They were from Starkville, actually. Home of Mississippi State University. The alma mater of quite a few Memphians — which gives me an excuse to write about that here. Yes, I know, it's a stretch. But pay attention anyway.
Now, everybody on earth has heard of that little band in England, formed in 1962 by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. They named their group "The Rolling Stones" after the title of a Muddy Waters record they admired, though he preferred to spell it Rollin'.
But, as you can see from this photo published way back in the 1958 edition of the Reveille, the yearbook of Mississippi State College, as it was known then, a high-energy rock-and-roll group called — yep, the Rolling Stones — played at parties in the Starkville area. The group had an interesting lineup — a pair of guitarists (one armed with a Fender Stratocaster, another with a Telecaster), a drummer, a pianist, and a stand-up bass player who apparently decided that he didn't need to actually "stand up" to play his instrument. No microphones in sight, so it's hard to say who the singer was. Heck, with all this going on, maybe they didn't need one.
I have no idea who these guys' names are, and I do wonder what happened to them over the years. But with their catchy name, they were certainly ahead of their time, and their matching "mod" jackets even preceded what we would see the Beatles wearing about five or six years later.
Who knew Starkville, Mississippi, was so cutting-edge in the world of music? And what's really strange about this band? Not a cowbell in sight!