Chocky Kay was born on August 19, 1954 in Odessa, Texas. He received his first guitar on his 5th birthday. It was a Kay concert guitar, so large that he had to strum the neck strings. He became so good, so quickly, that he was invited to sing for his 2nd grade class, and that started the buzz in Odessa.
He and his older brother, Mike, started a band called "The Chateaus" when he was in the 4th grade. While Chocky was still in elementary school, they won Mike's Jr. High School Talent Show 2 years in a row. "The Chateaus" played parties in Odessa, and concerts like at the Ector County Colliseum's Barn A. Chocky was a stand-out because of his young age. This caused some riffs. Members of the group began hearing comments from high school guys who told them they would never go anywhere as long as a little kid was in the group. Chocky had also started a group called the "Shadows" with some elementary school friends, so the Chateaus dismissed him from the group. He found out from another musician that the excuse used was that Chocky wanted to play army with the neighbor kids instead of practice. But, it was the age difference and was verified later. It was a good move, though. His brother started a great band with other friends closer to his age, such as Brett Bates (Bass).
Chocky's band, The "Shadows", began playing parties for kids and ended up on local TV. Chocky became a local celebrity. They were invited on the local TV favorites "Admiral Foghorn Show" and "The Hub Jamboree". This "Hub Jamboree", which aired every Saturday afternoon, usually featured Country artists, including the Odesssan "Roy Orbison".
Music was rare for him during middle school until he finally met some friends his age who played music. They had no drummer, but they had fun. Things finally started back up again with various musicians across Odessa.
At Permian High School (the high school in "Friday Night Lights"), he began teaming up with musicians 2 and 3 years his age and finally ended up in a group he stayed with for the rest of his teen years. The musicians that became the stable group in High School were Chocky Kay on Lead Guitar, Al johnson on Lead Guitar, Monte Slusher on Bass Guitar, and Steve Turner on Drums. He said that he always has had dfficulty coming up with band names. They called their group the "19th Street Exit" until they realized the name sounded like bubble-gum music. So, it was just shortened to "Exit". They toured around Texas, mostly in the West and South, in their two Ford Econoline vans. Chocky painted, "Exit" on the back of his van that he got for $120. He often got laughs and comments from people who said that everyone knows the back door is the exit to the van! After his graduation from high school, there were a lot of changes.
After High School, the Bass Player quit the band. With the band's need for a bass player, they asked singer and guitarist Terry Jordan to join the group. Terry was a James Taylor sound-alike and was very talented. His father was the choir director at Permian HS, and Terry was a tremendous singer. With Terry's addition, the group quickly adopted an entirely new set of music. This band was the best band he says he played with at that time. Their music consisted of Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, the Moody Blues, and others of that day. They were planning to move to Austin and decided on a new name. One day, Chocky father was a talented artist. He said that he was looking at his father's beautiful painting of a sailboat, and the air was pleasantly aromatic due to his father's pipe tobacco, Sail Tobacco. That was it. They renamed the group "Sail". Glossy photos were made and posters. After moving to Austin, they played primarily in San Antonio due to knowing people there and working with an agent named Sam Kensey. This was at the same time Christopher Cross was playing in San Antonio. With "Sail" being accepted heartily in the South fo Texas, Chocky says he couldn't help but wonder if the band's name was part of the inspiration for Christopher Cross's beautiful song, "Sailing". Christopher Cross was playing in San Antonio at that time. Later on, when Chocky mentioned Christopher Cross in San Antonio, some friends said "He is from Austin". Chocky said, "Then, someone had better tell Christopher Cross. He's telling the world he's from San Antonio"! Nevertheless, after the move to Austin and spending days without food, and after he had an auto accident in the other guitarist's car sustaining a severe laceration of his lower lip, he hung it up and moved back to Odessa to find work playing in bars. He had also begun to search for God.
Back in West Texas
Back in Odessa, Chocky met a brilliantly talented guitarist, and again a much older musician. He bacame a life-long friend, named Steve Thornton. Steve was not only every bit as good or better, he was a very talented songwriter. Steve and Chocky began write and to play in clubs in Odessa. They caused another stir. But, Steve was also searching for God, just like Chocky had been. Chocky said that God found them both. Chocky began writing Christian Contemporary Music.
While playing in churches and performing at Christian Concerts, and becoming known around Texas for Christian Contemporary Music, Chocky bumped in to an old friend from elementary school who also became Christian. He was another another very talented musician named Bill Briggs.
Chocky & Bill made the biggest stir yet. They played acoustic guitars mainly, wrote music, and began playing all over Texas. They played the Hill Country Faith Festival along with the Talbott Brothers, and did Christian concerts in Houston as well as around Odessa. Chocky also played lead guitar at a Concert in West County Auditorium backing up 18 year old Donna Gatlin, the sister of Larry Gatlin. Her brothers Rudy & Steve Gatlin played backup as well. When Chocky started playing leads, they turned and said, "Wow! You're really good!" Chocky bumped in to Rudy at one of the local churches off and on, and said that Rudy was one of the nicest guys he met in music.
Many talented musicians began to become Christian and came to the same church Chocky, Steve, and Bill attended. Mostly, they all began playing separately, together, and playing music at home. Chocky kept writing and sent music which was picked up by Word Music. The producer of Starsong Recording Studio asked him to come to Houston to audition. The man who heard a tape of Chocky and was very excited was none other than the man who made Barry Manilow's song "Mandy" a gold record. When Chocky walked in to his office, he saw the gold record on the wall. Chocky auditioned for him and the producer, Wayne Donahoo, but they said they couldn't underwrite him. He needed to come up with $5,000. They'd just purchased a 32 track studio board. Petra had helped them enough that they could purchase it. Chocky was poor and was just living check to check. He was also married with children. He quickly discovered that his own church wouldn't back him and the next incident clinched it for him. Choeky continued writing, but a singular incident woke him up, he says.
