Jody spent many years around the Monterey Bay and played with many of the areas best Country musicians.
All of the locals consider Jody a local too. Below is a biography of Jody by his wife.
Special thanks to Terry and Mike McCauley
Born: Alfie Joe McCauley
When Jody was a little boy his dad took him to see a Medicine Show. From that time on he wanted to be in show business. He moved to California when he was 8 years old. When he was 17 years old (in 1946),he heard this steel-guitar sound on the radio and was so impressed he wanted to find out what it was. One night his older sister took him to a Bob Wills dance. There he saw Noel Boggs playing a steel-guitar and decided right away that is what he wanted to do. At the time he was working in a lettuce shed with his older brother so he saved up enough money to buy himself a steel-guitar with his dad co-signing for him. The guitar was a single neck Rickenbacker. The guitar and amplifier together cost $150.00. He quit the lettuce shed then and started practicing on his guitar. Sometimes he practiced all hours of the night. One night his older sister called the police on him because she couldn't get any sleep. Then he started practicing in a little trailer outside the house. The first song he learned to play was "Get along home Cindy",which was an old Bob Wills tune.
After Jody had been practicing about 6 weeks, a band called "The 7 Rowe Brothers" hired him to play with them. He then traded his single neck for a double neck Rickenbacker. The band went on tour to Oklahoma and Texas and then back to California. They had a radio show in Watsonville,California and played dances. They went to San Francisco and cut a few records on a record label which was then owned by Bing Crosby. One of the records was called "The Birthday Cake". Jody then traded his double neck Rickenbacker for a double neck Fender guitar.
The year 1948 he started playing with Big Jim DeNoon and his group. They cut a few records on the 4-Star label, one in particular was called, "Silver Bells". Ferlin Husky, better known as Terrible Tex Terry and then Terry Preston was also in this group. Ferlin and Jody branched off and formed their own group. This was 1949 and at this time a cabinet-maker and Jody made a 4-neck steel-guitar out of National parts, which is now in the Hall of Fame. Jody cut a few records at this time with Ferlin under the name Terry Preston. The name of a couple of them was "Daddys Little Girl" and "Heart of Stone".
The year 1951 Jody did a short time in the Army at Fort Ord, California. He left California and went to Phoenix, Arizona where he worked with Billy Grammer. Then on to Tucson, Arizona with a group called "The Trail Blazers". This was in 1952 and they had a weekly T.V. Show. In 1953 Red Foley with a Grand Ole Opry Show came to perform and his steel-guitar player couldn't make the show. This was the well known Bud Isaccs. Bud asked Jody to fill in for him so he did. Bud had heard his playing before in California. After the show the performers and Red Foley himself asked Jody would he like to go to the Opry and naturally he said yes. Two weeks later he received a telegram from Little Jimmy Dickens asking him to join his group. This was the early part of 1953 and he was with him until sometime in 1954. They toured all the states and made several hit records such as "Out Behind the Barn", "You All Come", "You Better Not Do That", "Sidemeat and Cabbage", "Take Me As I Am" and many more. Jimmy Dickens was the number one singer of the year at this time.
Jody came back to California and married his sweetheart of 7 years. They moved to Oakland, California where he had a country-rock group for awhile. The famous Cal Smith and the country gospel singer Bill Carter were two of the singers he had at one time or another.
In 1957 Jody moved to Reno, Nevada where he worked with a group at Harolds Club for a record breaking 72 consecutive weeks. There is where Noel Boggs (famous steel-player) came and caught his show. Noel really liked it, came up to Jody and asked him to come back stage with him. Noel gave Jody a picture of himself and his 4-neck Fender custom made steel-guitar. He wrote on there, "From the best to the best", which Jody was really honored, because Noel was the one who really inspired him to play steel. This was the first 4-neck steel-guitar he had ever seen outside his own. This was the year 1958. From Reno, Jody moved to Nashville, Tennessee and joined the "Judy Lynn Show". They toured the states and Thule, Greenland with various Opry Stars and when he was in town he backed up several stars on the opry. By this time the pedal-steel was invented, but he was still playing his 4-neck National Special. He was getting the same sound as the pedal steel by pulling the strings with his fingers. It was the same sound Bud Isaac got playing on the hit record,"Slowly" by Webb Pierce. Jody did this by pulling 2 strings behind the bar with his ring and his little finger and the "E" tuning. When he was scheduled to do some shows with Webb Pierce some of the entertainers told him Webb wouldn't dig him because he didn't have a pedal guitar. Jody did the shows with him and Webb really liked him and asked him to go to work with him steady. He decided to come back to California instead and so he did in 1959. He worked various clubs with his own group and cut some religious records with Bill Carter. This was in the Bay area and Salinas-Monterey area. Jody bought his first pedal steel-guitar which was a 3-neck Bigsby with 6 pedals.
In 1964 Jody moved to Sacramento where he was on a weekly radio show and T.V. show called "Country Corners" with Truitt Cunningham. During this time the famous Lynn Anderson was the featured female vocalist with them. Jody then bought himself a Fender 1,000 2-neck steel-guitar with 8 pedals.
