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Travis Edmonson passed away in Tucson, AZ on May 9, 2009, surrounded by friends and family. He will be forever missed.

Today, not much is known about Bud and Travis, largely because they failed to have a "huge" hit single and their record company is defunct. What little information to be gleaned often comes from rumor and their own record jackets--two notoriously unreliable sources. Fortunately, since posting the Bud and Travis Home Page, I've been able to get in contact with some very reliable sources (and quite nice people!) who have filled in and verified a lot of the details for me. And now, I have even had the honor of becoming friends with Travis Edmonson himself!

[ Read About Bud Dashiell ] [ Read About Travis Edmonson ]

Also, find out more about Travis @ the excellent travisedmonson.com!

Bud DashiellBud Dashiell (right) was born in Paris, France where his father was an American correspondent and his English mother was a member of the Folies Bergere. He grew up on the East Coast and then served as a First Lieutenant and Battery Comander in the Field Artillery in the Korean War. Erik Darling (of The Weavers and many other famous folk groups) became very close friends with Bud at the height of his popularity with Bud and Travis. They had met years before when they had both played "The Inquisition," a popular folk coffeehouse in Vancouver, B.C. "When we weren't on the road, we used to meet in LA every Friday night for martinis and pizza," Darling remembers. "Those were wonderful nights. He was just great, and extremely entertaining to listen to. He loved to talk and tell stories, an he had a great gift for doing it. He had a truly marvelous way of recounting episodes and incidents in his life. "He also had a great propensity," Darling recalls, "for collecting limericks. Sometimes they were dirty, sometimes not, but they were always very off-beat and usually quite funny. Just about every one of those Friday nights, he would tell me a new limerick. Whenever he did that, it was like he turned into an eleven-year-old kid again.”

Both on the road and over pizza in L.A., Bud told Erik candid stories about his background and upbringing. Although Bud was born in Paris and spent some time there as a child, he was obstensibly raised in the Eastern United States--on the site of the First Battle of Bull Run, to be exact. There, he began to teach himself guitar at an early age, inspired mainly by the popular bluegrass and country music of the area.

After each rainfall, the young Dashiell would comb the Bull Run battlefield and collect whatever trinkets and war-related affluvia he could find. Growing up in this manner, Bud developed a somewhat romantic conception of war and of military service in general. It was this idealism, coupled with a strong desire to leave the East and travel the world, that compelled him to enlist in the Army shortly before the start of the Korean War.

Once a soldier, it didn't take long for Bud to become disillusioned at how decidedly unglorious military service actually was. Nevertheless, he was a fine soldier and rose quickly through the ranks until becoming Battery Commander in Korea. "The War definitely changed Bud's outlook, and very definitely formed a great deal of who he was as a person," Darling says. "Even out of the Army, Bud was very much a commander. While he could be remarkably open, warm and funny, he had a very serious side to himself. He had a burning desire to do everything absolutely right. He was also very intense in his hatred of all pretentiousness and posturing.

"Bud had seen a lot of combat in Korea, and he had seen a lot of young men lose their lives. And in Bud's eyes, many of these young men died because of commanding officers who were pretentiuous, and who postured. He simply could not tolerate those qualities in people. He hated injustice, and always spoke up when he felt that someone was being mistreated."

Soon after the war, Bud met Travis and embarked on his successful career as part of the finest pop-folk duo of the era. After parting ways with Travis in the mid-1960s, Bud fronted a new group, The Kinsmen, and then recorded at least one album (I Think It's Going To Rain Today) entirely "solo." In the 1970s, Bud moved to L.A. and taught guitar and music up to the time of his death. Take a look at Bud circa mid-1970s.

Frank Hamilton knew Dashiell at this time. "He had a studio down the street from Westwood Music, where I was teaching guitar. He was always cordial and helpful to his students." Darling adds: "As a guitar teacher, Bud taught performing as well as playing. He brought the same great persona, energy, enthusiasm, and great storytelling to his teaching as he did to his performing. And above all, he would always accentuate the positive when critiquing his students, and he always affirmed their abilities."

