Musical Composition, Songwriting, Lyric Writing and Editing:

Original Song List:

The Blues 4 U
The Long, Long Night
Chicken Little
The Ballad of Jonathan Livingstone Chicken
Tulsa County Line
The Time Trilogy: Time Enough For Love; Metaphor/Yesterday; Firefly
Tied Up In Time
Warm Fuzzy
The Silver Sea
My Sweet Mary Jane
The Last Tear
Vote No on Election Day
Cro Magnon Woman
Fire Sign
Terra Eden
True Romance
Song Growing
Channel 666
For The Boss (The Ballad of Jimmie Lamb)
The River Jordan
It's Good For Business
Too Much Money
Just Too White To Sing The Blues
The Pursuit of Happiness

Bob Wills, Johnny Lee Wills, and the Texas Playboys

Rocky's Music History:

1945: Started playing accordion and ukelele (self taught) at age 8

Rocky's Father around 1944,
Along with fellow pilots, Ben Funk and Ed Wagner.

Rocky's Father around 1943,
Preparing to "milk" a snake's venom for the U. S. Army.

Rocky stands by the family 1936 Chevrolet
On the Million Dollar Highway, Colorado, 1942.

Enlarged detail from above photo

Rocky and a friend try riding an Appaloosa
In McElmo Canyon, Colorado, 1942.
Rocky is the liitle guy riding behind.

Biker Rocky and friend

Rocky and some fellow named "Bambi"

Rocky and some other Leos

1952: Began Playing Guitar and Piano and French Horn at Church Events.

Wilson Junior High School Band
Rocky is the little guy on the far left with the melophone
(looks like a backwards french horn)

Rocky just after College, just before US Army

Rocky's 1927 Dodge, in 1956

1957: U. S. Army, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Commanding Officer snuck us off the base many nights during Basic Training so I could play in Leesville, Louisiana Bars and he could, as a result, get free drinks. I completed Basic in spite of this but was subsequently injured in the line of duty, honorably discharged, and sent home.

1957: Won the Talent Contest at the Sheri-Bob Dance Studios (the site of the first major breakout of Rock and Roll in the Tulsa area) and continued to win every week, including the finals. Girls began to notice.

1957: Was invited to a jam session at the Flamingo Lounge on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, once referred to as the "Black Wall Street of America" before this section of town was almost completely razed during the "Race Riot" of 1921 (read "massacre"). In 1957 it was a jumping, friendly place, and I started coming to the Tuesday night jams as a regular habit and began to find some blues roots sitting in with Flash Terry's band, with the impeccable Sam Franklin on sax. (Flash was Tulsa's senior blues bandleader, guitarist and vocalist for decades and I'm proud to have been able to occasionally play with his band.) I won second prize in the talent contest often enough to pay for my gas and drinks, back in the 50s. Sam and Flash have both died. Flash died in 2004. I'm so glad I was able to play with his band when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

1957: First official Paying Gig: The Cheyenne Lounge in Tulsa Oklahoma "The Cheyenne Trio,"
(Rocky "Curtiss," Doug Cunningham, Bob Bumbalow).

1957: Joined the Gene Crose Band (Johnny Cale was the Guitar player).

1958: February: went to Toronto to play piano with Clyde Stacy; met most of the stars, from The Everly Brothers, Frankie Avalon and Jimmy Rodgers to Chuck Berry and Jackie Wilson.

1958: Three gigs in the spring of 1958, singing with the Johnny Lee Wills Band at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

1958: Early Summer: Johnny Cale called me one afternoon and told me about a recording session and I showed up and ended up getting a Mercury contract the same day he did. Then Chris Lane, Tulsa's top DJ, announced our new record contracts from the stage during the Saturday dance at The Cimarron Ballroom. I felt like I had finally arrived.

Mercury Records Publicity Portrait of "Rocky Curtiss"

Johnny Cale and Rocky in the old days

Rocky the "Teenage Idol"

1958:July -- The infamous Bike-Ride to Texas and "Interview with Elvis" Episode, written up in "Elvis World" issue number 20 and mentioned in Peter Guralnick's best-seller, "Last Train to Memphis."

Rocky and The King with Bicycle Fender

copied from the original really bad photocopy sent out by the Radio Station at the time.

Elvis, cropped from the photo of Elvis and Rocky, by the stairway at Graceland.

Same subject from a different angle.

1958: Joined a Band called "The Four Flames" with Sal Mecca on drums, Pete DeMarzo on guitar and Johnny Cognetti on bass, in Scranton, Pennsylvania in September. Practiced them up on Clyde's material at Angelo Gallucci's Music Studio and began to work with him in a new club in Scranton. We went with Clyde to Toronto to play New Year's week at The Edison Hotel on Yonge Street, right next door to Ronnie Hawkins at Le Coq D'or. At the end of the engagement, Clyde retired and left me the band and its booking schedule.

