W.S. “Fluke” Holland
After the success of “Blue Suede Shoes” began to wane around 1959, W.S. planned to “retire” from the music business and get a job back in Jackson where he and his wife Joyce lived. Just before reporting to a new job working for a land surveyor in 1960, W.S. got a call from Johnny Cash. Cash had two important dates booked up north and wanted him to go along and play drums on this two week trip. What started as a two week gig turned into almost 40 years with The Man in Black.
During his career with Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three, W.S. played on most of their records including the mega hits Folsom Prison Blues, Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, Boy Named Sue and others. He can be heard on live albums including At Folsom Prison, Live at San Quentin and the famous Dylan/Cash Sessions. Fluke was the first drummer to ever play a full set of drums on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry when it was still at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Serving as road manager for the Cash organization was another capacity in which Fluke worked in his career and was the only drummer Johnny Cash ever had. He stayed with the Cash organization until 1997, when health problems caused Johnny to retire from the music business. Johnny Cash is credited with giving Fluke the name “The Father of the Drums” and would introduce him from the stage as such.
While his place in music history is documented in books and celebrated by his peers, many fans believe that Holland has received far less recognition than his other contemporaries, including Presley’s drummer, D.J. Fonatna, who in fact was not yet playing with Presley when Holland played on Blue Suede Shoes.
Not well-known also to the general public, is that W.S. had other important contributions to rock ‘n’ roll and country, including discovering Carl Mann and playing drums on Mann’s Mona Lisa, bringing the Statler Brothers to Cash’s attention, and, recording with luminaries from Johnny Horton to Marty Stuart.
When the Beatle “Big Bang” happened in 1964 Ron says he was, like so many of his friends at the time, changed forever. Instantly he knew he wanted to become a musician after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show that year. After receiving a Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar on his thirteenth birthday in February of 1964 he became determined to learn to play it.
His first public gig paid just a little over $12.00, but it was enough to convince him to pursue music with a passion that still drives him today.
Broadcasting has been a huge part of Ron Haney’s professional career since 1975. He has worked in all aspects of radio including programming, on-air, sales/sales management and station management. His easy, non-invasive, conversational style of interviewing guests has made him a sought-after show host for almost 4 decades.
Ron is not only a musician but a proficient songwriter with numerous published songs, a producer/arranger, singer and recording artist having written/recorded/released several projects over his career. He has toured extensively across the country with various bands and produces the W.S. Holland Band currently.
“I saw W.S. Holland in person for the first time in 1968 at a Johnny Cash concert and remember very distinctly being totally impressed with his unique style of playing drums. In my wildest dreams I never would have thought that here some forty plus years later, after playing in numerous rock, blues and soul bands all these years, I would be on the road with W.S. and leading this fine group of excellent musicians. Life can sure take some interesting turns, to say the least” Ron says with a huge grin.