THE SKYROCKETS: Tunes and Personnel

The core of the Kendrick family group consisted of the following members:

  • Bob (Kendrick) Skyles -- Fiddle, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, and Mandolin
  • Sanford Kendrick -- Trumpet, Trombone, slide whistle, and "Bazooka"
  • Clifford Kendrick -- Drums
  • Brooke "Doc" Kendrick -- Guitar

These four were joined in one or more of the first three recording sessions in 1937-38 by:

  • Robert "Curly" Nichols -- Guitar
  • Dave Hughs -- Piano, Accordion, and Trumpet
  • Sparky Stiles or Ted Walls -- String Bass

The boy's father, "Doc" Kendrick, did not participate in the fourth session and the following were added:

  • Frank Wilmelm -- Accordion, Vibes, and Tuba
  • Max Bennett -- Piano

This latter group was basically the same personnel that recorded an additional 17 sides for Decca in 1940 and 1941.

Yes, the Skyrockets' catchy tunes and unusual accompaniment must have sold plenty of records.  Among the more intriguing titles:

  • She's Built Like A Great Big Fiddle
  • Lavender Cowboy
  • Wha-Cha Gonna Do When Your Wife Comes Home?
  • Country Cowbells
  • Swat The Love Bug
  • It's Bad To Be A Good Girl (When You're Nine Miles Out of Town)

Great titles, huh?  Corny?  Who could deny it?  As a keen observer of the contemporary Texas scene, songwriter Bob even managed to come up with the following lines for a tune entitled "Rodeo Ann":

She's not the kind like a Sally Rand,

who would dance with a fan.

She's a kind of an old pal,

that likes to dance with the band.

The famous fan dancer Sally Rand opened a "nude show" at the 1936 Frontier Exposition in Fort Worth.

She also appeared in Dallas at the 1936 Texas Centennial State Fair.  "Rodeo Ann" was recorded in San Antonio in April, 1938.

So much great stuff.  SO much great stuff.  And yet the major record labels seemingly have no interest in re-releasing these wonderful recordings.  So what's a fellow to do?   All hope is not lost.  I am aware that a couple of serious collectors are in a position to produce a reissue of their own, if only they can be motivated so to do.

Go back to the Bob Skyles page.

© 1998 by James R. Lowe, who reserves all rights to the content of this page not successfully claimed by others.