Where would I be without these folks!
Lavelle Kinsey McCullough & Bob McCullough (Mom & Dad) … My earliest memories are of Mom singin’ and whistlin’. In fact I can’t remember a time when Mom didn’t sing in the kitchen, in the yard, in church, in the car. And when she wasn’t singin’… she whistled; man could she whistle! Mom didn’t discriminate when it came to music … she sang blues, jazz, gospel, pop, rock‘n’roll, country and western, anything she heard and liked. She even whistled some classical melodies. And of course "froggy went a courtin’, he did go, uh huh". Thanks Mom, for lovin’ it all and sharin’ it with me!
Dad’s contribution to my musical inspiration was playin’ the radio (country only, if you please!). I recall the "four Hanks"… as a child I couldn’t remember who’s last name was what, but I could identify them by their songs… so, it was Movin’ On Hank and Hey Good Lookin’ Hank and Humpty Dumpty Hank and Send Me the Pillow Hank. Of course I know now it was Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Hank Thompson, and Hank Locklin… and that’s a lot of inspiration. Thanks Dad!
Joann Walker (Webb) McCullough … After my parents, no one has played a more important role in my life than Joann. Since the mid ‘70s, she has lifted me up when I was down, brought me down when I got too high and taught me that "knowin’ how to land is as important as knowin’ how to fly"! Through it all she has believed in me! She’s always supported my music, even "bringin’ home the bacon when I wasn’t makin’ beans". She showed me what real love is, and how to live like a "grown up" while actin’ like a kid every chance you get! From this beautiful and gracious (and graceful) woman I’ve learned the true meaning of grace and beauty. Without her I doubt I would be playin’ guitar and writin’ songs today! THANKS Jo!
Shawn Camp … Shawn has been my good friend and favorite cowriter since the late ‘80s. Over the years he’s turned me on to lots of good music, especially his own! And he introduced me to John Hartford (I’ll never forget the evening we spent pickin’ with John in Shawn’s parents’ living room!). He also introduced me to Valerie Smith, most of the Del McCoury Band, Leroy Troy, and Guy Clark. I’m sure there are others, but that’s enough! Shawn and I’ve cowritten some of my very favorite songs, and he’s recorded several. He is, without a doubt, the most creatively talented musician I’ve ever worked with and thanks to his willingness to share that talent, I’ve learned more about music from him than anybody, anywhere, anytime. Thanks Shawn!
Randy Terrell … Randy is my oldest and dearest friend. We raced motocross together back in the early ‘70s. We drank and smoked and laughed and cried together, and most importantly, we enjoyed music together … Randy turned me on to John Prine, Leon Russell, JJ Cale, Kris Kristofferson, and Donna the Buffalo. What a friend! Thanks Randy!
Carlos Scoggins … One of the most interesting and generous people I’ve met, Carlos let me hang out at his little cabin in the woods during my early years in Nashville. He also made sure I always had food to eat! But more importantly he was my friend, and he inspired me to believe in myself as a songwriter. Thanks Carlos!
Ray Baker … Ray and his wife, Barbara, were the owners of Honeytree Music, my first real publisher. He produced a full demo on me (singin’ my own songs) in the legendary
Columbia "Studio B" with 6 or 7 seven of Nashville’s finest A-team musicians (my first real studio experience!). He got me my first two cuts and paid me the first real $$$$ I made in the music biz. Oh yes, he gave me a gold watch and my first pair of Tony Llama boots. Thanks Ray (and Barbara)!
Joe Sun … A very unique artist on Ovation Records, Joe already had a couple hits when I met him (remember Old Flames Can’t Hold Candle to You?). At the height of his success he listened to my songs and even "swapped songs" with me in his kitchen. Joe generously shared his time, talent and experience with me and always made me feel successful too. He even sang a couple demos for me. Thanks Joe!
Mel McDaniel … I first met Mel on his bus behind the old Stockyard Lounge in Nashville. He had just recorded one of my songs, and he immediately made me feel welcome. And he continued to do so throughout the years I knew him. I was sure proud to hear him call me friend. Mel let me ride along with him on the road. He sang my songs on his records, on TV (from Hee Haw to Austin City Limits!) and in fairs and concerts all over the country. We swapped songs on his bus, in his kitchen, around campfires and even in my living room! He gave me my first "A- side Single", Hot Time in Old Town, and recorded two of my favorite songs, Born to the Night and Make It with the Blues. He also recorded My Old Four Wheel Drive, one of only two songs I cowrote with my son, Sean . (Mel cowrote the other one with us.) And … he tried to teach me to fish! Thanks Ol’ Mel!!!
