Bobby Hankins was originally from Edgewood, but spent a lot of time in Oelwein working at KOEL and performing around town. Did you know at one time Bobby Hankins and Andy Doll were both on the front page of the Fender catalog as endorsers right along with other big names?
You might not know it but there were a few players that worked for Bobby Hankins that went on to bigger things:
- Bobby Hicks played fiddle for Bobby before he went to Nashville and years later ended up with Ricky Skaggs.
- Billy Wayne played steel for Bobby and then went on to play for George Jones.
- Before Billy there was a fellow by the name of Hal Rugg that played for Bobby. Hal not only worked for George but because of what he played for George he ended up doing sessions in Nashville. That is Hal on “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin,” by Lorretta Lynn along with just about everything else she recorded thru the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. If you find a cut of ” One’s On The Way”, that is Hal doing the cool intro. One other thing about Hal is that he is a member of the International Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame.
Members of the Bobby Hankins Show included: Bobby Hankins, Bobby Hicks, Billy Wayne, Hal Rugg, Dixie Hankins, Al Ricchio, Lefty Schrage, Barb Schrage, Keith Thompson, and Buddy Cornwell.
Bobby started his Northeast Iowa career with the Andy Doll Band.
After his time with the Andy Doll Band, Bobby’s next band was Bobby Hankins and the Blue Boys.
The Bobby Hankins Band
Here is some internet chatter about the Bobby Hankins Band.
Bobby and Phil
Bobby at Andy Doll Reunion
Special thanks to Craig Davidson , Jamie Bailey, for their input on the Bobby Hankins Show.
And extra special thanks to Bobby’s little girls: Dixie Hankins and Pennie Hankins Copp for the photos from their family collection.
My late father, Ed Miller Jr., was very good friends with Bobby Hankins and Buddie Cornwell. Dad used to help out at Bobby Hankins Music City in Coldwater, and he became manager when the Bertalons took ownership. He was manager until the store closed in 2004.
Danced to Bobby and the Blue Boys many times at Lake Robbins, Woodward, Iowa. We still get together with Lefty three or 4 times a year, in the Rio Grand Valley, Cedar Falls, Iowa Antique Acres, Steel Guitar Jam in Waterloo, Iowa and Ovarian Cancer Benefit in honor of his late Wife in West Union, Iowa.
My maternal grandfather was David Hankins. His brother was James (Jimmie) Hankins. Bobby was Jimmie’s son. David’s daughter was named Alice. My mother. I recall playing with Penny as a kid. Dixie was quite small then.
Great to see these pics. Brings back a lot of memories.
Got some names for you for the 2nd Bobby Hankins and the Blue Boys picture, with the sign that says ‘Now Playing For your dancing pleasure’:
From Left to Right:
Curt Noack – Piano (my dad), Hal Rugg-Steel Guitar; Billy Hicks- Fiddle; Dave Clark – drums; Bobby Hankins- bass; and Bobby Knight on lead guitar.
*got this info from my mom, who was going steady with my dad when he joined the band. Dad left the band a few months after he and mom married. Bobby Knight, whose real name was Buddy Cornwell, and his wife, Lynn, stood up for mom and dad at their wedding!
Curt Noack on the piano (far left) in picture requesting names. Curt Noack was my father and spoke fondly of playing with Bobby.
Hello. My dad was Keith Thompson. If anyone had pictures could you contact me?
This is pretty neat! Andy Doll played for my folk’s 25th in 1959, and our wedding in 1962, both in Janesville Riviera. I remember Bill Reints on trumpet, Clarksville, and was thrilled when he would let me fill in with my trumpet for some harmony.
Not sure if Bobby was still with Andy then, but Bobby played for my sister-in-law’s wedding in August 1961; they just loved him. I still remember him playing the 3/4 time “You Done Me Wrong”, or something like that.
Believe it or not, today I am playing with Lefty Schrage and Ike Thurn down here in the Rio Grande Valley, along with lots of other Winter Texan Snowbirds! We still reminisce about those days 60 years ago.
Bobby drove school bus for year or so from Stanley and around to Oelwein
I’m sorry I never got to meet Bobby, but we have some of his records and they’re great. My MIL was married to Bobby for a time.
The picture that says Bobby with his Gibson is actually Buddy Cornwell not Bobby
Good catch! It has been corrected. Can you supply names for some of the other pictures on Bobby’s page?
The drummer in the first photo Was Jim Campell. Milt Campells son/ knew Bobby well Steve Bachman
Steve Bachman – Long time, no see! I have added Jim’s name to the photo. Hope you enjoy the site.
Thanks so much for the pics …A wonderful childhood. ..never grew up cause I’m still playing. ..The players were also my second family. . Sadly alot of them r gone now.. probably playing with Dad in Heaven !!!!.
Hi Dixie! Was your Dad playing in Oelwein in 1949 and did Keith Thompson have red hair or any other band member?
Keith did have reddish hair and played piano with Bobby in the 1960s and was still a young man when he passed.
I was Andy Doll’s drummer from 1965 to 1967
Bobby Hankins Mother baby sit my two daughters while I worked at the Pine Lodge in Oelwein. Don would pick her up bring her to my house and then take me home and then take her home. Still have necklaces she made for my daughters.