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Darrell “Curly” Jones Celebrates Journey to Retirement After 50 Years

Darrel “Curly” Jones is
well known in the music industry, as well as the transportation
industry. He began his journey with a three day run for the Oak Ridge
Boys on July 21, 1969, a three day run which began on a Friday from
Nashville, TN to Salem, IN continuing on to Jackson, MS for a Saturday
night performance with a final show Sunday in Greenville, SC. He thought
he had been around the world. His first ride was a Silver Eagle named
“Chocolate” with a speedometer that had a graph and paper, there was no
digital display or electronics and no restroom on the bus. His 50 year
career came full circle on Friday June 19 as he pulled into Mattoon, IL
behind the wheel of The Oak Ridge Boys new luxury tour bus. The band
brought their long-time friend on stage to recognize his importance in
the industry and celebrate the journey with a personal autographed photo
of “Chocolate” and a guitar signed by everyone.

Artists, industry friends and anyone associated with Curly are
encouraged to send photos or stories for his retirement memory book to curlyjonesstories@bnoticedpr.com.

In an excerpt from the book On the Road with The Oak Ridge Boys is one of many road stories:

“Well, Curly found out that Olivia Newton John was about to go on
tour and might need a bus. We didn’t have many dates during this time
period, so Curly leased our bus to Olivia. But there was a catch. We did
NOT have a bathroom. We DID have a funnel in the back, near The Hell
Hole, where the boys could honor nature. It took talent to use the
funnel on a moving bus. Sometimes one might miss and pee into the Hell
Hole, but that’s another story. So Curly had a bathroom built for
Olivia, and she leased our bus for several months. For the dates we had
to play we either borrowed Roy Clark’s bus, promoter Sonny Simmons’ RV,
or we rented something ourselves. When Chocolate returned to us we had a
full-fledged bathroom. We, of course, named it the Olivia Newton JOHN!
Curly Jones would leave the Oaks and go into the bus business. His
company was among the first of the premiere bus leasing operations in
Nashville.”

“I am grateful and honored that the Oak Ridge Boys gave me an
opportunity that allowed me to work in an industry that I love and have a
true passion for,” said Darrell “Curly” Jones. “Driving for them again
meant the world to me and I will be forever grateful to them and cherish
the memories we made together.”

“Curly is simply a trailblazing show bus driving legend and we are
honored that he started his legendary career driving The Oak Ridge Boys.
He is a brother and a friend and after 50 years of leasing and driving
buses to multitudes of big-time entertainers how cool it was that he
wanted to drive us just one more time,” stated the Oak Ridge Boys. “It
was surreal to have Curly in the seat again although as William Lee
stated he HAS lost his curls. We love Curly Jones… He is part of our
history!”

Jones is proud of the fact he has driven approximately five million
miles and never missed a show and never had a traffic accident. The 5’
41/2” tall driver is also appreciative that Trailway and Greyhound have a
height requirement and would not consider hiring him due to his short
height.

Curly Jones has driven celebrities, sports figures and music artists
from all genres including Melissa Manchester, Chaka Khan, Lee Ann
Womack, Melissa Etheridge, Huey Lewis, Little River Band, Heart, Brooks
and Dunn, Keith Urban, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Oak Ridge Boys,
Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett, Merle Haggard, Ashley Monroe and many more.

About Darrell “Curly” Jones:

Darrell “Curly” Jones began his journey with a three
day run for the Oak Ridge Boys on July 21st 1969. His first ride was the
Silver Eagle named “Chocolate”  with a speedometer that had a graph and
paper, there was no digital or electronics and no on board restroom
that took them on a 3 day run which began on a Friday  from Nashville,
TN to Salem IN continuing to Jackson MS for a Saturday night performance
with a final show Sunday in Greenville, SC. He thought he had been
around the world. When he started there was no interstate I-24 and I-65
and I-40 were not finished yet and the interstate ended at exit 2 in KY.
The busses had a dash speedometer that had a graph and paper, there was
no digital or electronics and no on board restroom. has driven
approximately five million miles and never missed a show and never had a
traffic accident. The 5’ 41/2” tall driver is also appreciative that
Trailway and Greyhound have a height requirement and would not consider
hiring him due to his short height. An entrepreneur at heart, when times
were lean, he convinced the Oak Ridge Boys to lease out their bus for
additional income, and the first artist to lease from them was Olivia
Newton John. Prevost Tour Busses was started in 1988 and Curly Jones
opened Stagecoach VIP and bought the first three Prevost busses! He also
became a lease agent for Lock Raven Coach one of the first full service
bus companies in Nashville. He has been a driver for the last 16 years
for Hemphill Bus line.

 

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