The Tide Family

Pictured left to right "Jay" Dillon (Low Tide) - Drums, Bill Purcell (Tongue Tide) - guitar, Roy Lemon (Paw Tide) - piano, Gordon Reid (Ebb Tide) - upright bass and King Edward Smith (Bow Tied) - guitar. Other family members not pictured were Tom Morrison (Moon Tide), John Horner (Hog Tide), and Glen Howell (Ought-to Be Tide). Andy Peterson was the Master of Ceremonies and the low-swung hound mascot was Dog Tide. Click here to view the Tide Family Cookbook.

Ebb Tide singing "Dry Ceral" 

The Tide Family was formed in 1962 by Bill Purcell, Gordon Reid and Roy Lemon. There were many drummers, first was Johnny Horner, he was a school principal and wanted to keep a low profile. Others included Jay Dillon, Carl Holt, a fireman who later became Roanoke Fire Chief, Billy Purcell (Bill's son), Ralph Nash, Mac Williamson, Steve Shepheard, and Tim Horner. Starting with Jay, all the drummers were known as "Low Tide". 


Lee Garrett played the part of "Maw Tide".

The Tide Family disbanded in the late 70's. Both Bill Purcell (age 77) and his son Billy Purcell are still active in the music field. They appear on PAX TV with Bill Jefferson.  

Billy Purcell Audio Track  

The Tide family played show dates from Moose lodges to Hotel Roanoke, the Homestead and even once at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. On one occasion they were booked to play a convention being held at Hotel Roanoke. The people attending had never seen the "Tide Family" and didn't know what to expect. The Saturday night banquet and dance was held at Dixie Caverns. The promoter had prearranged for the "Tides" to be standing on the side of the road, just above Salem, and to be hitch-hiking. Keep in mind they were already dressed in their costumes when the chartered bus stopped, they asked the driver if there was room for Paw Tide and his clan? The bus driver told them to get on board. The convention people sort of turned up their noses as the "Tide Family" sat down. Arriving at Dixie Caverns everyone got off the bus, went inside including the "Tides". During refreshments everyone started getting to know the guys and offered them drinks which they accepted. Paw Tide explained that his jug was empty and someone filled it up. It came time for the dance to start and the promoter went to the stage, announced that the band scheduled would not be able to perform. The room went silent, then from the crowd, Tongue Tide said not to worry, that they would be more that glad to play for them. When the Tides started tuning their instruments the audience knew they were had.


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