Band gives Donaldson native chance to pursue his passion

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 8, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Byron Hayes, left, and Jimmy Tomlinson, two members of Tragikly White, jam in the band’s rehearsal space in North Little Rock.

Alan Hash, the lead guitarist for Tragikly White, has always wanted to pursue music as a career. Tragikly White, a high-energy dance band based in Little Rock, has allowed Hash to become a full-time musician.

The band has played at venues all over Arkansas and across the Southern states. Hash, originally from Donaldson, said he wanted to become a musician all through high school.

Rick Martin, who sings and plays guitar for the band, started Tragikly White in 1995 after spending time in Los Angeles to “live the dream,” Hash said.

“[Martin] had been out there trying to get a record deal and then came back home for a while,” Hash said. “On his way back, he stopped in Las Vegas and saw a disco cover band, Boogie Nights.”

After seeing the cover band in Las Vegas, Martin’s entire outlook on the music scene changed, Hash said.

Hash and Martin met before he went to LA, when Hash’s band was playing on New Year’s Eve at a Little Rock club called Night Life.

Martin started the band in 1995 with drummer Gerry Smith, who was with the band for about 14 years, Hash said. Tragikly White has a new drummer, Byron Hayes, who joined the band just after Labor Day 2012.

Hash became a part of Tragikly White for the first time in 2001 and was in the band for about 3 1/2 years. He then took a job with UPS and was out of the music scene for 10 years before getting back into the band four years ago.

Bassist Jimmy Tomlinson also joined Tragikly White four years ago. Tomlinson said his goal as a musician in Arkansas was always to be in Tragikly White.

“[Martin] has always found a way to make this band work and be very successful,” Hash said. “It’s hard to keep a band moving for almost 20 years.”

Tomlinson said the band works so well because they are all committed and it is their full-time job.

“Being in Arkansas, it’s hard to find a group of people who are on the same page,” Tomlinson said. “Everybody has the same goal. This is our job.”

The band specializes in playing covers of songs that are at the top of the music charts, and Hash said members focus on getting the crowd involved in their show.

“We spend a lot of time rehearsing songs, and we’ll go out and play them, and if they don’t work, we’ll dump them and find something else,” Hash said.

The camaraderie between band members is something Hash said makes him want to stay in the band.

“We have band meetings once a week,” Hash said. “We have to resolve conflict. It’s the only way to keep it together.”

Hash said it is easy to get stressed out if the band is on the road, but music is a great way to make a living.

“After I was a UPS driver, it’s hard to call this work,” Hash said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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