Rodney Lay Coffeyville at 100 B/W The Ballad of the Dalton Raid Layork Publishing 1969 CAT# CS 196
This is an odd 7” celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Coffeyville, KS. Which, despite Coffeyville’s near nowhere status, has a fairly substantial history…whether a souvenir 7” was needed is up for debate, but there are some interesting stories to tell.
Rodney Lay, a Coffeyville native, attempts to tell a few of those stories. Lay was Coffeyville native who became a regional hit as a DJ. That led him to a tour with the famed Wanda Jackson in the 60’s. He also landed a small role in the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid which starred Kris Kristofferson. From there, he began working as the band director for country artist, Roy Clark, and fronting his own band. He did help to pen a few country tunes scattered throughout the Nashville scene and score some minor hits of his own throughout the 80s.
His tribute to Coffeyville is a bit amateur, though. “Coffeyville at 100,” could have talked about the town’s rich history, but rather, it’s just Lay rattling off what happened at the centennial celebration week. The flip side, “The Ballad of the Dalton Raid”, is cowboy-style, story song singing the history of how the Dalton’s were stopped in Coffeyville by the authorities. The same story is discussed in an Eagles song, “Doolin’ Dalton.” No matter what song you select, great story with legend advising it wasn't just the authorities that stopped the Daltons, but the settlers of Coffeyville took the matter into their own hands, laying 4 of the Dalton’s down, but miraculously, with 23 gunshot wounds, Emmett Dalton survived and was charged for his crimes.