Featured Musician: Local drummer Jerry Lee

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By KRIS YOUMANS, Special to The Paper

When did you begin playing music? That was the question posed to Jerry Lee, drummer in the Kris Youmans Band.

Well, let’s go back a ways to my youth, says Jerry.

At an early age I got my first drum set … and I remember playing along with a “Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits” 8-track. That’s where I learned meter, dynamics, stole certain chops, etc. 

Later when I was in high school, I was entering my third year in Band when Dad asked me if I ever considered playing my drums out in public. I think the reason he asked me was every evening I’d come home from school and play my drums until it was time for supper. 

Now, keep in mind when Dad asked me this, it was a different time, a time when you could smoke at your local Waffle House. And that’s what he did every morning along with his cup of coffee, he’d meet up with the same bunch of guys before heading to work. 

This guy told him he was playing at a nearby community center and was looking for a drummer. I hadn’t thought of it but was willing to try it … especially seeing as there was money involved!

We played there for awhile, then branched out to local lodges – Moose, Elks, VFW, etc… Later on we were able to land higher-paying gigs like wedding receptions, holiday gigs, and the like.

Dad was my “chaperone” more-or-less, to get in these places and man, some of the things I saw, just party people in general. Like I said, it was a different time.

Over the years as I got older, Dad was more of a spectator and would dance a lot and maybe sing one or two.

It was something I’ll always cherish, sharing the stage and singing harmony with him. Along the way, I’ve met some really cool people and had the opportunity to open for several major acts.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

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