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Wallace Van Riper Deane


Born in Washington, D.C May15,1936 to John Wallace and Grace Talmadge Deane. His father (John) being from Baltimore Maryland and his mother (Grace) from Long Island New York. John Wallace was on assignment, working with the Washington Post as a reporter at the time. John Wallace brought his pregnant wife Grace along with him as did most husbands back in the day. As luck would have it, wally just could not wait to be freed. Wally was kickin and screaming inside the womb of his mother as to say “let me out of here, I have music to make! Wally was born and Grace notes that Wally was already a singer from the moment he was born as he could scream his lungs out and when he wasn’t doing that, he seemed to know how to flirt on top of it as all of the nurses were instantly drawn to his charm and good looks. Rockin, Wally Deane also had two sisters, Lou Ann, and Deb. Lou Ann passed away but Debbie still rocks!

 

John Wallace’s health forced the Deane’s to move south to Miami Florida where the weather was more suitable. As they settled into their new living arrangements, and lifestyle, Grace, a classically trained pianist, continued to play the piano with authority. Wally loved to watch her play the piano and soon was able to get a cheap guitar so that he could play along with her. Grace would teach him what chords were and the basics. Boy, were they a pair when holidays came around. Wally played his guitar all the time, separating himself from his “axe” only to take a shower and to sleep.

 

Before you knew it Wally’s ability to play the guitar increased daily. Grace was amazed how quickly he picked up the instrument. As he played with Grace, he began to learn his own style, and soon sought to play with others so that he could learn from them. Wally was never too proud to learn his craft and would frequent sock hops, square dances or any other function that played music. He would clearly ask them if he could sit in and play, even if he had no idea what he was playing. He would pick the songs up extremely quickly and was soon accepted by all the locals. At the age of 15, (1951), Wally would sneak out of the house and hang out at local blues clubs in Sweetwater. Wally would knock at the back door and the local musicians would allow him to sit in their practices or in between sets. The locals knew he wasn’t of age but didn’t seem to care as Wally was a kindred spirit and showed spunk and had a genuine desire to learn the ropes. This reminded them of the spirit they once had.   

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Wall to wall beaches, balmy weather, palm trees swaying in ocean breezes, and floral splendor are the images associated with Miami and its sister city, Miami Beach which in less than a century rose from a mosquito-infested swamp that is the Everglades to blossom into a sub-tropical metropolis.

Miami enjoyed its heyday in the 40s and 50s. For many years after the war, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, one of the most popular shows on American TV, was broadcast from the
Kenilworth Hotel, further publicizing Miami's delights to a nation-wide audience.

Unlike major recording centers such as Memphis or Nashville, Miami lacked a musical identity and attracted very few out-of-town acts. Despite this the area was home to several wild and rocking combos. One such up and coming artist was Wally Deane & his flips. Playing small clubs and venues, Wally Deane & his flips stormed the Miami music scene. Playing his happy go lucky Bluesy style music, Wally Deane & his flips were a breath of fresh air.

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In 1953 at the age of 17, wally was approached by George Jordan, a local host at The popular Shoremede Hotel on Miami beach. The Shoremede was THE place to be on the beach. Wally Deane was an overnight hit. Drawing packed houses was what Wally was known for. A local Surf Pro and Cabana boy Jack Murphy, known for the Star of Diamond heist would frequent the hotel to party at the Shoremeade with Wally and friends. Jack quotes "What a buzz from the past!!! It was 1955 at the Shoremeade Hotel and Wally Deane was on fire!! Wally was the Elvis of Miami Beach. We danced and partied every night, it was great!! Awesome memories. Murph. Not long after that, a gentleman by the name of Tex Dean Took Wally to Bivens Texas and introduced Wally to Lillian McMurry at Trumpet Records

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