In the early 1980s, Bud was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even during this very difficult and frightening time, Bud retained his remarkable warmth, humor, and spirit. He passed away in 1989.

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Travis EdmonsonTravis Edmonson (left) was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in Nogales, AZ, and went to the University of Arizona. His father was a welfare worker and his mother a teacher and "mother of the year" in the state of Arizona. He majored in anthropology and helped write the only existing dictionary of the Yaqui Indian language--this after actually living with the tribe for a period of one year. He is the only non-Yaqui ever to be accepted into that Indian tribe. He served in the USO during military service.

Growing up on the Mexican border, Travis was introduced to Spanish-language music early and often. He in fact got his start in a local mariachi band. "The first instrument I learned to play, when I was about nine or ten, is called the jarana," he remembers. "It has five strings and no frets. It makes that chunka-chunka-chunka-chunka sound you hear in mariachi bands. From there, I graduated to guitar. At the time of my aneurysm in 1982, I could play just about every stinged instrument there is other than the violin. I could even play the harp a bit."

Travis's love for music often made him a bit of an outsider in his family--but not because they didn't like music. "My family loved music," he says. "But I had three older brothers who were all very bookish and intellectual. Colin--the brother I met Bud through--became a professor of Classics and actually taught for the majority of his career in Athens, Greece. My other two brothers also became college professors of equal stature. And all of them had these intellectual inclinations from early on, and my parents were both like that, too. My mom was a teacher. And there I was: all I cared about was music. Music, music, music."

Travis began his music career proper as a member of The Gateway Singers in the early 50s. After that, he began his famed stint at the Purple Onion cafe, where he became re-acquanited with one of brother Colin's old Army friends, a young musician named Bud Dashiell. From there, Bud Dashiell and Travis Edmonson launched their career as the greatest folk-pop duo of all time.

Both on and off stage, Bud and Dashiell and Travis Edmonson made a brilliant but tumultous pairing. Folk musician Frank Hamilton remarks: "Both of these unlikely partners had a beautiful blend of voices and personalities on stage. Off stage, they were a fractious couple. They were the Gilbert and Sullivan or the Weber and Fields of pop-folk music. They came from different places in their idealogies. Trav, according to Bud, had a penchant for being late and irresponsible. Bud was too conservative for Trav."

Eventually, the rift between the two of them came to a head at the Gate of Horn. "I had the dubious distinction of being there during the fight that broke them up," Hamilton recalls. "I had left the Gate of Horn dressing room. I heard shouting, and when I came back in, Trav's nose was bleeding. There was talk that Trav had accused Bud of having no gajones (Spanish for 'balls')."

After parting ways with Bud in 1965, Travis recorded three solo albums (see Discography) in the late 60s. In the 1970s, Travis gigged "solo" throughout Arizona and recorded two great collections of cowboy-folk songs: The Liar's Hour and Ten Thousand Goddamn Cattle, the former with Billy Moore and the latter with Katie Lee. In the latter part of the dacade, Travis received an unexpected phone call from Bud Dashiell.

"Bud called and suggested that I go over to California and see him. I was going over there anyway, so I thought, Why not? But when I got there, after just ten minutes, I knew that it would be the same as it always was between the two of us. It's too bad, really."

Despite the rift between the two of them, Travis expresses very sincere regret that Bud never lived to see the recently renewed interest in Bud and Travis. "It's just too bad Bud isn't around to share in this with me," Travis says. "It's too bad."

No matter their differences in temperament, Bud and Travis recorded some of the finest pop-folk material of their own or any other era, and the renewed interest in their art and music together is long overdue and richly deserved.

Travis Edmonson passed away in Tucson, AZ on May 9, 2009, surrounded by friends and family. He will be forever missed.

Find out more about Travis @ the excellent travisedmonson.com!

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