Falling in Love at Club 15

Written by John McElligott

Club 15 for a Terminal Termite like me, with only one pair of dress pants, was like dying and going to heaven. I remember the first time I saw Dennis Grubb. I was in the 9th grade at the C15, and I was on my tiptoes trying to get cheek to cheek with Cathie Blackaller. Dennis, with his short stature, was looking under some beautiful blonde’s armpit and he winked at me. Well, I did not know Dennis then, but thought he was doing an ear move on her chest just as I was on Cathie’s cheek. Boy oh! Boy! I thought this must be love! So, I took my photographic memory back to 4th grade with Susan O’Neil and then 6th grade with Janet Seawright and decided that Club 15 was the real deal!

Now do you remember that feeling when you tall guys had your cheek on the 5 foot nothing good looking girl like Lynne S. ? Well, for us shorter guys it was the upper chest or tiptoeing to the chin or the cheek. What a buzz it gave me! I also remember when I looked up at Jimmy Mac (McClendon). He was cross-eyed dancing with the queen of the Hop, Cathy C. So, Club 15 was like dying  and going to heaven every Friday Night. 

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RIP- Cathie Blackaller

Click below to listen to My Girl Cadillac by Dennis Grubb

Written by Dennis Grubb

The song is entitled “My Girl Cadillac” that I wrote for her, and in her honor! It was not too long thereafter that she got cancer and became sick, so I am forever thankful that she at least got to hear the original rough version of the song before I went to Nashville and recorded it. Unfortunately, by the time it was released, she had just passed on, so I was totally heartbroken that she didn’t get to hear the finished recorded version. But knowing my dear, sweet Cathie, she’s probably still tapping her toes to it….just a positive, never down girl.
Cathie had been given the nickname “Cadillac” by a dear male friend of hers, who was from Houston and used to manage the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas (what a great, quaint place it is too). He and I were having a drink in the hotel bar one night, began talking about music, and of course Cathie, when he referred to her as “Cadillac”. So, I immediately thought to myself, THAT NICKNAME FITS HER PERFECTLY!
I couldn’t wrap my mind around a song entitled “Cadillac Cathie”, so I began working on a story line about a girl nicknamed Cadillac, who also drove a Cadillac Convertible and then began to physically describe both her and the car within the same lyrics!!! I thought that would make for a fun, commercial soundbite. The song turned out well, thanks in part to the stellar Nashville musicians I had playing on the sessions for this song, along with my other songs, that I recorded there at the same time. The entire sessions took us almost a week. All the songs were recorded and mixed in Dolly Parton’s cousin’s (Richie) studio.
The musicians that recorded on all of the songs on my CD, and “My Girl Cadillac were as follows:

Johnny Lauffer – Dolly Parton’s keyboardist

Eugene Moles – Former lead guitar player for both Merle Haggard and Buck Owens

David Pomoroy – Bass Player and #1 premier studio bass player in Nashville, also President of the Nashville Musicians Union

Billy “The Foot” Thomas – Drummer for Vince Gill and former member of McBride and The Ride.

Al Perkins – My former bandmate in The Mystics, and now a Member of the Steel Guitar Player’s Hall of Fame

My oldest and closest musician friend, Al Perkins, (who was originally from Odessa Permian -1962), and in my band “The Mystics”back in 1961-64) was the studio session leader and was responsible in getting all of the great musicians together to help record my songs. Al himself is famous in his own right, having been a member of Steven Still’s “Manassas” Band, The Souther, Furay, Hillman Band, Kenny Roger’s band, Emmylou Harris’ infamous Nash Ramblers and Dolly Parton’s band. He’s recorded with every famous person or group you can imagine, from James Taylor to The Rolling Stones, and he’s been inducted into the Steel Guitar Player’s Hall of Fame. We had Dolly Parton’s Keyboard player, Vince Gill’s Drummer, and former member of McBride and The Ride, Merle Haggard’s lead guitar player and Nashville’s top studio recording bass player. And to this day, I am still in constant contact with all of them, and in some cases, have produced shows where they were performing with some of the groups mentioned above.
Cathie would have loved them all and viceversa! I was in hopes I could take her to Nashville when we recorded, but sadly, she became weaker, and it just didn’t happen. Can’t tell you how much I loved her and miss her, especially every time I hear this song, and even the others. Cathie was definitely, “My Girl Cadillac”.