The first celebrity tour bus I ever saw was outside the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio. Virginia Grimmett, a dear family friend, pointed it out:
“Look Jackie, it’s Claude Kings and Don Gibson’s bus,” she gestured. “I think Minnie Pearl might be in there too.”
As a 7 year old, in 1963, it was incredible to see real Country and Western stars from the Grande Ole Opry stepping out of their own bus.
I remember Pearl greeting us from the stage with her signature, “Howwdy! So glad to be here” and Roy Orbison singing “Only the Lonely” and “In Dreams.” (“Pretty Woman” would not be out until the following year).
But I distinctly recall, after the Opry, standing out in the shivering cold with Mrs. Grimmett, her husband Jimmy, and my parents watching some of the entertainers returning back onto the bus.
What an exciting memory. Little did I know, as an adult I’d actually step inside (or just at the doorway) to meet such stars as B.B. King, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Freddy Mercury, Kenny Loggins Jim Messina, Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Jackson Browne, and Chubby Checker.
Others I interviewed in their buses included Whiskey Meyers more recently to Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids in the 1970s.
With this fascination and interest in mind, here are some of the most famous celebrity tour buses through the years.