Tooter Boatman – The Documentary?


The Internet is a wonderful thing, official, at least in my book. I had a comment to my last blog, and it made my day. It was from Clayton Glover the son of  Clayton Glover, the drummer who played for Tooter Boatman. Who you may ask? Well Tooter Boatman recorded some of the finest Rockabilly ever put to wax back in the 1950’s, and like so many other talented artists he gained no more than limited local acclaim. But that doesn’t take anything away from the legend that is Tooter. Clayton was asking if he thought there would be any interest in a documentary about Tooter, if you are not familiar with his legend here is a piece I wrote a while back about him. Some of the facts actually taken from Clay Glover senior’s memories, have a quick in a nutshell squint.

By all accounts Tooter Boatman was a lover and a scrapper, he liked a fight and a f**k but it’s not certain in what order. He looks like a hardcase in the photos that survive of him. Inked up, surely one of the first tattooed rockers, and looks so mean you can believe stories of him giving bulls a kicking which resulted in them running off in fear. Add to that tales of him taking on three big blokes in bar at the same time and giving them a whooping. He is also said to have had ‘more girlfriends than Elvis had gold records’, had a girl in every town and was even married, but just for the day. Tooter Boatman and his band The Chapparals released a rip roaring slab of scream laden, snare jangling, piano murdering, slap bass rockabilly in the shape of ‘Thunder and Lightning’ and ‘The Will Of Love’ which you really need to hear before you die. Hard as he may have been Tooter was killed by a hit and run driver in 1964 aged 28, that’s the only way they’d have had him.

Well what do you think? I for one would love to hear the first hand tales of Tooter Rockin’ Rollin’ Lovin’ and Fightin’ his way around the Southern States. Should it matter that he is obscure to most? I don’t think so, what do you think? I will send a link of this to Clayton, feel free to pass this on and make comments of encouragement or otherwise. For those that don’t know Tooter’s classic track ‘Thunder and Lightning’, feast your ears on this.

http://www.simonnott.co.uk/music.html

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9 thoughts on “Tooter Boatman – The Documentary?

    • I’ve read that tooter was brawling with someone on the highway when he got hit. I think it was in Kicks (Billy and Miriam’s mag not the hip-hop abortion that goes under that name now).

      • Hi Chuck

        I spoke to Roy Lee Walker, Tooter’s first piano player, and yes he confirmed that is how Tooter died, hit by a car when brawling over a girl.

  1. My grandad, Roy Lee Walker played piano in a band with Tooter. I always enjoy hearing story’s of the good old days. Sounds like he lived up to his reputation. I have a recording of a live radio show they did together in Mineral Wells.

    • Hi guys, I had some great response to this initially, Seth set up a (so far unpublished) interview with his grandfather who told me some great stories about Tooter and told me the truth about his death. Since then I have heard nothing from Texas and didn’t get to hear the radio show recording which is a great disappointment for me. Looking on the bright side I am hoping that Tooter’s guys are cooking something up out there in the USA, I’m hoping it’s the documentary, a book or even an official release for that radio show. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s all three! I’m just in it for the music, Tooter’s your man and legacy to protect and do as you will with, I’m pretty sure he and it are in safe hands.

  2. Tooter’s mother and my mother were first cousins. I was at his house a couple of times and he wanted me to go with him to the Trio Club in Mengus. My mother would not hear of it. I was only 15 at that time.

  3. Hi guys, I had some great response to this initially, Seth set up a (so far unpublished) interview with his grandfather who told me some great stories about Tooter and told me the truth about his death. Since then I have heard nothing from Texas and didn’t get to hear the radio show recording which is a great disappointment for me. Looking on the bright side I am hoping that Tooter’s guys are cooking something up out there in the USA, I’m hoping it’s the documentary, a book or even an official release for that radio show. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s all three! I’m just in it for the music, Tooter’s your man and legacy to protect and do as you will with, I’m pretty sure he and it are in safe hands.

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