In 1965 Jody organized a group called Jodys' Country Cousins. Their first engagement was the biggest club in the world at that time, called the Sahara Tahoe at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. From there it was the whole Nevada circuit with a few other states occasionally. Jody completed 6 years at the "Golden Nugget" in Las Vegas, Nevada for 2 and 3 week engagements every 6 weeks. He and the group went to Saigon, South Viet Nam for 3 weeks, plus Tokyo, Japan, Bangkok, Thailand and the Philippines. After the Nevada circuit he teamed up with Sue Thompson on an R.F.D. Hollywood Tour in the Fair and Rodeo Circuit. Since then it has been home on the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas Valley area. He and his group booked out occasionally at the New El Dorado in Reno, Nevada, Harveys at Lake Tahoe and various special occasions. He did a special show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco for the Rodeo Association and R.J. Reynolds Corp.
October 1974 Jody went to the yearly D.J. Convention by request of the Sho-Bud Steel-guitar Co. to represent them. The Convention is always held in Nashville, Tennessee. While he was there the owner of the Sho-Bud Guitar Co., Shot Jackson asked him if they could put his 4-neck National Special in the Hall of Fame. Naturally he said yes and he was deeply honored. While he was there in the Hall of Fame touring it, he saw himself on a Historical film show - the "History of the Grand Ole Opry" while performing on stage in the Old Ryman Auditorium.
St. Patricks Day 1975 Jody did a benefit show for the Boy Scouts of America at the Fabulous East of Eden in Salinas, California with Sue Thompson. It was $100.00 a plate dinner and a great success. From what we heard it converted a lot of Opera and Ballet lovers to Country Music.
Jodys' Country Cousins put out an album called Jody McCauley and his Country Cousins with title song called "Grandmas Hill". The Album is placed in the Hall of Fame with Jodys Guitar.
October 15, 1975 Jody had the honor of playing in the New Opry House in Opryland. They were celebrating their 50th Anniversary. He was on the Sho-Bud-Gretsch portion of the show. Roy Acuff was master of ceremonies. Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Ernest Tubb, Shot Jackson and several other stars were on the same show.
In 1976 and 1977 Jody did several benefit shows with Sue Thompson for Boy Scouts and Youth Ranches. In 1977 Jody moved with his family to Houston, Texas. He cut an album "Home Away From Home" with Roy Acuff, Shot Jackson, Billy Grammer, and Donna Darlene.
In 1978 and 1979 Jody did shows with Shot Jackson, Donna Darlene, Sue Thompson, Ferlin Husky and the Original Drifting Cowboys. He did the sessions in Houston. In June 1979 he played on W.S.M. Grand Ole Opry for Sho-Bud and Ernest Tubb's record Shop. Also at this time he was inducted into the Walkway of the Stars in The Country Music Hall of Fame. In October 1979 Jody played the Opry during the D.J. Convention and Ernest Tubb's Record Shop.
In January 1980 Jody did a session in Nashville with a new artist. He also did a show in Sacramento California for the talent buyers Show-Cases. He worked with Jon Walmsly (Jason of the Walton's T,V. Show). He moved to the Fort Worth-Dallas area.
In 1981 Jody played New West with Tommy Alsup, Shootin' Newton TV Show, Billy Bobs Texas Dude Ranches. Shows in Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Arizona. In 1986, Jody was voted Instrumentaliet of the Year (Terry Awards) in Fort Worth. He worked with Bo Diddley and played the Hall of Fame Motor Inn during Fan Fair for Little Richie Johnson.
In October 1987 he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame for the Western Swing Society. He has made an Album with his son Shane (drummer). The title of the record is "Jody and Shane McCauley and Friends". Jody has received numerous awards and credits.
Jody has performed with such noted stars as: 7 Rowe Bros., Jimmy Wakely, Smiley Burnette, Lash LeRue, 3 Musketeers, Tex Ritter, Ferlin Huskey, Billy Grammar, Red Foley, Moon Mullican, Floyd Cramer, Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Cowboy Copas, Judy Lynn, Del Woods, Mother Maybelle & The Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Red Brasfeld, Stonewall Jackson, Freddie Hart, Merle Travis, Johnny & Jonie Mosby, Rose Lee & Joe Maphis, Chet Atkins, Webb Pierce, Sue Thompson, Hank Cochran, Billy Walker, Eddie Dean, David Frizzel, Rose Maddox, Wanda Jackson, Cal Smith, Bill Carter, Lefty Frizell, Lynn Anderson, Bo Diddley, Wynn Stewart, Bobby Bare, Carl Belew, Carl Butler, Shot Jackson, Grandpa Jones, Milton Berle, Donna Darlene, Merle Kilgore, Sleepy LaBeef, Charlie Pride, Tommy Duncan, Tex Williams, and Dick Curless. He has also performed with Patsy Montana, Jon Walmsley (Jason on T.V. Walton's Show), Susan Raye, Bonnie Owens, Billy Jack Wills, Jimmy Bryant, movie star Glenn Ash, Buddy Alan, Governor Jimmie Davis, Bobby Austin, Dorsey Burnette, and played a session in L.A. with Glen Campbell before he was a star.
Jody turned down the offer to work with Bob Wills twice and regretted it ever since.
Click on a song title below to hear that song.
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