The house band at the Eastwood Country Club was led by various characters over the years, including Fats Martin, Shake Snyder, Spot Barnett, and Curley May, with a revolving cast of capable San Antonio players carousing nightly through the hits of the day. Bobby Blackmon was among those workmanlike masses, taking the stage in 1965 as a way to stave off his pharmaceutical day job doldrums. From the Eastwood stage, Blackmon began to integrate himself into the San Antonio scene, eventually piecing together his own band from fellow Eastwood regulars. Organist Mary Parchman was joined by a pianist known as Mr. Blackwell, bassist Johnny Leftredge, trumpeter James Leon Smith, drummer Little Mo Mosley, and tenor saxophonist Rocky Morales to form the Soul Express in 1966. Impressed with Bobby's style and chops, Abe Epstein invited Blackmon & Co. to come down to General McMullen Drive to commit some of that energy to tape.