I got my first trumpet when I was nine years old. I lived across the street from Mt Pleasant, Texas senior high school band hall. the band director, Neil McKay, a fine trumpet player, gave me a beginner book to learn the fingering and counting of time. this is how I learned to play trumpet. An old black man who used to plow mother’s garden heard me tooting on my horn while he was plowing, and I went to his house on his wagon. He pulled and old case from under his bed and got an old cornet out of it. He started playing blues on it and that is when I really got the desire to play trumpet. I listened to him play blues and it was good for an old dude to sound that good, or it sounded good to me. We moved to Texarkana in 1942 and I lived six or eight blocks from school. I played my horn walking to school and back almost every day. I got my first trumpet when I was nine years old. I lived across the street from Mt Pleasant, Texas senior high school band hall. the band director, Neil McKay, a fine trumpet player, gave me a beginner book to learn the fingering and counting of time. When I got to Texas Jr. High School, I got in beginner band. I guess I must have done good because they put me in the high school band playing 4th trumpet. Betty Roberts played a solo on at the games. She became a cheerleader and quit the band

. I learned the solo practicing in the band hall and the band director heard me and told me to play at the games …being a big show off, this was my start. The biggest influence in my music came from Jerry Atkins when he let me play in his band and encouraged me with my music. When I was 16, I got a call from Don Knowlton at Club Dallas for me to play. I could play the charts so that worked well for a while. One night, playing “Talk of the Town, I started hearing the different sounds in my head and started adlibbing. The guys in the band said I did good and encouraged me to keep it up. From there I went to the Hut Club and played there 11 years. I went to Alaska and played in Anchorage in a black club with a trio and that really helped. From there I went to Fresno, California and played with three of the original Los Angeles Dixieland musicians. While there my friend Kelly Posey took me to hear Bob Wills and Bob’s trumpet player was not with him anymore. I got to sit in with them and played my Dixieland style. I worked with him several times while there. We decided to come home and left on a Saturday. I was going to audition for Lawrence Welk, but my wife wanted to have her baby at home, so we left Fresno. Got home and we started a group called the Variables. Pat Cupp on guitar and bass and vocals, Bill Manning on drums, Bob Cargile on piano and bass trumpet and me on trumpet, trombone and electric bass. We played together for over 30 years and it was the best time of our lives. I still miss those days. Manning and Cargile are gone but Pat and I played some together just for fun. I am 88 now and still play with the Bryan Foreman trio. Play every Sunday at church, too. I feel God gave me this talent and when I play, I try my best to play what is a pleasing sound for the public. They kid me sometimes and say when I get to heaven I probably will holler “watch out Gabriel, your replacement is here!”

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