He was playing a concert with the last Chrisitan Contemporary group he played with, named "Harvest". They played a concert in a local park, after getting permission, and it drew a large crowd of young people who knew him. It caused a huge stir. They were playing an outdoor concert outside of a local church and again drew a large crowd. There was a young listener in the crowd. This person was heard to say, "If I wanted to hear Blues, I 'd go to a bar". This comment really got to him. He said that he began asking himself what the point was? This was also an excuse. There was a rumbling deep within he said. He felt God had different plans for him. Evidently, that was true.
He went to college after maryying his wife and having 3 children. He was in the National Honor Society and began winning awards for Scholastic Achievement and about every other award that was offered. He wanted to be a doctor, but they were really poor. He worked hard and got scholarships, and was accepted to the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. While in medical school, he played with a rock group called "The Arrhythmics", which medically means "no rhythm". They won the talent shows, and Chocky was also featured in the newspaper playing for a children's charity. Chocky began writing music he had long loved which were of a secular nature. He had a small home studio. He wrote and recorded his first collection of secular music. It was on a cassette tape. He called, it, "People, Places, and Things". He admits that he was still having difficulty naming things.
He began writing secular music seriously and self recorded his 1st CD, "Sole Intention". He got the idea for the name from a neighbor who also played guitar and became another friend. Chocky wrote the music, recorded it (his life long dream), got the photos and photoshopped them, and printed the CD's himself. The CD was sent to a new internet radio station named "New Artist Radio" The CD made waves across the internet. The CD garnered four #1 Songs from listeners, and "Rock Song of the Year". In Nashville, TN, he was given the NAR "Hall of Fame" . He says that he felt a locked up part of his heart had been set free when he began writing the music he'd always loved.
Coupla Fat Guys
Then, while looking in to a popular new internet video rage, he found the videos of a talented couple of guys name the "Coupla Fat Guys", who he found out were musicians/founders for Chicago's "Coupla Fat Guys Blues Band" and were now taping great cooking shows on video. He contacted Dave Grier, the Bass Player, to ask how they were taping the videos. Dave asked him what he did, so he agreed to send Dave a copy of "Sole Intention". Dave went nuts and asked Chocky to be a guest interview on his radio show. Chocky and the CD were highlighted over the Thanksgiving Holiday that year. Dave Grier had a website with "Must Have CD's" which included Led Zeppelin, and many others, including "Sole Intention". He had a post hamed, "Who Is This Guy" which when clicked, showed Chocky and Dave called him "the Greatest Doctor/Guitarist in the World".
Chocky says he woke up one morning, with a gasp. He told his wife he had an idea for a song, which was recorded in his studio within a couple of hours. It was a satire on Kid Rock, called "Kyd Wok". The song was stolen on Napster and went around the world. He feared that Asian people wouldn't like it, but it went crazy in Asia. An internet newspaper writer heard the song in LA on a radio station with was featuring Carmen Allgood's internet radio show. The writer asked if he could do an interview with him for "The New Bohemian" paper. Chocky also sent "Kyd Wok" to a favorite radio personality of his, "Doctor Demento". The good doctor featured the song on his radio show, of course.
He continued to write music, record, and produce records. In 2003, he was invited (via internet, again) to play at Eck's Saloon, in Southeast Denver. He played the concert, which Dan Byers recorded on video for everyone who played there. Dan and his promoter mom, became good friends again, and invited Chocky to play in their "house band". Chocky says Dan Byers is one of the most talented musicians he's ever played music with. He had the good fortune of meeting and playing music with some of the best and most popular musicians in Denver.
Some of the people Chocky says he remebers with fondness meeting sometimes sharing the stage are the writer of the song, "Don't Bogart That Joint, My Friend", the producer of Caribou Ranch (Chicago's Studio Ranch), and Johnny Lang, a longtime favorite and outstanding guitarist in Denver. There were many others he had the good fortune to meet and make music with. He began recording favorite rock songs to cover. Many are posted on the website, www.chockykay.com
The Predator Drone
While in medical school, his father passed away from ALS. It was devastating. His mother subsequently met and married the brilliant dentist, scientist, and aviator named Dr. Leo WIndecker. Dr. Windecker changed the face of Modern Stealth Technology forever. He built the World's First Fully Stealthy Airplane. He also built the First Stealthy Remotely Piloted Vehicle, the "Aequare" which was the forerunner to the Predator Drone. He also built the World's First All-Composite Airplane, the Windecker Eagle I. Dr. Windecker asked Chocky to pen his biography, and while practicing medicine, recording music, and while entertaining in Denver clubs, he traveled back and forth between Austin and Denver to interview and research his stepfather's biography which is called, "On the Wings of the Eagle: How a Dentist Changed the Future of Aviation". Before Chocky could get it published, he had become ill and it was put on the background although it is complete.
He then retired from medicine after it was discovered he had the illness. He says the medical board required him to show up before them with five years of medical records. He couldn't and says he wouldn't. This was a violation of his civil rights. He already knew his medical career was over, so he refused to turn over medical records and surrendered his license to practice. He remains at home with his family, where he's happy and continues to love music. He's written new music, most of which will probably never be recorded. Therefore, we'll never have a chance to hear them. Nevertheless, he says he feels that he's had a wonderful life, has a wonderul wife and family, he and can't complain about a thing.