(Editor's Note: This is pretty much word for word what Gordon sent me via email. Initially I thought I would paraphrase the stories and put them in my own words, but after reading the note through several times, I decided to leave it as is with only minor modifications (very minor). There are references to Townes and B.W. drinking. My hope is that those of us who knew and loved these guys will not be offended by any of the story.  What follows is a treasure and a very good representation of what those early years at KFF were like. -- Doug Coppock

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I'm  Gordon Henry Barth

I played Kerrville in 1973 as a new folk artist.  I was reminiscing about those days and decided to google things and came up with your web site.  I was nineteen at the time and was going to Texas Tech.  Allen Damron was playing tunes at a place in Lubbock called The Brookshire Inn where I earned money for school. He sat me down in the apartment where he was staying and made a tape of me and sent it in for the New Folk entry.
Back then, it was pretty rusty.  I remember playing on the grounds of the Schreiner Institute.  Bill and Bonnie were front row.  It was pretty relaxed at that time and if I knew that Kerrville would turn into something BIG...I might have put in a little effort into the deal.  It was pretty informal and relaxed back then.  If I remember correctly, they didn't have "winners or losers".  The deal was that if there was a good artist, he or she would get to play at the concert at the auditorium that night.
I went to the first festival in 1972 at the auditorium and was wowed by the excitement of the deal.  My cousin wanted to go to the States arts and craft fair at the Schreiner and when we went, there was advertisement for the music festival so we decided to go.  What magic!
Today, I get to play tunes at places around the South Texas area.  I've become friends with Jack Motley and his Sister, Mary Martha.....they are some Kerrville die hards.  I get to play with Jack at times when he invites me to sit in. (Ed. note: Jack is host at Camp On This and a dear friend of mine as is Mary Martha - Camp on This is what I consider my home at KFF)
Most of my time is spent being a Family Practice Physician in the town where I was born....Yorktown, Texas. I went to Medical School in the Dallas Fort Worth region and turned into a dedicated Doctor instead of a musician. I decided music was not my first true love.....but it still remains my second.  I love Jack's zeal for keeping the spirit burning and cherish the times I get to sit in with him.
This is a little story about the days back in 1972-1974.  I never was a STAR but was invited to play at the cabins north of Kerrville where the top artists were staying and was known as a backup player for Bill and Bonnie, Allen Damron, Jerry Jeff, Bobby Bridges and Townes (he was pretty drunk back then). Those days were the original campfires.  I was staying in a tent with friends at the state park back then and I remember EVERYONE stayed up all night playing tunes.  This was before they moved the festival to the ranch.  Music was played 24 hours a day. I can't remember the name of the cabins where everyone was staying but it was up the road on the Guadalupe. I wish I could have remembered more but to me it was just playing and jam sessions and there was a "Woodstock" feeling of peace and love at that time. A time of magic. This is a semi accurate account of what I remember.
Side note.  B.W. Stevenson came to Lubbock about that time and Allen sent me back stage to talk to him to tell him to come to the Brookshire Inn (now known as Gardski's Loft)  B.W. was staying in the Holiday Inn in Lubbock, so we went to pick him up to take him to the Brookshire to meet with Allen.  He was pretty drunk at the time and he came with us.  He had opened for the Doobie Brothers back then.  Michael Raphael told us not to "abuse BW" and he was laying in the 2 double beds that the four member group was staying.  B.W. spent about an hour and a half entertaining us with an audience of about 30 people.  Went back to Allen's apartment to play some tunes but B W drank about a liter of  Wellers bourbon and passed out in the bathtub.  We stayed up till about dawn and I never knew what happened to B. W.   ......pretty exciting times for a 20 year old going to Texas Tech and getting to play with some of these guys.
Just thought I would send my memories of some events in those early days of the Festival. It's my story of those days and it really was a Texas Magic back then.  Sorry to see Allen D. pass away, he was always so good to me.
Dr. Gordon Barth
Yorktown, Texas

(Ed. Note: Thanks Gordon! from all of us who wish we coulda been there!!!)