North Texas lost one of its finest musicians, Rodney Garrison, just recently and just like his career in music, his personal life remained just under the radar, never seeking the spotlight. Doing a good job whether anyone noticed or not was the way Rodney worked.
Rodney spent years on stage with such Texas music notables as Willie Nelson, Rusty Weir, and B. W. Stevenson. I called one other Texas legend, Gary P. Nunn, and asked if he had any memories he could share about Rodney Garrison. And did he! He even wrote my article for this month!
Here’s what Gary sent me:
I had the privilege to know Rodney Garrison back in the days when he was still in High School in Iowa Park, Texas. He and my brother Steve Nunn were friends and running buddies, bonded by their mutual interest in music. There was a five or six-year difference in our ages and he always seemed to grant me the respect of his elder. He was very interested in music and as I had several years of music experience and somewhat of a track record, he was always eager to spend time with me, ask questions, and listen and learn.
A couple of years later, he showed up in Austin, a bright, young, eager face and loaded with musical talent! He quickly landed a gig in town as he was a naturally gifted bass player. Fate would have it that we were roommates in a band house sharing a big house with the Lavender Hill Express on 22nd Street just off UT campus and a few blocks east of UT’s memorial stadium.
We became separated when I took up with Michael Martin Murphey, and rarely did our paths cross after that, but I always kept up with him after he moved back to north Texas through musician friends, as he was actively involved in the lively music scene in the Wichita Falls area that revolved around Mark Murphey, Mike McAdoo, Luke Robinson, Christie Stone Beauchamp, Mike Franklin, Jeff Ayers, Robin Mikalunas, Mike O’Neill, and Johnny Divine and his recording studio, just to name a few.
I had the good fortune to visit with Rodney a few weeks before his passing. It was as though the many years that have passed were reduced to a few days. We had a lively visit, retelling stories of those days gone by. His voice sounded like it always did, and he broke in to full belly laughter on several occasions. He knew his days were numbered, but he was still full of good- natured humor.
I will always remember Rodney Garrison as that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young gentleman who was eager to please, took on tasks with good cheer, and possessed all the fine qualities that would make his mother and father, his wife and his children proud to call their own.
In loving memory,
Gary P Nunn
Those are some touching words from the Designated Official Ambassador (of Texas music) to the World and songwriter extraordinaire. I’d like to thank Gary P. for taking the time to remember Rodney Garrison. His friends and family truly appreciate that.
As for Rodney, we hope you know how much you were loved and appreciated by your friends and family. We love you Rodney. What a blessing you have been.