Pete, Rocky, Sal, Johnny

Johnny (left), Sal (back), Pete (right), Rocky (front)

1959: Columbia Harmony Album: "The Big Ten" (as Rocky Curtiss) -Vocals and Piano

A Tulsa Band in 1959

Meanwhile, back in Tulsa:
from the left: Leo Feathers, Chuck Blackwell, Ron Ryles, Johnnie Williams, "Leon" Russell Bridges, Jack Dunham, Jimmy Markham.

In 1959, I was playing in New England and Canada with the Four Flames.

1961-1969: Retired from music, worked in radio for a while, worked for Litton's and IBM, raced Minis in Canada

Rocky, the IBM CE

Picture off Racing License

1969: Quit regular job, grew long hair and started playing Rock and Roll again and never looked back.

1977: Nuclear Protest Album: "For Our Children: The Black Fox Blues?"
-Vocals and Guitar, Original Songs

The Black Fox Blues Album

1979: Joined the Betsy Smittle Band, played with Betsy's bands off and on until around 1988,
when she left Tulsa to play in her brother's band (Garth Brooks).
-Piano and Vocals

1983-84: Pianist at the Tulsa Hilton Hotel

1985: Tommy Overstreet Sooner Music Festival: Tommy Overstreet Band

1986-1988: The Ozark Country Express
-Piano, Vocal, MC and Comedian

Winter 1988-89: The OMI Express, Jimmie Lamb's fine band
-Piano & Vocals

1989: The "Gabriel Fargo" Tour
The Absolute Legendary Tour From Hell
-Piano, Vocals and Superhuman Patience


The 1994 J. J. Cale World Tour

-Piano and Vocal

Details and List of Concerts Will Be Added Soon


as pianist with

The JJ Cale Band

March 29th,
Carnegie Hall, opening for The Band

May 31st,
Santa Barbara Epicenter, Santa Barbara, California

June 1st,
Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, California
on a bill with David Lindley, Little Feat & Robert Cray

July 26th,
Humphrey's, San Diego, California
on a bill with Phoebe Snow

July 27th,
The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, California

August 25th,
The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Lyons, Colorado

September 14th,
Loring Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota

September 15th,
The Barrymore Theater, Madison, Wisconsin

September 17th,
Majestic Theater, Detroit, Michigan

September 19th,
Phoenix Concert Theater, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

September 20th,
Olympia theater, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

September 21st,
Pearl Street, Northampton, Massachusetts

September 22nd,
Mama Kin's Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

September 24th,
The Bottom Line, New York, New York

September 25th,
Birchmere, Vienna, Virginia

September 26th,
Mountain Stage, Charleston, West Virginia

September 28th,
Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, Georgia

September 29th,
328 Performance Hall, Nashville, Tennessee


Sitting in with The Red Dirt Rangers and sometimes with other old friends like Brad Absher, Flash Terry and Johnny Johnson.

Latest Mad Exploit: played a Biblical character, "the old codger by the well," in the commercials for the Family Christian Stores on "The Dove Awards" on The Nashville Network. Got to tell "Noah" that a little rain never hurt anybody. Truly this is the age of irony.

1997: update June 5

Did the cover for Jimmy Gordon's new CD; info at:
  • Jimmy Gordon's Page
  • 1997: update June 27, 1997

    Finished my scenes in the upcoming motion picture: "Melvin" in
    the Yale, Oklahoma area and in Oklahoma City last weekend.
    I play the role of an irascible, violent old codger with a Winchester 30-30
    and a very bad attitude. (Is this what they call type-casting?)

    1998: update July 3rd, 1998

    The Premier of "Melvin" was held Saturday, June 27th, 1998 in Stillwater, Oklahoma
    I'm very pleased by the finished film, a 30 minute medium-length movie.

    1998: Recorded three tracks with Steve Pryor for his new CD: El Nino Chickendog

    Rocky and Stirling Moss, Zandvoort, The Netherlands, May 1998

    1999: Recorded some piano on one track of Barton & Sweeney's new CD: On the Timeline

    1999: Played the part of Grandpa Pritchard in the remake of "Where the Red Fern Grows"


    2000: Recorded piano on some tracks of Scott Aycock's new CD: Pennies On The Track

    1999 - 2000: Have been acting Biblical roles for "The Zion Seven Report" Willie George Ministries.

