Aired on Treasure Island OldiesJune 2024

One of the first artists to build a bridge between Rock & Roll, R&B, and country music was a singer/songwriter from Springhill, Louisiana.

From 1971 to 1985 he had over sixty releases on the Billboard country charts; four of them went to #1. In 1976, he had eight singles on those country charts and was Billboard’s singles-artist of the year.

His first #1 country hit was “Soul Song,” a tune released in late 1972. On the flipside of that record was a song that he made his debut with in 1965…a debut not on the country charts but on the pop charts.


Thanks to his mass appeal, this singer/songwriter continues to entertain today. He can liven up any crowd with a rowdy, honky-tonk number or move an audience with the feeling he puts into a love song.

In fact this artist pioneered what came to be known as the “new country” a decade or more before that marketing niche had been given a name.

In the 60s, he was the lead singer and keyboardist for a pop/rock group known as The Uniques who began performing in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. Other members included his brother Bobby on bass; Ray Mills of Sarepta, Louisiana on lead guitar; Mike Love of Magnolia, Arkansas, on drums; and Jim Woodfield of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on guitar.


In 1965, they recorded a tune produced by the legendary Dale Hawkins. Although it only reached the #66 position on the Billboard Hot 100, it was the first national hit for Paula Records and had mega regional appeal in the Southwestern United States.

Sadly, it is rarely heard today on the radio airwaves. It is a true lost treasure. Fortunately, only the song was lost and not the talents of Joe Stampley.

Granted, the song came out way back in the mid-60s but for Joe Stampley & The Uniques and their fans it was “Not Too Long Ago,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.

YouTube video of this song:

This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.