Donald Ray Hearon


Below: Don Ray & Hobbit with The Soul Queens (1973)

Donald Ray Hearon was born in Ozan, Arkansas but moved to Texas when he was three weeks old. Don grew up in Floydada, Texas. He began performing at the age of 8. "My Mother played guitar and taught me a lot about music. I started playing the piano at age 7 for two years, at the time I loved sports more," Don recalls. "I was a star basketball player, baseball, and ran tracks." He moved to El Paso, Texas, where he enlisted basic training. After his service he returned to El Paso to start his professional music career performing with the Chessman. After three years with the Chessman he formed his own group called Hobbit in the early 70s.

 

Members of the band were Donald "Don Ray" Hearon (singer and keyboards), Paul Quattlebaum (singer and Bass), Jamie Sanchez (singer and guitar), Johnny O (singer and guitar) and Rocky Cachon (drummer). Don Ray & Hobbit toured the southwest, performing at nightclubs and special occasions for two years. By this time they recorded their three 45s for the Aslon Label. Don named his Aslon records after his mother and father.

 

Above: The Hobbit (L-R) - Paul Quattlebaum (bass), Jamie Sanchez (guitar), Donald Ray Hearon (piano), Rocky Cochon (drums) and Johnny O (guitar)

While touring the southwest, Don decided to attend college. Shortly after the band returned to El Paso, he stopped playing out and went to East Texas State University to learn to write and arrange music, professionally. After college Don returned to El Paso where he worked as a performer and a songwriter. He reorganized his old group but changed their name to Nature's Own Revue. They were immediately hired by the Holiday Inn in Silver City, New Mexico where Don spent the next two years performing and writing songs before he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1977.

 

*Liner Notes with the help of Donald Ray Hearon and Paul Quattlebaum

Above: Don Ray & Hobbit with The Soul Queens

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