Monday, April 22, 2013

We Wear Short Shorts ...

Colettes 1957, all photos by John Holly Williams, courtesy LLF Library

Clyde Wilson -- The Man Behind the Blue Wave and the Colettes
(from Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal; July 31, 2009)

ABERDEEN - Clyde Thompson Wilson, 78, died Thursday, July 30, 2009, at his home in Aberdeen. He was born Aug. 22, 1930, to Byron Wilson and Thelma Louise Hill Wilson in Aberdeen. He was a graduate of Aberdeen High School and a 1950 graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, where he was a member of the Blue Wave Show Band and played saxophone in the Stage Band. He earned a bachelor's degree in music at the University of Mississippi, where he was a member of the Pride of the South Band. He graduated with honors from Vandercook School of Music in Chicago with a master's degree. He served in the U.S. Army as a corporal in the 101st Infantry Division, the Screaming Eagles, at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

He was the band director at Copiah-Lincoln for 10 years. Under his leadership, the Co-Lin Band and Colettes became one of the most outstanding junior college show bands in the nation, performing at such events as the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 1968 he returned to Aberdeen to take over the family-owned business, Wilson Grocery. He was also a successful artist. His oils were shown in six successful one-man shows throughout the state. He served for many years as a news reporter for the Aberdeen Examiner.

He was inducted into the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Band and Colette Alumni Hall of Fame during ceremonies at homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. He was the owner, publisher and editor of the Tombigbee Country Magazine with distribution in all 50 states.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Tisdale-Lann Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen with the Rev. James Rutledge officiating. Burial will be in Beeks Cemetery.

Survivors include a number of cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Pallbearers will be J.W. Benson, Charles Luker, Randy Benson, Randy Perkins, Ron Witchman and James Hairston.

Honorary pallbearers will be Brent Coleman, Chris Rieves, Mike Hawkins, Thomas Young, Justin Hairston and Harvey Morrison III.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the Copiah-Lincoln Band and Colette Alumni will accept memorial grifts for band scholarships in his name.


  1. Love, love seeing the Colettes in a circle....brings to mind the water ballet in my childhood Lions Club Water Carnival memories. Later on I will scan and send you an article I came across verifying this.
    Was the bike riding to keep those beautiful legs shapely?

  2. I think the bike riding was one of their routines. My O My, no wonder they were invited to New York and Washington, DC!!

  3. The picture of the single Colette with the umbrella: Sonny and I both recognized her immediately. She is Betty Jo Flowers Stewart, who grew up in the Heuck's Retreat area, and was the "Head Collette" at some point in the 50s. Betty Jo later owned the Traveler's Insurance Agency, located behind Bane Drug Store. Her son, Greg, probably still lives in Brookhaven. Betty Jo was widowed at a young age, and has since re-married and lived in Jackson the last I knew. We have lost touch, but she was a dear friend of ours. I hope if anyone sees this that may have her e-mail address, they can forward it to me. I would love to re-establish contact with her.