    August 2002: JJ Cale Colorado Tour 2002

    October 2002: Recorded "The Long, Long Night" in Birmingham, England

    November 2002: Left the Red Dirt Rangers Band
    Working Freelance

    July 2003: Recorded new JJ Cale CD at Natura Digital Studios

    2003: "Where the Red Fern Grows" is released and wins an award at Tribecka

    May-July 2004: JJ Cale US Tour 2004

    Bill, Rocky, Eric and JJ play in Dallas, June, 2004
    The whole band played, but the others were not in this photo.

    2004: Rocky is elected to the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

    2004 TOUR Show Dates
    May 22 McCabe's Santa Monica, California
    May 24 The Palms Winters, CA
    May 25 The Catalyst Santa Cruz, CA
    May 26 Mystic Theatre Petaluma, CA
    May 28 Coach House San Juan Capistrano, California
    May 30 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, California
    June 1 ASU Kerr Cultural Center Scottsdale, Arizona
    June 2 The Paramount Santa Fe, New Mexico
    June 4 Texas Union Ballroom Austin, Texas
    June 5 Crossroads Guitar Fesitval Dallas, Texas
    June 7 Mucky Duck Houston, Texas
    June 8 The House of Blues New Orleans, LA
    June 10 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA
    June 11 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
    June 12 Belcourt Theater Nashville, TN
    June 13 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
    June 15 The McGlohan Theatre Charlotte, NC
    June 16 Lincoln Theater Park Raleigh, NC
    June 17 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
    June 19 Lebanon Opera House Lebanon, NH
    June 20 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
    June 22 Ram's Head Annapolis, MD
    June 24 Irving PLaza New York, NY
    July 26 Le Spectrum de Montreal Montreal, QC Canada
    June 27 Lee's Palace Toronto, Canada
    June 28 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
    June 30 House of Blues Chicago, IL
    July 1 Luther's Blues Madison, WI
    July 2 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis, MN
    July 5 Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, OK
    July 7 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
    July 8 Boulder Theatre Boulder, CO
    July 9 Levelz Steamboat Springs, CO
    July 10 Copper Mountain Summmer Series Copper Mountain, CO
    July 12 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ

    Memorial Day, 2008, Inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame.

    September 17th, 2009, Inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, along with Ramona Reed and Carrie Underwood.

    Rocky's Songwriter's Demo CD


    1958, KEEN label 45 single, AL Sweatt with Johnnie Cale & the Valentines
    "I Hate Myself" / "Let's Paint the Town Red" Rocky on Piano
    A copy recently sold on eBay for over $200

    1958, Norjo label, 45 single, Teddy Creekmore
    "I Just Got Love Bug Bit" Rocky on Piano

    1959, Columbia Harmony vinyl Album, Rocky Curtiss & the Harmony Flames,
    "The Big Ten" Rocky on Piano and Vocals

    1977, Radioactive Records, vinyl Album, Various Artists, all volunteers,
    "For Our Children, Black Fox Blues?" anti-local-nuke album (we won).

    1979, Raccoon Records 45 single, Rocky Frisco
    "Vote No On Election Day" / "Cro-Magnon Woman" Rocky on Piano and Vocals

    1998, label? CD, Whirligig
    "Whirligig" Rocky on Piano and Vocals

    1998, Raccoon Records CD, Rocky Frisco
    "The Raccoon's Revenge" Rocky on Piano, Guitar and Vocals

    1999, Remorseless Records CD, Steve Pryor
    "El Nino Chickendog" Rocky on Piano

    2000, Empty Pockets CD, Scott Aycock with Empty Pockets
    "Pennies On the Track" Rocky on Piano

    2001, Delabel / Virgin CD, JJ Cale Band
    "JJ Cale Live" Rocky on Piano

    2002, Red Dirt Rangers CD, "Starin' Down the Sun"

    2002, Video, JJ Cale Band
    "JJ Cale Live" Rocky on Piano

    2003, Recorded New JJ Cale CD in sessions at Natura Digital Studios
    "To Tulsa and Back"

    2004, Played piano on "Damn Your Eyes" for New Brad Absher CD in sessions at Yellow Dog Studios

    2004, Recorded New Susan Herndon CD in sessions at Hank Charles' Studio

    Old Fart Rocky at State Bridge Lodge, Colorado, 2001

    Rocky and gang, playing the Jailor and Prisoners for a Video

    Rocky, playing a Discworld Wizard

    June 2006, Release of Tour DVD, "To Tulsa and Back: JJ Cale Tour 2004" by Time/Life

    Summer 2008: Filmed "Red Dirt: Songs from the Dust" with Lata Gouveia, from London

    Summer 2011: Filmed "Red Dirt on 66: A Road Movie" with Lata Gouveia, Felix Sorger and Oli Kay

    April 14, 2012, Deemed "Living Legend" at Muskogee's Bare Bones Film and Music Festival