GCE Employee Spotlight: Barbara Wells

What path led you to work at GCE?

B: I first met Susan Criner in the 1980’s – she was a booking agent working on private parties and I played in bands. We played a few parties for her and her clients and later on I came to work for her after I retired from the road. This was the first promo photo the Dishes had and is still one of my favorites:


Here are the Dishes on stage at Fitzgeralds, circa 1984:

I then played with The Judy’s – what an excellent song writer David Bean was! It was such fun playing all of those songs:


I then played with the Hadden Sayers Band for about a year before calling it quits. Here is one of us playing at The Pig:


I then played with Toast and Jam, a local private party band:


What is one of your most memorable/favorite events you have worked on?

B: I have worked at Gulf Coast Entertainment for so many years that’s is very difficult to isolate one party as being my favorite! One of the most memorable for me, however, was an event for Buffalo Bayou Partnership with David Caceres’s band playing on a barge that slowly floated on the bayou. It was quite surreal being on the barge in the middle of the bayou, listening to those marvelous musicians play, looking at the beautiful lighting, and noticing the soft splash of water, when Buffy, the Buffalo Bayou Monster (or so we imagined!) would swim by.

Who are some of your go-to artists to make an event especially memorable?

B: Locally, I love David Caceres and all of the wonderful musicians he plays with – he always has a superb group of players that are such a pleasure to listen to. My favorite party bands include Professor D, Party on the Moon, and In10City – always a great show and wonderful artists to work with.

What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about hiring entertainment for their party?

B: When I listen to bands I hear the quality of musicianship and am drawn to those that can play together really well.  It doesn’t matter to me if it’s Top 40 dance music, a jazz duo, a classical quartet or a rock band – the most important thing is how the group sounds when playing together. A band is an amalgam of the individual players and the total sound is unique to those players at that time.  I would say to anyone thinking of hiring musicians for their event to hire the best quality players they can. 

What are 3 things people may not know about you?

I played in local and regional bands from the mid-70’s to the mid-90’s (yikes! 20 years!!) before deciding to stay in Houston with my family. Coming off the road and starting a day job was a shock (really? You want me to be somewhere every day at 10am??) but I adjusted just fine.

I also dabbled in building computers for a while – that all started in the 1960’s when my Uncle George gave me a Heathkit amplifier to build – and it worked! I continued to dabble in electronics until 5 or so years ago


I love playing and watching other people play computer games but don’t participate in any online games – I prefer to stay offline and play; that way only my best friends see how bad I really am. I am currently playing Far Cry Primal and recently finished Fallout 4. And my son has shown me the joys of Pokemon Go.