Long Over Due
J.P. Mayton J. P. was born in Blackstone, VA in 19_ _ (and none of your business). He attended school in Petersburg, VA. He developed an early love of music and loved to entertain. While growing up, he regularly sang at area dances with local musicians. J.P.'s sister, Carrie, who had a beautiful voice, often accompanied him. When J.P. was 17, he joined the U.S. Navy and served 4 years. During that period of time, he sang and played guitar in the ships' band. He also was on the boxing team in the Navy. After returning home from the Navy, J.P. formed a group called "The Ambassadors". This was a seven piece group which consisted of J.P-vocals, Ron Gholson-guitar, Buddy Ross-Clarinet and saxophone, Charlie Puckett-trombone, Frank Bryant-drums, George Stamos-bass, and Johnny Montgomery-piano. The Ambassadors became widely known around the Richmond and Petersburg area, performing for country clubs, barmitzvahs, officers' clubs, and on military bases. J.P. also made personal appearances at military bases for Art Penusis, Director of Entertainment at Fort Lee, VA. J.P. also formed a second group known as the Rock-A-Billys, a southern rock band. This group consisted of Ron Gholson, George Stamos, Alvin "Bugs" Bordeaux, Calvin Newman, Frank Bryant and J.P. Both groups were constantly booked and took great pride in entertaining to packed houses. If J.P. had any free nights, he would entertain with a local group from South Hill, VA. This group consisted of Kennon Snead, Gerald Snead, Norman Ball and Cleo Burner. Each year, a Country Music Festival was held in Crewe, VA to pick the state champions in all categories. The Rock-A-Billys won the top honors for best group, 7 years in a row. Ron Gholson also won for best guitarist, Calvin Newman for best fiddler, and J.P. for top vocal. J.P. just couldn't stay away from the musical industry. He was a disc jockey in Hopewell, VA, for WHAP. He had his own show every Sunday morning called, "Sunday in the Country". He still finds this to be one of the most enjoyable times of his life. He played guitar, read poetry, did recitations, and sang good gospel songs. In Bristol, TN. under the direction of Don McGraw, J.P. cut his first record, "Maybe I'm Losing You" and "It's Been a Long Time." I think everyone knew that J.P. would eventually move to Nashville, TN to pursue the advancement of his musical career. He cut a record with Starday Record Company called "My Heart's My Daily Reminder" and "Two Little Drops of Water". The session was directed by Pete Wade and Tommy Hill and the vocal backup singers were the Jordanairs. The song, "My Hearts' My Daily Reminder" was written by Dottie and Bill West. This song gave J.P. The opportunity to fulfill his life long dream of appearing on the stage of "The Grand Ole Opry". J.P. appeared on TV shows, The Eddie Hill Show, The Ralph Emery Show, etc. And performed on the road with many of the Opry Stars and musicians. Since being an entertainer did not always pay the bills, J.P. went to work for the Anhueiser Busch Distributor in Nashville, The Ajax Turner Company, as the General Sales Manager. It was J.P.'s job to entertain his customers while promoting the products. He took them bar hopping, to play golf, to ballgames, fishing, etc. And was a familiar face in most all bars and nightclubs in the Nashville area where he still got the chance to sing from time to time. J.P. has written many songs and said his job influenced a lot of drinking songs such as "Feeling Single and Seeing Double" and "Seatbelts on the Barstool". A lot of acquaintances just called him "The Bud Man". After retiring, J.P. was encouraged to cut a CD. His friend and owner of Dog Ear Studios, Jamie LaRitz, set up a session where he recorded a CD which consists of 10 original songs he wrote. One of the singles, "Seatbelts on the Barstool" was released on a Hot Disc in Europe, where it stayed in the top 20 for several months. He received great reviews from France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, etc. If you don't want to hear J.P. sing, don't hand him a mic or guitar. He has a busy schedule entertaining at different venues, but always finds time to donate his time and talent when he is needed to entertain for nursing homes or fund raisers for children. There is no doubt in anyone's mind, that he still has the talent and a voice as smooth as a twenty year old. Don't miss the opportunity to hear or see him perform, if you get a chance.