Jay Boy Adams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jay Boy Adams
Born James Wallace Adams
(1949-12-08) December 8, 1949 (age 68)
Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas, United States
Residence Lubbock, Comfort, Kendall County, Texas
Alma mater Colorado City High School, University of North Texas, Texas Tech University
Occupation Musician; vocalist, businessman
Spouse(s) Mary F. Adams
Website http://www.jayboyadams.com/

James Wallace "Jay Boy" Adams (born December 8, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Lubbock and San Antonio, Texas, known particularly for storytelling in his songs.

Early years[edit]

Adams was born in Fort Worth but reared in Colorado City, the seat of Mitchell County south of Snyder in West Texas, where his father was the local Chevrolet dealer and a rancher.[1] Upon graduation in 1967 from Colorado City High School, he entered the University of North Texas at Denton, then North Texas State University, which is known for its arts and music curricula. There one of his English classmates was Don Henley, later with the Eagles. Adams also met Gary Nicholson while at NTSU. Adams went to Dallas, to hear the guitarist Bugs Henderson, who played an impact on Adams's musical development. He fondly credits the late nights spent listening to Henderson for the neglect of his college studies.[2]

With hopes of a musical career of his own, Adams left UNT after two years and moved to Houston. There he met John Carrick whose mother was the owner of Sand Mountain Coffee House. His first solo performing was at Sand Mountain along with Carrick, Bobbie Jo Gentry, Jerry Jeff Walker and others. Adams and Carrick formed "Hayseed" a short lived band experimenting with original songs and then performing in and around Houston and at Alan's Landing. Once there, Adams met the guitarist Billy Gibbons of The Moving Sidewalks, and played at The Cellar.[2] In late 1969 he moved to Midland where he joined the house band at The Chateau Club led by Johnny Heartsman. Adams credited Heartsman as a major influence. He attended Howard College, a community college in Big Spring, Texas, with the goal of improving his grade-point average so that he could re-enter a university. Meanwhile, he lost his draft deferment during the Vietnam War.[3]

In March 1972, Steve Moss, a friend secured Adams a spot with the ZZ Top band in Lubbock. That summer he gained entry to Texas Tech University in Lubbock to study music and English. ZZ Top's manager, Bill Ham, soon invited Adams to play for the band at the Municipal Auditorium in Dallas. By 1976, Adams had signed with Atlantic Records, which in 1977 released his first music. After two albums Atlantic did not renew his contract. Late 1980 manager Bill Ham sent Adams to Capricorn Records in Macon, GA to record. His last recordings were done there with Paul Hornsby producing. Early 1981 before the album was completed Capricorn Records filed bandruptsy. Probably his best unfinished work to date was locked away in the legal vault. He and his band continued to perform and tour but by 1982 Adams had had enough and withdrew from the music scene. Adams is known for his ability for storytelling in song, a mixture of blues, rock and roll, country, and folk music. In those years, Adams often spent more than half of the year in concert tours.[2] He performed not only with ZZ Top, but the Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Joe Cocker, and many others. In the Cocker band for a time was a saxophone player, Bobby Keys, originally from Slaton in Lubbock County, who began touring with many bands as a young teenager. Keys and Adams had not previously met but toured together for a time with Cocker.[3] It had been years since Bobby Keys had seen Lubbock. Adams invited Keys to return and play with his band at the first Joe Ely Tornado Jam.

Later career[edit]

By 1982, faced with mounting family obligations, Adams left the music business and avoided music clubs and concerts for most of the following fifteen years. Instead, he operated and still maintains the company, Roadhouse Transportation, which leases touring coaches to such celebrity singers as Celine Dion, ZZ Top, and Bruce Springsteen and even the Dallas Cowboys. He did for a time make a few annual musical appearances in Lubbock and in 1986 played there at the Cattle Baron’s Ball with Reba McEntire. He moved his family to a ranch in the Texas Hill Country and his business to the town of Comfort in Kendall County, part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area. One evening Adams and his wife, Mary F. Adams, attended a show in San Antonio to hear the musician Lee Roy Parnell, who invited Adams to join him on stage. Thereafter, Adams's desire to perform in public was rekindled and became irresistible.[2]

In 1999, Adams joined George Strait's national tour. He toured Europe with the Tejano group, the Texas Tornados. He became the co-manager of the popular singer Pat Green, whom Adams met when Green came looking for touring accommodations. By 2007, Adams released the album "The Shoe Box", which reached No. 5 on the Americana chart. The album offers ten new Adams selections and three from the late 1970s. "The Shoe Box" produced three top 10 single songs the Texas Music Chart, where it was posted for some two years. Singer Stephen Stills, an avid listener of "The Shoe Box," declared Adams "a great musician and a storyteller in the true Texas tradition" and invited him to join Stills' national tour.[2]

In 2005, Adams was featured on Bob Phillips's Texas Country Reporter syndicated television anthology series, with an explanation for his return to professional music.[4]

On March 12, 2011, Adams performed in concert at the landmark Texas Theater in Sweetwater in Nolan County, near his hometown of Colorado City. It was the first concert in some seventy years at that facility, which had originally been designed for musical programs but converted to films after its opening.[2]

The current lineup of Adams' band, The Roadhouse Scholars, include Sam Hendricks on Hammond B3 and piano, Mark Butzirus on drums, and Ronnie Leatherman on bass guitar. It is commonplace to see other musicians join Adams on stage. Currently Adams splits his time between Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and plays regularly when in Santa Fe with a host of local and transplanted musicians from various parts of the USA. He is frequently seen performing in most of the popular night spots in Santa Fe that include El Farol, Evangelo's, and The Cowgirl.

The Opera House in Colorado City, Texas, where Adams has occasionally performed in the community where he was reared

Adams is an artist through Wounded Bird Records. He has recently joined forces with other musical veterans in the rock group, Brothers of the Southland which include key members from southern rock pioneers The Outlaws, The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, The Black Crowes, and new comer Bo Bice.[1] Though his touring coach business is based in Kendall County (San Antonio), Adams kept Lubbock as his musical home. "Lubbock is the capital of West Texas. There has been so much talent come out of there, and really . . . none of it has been very commercial. Buddy Holly wasn't commercial when he [first] came out of there."[3] Among those to whom Adams was referring was Don Allison, an area musician associated with various genres of music and a long-time producer at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock, where Adams has also frequently performed.[5]


  • Jay Boy Adams (1977) US No. 210
  • Fork In The Road (1978)
  • The Shoe Box (2007)
  • Let It Go (2014)


  1. ^ a b "Jay Boy Adams biography". jayboyadams.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Jay Boy Adams to perform at Texas Theater". Sweetwater Reporter, March 5, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Interview: Jay Boy Adams". virtuallubbock.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jay Boy Adams". texascountryreporter.com, May 28, 2005. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ "William Kerns, Lubbock musician Don Allison loses battle with cancer at age 49: Musician Don Allison lost four-year battle with cancer and died Tuesday", May 25, 2011". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved September 3, 2011.