By: Don Byers – Guest Blogger
In the Fall of 2011, Friends Wendell Patterson, Don Byers and Tim Mustin were sitting on the porch at their favorite home-away –from home, The Lodge at Copperhead, mulling the possibilities of uniting as a band and maybe doing a few gigs around the tri-state area of GA, TN, and NC. The decision was made for them when friend Michelle Evans, The Lodge at Copperhead, asked them to get together and perform at the ground-breaking for the Veterans Memorial being built on the grounds there. After a couple of rehearsals, Kiyo Clendaniel joined up and the group was complete. Wendell suggested the name “Crazy Heart”, after his favorite movie. The others thought that would be a good name so “Crazy Heart” they are.
The group performs some old country, blues, classic rock, pop, Texas music, and some original songs written by members of the band. All four sing lead and Tim and Kiyo also do excellent harmonies. All members have performed professionally for many years before settling in the mountains. For booking info call Wendell Patterson at 706-897-3698, Don Byers at 770-402-4902, or Tim Mustin at 828-361-4767.
About The Band Members:
Kiyo Clendaniel – Kiyo grew up in Tokyo, Japan, listening to Hand Williams music. When she was 18 years old, she accompanied a girlfriend to her singing lesson. While there, Kiyo was approached by a talent agent and asked to audition right then. The result was a recording contract with Teichiku Recording Company, an affiliate of the USA Label, Decca Records. After one year of preparation, several American and British Pop Songs were selected, and recorded in the Japanese language and released in Japan.
Kiyo was selected by her label to present Brenda Lee with flowers onstage at Brenda’s very first appearance in Japan. Being acquainted with and being onstage with Brenda Lee and other American Decca Artists gave her great exposure and experience leading to her becoming a popular recording artist in Japan.
With the songs she recorded, she made a lot of appearances both on TV and onstage and eventually became emcee for a popular radio music program in Japan.
Due to her love for American Country Music she left Teichiku Records when her contract expired and joined a Japanese Country and Western Band and toured U.S. Military bases in Japan and Taiwan.
After her marriage, her husband’s job took them to Tucson, Arizona where she did guest appearance at C&W Clubs and other events. They then moved to Bakersfield, California, Country Music Center for the West Coast and home base for Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and many other recording artists. Kiyo joined the popular J. R. Sanders Band and performed at private parties, country clubs, and Bakersfield TV Shows as well as benefit shows such as “Toys for Tots.”
In 1983, with a new husband she moved to Phoenix, Arizona until 2007, when they moved to Blairsville, GA. Kiyo, a big fan of Patsy Cline, because a founding member of the band “Crazy Heart” in 2011. She does lead vocals, harmony and percussion in the band.
Wendell Patterson – Wendell grew up in Union Country Georgia in a family of singers and musicians. His father, Clyde, was a gospel singer and teacher as well as an accomplished fiddle player. Uncle Claude was a singer and teacher and Aunt Beulah Mae and her daughters performed as the Pettit Family.
Wendell grew up listening to the WSM Grand Ole Opry’s Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb as well as Nashville’s other bi wattage station, WLAC. From WLAC Wendell listened to a younger B.B King and Howlin’ Wolf. This led to a taste in very diverse music genres.
He started out playing rhythm guitar and he and friend Don Byers teamed up to play back-up for several singing groups at Union County High School winning several talent contests.
Wendell switched to electric bass when his friend returned from the Army and they soon were playing clubs in the Atlanta area and backing such artists as rockabilly singer Buddy Knox. After going their separate ways musically Wendell worked Atlanta Clubs as well as working as a studio bass player and playing on many Atlanta recordings. He and Steve Getzman, who became drummer for the band “Exile,” did a year long stint at the prestigious “Earl’s Place” in Atlanta. And, yes Wendell was required to wear a tux at “Earl’s.”
After doing some road work with a traveling band, Wendell moved back him with his family to the old hometown where he immediately went to work with local bands. In the mid eighties Wendell and some friends formed “The Rubber Band.” They recorded an album entitled “Facing the Music” using several original songs written by band members and friend Don Byers. Several cuts from their album received airplay and lots of work for the band.
After this group went their separate ways Wendell and son Andy, a very talented drummer, worked in several back-up bands in North GA, including back-up for Nashville artist, Craig Collins. Wendell has been in a band that worked Anderson Music Hall in Hiwassee and has opened for such people as The Bellamy Brothers, Gene Watson, Brad Paisley and many Grand Ole Opry Artists.
