By Pat Smith Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — Dan Mobley is a success story by anyone’s measure.
He started a musical career in Greensburg and more than 50 years later is still making music all over the country.
He’s visiting his family in Greensburg this summer until he heads off to Washington State and Vancouver to make music. He says, “I’ve made a living at something that I would have done for nothing.” He plays the six and 12 string guitar and at one time played the banjo. He usually plays alone but has back-up tracks for anyone wanting to dance.
Dan is the son of Mary Mobley Theobald and the late E. L. “Dutch” Mobley. His sister is Mary Ann Barnett of Clarksburg, and his brothers are Tom of Florida and Mike of North Dakota.
“I heard the sound of someone packing/ I heard the sound of a suitcase snapping.” Those are words from a song written by Dan and friend Shel Silverstein. One day when Dan and Shel were next door neighbors in Key West, Florida Dan was sitting outside playing his guitar and singing. Silverstein leaned over the fence and said he enjoyed his music. They became fast friends and wrote many songs together. The lines above are from a song they wrote titled, “She Took Everything but the Blame.” They also wrote “Dope Heads on Mopeds” and many others. Silverstein was an American poet, singer, songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children’s books.
Longtime friend Lou Alexander, now living in of California said, “Dan has been a friend since our days together at St. Mary’s in Greensburg. He’s a wonderfully versatile musician, able to play many styles of music and maintain cheerful patter in between songs. He entertained our class with a long set at our GCHS Class of 1965 joint 62nd birthday party in 2007. One of the highlights of this performance was an original song, “Summer Nights in Greensburg, IN” that completely captures what it was like growing up in Greensburg in the 1950s and 1960s. Dan may only live in Decatur County for part of the year but he gives back to his hometown. This Friday he is donating his service for a fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus in Greensburg.”
Joe Rust said, “I spoke with my brother Richard, who’s involved with the K of C, as is Steve Greiwe. On Friday nights they offer sandwiches and sides starting (this Friday) at 6 p.m. until around 7 p.m. and includes such Indiana delicacies as grilled tenderloins, grilled chicken, etc. and sides. There is a full bar open until 10 p.m. Dan is not charging the K of C anything for his playing and will be basically working for any tips provided by patrons - very generous on Dan’s part. There is no cover charge or ticket required. So, eating and drinking is what makes this a fundraiser.”
It isn’t unusual for Dan to perform for a cause. His website states that he was awarded “The Humanitarian Award” for his work toward saving the Florida Manatee through benefit concerts to raise funds. He’s been voted “Suncoast Entertainer of the Year” many times. Dan performs at Key West and Sarasota and goes to other cities in the States and Canada. He’s a favorite at The Hogs Breath Saloon in Key West.
He’s made more than eight albums during his career. One album was recorded at Jackson Browne’s “Groovemaster” Studio in the Los Angeles area and featured backup singers Rita Coolidge, Marilyn Martin, and Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles. Bass player for James Taylor and Phil Collins, Leland Sklar, also performed on the album.
Other albums include a soundtrack for the PBS Documentary titled Gulf of Mexico, America’s Shining Sea, Key West Solo, Following the Path of the Moonlight, No Wake, Key West Christmas Card, Metamora to Key West with many of the songs he and Shel Silverstein wrote together.
He has performed with The Allman Brothers, Roger McGuinn, John Prine, Air Supply, The Beach Boys, Marty Robbins (He was the nicest of all the men I have met in the music business,” Dan said. ) Dan has appeared on “60 minutes in a tribute to Jimmy Buffett,”
Alan Goddard, another Greensburg native said, “I’m not sure but I think Danny had a guitar in hand before he had a pacifier! He has tons of talent as a composer and musician. I’ve admired him as person and a talented musician. From the days of playing on stage for the high school hoot-a-nanny, for the choir, to the Caravans, and now as Captain Dan playing that great Florida beach sound, he is one that Greensburg can be proud to call one of their own success stories in the music business.”
See you Friday night?