Chuck Wiginton - The Unknown Bass Player

Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:00 am

The dedicated Presley fan, looking at the first decade of his career (1954-1964), certainly knows these bass players:

Bill Black - SUN and RCA sessions
Bob Moore - Nashville sessions, plus live
Ray Siegel - Hollywood sessions

And may even know these names:

Neal Matthews - Jordanaires member, occasional fill-in
Myer Rubin - "Love Me Tender," "Wild In The Country"

But -- what of the fellow who played the 1957 Tupelo Benefit show?

Scotty and Bill had (temporarily) left over a money dispute, with Nashville guitar ace Hank Garland filling in for Moore. In Black's place management found a friend of drummer D.J. Fontana: a fellow named Chuck Wiginton of Dallas, Texas.

In nearly half a century, there's never apparently been a clear image published of Wiggington that night in Mississippi. Yet, this VERY evening, while flipping through Elvis No. 1 (JAT, 2000) -- boom!

There he is!


Image


Although misidentified in the book as "Bob Moore," it's indeed Chuck, taken at the only show he ever played with Elvis, September 27, 1957.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:31 am

Here is a part shot of Chuck:-

http://www.roysfootprints.com/royscareer.html

Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:58 am

Interesting -- but you cannot really see Chuck at all.

The Tupelo image is excellent -- Wiginton appears awed by Elvis' presence.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

WIGGY

Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:08 pm

If I remember rightly, "Elvis the man and his music" magazine featured an interview with Wiggy in a recent-ish issue?

Sun Jan 14, 2007 3:34 am

Interesting -- does anyone know if this is true? And, if so, which issue did it appear in?

Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:50 am

Hello,
you will find that interview in the march 2002 issue.

Thanks, ekenee

Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:11 am

ekenee wrote:....you will find that interview in the march 2002 issue.

Thanks! Can anyone scan the photo in "Elvis No. 1"?

Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:22 am

Here you go:

Image

I also scanned the interview from M&HM, but I don't think they would be very happy if it appeared online... :wink:

Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:01 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:The dedicated Presley fan, looking at the first decade of his career (1954-1964), certainly knows these bass players:

But -- what of the fellow who played the 1957 Tupelo Benefit show?


A while ago, it was interesting to find out that he was either credited as Chuck Wiggington or Chuck Wiggins.
Below you will find some pictures and website references - when he was a member of 'Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys'.

The first picture credits Chuck as Chuck Wigginton- (same pic as posted earlier):

Image
Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys (1949)

Front row, left to right: Gene Schuler, Electric Banjo; Pee Wee King, Accordian; Redd Stewart, Fiddle; Shorty Boyd, Fiddle; Roy Ayres, Steel Guitar. Back row, left to right: Gene Stewart, Bass; Harold McDonald, Drums; Gene Engel, Piano Hidden behind Pee Wee: Chuck Wigginton, Guitar
Source: http://www.roysfootprints.com/royscareer.html

The second and third picture are from the Western Swing Journal - however credit Chuck as Chuck Wiggins:

Image
Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys
Pee Wee King, Bobby Koefer at the drums, behind Bobby Gene Engle, Terry Tichy, Chuck Wiggins, Red Harron-fiddle, "Sticks" MacDonald holding the bass and Red Stewart:
Source: http://www.westernswingjournal.com/images/peewee.jpg

The third picture:

Image
Pee Wee King and the Golden West Cowboys
Pee Wee King, Gene Engle piano, Chuck Wiggins take-off guitar, Redd Stewart fiddle and vocals, Neal Burris rhythm guitar and vocals, Shorty Boyd fiddle, Sticks MacDonald drums, Terry Tichy take-off guitar, Gene Stewart bass and vocals and Bobby Koefer steel guitar.
Source: http://members.aol.com/IbeTexan/next1.html


As former band members confirmed that Chuck Wiggins and Chuck Wiggington (even Wigington) are one and the same person, the names as listed on the last picture seem to confirm that his real name is Chuck Wiggins.

Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:57 am

Thanks everyone for the great replies on this topic.

Here's a larger version of the photo on page 99 of "Elvis No. 1":

Image

[Thanks for your initial scan, Scott Hayward.]

The interview in TMAHM #55 (March 2002) is brief but interesting. The gig was a one-off for Chuck, who was called in by DJ directly and signed no contract -- it was a verbal agreement. Let's hope he got paid. After the show he went back to his day job at a Dallas bank!

And Chuck confirmed his last name is spelled "Wiginton." I've corrected my misspellings above, just to be proper!

[E-Cat, those other names you found might have been stage monikers.]

Thanks again, everyone.

Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:09 am

Very interesting info and pics guys, much appreciated!

Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:17 am

Joe Car wrote:Very interesting info and pics guys, much appreciated!

You're very welcome, Joe!

Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:07 am

Nice work, gents :!:

Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:13 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Nice work, gents ...

I do what I can ...