Reunion with Durwood

Durwood and Scotty on the U.S.S. Valley Forge in 1950
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

After more than fifty years, Scotty Moore and Durwood Ramsey were reunited in early October, 2003. In November, 2002, Durwood watched a TV special on Elvis Presley, and thought he recognized Scotty Moore as the same person he played guitar with in 1950 on the USS Valley Forge aircraft carrier.  After seeing pictures taken on the Valley Forge ,  Durwood’s nephew, Rayford, located the Scotty Moore website and contacted Gail Pollard with an update on Durwood with his address and phone number. A month or so later, Durwood received a phone call from Scotty, and they kept in touch on a regular basis, until Scotty and Gail drove out to Charlotte Court House, VA to visit Durwood Oct. 2-6 (they celebrated Durwood’s birthday with a party on Oct.5).

Durwood and Scotty recreate a pose
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

On the sofa is Durwood, Julia (his wife), Kyle (his son) and Scotty.
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Scotty and Durwood played guitars together at a family dance hall near South Boston Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. These pictured were taken at Durwood’s home showing Scotty and Durwood, Gail, Julia (Durwood’s wife) and Kyle (Durwood’s son who plays base guitar). Other pictures were taken at the dance hall in South Boston , VA. It took them a long time, but finally two old friends were playing music together again!

Scotty restrings
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Gail and Scotty
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Durwood, Gail and Scotty
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Scotty and Durwood were interviewed by many local newspapers and radio stations, followed by articles and pictures about Scotty and Durwood’s reunion after fifty-three years! Scotty said they wanted to come back for another visit next summer!

 Durwood, Rayford and Scotty
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

I visited my uncle Durwood Ramsey during Christmas and borrowed these pictures taken between Oct. 2-6 2003 at the reunion of Durwood and Scotty after 50+ years. If you remember, they practiced together on the USS Valley Forge aircraft carrier in 1950.

Rayford Sowell 
Lynchburg, VA   January 1, 2004

Kyle, Scotty and Durwood play in South Boston, VA
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Scotty, Durwood and Kyle play in South Boston, VA
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Scotty and Durwood play in South Boston, VA
Photo courtesy D. Ramsey

Scotty and Durwood in South Boston, VAPhoto courtesy D. Ramsey

Photos in Durwood's home are in Charlotte Court House, VA, and those of Scotty and Durwood playing guitar are in South Boston, VA.

Just a note to let you know what a joy and honor is was to have you as a guest on WFLO-AM in Farmville, Va. on Friday, Oct. 3, 2003. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming as I have been a fan all my life. Hope you enjoyed the chatting we did. Folks are still talking about your being in Farmville. It was nice to see Durwood and to meet Gail. My son, Camden, was so impressed that you would sign his guitar and talk to him. When he was very young and expressed a desire to play guitar I brought home several works by guitarists who had impressed me as a young fellow. Among those were Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and of course, Scotty Moore. The selections of your work I chose for him to listen to were: Good Rockin' Tonight, Rip It Up and Little Sister. I told him to listen to every note, try and pick it out and then find his own style. He did and is a fine player today. It meant a lot for you to give him a little advice and sign his guitar. I'm listening to All the King's Men now. Great! Keep making the music. Guitar players love you. Radio loves you. Thanks for your part in changing the face of popular music and thank you for coming to Farmville and WFLO. Elliott lent me the book you signed for him. I'm devouring it now.

Take care, a fan always,
Francis Wood GM WFLO AM/FM 
Farmville, Va. - October 09, 2003

Bobby Clifton

Scotty Moore, Bobby Clifton and Durwood Ramsey on the USS Valley Forge (1950)
Photo © courtesy R. Sowell

On December 17, 2014 we received an email from Carol-Anne Hopkins of Riverton, WY who is the daughter of a former shipmate of Scotty and Durwood's. She identified him, Bobby Clifton, as the guitar player in the center of the photo aboard the USS Valley Forge in 1950.  It was nice to finally be able to complete the caption.  Bobby served on the ship from 1948 to 1952 in the boiler room. She asked if Scotty ever mentioned playing at the radio station in San Diego when the ship was docked there? She said, "Dad said the radio thing was him, Scotty, Billy Joe Ellis and another guy, just shipmates on leave doing something they liked. Wasn't a big deal, but it was a big ship and there were a lot of musicians on board!"

We were able to get her a couple prints of the photo for her Dad and herself. She noticed the ashtray full of cigarette butts, "(my dad smoked like a chimney, don't know about the other guys) and the cord for a strap...I was in my teens before he actually used a strap (don't know if someone gave it to him or finally shamed him into buying one)." Further, she said that Bobby now resides with his wife in Kingman, AZ and that music has always been an important part of his life.

Sadly, Durwood William Ramsey of Charlotte Court House, VA passed away on November 20, 2014 at the age of 89.

section added December 18, 2014


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