The following autobiography was written by The Ledge in 1969 to accompany the release of his second single, "I Took A Trip."


by: The Legendary Stardust Cowboy

In the following paragraphs I tell the story of my life and about music.

On Broadway, on Friday, September 5, 1947, Norman Odam was born in Lubbock, Texas. I went to church every Sunday as I grew up on Flint Avenue just south of town in the cottonfields. Looking back as I grew up in the cottonfields, it reminds me of the song, "Cottonfields." When I was six years old I did not start school because I was not ready. Instead, I was sent to kindergarten in order for the teacher to get me to talk. It took her six months to get me to talk. At this age I used to look at the moon and told myself that some day man will go to the moon. I would like to go to Mars instead of the moon. When I was seven years old I was walking down the street after school and told myself that some day I was going to be famous. How, when, or where, I did not know, but I knew that some day I was going to be famous.

I started the first grade when I was seven. The first six years of my schooling taught me how to write poetry and little stories. When I enterd the seventh grade at the age of 13, I soon found myself wanting to be very popular.

There were many of my fellow students my age that were popular in one way or another and I was determined not to be on the second seat. I knew that I could not hold an office or anything like that. All of the time I was fighting and striving to be looked up to and be popular for something outstanding. So I took the song, "Cottonfields" and put new words to it which I called "Peach Orchards." That was the first song I ever wrote.

Later on, I was sitting in my backyard thinking about cowboys and stardust in outer space. I put them together and came up with Stardust Cowboy. After that I added legendary which means that I am a legend in my own time.

When I was 14 I started doing Rebel yells and Indian whoops because I am part Shawnee. I taught myself to do bird calls and jungle sounds with my mouth. So I am the first to do it.

My second song is called "The Ballad of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy." The third song is called "My Beautiful Dream." My latest song is called "Take a Train to Santa Fe." About this same time I was writing short stories,

I did more singing around school. I figured that by singing I was able to attract all the girls but I attracted all the boys instead. This same time I was learning a lot of western songs. When I was 15 and in ninth grade I entered a talent contest and did some jokes, danced, and sang two songs. In 15 minutes I became the most popular student in Junior High. Everybody knew me but I did not know everybody. The audience reception was tremendous.

Chet Atkins insprired me to learn to play the guitar and I prayed to learn how to play one. A few months later I had the opportunity to learn how to play the guitar. My folks wished I would learn to sing with the guitar but I wanted to play like Chet Atkins. Later on, I started singing Johnny Cash and Buck Owens' music with the guitar along with Elvis Presley's music.

My favorite type of girl is a blue-eyed blond. I like blondes because I have blond hair. A blue-eyed blond is the most beautiful thing in the whole universe besides the stars in the night sky. If I had the opportunity, I would kiss every blue eyed blond in the world.

Along with this, I kept up with the space program and studied it while writing songs about space and rockets. I have written more space songs than anybody.

When I was sixteen in high school I did not accomplish very much. I then learned to play the drums, bugle, kazoo, harmonica, buffalo horn, and the rubboard. When I turned 17 in the eleventh grade, I entertained before school to 500 people on the patio, tennis court, auditorium steps, teachers' parking lot, and in the halls and barracks. Boys threw money and candy at me while the girls cried because they treated me that way. I also entertained for fraternaties at Texas Tech, Dairy Queen, Hi-Di-Ho Drive-In, Char King, many houses, and made some recordings. For seven weeks I sang in the parking lot of the Music Box, a teen-age nightclub, to a crowd of teenagers. One girl would run her fingers through my hair while I looked into her eyes and I sang, "Last Kiss". I became the most popular student in my junior and senior years in high school.

When I graduated from high school, I put away my guitar and quit writing songs for one year while I was majoring in electronics technology in college. For three months I thought about writing a wild song that would captivate everybody. So, one day I sat down and wrote "Paralyzed" which I recorded for a talent contest at a radio station. I made the top ten and had a lot of requests for it on the radio as well as at parties. Then, I tried to get it on record because I knew I could make big money on It.

One night while I was still 19 years old, I got paid for entertaining at the Elks Lodge. I just then turned professional. I got paid for singing in most places.

Then I was lonely and I was jealous of all the other guys because they had a girl and I did not. As I walked down the street I sang romance songs to myself. I spent many a night calling girls in dorms at Texas Tech to get a date. A lot of them never hear of me and thought the Legendary Stardust Cowboy was a character that did not exist. I tried and thought up all kinds of ways. One night I walked three miles in a freezing rain to Hulen Hall to see a girl. She was on one side of the hall and I was on the other and we missed each other. Here I was, 21 years old, and still never had a date. Whenever I get on more TV shows and have more records out, then I will be successful in getting my first date.

A lot of times I prayed to God to help me record a record so that some day I can record Gospel records. A year ago I was working in a factory from 5:30 P.M. until 3:00 A.M. My job was running a drill press and I dreamed of going to California to record a record and entertain in Las Vegas. I thought of walking all the way from Lubbock over the Rockies to Las Vegas to get a job singing, (a distance of 1,200 miles) Then I would walk to Hollywood to record a record. I would be the first to hike over the Rockies with a guitar.

One day I quit my job and rode a bus to San Diego and lived there for awhile trying to get jobs singing. Then I moved to Hollywood and tried to record records for Capitol and Liberty. I went to several music studios to make a record. I even tried to get on the Steve Allen Show, Joey Bishop Show, and Art Linkletter's House Party. I made friends with a lot of people and bought a buckskin coat.

Then I went back to San Diego for awhile and then back to Lubbock. I got a job in a warehouse working from 3:00 P.M. to 11:00 A. M. I would entertain at two places in the afternoon during the summer and two places at night. I wrote songs and learned songs like mad while I was getting four hours of sleep each night for five months.

I got tired of working in a warehouse so I wrote Tiny Tim a letter with a picture of myself and musical instruments. I wanted him to help me record a record. By the way, my Dad died when I was 17 and he never heard me sing. Then my Mother remarried. I wanted to be on the Johnny Carson show like Tiny Tim.

A couple of Yankees from New York talked me into moving to New York. The latter of September after I turned 21 I quit me job in the warehouse and left Lubbock and bound for New York to be on the Johnny Carson Show. All of the way I was determined to sing at places to earn my way there. In my pocket was only $160, I went 350 miles to the east and pulled into Fort Worth.

I sang at a few places, made some money, guys discovered me and in three days my dream came true of recording a record called, "Paralyzed." In less than a week I was on Mercury Records. Then I did my first national TV show called "Laugh-In". My new record is called "I Took A Trip," which I dreamed would be on reocrd for five years.

God is my partner and he is on my side. It looks like that I will be able to record Gospel records, be on Johnny Carson, have my first date, and later on be in the Western movies. - The Legendary Stardust Cowboy

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