It started with an old guitar

... and lead to a music career that spanned decades

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Bob Homan poses for a photo in his Tiffin residence.

He has been playing guitar since he was 13 and after more than 60 years in music, Bob Homan doesn’t plan to stop now.

Homan, 87, of Tiffin, graduated from Columbian High School in 1948 and was drafted in the U.S. Army in 1950 and served two years in Japan during the Korean War.

When his sister brought home an old, used guitar, Homan would stay home to practice rather than go fishing with his father and brothers.

Besides guitar, Homan also plays bass and “a little mandolin,” he said.

Homan said he always dreamed of playing and singing on the radio and, at age 20, he got his chance, playing on radio stations WKJG and WOWO of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Homan said he grew up listening to the “cowboy” songs and it was the song “Home on the Range” that drew him to the radio and country and western music.

After listening to the Hoosier Cornhuskers on the station WFIN in Findlay, he joined his first band in 1950.

While in the Army, Homan met Bert Wells, who became a lifelong friend and helped jump start Homan’s career with performances on Wells’ television program in Yakima, Washington.

During the summer of 1956, Homan and his band performed at the Buck Lake Ranch, where he got the chance to meet Nashville stars such as Ray Price, Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepherd, Red Sovine, Hackshaw Hawkins, Tex Ritter and The Wilburn Brothers, who became great friends with Homan.

He moved to Nashville in the summer of 1959, hoping for his big break. There, he was supposed to record his first record, but – according to Homan – the deal never panned out.

“That was my happiest, unhappiest summer,” he said.

Homan was able to record two long-play records, “Beamin’ All Over” in 1969 and “Phases of Love” in 1972, which he recorded with Don Rich and the Buckaroos in Buck Owens Studios in Backersfield, California.

“That was one of my biggest thrills,” he said. “That was very special to me.”

He also has recorded other CDs in the 2000s, tribute albums for his 50 years and 65 years in music.

Over his years, Homan has banded together three or four groups with which he’s performed.

Homan said he is “retired, but not retired from music.”

“At almost 88 years old, it was time for me to come back to Tiffin to help with my family.”

Homan said he plans to continue to perform and has played at many venues throughout the area, including the Sandusky County Fair this past August.

He also had one of the longest-running fan clubs in country music, which lasted more than 65 years.

Homan spent much of his life traveling and playing in clubs and, over the summer, decided to move back to Ohio to be with his family.

He has plans to join together with Wes Linenkugel from Toledo to perform as a duo.

Homan said he still enjoys playing music, especially his song “I Love You Because.”

“There are so many songs I enjoy,” he said.

Homan is a member of the Tiffin Eagles, Tiffin AMVETS and Tiffin American Legion.