Deke Dickerson’s Photo Archive: Scotty Broyles

Scotty Broyles was a Texas-born mandolin player who was in the Navy, stationed in San Diego, in the early 1950s. During this time he began shooting color slides of everything from nature scenes to country music shows. Some of these images are literally the only known color photographs of particular musicians, and they make vividly present an era that is usually mired in two-dimensional black and white. These were real people, playing music and having a ball, during the most colorful and vibrant era of West Coast country music.

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At the Bostonia Ballroom in El Cajon, California, circa 1951-52

Hank Snow

Hank Snow, riding high from his hit “I’m Movin’ On,” signs autographs for fans [Key#HankSnow1]

Hank Snow

Hank Snow sings while the audience crowds the microphone [Key#HankSnow2]

Hank Snow

Hank Snow looks skyward, perhaps making sure his toupee is still on straight [Key#HankSnow3]

Hank Snow

Hank Snow striking the perfect pose while making a G chord on his Martin guitar [Key#HankSnow4]

Hank Thompson

Hank Thompson signs autographs while a beaming Smokey Rogers takes the microphone [Key#HankThompson1]

Hank Thompson

Hank Thompson performs to a packed house. Typical of a San Diego show, Navy men mingle with civilians on the dance floor. [Key#HankThompson2]

Hank Thompson

Hank Thompson beams while strumming his Bigsby-customized SJ-200 guitar to a full house [Key#HankThompson3]

Lefty Frizzell

Lefty Frizzell plays the Bostonia Ballroom on Sunday, October 26, 1952, riding high on the popularity of “If You’ve Got The Money (I’ve Got The Time)”, with steel guitarist Ernie Harvey [Key#LeftyFrizzell1]

Lefty Frizzell

Lefty Frizzell, the greatest honky-tonk singer of all time [Key#LeftyFrizzell2]

Lefty Frizzell

Lefty Frizzell puts some feelin’ into it while Lou Millet looks on from behind [Key#LeftyFrizzell3]

Jack Youngblood

Lefty Frizzell’s fiddle player, Jack Youngblood [Key#LeftyFrizzell4]

Sam Jelly Fits

Lefty Frizzell’s piano player, Sam “Jelly” Fits. Note the showposter on the wall behind him. [Key#LeftyFrizzell5]

Ernie Harvey

Lefty Frizzell’s steel guitarist, Ernie Harvey, playing a brand-new (at the time) Fender console steel guitar [Key#LeftyFrizzell6]

Tawnee Hall

Native American Tawnee Hall plays lead guitar for Lefty Frizzell on October 26, 1952. He is seen here with his early Fender Broadcaster guitar. Tawnee died of illness very soon after this photo was taken, on November 21, 1952 [Key#LeftyFrizzell7]

Merle Travis

Merle Travis poses with his Bigsby solidbody guitar during a break at the Bostonia Ballroom. This is the ONLY known color photograph of Merle Travis holding his Bigsby guitar. [Key#MerleTravis1]

Smokey Rogers

Smokey Rogers led the house band at the Bostonia Ballroom. During the early 1950s his group included legendary steel guitarist Joaquin Murphy, seen here playing his Bigsby tripleneck steel guitar. These are the only known color photos of Joaquin playing his Bigsby steel! [Key#SmokeyRogers1]

Smokey Rogers

Another incredible picture of Smokey Rogers and his group live on the bandstand, with Joaquin Murphy playing his Bigsby steel guitar [Key#SmokeyRogers2]

Smokey Rogers

Another live photo of Smokey Rogers and band on stage. In addition to the aforementioned, the group included Cactus Soldi on electric violin, future Town Hall Party house drummer Pee Wee Adams on drums, Johnny Weis on guitar, Myron Sauter on piano, Don and Roy Hogshead on guitars/vocals, Dean Eaker on upright bass, and Larry “Pedro” Depaul on accordion. [Key#SmokeyRogers3]

Smokey Rogers

Another great bandstand shot of Smokey Rogers’s group [Key#SmokeyRogers4]

Smokey Rogers

Smokey Rogers poses with one of his band members [Key#SmokeyRogers5]

Warner G. Slim Dossey

Warner G. “Slim” Dossey, backed by Smokey Rogers and group. The piano player with the glasses may be Myron Sautter. [Key#SmokeyRogers6]

Tex Ritter

Legendary Western singer Tex Ritter performs with Smokey Rogers’s band behind him [Key#TexRitter1]

Tex Ritter and Smokey Rogers

The past is so bright, you have to wear shades: Tex Ritter and Smokey Rogers pose in their blue Western suits while kids gaze in awe [Key#TexRitter2]


Incredible color photograph of the Carlisles with “Jumpin'” Bill Carlisle on the left [Key#Carlisles1]

Bill Carlisle

Bill Carlisle (note paper stuffed into guitar strings for percussive effect) jumps in the middle of the group for a group harmony [Key#Carlisles2]


The Carlisles pose backstage with Betty Broyles [Key#Carlisles3]

At the Hometown Jamboree in El Monte, circa 1951-52

Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West

A fantastic color shot of the legendary guitar and steel guitar team Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West. This is the ONLY known color photograph of Jimmy Bryant with his first Fender Broadcaster guitar. [Key#JimmyBryantSpeedyWest]

Billy Strange

Billy Strange attempts to keep up on rhythm guitar duties while two lovelies try to distract him [Key#BillyStrange]

Cliffie Stone

Cliffie Stone was M.C. and the man responsible for the Hometown Jamboree. Here he signs autographs while smoking a stogie. [Key#CliffieStone]

Hank Penny

Hank Penny, Western swing bandleader and singer, does one of his famous comedy bits [Key#HankPenny]

Harold Hensley

Harold Hensley on fiddle and Billy Liebert on accordion, part of the Hometown Jamboree house band, also heard on thousands of records as some of Los Angeles’s best session musicians of the 1950s [Key#HaroldHensley]

Molly Bee and Harry Rodcay

Molly Bee and Harry Rodcay prepare to sing a duet [Key#HarryRodcay1]

Harry Rodcay

Harry Rodcay performs [Key#HarryRodcay2]