GIBBS, SAM (1918–2004). Samuel Gibbs, musician and booking agent, was born on May 14, 1918, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar with his twin brother Nat and his younger brother Leon. By the late 1930s they had formed a western swing group and became a popular draw throughout North Texas. They also played a morning show on KWFT in Wichita Falls. Gibbs worked with his brother Nat for the local Wichita Falls newspaper at the Times Publishing Company in the advertising department. They soon renamed their group the Miller Brothers.
After serving in the military in World War II, Sam Gibbs and his brothers resumed their performances, and the Miller Brothers became one of the most popular western swing bands in the United States. Sam and his brothers built a popular nightclub, called the M-B Corral, in Wichita Falls. The venue served as a home base for the Miller Brothers and also showcased such rising stars as Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, and Buck Owens. Gibbs, however, left the Miller Brothers Band in 1953 to start his own booking agency, the Sam Gibbs Orchestra Service. He went on to become a pioneer in that industry. His bookings of a young Roger Miller helped launch the country star’s career. He also booked and managed Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. From 1961 to 1964 his office handled all the promotion for the band. Many artists dubbed Gibbs as “Dartboard Sam,” because some groups claimed that he closed his eyes and threw a dart at a map to determine the location of a band’s next show. In 1969 Gibbs opened Sam Gibbs Music Company to service the acts that he represented, and he continued his operation of the store and booking business until his retirement in 1987. Gibbs died in Wichita Falls on February 25, 2004.
Wichita Falls Times Record News, February 26, 2004. Paul Kingsbury, ed., The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Laurie E. Jasinski, "GIBBS, SAM," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgi62), accessed September 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 30, 2014. Modified on July 8, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.