Forerunner Music Group … My co-publisher for seven years, Forerunner was owned by: Terrell Tye, Mark Miller, Jim Rooney and Allen Reynolds, and was staffed by Matt Lindsey, Leslie Barr, Debbie Miller and Charles Green. These folks gave me the opportunity to write and record in one of the most creative and inspiring environments in Nashville (maybe anywhere). Thanks Forerunner!
Terrell Tye … Terrell was the first of the Forerunner owners to become interested in my songs, and she played a major role in bringin’ me into that very cool group. Thanks Terrell!
Mark Miller… As the studio manager/engineer at Jack’s Tracks, Mark’s professional, but easy-going manner always makes me feel "at home" in the studio. He inspires creativity and originality in me. He’s also spent many hours just pickin’ with me. Thanks Mark!
Jim Rooney … Singer, songwriter, musician, producer, author, publisher … Jim’s worn a lot of "hats". I know him as a kind and generous friend who takes the time to cowrite with me once in a while. He also shares with me his passion for life. Thanks Rooney!
Allen Reynolds … Now and then a song comes along and changes my life… Allen’s Dreaming My Dreams is one of those songs. The words of the second verse helped to bring me back from the depths of a dark and dangerous hole: "I won’t let it change me not if I can . I’d rather believe in love. And give it away is much as I can … to those that I’m fondest of". And then he wrote Ready for the Times to Get Better! Allen wrote these songs over 25 years ago (15 years before we met), but they still have a special hold on me. What a kind, generous, talented and inspiring human being he is. Thanks Allen!
Debbie Nimms-Allen took a tape of my songs to Terrell Tye and put in a good word for me with Forerunner. Thanks Debbie!
Harley Allen urged Debbie to talk to Forerunner on my behalf. He also shared his huge musical gifts with me. We cowrote some damn good songs. Thanks Harley!
Sean McCullough … In the year 2000 Sean convinced me that I should have a web site. So, without him there would be no herbsongs.com… as a matter of fact, he designed, built, hosts and maintains it. And… he gave me the idea and the first couple of verses to My Ol’ Four Wheel Drive which would become a cool, money makin’ Mel McDaniel cut for us in the mid ‘80s. Most importantly he helped to create my favorite, very cool grandson, Connor, whose favorite song is Too Cute. Thanks Sean!
Christie McCullough Oliver … Christie is my lovely daughter and the mother of my two granddaughters, Ashley who is the inspiration for the song, Starry Lullaby and Kalyn who sure can sing! Thanks Christie!
Robert Webb … Even before he officially became my stepson Robert requested copies of my songs in "naked song" format … just me and guitar. Since I never thought much of my solo performances, it helps to have someone who digs em! Thanks Robert!
Dottie Webb … I’ve always admired my stepdaughter’s artistic originality and so, it’s meant a lot to me that she’s always encouraged and appreciated mine. Thanks Dottie!
Johnny "Mitch" Mitchell … This Texan ambled into my life (this time) circa 1975 in a Nashville bar where we shared waaaay too many beers. Over the years we shared songs, friends, good and bad times, victories and losses, and waaay too many more beers. Mitch moved back to Texas, but we remain friends to this day (and neither of us drinks!). Oh, yes, Mitch introduced me to Mickey Newbury! Thanks Mitch!
David Schnaufer … David was the first musician to just sit down and jam with me, and outta those "jams" came some of our coolest songs. He also introduced me to Toni Price, Vince Farsetta, the Cactus Brothers, Walk the West, Jan Pulsford, and Sarah Musgrave. Thanks David!
John Lomax … John’s grandfather introduced Leadbelly to the world… John introduced me to David Schnaufer! Also Rattlesnake Annie, Wayne Jackson, Townes Van Zandt, Billy Stone and a host of other infamous music-world characters. Thanks John!
Joy Lynn White … Joy’s been my friend and confident for many years. She’s shared her awesome talents with me both as a singer and songwriter … what a thrill to hear her sing in my living room or out on the deck in Walden Holler! She’s also sung demos for me, recorded one of our songs and introduced me to her musical friends including Shawn Camp! Most of all she’s a "forever friend". Thanks Joy.
Rick Craig … Rick could sure write and sing a country song! And he showed me what was expected of a professional songwriter. Thanks Rick!
Len Walls, Carl Chambers, Jesse Chambers, John Corneal, Mickey Merritt, Rodney Price, Denise and Donnie Helms and Amigo Walls … Len owned Central Sound Studio in Auburndale, Florida where I did demos in the early ‘80s… the rest of these guys (and Denise) were the band and back up singers (Amigo was an engineer). Most of the time they did not get paid… I owe them all… Thanks to the "A-dale A Team".
