Bill Dowdy Inducted into Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame
Not only was Lexington’s Bill Dowdy the featured entertainer at last Friday night’s Gatesville Country Music Show, but he was one of three local talents inducted into the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame.
Bill, born in 1922 in Lee County, plays rhythm guitar and bass, and began his musical career around the age of 12, after learning rudimentary guitar chords from his father. While serving in the Navy during WWII, he received his big band swing education with the 5th CB Hepcats, a servicemen’s band featuring musicians from Charlie Spivak’s orchestra.
He continued to play, after being discharged from the Navy, on the radio, at local clubs and dance halls in Taylor, Elgin, Rockdale, Waco, Killeen and the Texas Hill Country, until he broke his leg chasing a cow on the family ranch in Lexington in the 1960’s.
About 20 years later, he returned to the music scene and continues to entertain at local venues up to this day. He was also inducted into the Texas Western
In 1997, he took an interest in helping aspiring fiddler Paul Schlesigner in the music business and the two of them have been playing together ever since. Paul was also inducted into the Gatesville Country Music Hall of Fame on Friday, November 16, along with Cameron native Roy Carroll. Bill and Paul still play together at area venues throughout Central Texas.
Bill and his wife, Jean, still live in Lexington on the family ranch.