Walter Forbes

Fletcher Bright and Ansley Moses lived near enough to my house that I could hear them play what was then known as Hill Billy music. That got me started on the road to music. Ansley helped me learn to play the guitar and mandolin and later on the five string banjo. When I was ten I played on the Mickey Mouse Club at a local theater, then when I was twelve Bob Huffacker, Ed (Doc) Cullis and I played for the Horace Height talent show, again at a theater in Chattanooga. The next year I sang Kawliga at a school dance and got an encore. I was hooked for life! When I was eighteen in 1956 and no student at all, I saw “Battle Cry” and signed up for a stint in the US Marine Corps. I served in the Far East first as the last occupation troops is Japan and then on Okinawa with the Third Marine Division. I took my banjo off to war with me. Going over on the troop ship USS Breckenridge there were several other pickers and singers on board so we formed a band, “The Third Marine Division Poorboys Hill-Billy Band”. We played a lot of charity shows, NCO and Officer Clubs, and even a weekly radio show hosted by Lt. Don Gazanaga (WOKA coming to you from the hills of Shori, Okinawa)