The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Hobby takes professor to New York City

Bill Ford sings the blues.

In fact, he’s the lead singer of Bona Fide Blues, an Oakcliff-based blues band who regularly plays at Eno’s Pizza Tavern and private parties. When he’s not indulging in his singing hobby, Ford is an advertising lecturer in the Temerlin School of Advertising.

Ford and a friend started the band four years ago. In the beginning, he and his friend would sit around and play guitars. They had the idea that they might play on a porch at a local joint, according to Ford.

The two friends recruited two more to join the band. Once a week, Ford and his band would learn songs. Eventually, they added another guitar player.

Although Ford started out on the guitar, he became the lead singer.

“I’m the only one that would sing,” he said.

In addition to Ford, the band features Bobby Deen on bass, Doug May on harmonica, Richard Akers and Mike Martin on guitar, and Ben James on drums.

The band’s first gig was at a charity function. Ford said the band only knew 15 to 16 songs, which wasn’t enough for a full concert, but that the band “had a blast.”

The band’s first paid gig was at Lee Harvey’s, in South Dallas. Ford said the band received more money than they were promised because the club liked them so much. “We were thrilled,” Ford said.

But it was their recent performance at the Nokia Theatre in New York City that Ford described as “amazing.”

Bona Fide Blues participated in the American Advertising Federation’s “Battle of the Ad Bands” on Sept. 24. The contest featured bands with members who work in the advertising industry. The AAF scheduled the event during their annual conference.

To enter the contest, Bona Fide Blues recorded and sent two songs on a CD into the contest. A total of 63 bands submitted entries.

Bona Fide Blues became one of 13 selected to be semifinalists with their cover of Lonnie Mack’s “Oreo Cookie Blues.”

Voting took place online, where songs from each band could be heard. Bona Fide Blues finished in second place. AAF invited the band to play at the Nokia Theatre, where they would play in front of 1,000 people.

During their trip to New York, Ford said the band “was treated like rock stars.” They played at the Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey, in addition to the Times Square venue.

Ford said one of the best parts of the trip was hearing judge and music producer Phil Ramone say “I really love the blues and you brought it home.”

“It was surreal,” Ford said.

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