Dome Shadows
We are remembering one of Houston's most famous night clubs...
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Johnny Williams

Johnny Williams at the dome Shadows:

After his discharge, Williams returned to Baytown. One night a friend took him to the most popular club in Houston, Dome Shadows, and had the bandleader call Williams up to sing a few songs. Neither knew it happened to be the last night for the featured vocalist. The band offered him the job. He took it. He didn't know the band had a recording contract.

At 23 he recorded "Long Black Veil" as a backside record. The all-night DJ at KILT - "you could get local airplay in those day," he says - flipped it over. It became that runaway local #1 hit.

Leaving the Dome Shadows, Williams went to work with Mickey Gilley (before he was famous) at the Nesadel in Pasadena, Texas. Gilley would sing the first 30 minutes of a set with his band. As featured singer Williams would follow with 15 minutes, backed up by Gilley. When Williams left the Nesadel, Johnny Lee took his place. If I had stayed with Gilley I might have been in the Urban Cowboy and recorded a song for the album. Johnny Lee has never thanked me for giving up my job at the Nesadel, Williams says with a grin.

source: Johnny Williams: Texas Country Music Star


Bobby Beason-trumpet
Dennis Dyer-drums
Larry Webb- guitar
Leo O'Neil - trombone
Bill Hershey-sax
Tommy Cashwell leader-vocals-organ
Ron Hobbs-bass
Dean Stipp-trumpet-valve trombone-vocals

top ...... Dean, Ron, Tommy, Bill
bottom..Leo, Larry, Dennis, Bobby

Cool site. My name is Leo O'Neil and I'll write more later. I played with two bands at the dome.
I just wanted to send you a picture of "The Good Stuff". I played with them from 1973-1975.
I was with "The Jokers" from 1967-1969.

I kept waiting for someone to submit this picture, and it didn't happen, so you might want to put it on the "band" page. Sorry I can't supply all the names..... Just Bobby in the front.
Donna Bradshaw

The Jokers, 1965

Jokers - 1965
From left to right:
Don Sapp - booking agent.
Charlie Watson-bass
Luis Cardenas - trpt
Wayne Brooks - organ
Bobby Brown - guitar
Raul Cuesta - sax
Stubby Stubblefield - sax
Phil Mathis - drums
Bobby Bradshaw leader, vocals at the bottom.

I have attached a picture of one of our former classmates of which some of you might remember...this is Willie Ornelas...I met him during my days playing in the Hamilton Jr high band and then we went onto Reagan high school...
We email each other on a regular basis......when willie was in the army, Sharon's uncle "Marshall Stewart" who was the owner of the Dome Shadows and many other clubs in the Houston area, contacted willie and informed him when he got out of the army he had a job waiting for him at the dome shadows.....
this the first time I had seen willie since high school....I was on the dance floor and looked up and saw Willie behind the drums....he was the drummer for Bobby Bradshaw and The Jokers.....from this point, willie was hired to play drums for the Sonny & Cher show...then after they divorced, he played for Cher and then he was hired to play drums for the Tony Orlando & Dawn show....
he has played for MANY bands and artists thru out his career.....he cannot recollect them all but at the present, he is playing the drums for the background music on the TV show "According to Jim"....(and a special note here>>>the guy playing drums in Jim's garage is another Houston guy who Willie helped him get his career started, this is Tony Braunagel.... 
Willie lives in Malibu, CA now and has been there for many yrs.  He still has family here in the Houston area.
I am proud to call him a friend and he has helped my son Stephen with info and contacts to help him with his drumming career.  
Hamilton and Reagan should be proud that one of their former students has done so well for himself.
This is the comment which Willie sent to me along with his picture:
This is the only one I have and I have this one because there is a book coming out later this year about drummers of the world ( they gave me a copy) and they decided to include me in it. Go figure.
willie O




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