Backbeat Boogie Band
Ronnie Bridges, Charlotte Mangham, Bubba Conly, Jim O'brock, Ronnie Anderson, Nick Wibben are the Backbeat Boogie Band.
Garage bands are legend, and the garage where the Backbeat Boogie Band rehearse is at the Cross Lake home of Jarrad “Bubba” Conly, one of several high school friends who play and sing in the band. The guys have played in bands for over 40 years, but never together until they formed BBBB in the summer of 2012 after a jam session.
The BBBB consists of Conly, Ronnie Anderson, Jim O’Brock, Nick Wibben, Ronnie Bridges and Charlotte Mangham. Each of them sings, but Charlotte, the only female in the group, probably gets the most vocal time. She is a Shreveport resident who is known for singing at churches, weddings, funerals, and other venues such as the Strand Theater.
All but one of the guys attended school in the mid- to late-‘60s at Fair Park and Woodlawn High Schools, and though they may not appeal to the tween generation, their graying hair and mature voices hit the right rock ‘n roll notes with boomers and those with the good sense to appreciate songs like “Black Velvet” and “Kansas City.”
Conly plays keyboard and guitar, and he is an experienced garage band musician who was also a member of “The Living End” band. “We have no egos in this group,” said Conly. “We have fun, and finally we have time to devote to what we like to do. BBBB has been far more successful than we ever thought.”
Ronnie Bridges began playing guitar in 1964, and played with “The Boys Next Door,” a Woodlawn High group, during 1967-68. He is the only member who doesn’t live in the Shreveport area. He resides in Dallas, and loves playing with the band so much he is willing to make the drive to rehearse and play gigs.
Ronnie Anderson plays lead guitar, and locals may remember when he played in “LA Magnum” and “Innuendo.” He is a Southwood graduate and was a sales rep for Sencon Brands for 35 years.
Jim O’Brock played professional music for 20 years before becoming an accountant and pilot for a chain of ladies’ health spas. Among his past gigs were high profile bands such as “Steppenwolf” and “Lynyrd Skynyrd” before he opened O’Brock Repair in Shreveport, but even then he continued to play drums for his church.
Nick Wibben plays bass for BBBB, attended Fair Park and graduated from LA Tech in 1973. In those early days he played with “Blue Denims” and “Jona.” He currently plays guitar and sings in the Christian group “One Voice” and sings lead in the gospel quartet “The Gloryland Way.”
BBBB are scheduled to play April 11 at the American Legion on Cross Lake. Other places they have played their rock ‘n roll music is at the Lake Street Dancehall/Ballroom, Bayou Daiquiri, Woodlawn Class of 1968 reunion, Fair Park 1968 Class reunion at Stonebridge, Elks’ Club, and Crewe of Elders.
It’s been said that you can’t go back in time, but we all love the music we grew up with, and the enthusiasm and talent among this band has garnered fans and a following in a short time. They can be reached for bookings by contacting Bubba Conly at email@example.com.
By Elaine Marze