Inductee Biography for J DAVID SLOAN
David Sloan could be designated “Arizona’s most durable country star.” He’s been playing here for more than 45 years. In 1972, after years of touring with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, J. David thought he was done with country music. So he came to Phoenix to work construction. But Nashville agent Larry Moeller urged the owner of Mr. Lucky’s to hire J. David to play music. When J. David reluctantly played a gig at the club, owner Bob Sikora was impressed and made him an offer. But J. David decided to keep his day job – and stuck to his guns for about four days. That’s when he gave in and agreed to work six nights a week at the club, where he became an Arizona fixture, singing and playing with The Rogues.
David — who plays guitar, bass and one mean fiddle — took one time-out from the Phoenix scene to return to Nashville for about a year in the late 1980s. He came back when he bought Mr. Lucky’s in 1988.
David was so identified with the Arizona country scene that he was the natural choice to be master of ceremonies when the Red River Opry, a Branson-style country venue, opened in Tempe in 1993.
David also started a kids’ show at Mr. Lucky’s, to nurture young talent. In fact, Jordin Sparks got her start there, years before she won “American Idol” in 2007.
Although Mr. Lucky’s closed as a country venue in 2004, J. David has continued singing and playing with Western Bred and, for the past five years, has been doing a Back to Lucky’s Night with the Herndon Brothers at the Handlebar J.
With no sign of stopping after all these years, J. David Sloan has well earned his induction into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.