Vintage Guitar - July 2018 - open - 98
s a high-school student and
emerging guitarist in Houston in the early '60s, John
Andrews couldn't get a club gig without
knowing "Okie Dokie Stomp." The famed
track by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
was the most requested instrumental
on the Gulf Coast club circuit at the
time - more, even, than Bill Doggett's
"Okie Dokie Stomp" was a
hit for Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown in 1954.
Photo courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Gatemouth Brown was a local who started
playing guitar professionally in the mid
'40s, inspired by T-Bone Walker to move
from behind his drum kit to center
stage with his DeArmond-equipped
A strange twist of fate saw Brown
make a name for himself by jumping
onstage after Walker - a blues superstar
at the time - fell ill midway through a
set at The Bronze Peacock in '47. Sensing fellow Houstonians were growing
restless with the wait, Brown shouldered
Walker's guitar and launched into a jam
that later became "Gatemouth Boogie."
Walker eventually returned, but, seeing
the young man holding his own with the
crowd, ceded time in the spotlight.
The performance spurred club owner