Baby Boy
A son spins a song of reunion

The raffle was over, the drinks were flowing and the gray-haired crowd at VFW Post 9399 was in a mood to party when David Serby approached the stage. A lanky South Pasadena singer-songwriter, Serby had been asked to sit in with the aging house band and play a few of his own honky-tonk numbers. In the last few years, the 43-year-old troubadour had gone from playing open mike nights at local coffeehouses to kicking off a country music festival in the Coachella Valley last spring featuring such stars as Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. So it wasn't the venue that drew him to this dingy hall 40 miles outside of Phoenix. It was the man with the bad back, weak heart and...