Carl Chambers … From the moment we met, Carl and I were old friends and he immediately included me in his musical family. In the early ‘80s, he helped me produce all my "Florida" demos while generously sharing his musical talents, skills and experience with me. I learned a lot workin’ with him and even more just sittin’ around swappin’ songs. Thanks Carl!
Tom McBee … As a successful Nashville radio promotion man, Tom knew lots of people in the music business and a good song when he heard one… he got my song, Hot Time in Old Town, to Mel McDaniel for me. Mel’s recording of it became my first "A-side single". Thanks Tom!
David Anderson … A friend and cowriter, David played piano and wrote some really good songs. He introduced me to Tom McBee … and lots of other showbiz folks during my early years in Music City. Thanks David!
Jack Keys … Jack and his father, Jimmy Keys, ran New Keys Music, the early publishing home of Dave Dudley, Tom T. Hall and Ronnie Rodgers. Jack took an interest in some of my early songs and signed a few to short term contracts. He also introduced me to Dave, Tom and Ronnie. Thanks Jack!
Rob Jackson … I studied guitar techniques with Rob for about 6 months, and though I didn’t practice as much as I should’ve, I still learned a lot from him! He’s a better teacher than I am student! Thanks Rob!
Wayne Renardson … I’ve known Wayne since 1960 and used to hang out with him in our high school days. He was a drummer with a hot Central Florida rock’n’roll band called the Blazers. He also played piano and guitar and later taught me my first guitar chords (and tried to teach me some songs). During my first few years in Nashville Wayne gave me a place to crash and food to eat whenever I needed it. And he spent a lot of time pickin’ with me. Thanks Wayne!
Grant LaCerte … Grant was a close friend in junior high, and we remained friends through high school and for a few years beyond. He was the first truly gifted musician I met. A remarkably talented trumpet player, he also played piano, and guitar. He played in several bands, including the Blazers. Grant and I shared a love of music, and he took me along on a lot of gigs … prob’ly helpin’ to pave the way to my own gig as a songwriter. Thanks Grant!
Al McQuire … An excellent recording engineer, Al worked with me on a couple of demos I did back in the mid ‘80s. He was fun to work with, and we seemed to connect somewhere within the music. He (maybe unintentionally?) turned me onto da blues in me; therefore changin’ my style forever. Thanks Al!
Cowriters … Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to write with a lot of great songwriters…. What an honor! Thanks to all of you for sharin’ your time and talents with me! (click here for a complete list)
Musicians … I’ve also had the pleasure of workin’ in the studio or on stage with more great musicians than I can name here, but a partial list would include: Shawn Camp, Max T. Barnes, Dave Pomeroy, Kenny Malone, Dan Dugmore, Dennis Crouch, Kenny Loggains, Russ Pahl, Milton Sledge, Jan Pulsford, Richard Bennett, Larry Marrs, John Garner, Biff Watson, Jim Horn, Barry Walsh, Chris Leuzinger, David Erwin, Rabbit Warren, Gary Kubal, Pat McInerney, Ron de la Vega, David Schnaufer, Champ Hood, Casper Rawls, "Scrappy" Judd Newsome, Leo Jackson, Henry Strezleky, Weldon Myrick, Steven Bishop, Jay Vern, Carl Jackson and of course the "A-dale A Team". Thanks to all of you!
Singers … And all the singers who lent their voices to demos: Shawn Camp, Joy Lynn White, Toni Price, Harley Allen, Debbie Nimms-Allen, Tom Fisch, Taylor Pie, David Erwin, Joe Diffie, Steve Bassett, Vicki Vacarrio, Johanna Ben’et, Joe Sun, Claire Davidson, Holly Dunn, Angela Huffman, Brice Long, Jason Sellers, Taylor Dunn, Carl Jackson, Waylan Patton, Larry Cordle, Lou Reed. Thanks to each and every one of you!
Recording Engineers … Unfortunately it took me years to realize the value of these folks, so I don’t remember all their names, but to all who shared your talents with me… I know now how important to the process you are! Thanks!
Artists … And of course all the artists who have recorded my songs!
(click here a for a complete list)
Producers and A & R people … I didn’t always get to meet these folks, so again, I don’t know all the names, but to all of you who played a part in my songs being recorded…Thanks!
Songpluggers … And last but certainly not least … Thanks to the people who pitched my songs to those artists, producers and A & R folks: Ray and Barbara Baker, Doug Howard, Thad Tarlton, Doyle Brown, John Ragsdale, Pat Finch, Pat Higdon, Joe Fisher, and especially Matt Lindsey, and Leslie Barr!
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some folks, so … Thanks to each and every one of them!
When I started this section I had no idea it would be so long. Which just goes to show … it takes a lot of help! And I’m grateful for all of it!