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Jay Boy Adams

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James Wallace "Jay Boy" Adams​

(Businessman, musician, vocalist)

Jay Boy Adams of TX.jpg

Born December 8, 1949​
Fort Worth, Texas, [[United States}USA]] ​

Musical residence:Lubbock, Texas
Business residence:Comfort, Kendall County, Texas​

Spouse Mary F. Adams ​

Alma mater:
Colorado City (Texas) High School University of North Texas
Texas Tech University

James Wallace Adams, known as "Jay Boy" Adams (born December 8, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and businessman from Lubbock and Kendall County, Texas. He is particularly known for storytelling in his songs.​


Adams was born in Fort Worth but reared in Colorado City in Mitchell County in West Texas, where his father was the local Chevrolet dealer and a rancher.[1] Upon graduation in 1967 from Colorado City High School, he entered the University of North Texas at Denton, then North Texas State University, known for its arts and music curricula. There one of his English classmates was Don Henley, later with the band, The Eagles. He met singer Gary Nicholson while at NTSU. Adams went to Dallas, to hear the guitarist Bugs Henderson, who took an interest in Adams's musical development. He fondly credits the late nights spent listening to Henderson for the neglect of his college studies.[2]


With hopes of a musical career of his own, Adams left UNT after two years and moved to Houston, where he met John Carrick, whose mother was the owner of Sand Mountain Coffee House. His first solo performing was at Sand Mountain along with Carrick, Bobbie Jo Gentry, and Jerry Jeff Walker. Adams and Carrick formed "Hayseed" a short lived band experimenting with original songs and then performing in and around Houston and at Alan's Landing. Once there, Adams met the guitarist Billy Gibbons of The Moving Sidewalks, and played at The Cellar.[2] In late 1969, he moved to Midland, where he joined the house band at The Chateau Club led by Johnny Heartsman (1937-1996), another major influence on Adams' career. He attended the two-year Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, with the goal of improving his grade-point average so that he could re-enter a university. Meanwhile, he lost his draft deferment during the Vietnam War.[3]

In March 1972, Steve Moss secured Adams a spot with the ZZ Top band in Lubbock. That summer he gained entry to Texas Tech University in Lubbock to study music and English. ZZ Top's manager, Bill Ham, soon invited Adams to play for the band at the Municipal Auditorium in Dallas. By 1976, Adams had signed with Atlantic Records, which in 1977 released his first music. After two albums Atlantic did not renew his contract. Ham then sent Adams to Capricorn Records in Macon, Georgia. His last recordings were done there with Paul Hornsby producing. Early in 1981, before the album was completed Capricorn Records filed bandruptsy. Probably his best unfinished work to date was locked away in the legal vault. He and his band continued to perform and tour but by 1982 Adams had had enough and withdrew from the music scene. Adams is known for his ability for storytelling in song, a mixture of blues, rock and roll, country, and folk music. In those years, Adams often spent more than half of the year in concert tours.[2] He performed not only with ZZ Top, but the Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, and John Robert "Joe" Cocker (1944-2014). He and Bobby Keys, a saxohone player, had not previously met but toured together for a time with Cocker.[3] Keys had not been in Lubbock for years, and Adams invited him to return and play with his band.​

By 1982, faced with mounting family obligations, Adams left the music business and avoided music clubs and concerts for most of the following fifteen years. Instead, he operated and still maintains the company, Roadhouse Transportation, which leases touring coaches to such celebrity singers as Celine Dion, Bruce Springsteen, and the Dallas Cowboys. In 1986, Adams played with Reba McEntire at the Cattle Baron’s Ball. He moved his family to a ranch in the Texas Hill Country and his business to the town of Comfort in Kendall County, west of San Antonio. One evening Adams and his wife, Mary F. Adams, attended a show in San Antonio to hear the musician Lee Roy Parnell, who invited Adams to join him on stage. Thereafter, Adams's desire to perform in public was rekindled and became irresistible.[2]

In 1999, Adams joined George Strait's national tour. He toured Europe with the Tejano group, The Texas Tornados. He became the co-manager of the singer Pat Green, whom Adams met when Green came looking for touring accommodations. By 2007, Adams released the album "The Shoe Box", which reached No. 5 on the Americana chart. The album offers ten new Adams selections and three from the late 1970s. "The Shoe Box" produced three top 10 single songs on the Texas Music Chart. Singer Stephen Stills, an avid listener of "The Shoe Box," declared Adams "a great musician and a storyteller in the true Texas tradition" and invited him to join Stills' national tour.[2]

In 2005, Adams was featured on Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter syndicated television anthology series focused on his return to professional music.[4]

On March 12, 2011, Adams performed in concert at the landmark Texas Theater in Sweetwater in Nolan County, near his hometown of Colorado City. It was the first concert in some seventy years at that facility, which had originally been designed for musical programs but quickly converted to films.[2]

Adams is an artist on Wounded Bird Records. He formed a rock group, Brothers of the Southland, which includes The Outlaws, The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, Wet Willie, The Black Crowes, and Bo Bice.[1] His business, Road House Coaches, Inc., is based in Kendall County, but Adams considers Lubbock as his musical home. "Lubbock is the capital of West Texas. There has been so much talent come out of there, and really . . . none of it has been very commercial. Buddy Holly wasn't commercial when he [first] came out of there."[3] Among those to whom Adams was referring was Don Allison, an area musician associated with various genres of music and a long-time producer at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock, where Adams has also frequently performed.[5]


  • Jay Boy Adams (1977) Billboard 200 (No. 210​)
  • Fork In The Road (1978)​
  • The Shoe Box (2007)​
  • Let It Go (2014)​


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jay Boy Adams biography. Retrieved on June 2, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jay Boy Adams to perform at Texas Theater. The Sweetwater Reporter (March 5, 2011). Retrieved on June 2, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chris Oglesby (February 8, 2002). Interview: Jay Boy Adams. Retrieved on June 2, 2020.
  4. "Jay Boy Adams," Texas Country Reporter,. May 28, 2005.
  5. William Kerns (May 25, 2011). Lubbock musician Don Allison loses battle with cancer at age 49: Musician Don Allison lost four-year battle with cancer and died Tuesday. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved on June 2, 2020.

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