Author: Catholic Charities Published:
In the year 1960, the headlines included some major news stories. Among them were the United States entering the Vietnam War and John F. Kennedy winning the presidential election.
That year, a little known band played its first gig at the bar Treva’s in Enid, Oklahoma. The band would go on to become a premier rhythm and blues show band of the 1960’s.
The group was made up of teenagers and young adults who, early on, played in one of the member’s garage. Most had degrees in music. In the band were trumpet, base, organ, saxophone and singers. There were two preachers in the group, hence they named themselves The Preachers. First it was an all-male group, and then two females, Raye Prince and Susie Holliday (Carr) joined. Prince became the lead singer and Carr sang backup.
They wrote their own music, made their own costumes which were peach in color, and took three cars and pulled a trailer to gigs.
“We lived out of our suitcases,” Carr said.
After their first performance at Treva’s word got around. They then began playing at the Blue Onion, another local bar as well. Carr said it was jam packed every night and they had to turn people away.
“They threw change and dollar bills at us they were so impressed,” said Carr. “When we sang Gee Whiz by Marla Collins they screamed and yelled and clapped.”
When they played for WKYT radio in Enid, Carr said the switchboard lit up. Everyone was calling to see who was playing.
Carr said from then on they always had a place to play. They were so busy that Carr said one day she was resting at a table without shoes. When she went on stage she looked down.
I had my shoes on the wrong feet.”
In Red River, New Mexico they were so well liked that they were hired for a week. They received a similar reception in Texas and then it was onto Las Vegas where they played a handful of shows. Carr said the time was fun and exciting.
“We were good, so good, and we played until we had it perfect,” she said. “When we finally stopped I was tired.”
They then started signing autographs out of a car.
In Kingfisher, Oklahoma they earned the title, the local Beetles. Carr said one night there were so many people that they climbed on top of a van and played, It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night.
When they played a tri-state music festival they were paid $7000.
“We thought that was so much,” Carr said. “We were stars and filled that place. We were so happy.”
At one point the legendary performer, James Brown asked them to record at his studio, but they were so busy they never got a chance to do it.
Carr spent almost four years in the band and sang hundreds of gigs. When her kids started school, she left the group. She said it was no contest. The kids were more important than the music.
In 2010, The Preachers had a reunion in Enid. They are now writing a book. Two members have passed. Carr is active in Catholic Charities’ Foster Grandparent Program and is stationed at Woodland Elementary School. Carr said she loves it and the children love her.
“They yell Grandma Sue, we love you as they are walking through the hallways,” she said.
Carr attends Church Giving God Praise Worship Center - where she is still singing.