From Jan, 1957
through Jan, 1961 I served in the US Navy. Fortunately, after basic training, I
got to spend my entire hitch aboard the USS Jason, designated ARH1 and later
changed to AR8. During those years I met a lot of great guys from all parts of
our great land and the years I spent on this fine old ship were very memorable -
the memories lasting.
Aboard the Jason we had a "ship's band" and we
called ourselves the Silver Strands. We played not only at ship's functions but
also at enlisted men's clubs, officers clubs and civilian nightclubs. We were
Rockabilly and Country and the crowds loved our singing and playing as much as
we loved performing.
A couple of years ago, while cleaning out some old
boxes, I found a small reel-to-reel tape recording. It was the Silver Strands
band doing a performance in Hiroshima, Japan. I doubted it would still be
playable after more than 50 years, but to my surprise it sounded very good, as
though it were just recorded.
For the shipmates of the USS Jason,
especially those that were there from 1957 to 1961, I present to you an actual
recording of our band, recorded in 1958 while on liberty in Japan. I have
enhanced it only a little to simulate the place we played the most ... the EM
Club in Sasebo, Japan.
Here's to the crew of the "Jolly J" ... thanks for
being there for us!