Larry Howard  
  Benefit Concert  

 

 

On September 22, 2016 "The Crazy Bull" in Macon Georgia hosted a benefit concert to raise money for Larry Howard; formerly of the band Grinderswitch.

In 1967 Larry teamed up with Dru Lombar, Rick Burnett and Joe Dan Petty to form the band Grinderswitch, later adding Steve Miller on keyboard.
Over the years they released six albums, several of which placed in the top 100.

Honest to Goodness (1974) Macon Tracks (1975)
Front and Back
Pullin' Together
(1976)
Redwing
(1977)
Right On Time
1980
Have Band, Will Travel
(1981)
       
  Joe Dan Petty - Rick Burnett - Steve Miller - Dru Lombar - Larry Howard     Rick Burnette - Larry Howard - Steve Miller - Dru Lombar - Joe Dan Petty  

 

In 1979 Larry felt that Grinderswitch has gone as far as they could go and left the band to pursue a career performing Gospel music. He released an additional six Gospel albums and became an ordained minister.
He frequently performed at prisons to bring the word of God to the inmates.

In 2016 Larry was diagnosed with liver cancer, and learned during treatment, it was inoperable.
At this time he is trying to gain just a little more time to be with his wife, Peggy.

 

I apologize for the quality of these pictures.
I went to the Crazy Bull without any intention of taking photographs, and all I had was a Canon pocket camera which I was not very familiar with.
Had I known I would create a web page, I would have taken a better camera.

Master of Ceremonies, Reverend Bruce Brookshire (formerly of Doc Holliday) Merle Torsdenson (Tory)
Roadie for Grinderswitch
Bobby Golden (L) and Jimmy Hall (R) of Stillwater
 
"Cowboy" rocks the stage.
Left to right are Tommy Talton - Scott Boyer and N.C. Thurman
The closing act consisted of members of Doc Holliday and Stillwater.
Unfortunately, I do not know everyone's names
Eddie Stone and Donna Hall
 
Bobby Golden
 
Eddie Stone
 
Paul Hornsby
 
Paul and Eddie
 
Eddie Stone
 
Bobby Golden
 
Danny Ford
 
Me (Bud Cranford) and Rob Walker
 

 

It was an interesting night.
I spent most of it trying to picture everyone as they looked 30 + years ago; back when I was a performing magician with a love of music.
Several did not remember me, but many did.

 

A couple of notes from my memories of these times;

My wife and I and a friend were trying to find Larry's house so we could be present when he married the love of his life, Peggy. Driving the backroads in Monroe County, Georgia, we feared we would not find the correct house, when I spotted a mailbox with a redwing blackbird perched on top. I joked "do you reckon that is it"? When I read the name, it was.
The Redwing had shown us the correct house.
For those unfamiliar with Grinderswitch, "Redwing" was the title of their most recent hit song.

As a magician, I was constantly serching for new elements for my act to increase its entertainment value and to increase my bookings.
I was fascinated by Fire-Eating and wanted to learn more about it, but in those pre-internet days I was unable to learn the necessary safeguards.
Having mentioned this to Larry, he replied that in his younger days, before his musical career, he had worked with a carnival and one of the performers had taught him the secrets of fire-eating.
Larry passed this information on to me and fire-eating became a feature of my act for the rest of my career.

For this alone, I will never forget you.