Joe Hsrdin Brown in 1970. I met and worked with some great players Joe Cook, Steve Rodriguez, Israel Cavazos and Jesse Rocha to name a few. I quit again and ran into Isreal and Jesse a few years later at club and worked with them and Sammy Jay a while. Now here’s a twist to the story. We were playing a club on Midway at 635 and met a young woman who after talking said she had been married to a singer named Roland Allen and it was Laura. The wife who’d pushed him to quit though she denied it ever happened. Apparently we hit it off and married in 82. She and Roland had a daughter, Shelley who looked just like him. All these years later after Laura and I divorced it was Shelley who told me of Roland’s death and she was heartbroken. She feels she’s missed out not knowing her father’s family.

    1. I just want to add that is poignant to see Roland’s comments here and to know he would die the following year. We had some great times. Jimmy and Roland were 2 of finest entertainers I’ve worked with. In 67 the whole band went to see James Brown at memorial auditorium. It was a great show. I miss all those guys.

  10. I thought it was a great band. Rodney Vineyard was the best ever out of Pleasant Grove. I played guitar and sang in several groups in those days, the Barracudas, James Bates and the James Gang, and did a lot of the same gigs and Battles of the Bands as the Kavemen. Loved the Twilight Time. “…let’s all skate, skate slowly and carefully please.’ At Surfer’s, we were the first to play in a Battle of about six groups. That was the first half of the show, the headliner was Jerry Lee Lewis. We stunk, but from then on we could say we opened for the Killer. After the army I played bass professionally for ten or twelve years. Now I play guitar once in a while with a rockabilly group – we actually opened for Jerry Lee in concert a couple of months ago.

    1. I was in the 8th grade at Old Rylie junior high school the first time I saw Roland , Jimmy Allen sing. They were amazing to me. I never missed a Saturday night at the twilight skating rink when they played . I was 2 years behind Roland, 1 year behind jimmy, and a year ahead of Larry. It’s hard to believe all 3 are gone, and greatly missed. I have been gone from the Pleasant Grove area for many years, but I miss the good people from that time and area.

  11. I worked with Ronnie Blocker at Rio Grande National Life. I recall the new green Corvette he had. Does anyone know where he ended up and in what career? Really nice guy at the time. By the way, our Supply Room Supervisor was Louie Steven Witt, later discovered to be The Umbrella Man standing in front of motorcade near the grassy knoll. Everyone in the supply room called Ronne “Otis” for some reason.

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