Smilin' Jack Herring and His Swingbillys
Smilin' Jack eventually hired Michael's mother Marilyn "Mickey" Herring
to sing in his band and they were married not long afterwards

Jack also hired Michael's Grandfather, the late legendary musician, singer and songwriter Shorty "Train, Train" Medlock of Blackfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd fame to perform at several shows. Smilin’ Jack was introduced to Tommy Durden by the SwingBillys' lead singer "Pee Wee" Jenkins in Jacksonville, FL after Tommy's performance on the very popular local TV show The Toby Dowdy Show. Michael's Grandpa Shorty was also a regular performer on the Toby Dowdy Show during that time.

Grandpa Shorty performing at one of Smilin' Jack's shows in Fanning Springs, FL, which is "Way down upon the Suwannee River"

From left to right: Imogene Waters, Ira Louvin, Eddie Hill, Armaline Waters, Charlie Louvin, Mickey Herring (pregnant with daughter Doris)

Traveling from one gig to another was quite a ride in those days.

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