Recently Wendell has released two CD’s of mostly original music and is currently working on his third.
In 2011, Wendell and friends formed the band “Crazy Heart.” And last but best; Wendell will be placed in the “Hall of Honor Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame” in December 2011. He has paid his dues well.
Don Byers – Don spent his childhood in Union County, GA. Both his grandfathers were musicians. He got his first guitar lesson from neighbor Billy Burnett about 1952 and his first heroes were singer/songwriters such as Hank Williams. Also, people who got his attention were guitarists such as Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. So with help of his thumb-picking cousin, the legendary JR. Mauney, he developed a style of guitar playing similar to them. Another cousin, the well-known square dance caller, Ray Mauney showed Don some chords in the early days.
Don and his friend Wendell Patterson listened to Country, Rockabilly and Delta Blues Music when just kids and learned to appreciate all genres of music. Together they played back-up for several singing groups while in High School winning several talent contests while whetting their talents.
In 1961, while in Japan in the Army, Don teamed with another GI, Ray Lambright, and two naval airmen, Tom “Monty” Montgomery and Rim “Sky” Zawlocki forming a rock-n-roll instrumental group, “The Strangers.” In no time at all they were popular in the Tokyo/Yokohama area and were signing autographs and playing gigs every weekend. The “Strangers” even designed their guitars for a Japanese Guitar Company, “Guya-Tone.”
Returning home he hooked up with his buddy Wendell and formed a group that played around the Atlanta area clubs backing up such singers as rockabilly artists Buddy Knox. The two friends eventually went their separate ways and Don shifted his headquarters to Nashville due to his love for songwriting. About the time of this transition, actor Tony Romano recorded two of Don’s songs and they received airplay around the Southern United States. He was published by such top companies as Acuff-Rose and Tree Publishing, both gobbled up by Sony Music. A short stint at Roger Miller Music was a great experience, but Don soon teamed up with Tom Jennings, brother to outlaw Waylon Jennings. Together they traveled the USA, Canada, and did several tours of Great Britain performing before Don went back on his own. While working out of Nashville Don appears with such artists as Bobby Dare, Jack Greene & Jeanne Sealy, Del Reaves, Larry Gatlin and many others.
Don stayed out of the music business a few years, but in the “90’s” at the urging of friend Herb White of GP-TV and friend and mentor, songwriter Mickey Newbury, Don became a solo acoustic act performing original music at such acoustic clubs as Eddie’s Attic, The Freight Room, and more recently, The Crimson Moon in Dahlonega, GA. Don has appeared a number of times with two of his favorite acoustic artists, Gove Scrivnor and the late Larry Jon Wilson, and worked the International Songwriter’s Festival on the Gulf Coast.
Along the way, Don has recorded several CD’s of original music and is now working on new CD with producer Sean Clyde, nephew of Roy Clark. This is all new material and some is being recorded the day after written.
And last and best, over 50 years after they started out, Don is back with old friend Wendell Patterson in a brand new band, “Crazy Heart.”
Tim Mustin– Tim is not only a good drummer, he is a fine vocalist as well as natural harmony singer. He was born in Norfolk, VA. At an early age, he made a deal with his Mother. He would try to learn to play piano if he could have a drumset. Mom agreed and the piano was soon forgotten, gatehring dust.
Tim’s first professional gig was at the ripe old age of 13 in a local bar. By late teens, he was in South Georgia studying percussion and voice at Georgia Southwestern College at Americus, GA. He learned to love Blues music by hanging out in rural black bars in South Georgia and listening to the music played by local musicians.
He learned to love Blues music by hanging out in rural black bars in South Georgia and listening to the music played by local musicians. It was there in the Deep South where Tim met the Reverend Pearly Crown, A Blues guitarist who claimed to have taught Dwayne Allman to play Bottleneck guitar. Tim says that Pearly made a great impression on him and inspired him to join a local band in South Georgia. It was with this band that Tim opened for such Southern greats as Lynyrd Skynard in the early 1970’s, the heyday of Southern Rock Music.
This century finds Tim living in the Mountains of Western North Carolina. Tim is well-known for his other passion woodcraft, and is known in the Hayesville area for that and his other craft, music.
He is a founding member of the band, “Crazy Heart,” a group of guys and one lady who do a variety of Blues, Country, and Old Time Rock –N-Roll.