Friday, July 23, 2004


The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1995.
Elton Bryson Stephens, one of this nation's well-known business leaders and philanthropists, is a native of Clio in Barbour County, Alabama. He is the son of James Nelson Stephens and Clara Stucky Stephens.
Mr. Stephens received his grammar and high school education in the schools of Barbour County and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Birmingham-Southern College, a law degree from the University of Alabama in 1936 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 1960. Through the years, Elton Bryson Stephens has been a strong supporter of education at every level.
Mr. Stephens married Alys Varian Robinson (deceased) in 1935, and they have four children and thirteen grandchildren.
Elton Stephens has been outstanding in his success in the areas of information and business services. His successes in these businesses have had a national and international impact, in addition to bringing many benefits to his native state.
In addition to his keen interest in Birmingham-southern college, his alma mater, he has been the recipient of honorary degrees from The University of Alabama, Birmingham-Southern College and Faulkner University. His philanthropy has filled needs at these institutions of higher learning.
This remarkable man, with heavy demands on his time, somehow manages to express enthusiasm for the days he enjoyed the activities of his college fraternity and in his maturity accepts a place of national leadership when called upon to do so.
Throughout his life and career, Mr. Stephens has exemplified his value of family and civic duties. He firmly believes that those who give also receive.
Mr. Stephens' family continues to be foremost in his plans for the present and for the future. He is a firm believer in the unity of the family.

I started thinking about fake ID's from the Sixties this week. Up until 1977, the Alabama Driver's License was a little paper postcard mailed to you from Montgomery. You had to trim it yourself (Show it to a California or Massachusetts State Trooper and he would yell,"THIS is supposed to be an Alabama Driver's License!").
 Well when you were a minor, your license had pink stripes on it. In Alabama, the bouncers would know right off the bat if you'd altered your birthdate because of the pink stripes. In Panama City, it didn't matter at the Red Rooster or Old Dutch. They took ANY fake IDs.
I am also going to try to get some images of old Alabama car tags on the blog. I have a '52, a '53, some '58s, some '59s, some '61s, '62, '63, '64, '66, '67, '68, and '69 Alabama "Heart of Dixie" car tags. I would love to find some my old fake IDs.(I have some capacity to put stuff up on the Web so feel free to share any Sixties images with me and I'll try to put some of them up!) 

     I have also begun research on George Wallace's cronies. I am concentrating on Gerald Wallace, Seymour Trammell,Earl Goodwin, Houston Feaster,Earl Goodwin and Elton Stephens. Any JUICY TIDBITS about these individuals will be appreciated.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004


I've said it before: Aretha cannot sing a bad note. I don't care what song you give her; she'll sing her tush off. It's just a matter of the right time, the right place and the right song. Originally they wanted me to record her in Muscle Shoals, but I just didn't see recording her in mono only there. So Phil Eihle and I rented a 4-track for ten days or two weeks or something, and escorted it into Muscle Shoals like luggage. Showed up in Rick Hall's studio and said, "Rick, we've got to connect this machine to your console for the Atlantic recordings." He says, "You're going to lose my sound!" He's got nail-polish marks on all the faders: Here's the bass; here's the drum; here's the piano.

What kind of console did they have?

I don't know. It was a radio console. It was in exquisite condition, I must say, and there was a man who was doing the servicing who was an old radio engineer/transmitter service technician who worked between Muscle Shoals and Memphis. He knew what he was doing.
So Phil and I flipped this console up on its back and looked at it. I think it had six or eight positions. And I'm saying, "Phil, I'm thinking about how I'm going to record. We're going to make this track her vocal track. We'll make this track the percussion and bass. We'll make this track the guitars and organ. No, make the organ with the bass and the piano with the guitars..." What we did was unwire the busing on this console so that we could assign these three faders to track one, this one to track two, and so on. We put the console down, and then we let Rick do one of his own regular sessions on a mono feed. But when Aretha came down, we were ready, and we did her in 4-track. That introduced Muscle Shoals to multitrack.

This is "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You"?

Yeah. And then when the sessions ended after like 15 or 20 hours, and everybody was going back to New York, Phil and I had to go back into the studio and unwire what we did and restore every nook and cranny and every piece of dust and restore the console. And then when we got up to New York, we immediately transferred everything to the 8-track machine.


This photo was taken at the opening of the Historical Museum of Florida's tribute to our state's musical heritage. He remained a very articulate and opinionated man, one you could spend hours speaking with and still wish you had much more time.

Here's something I wrote after learning of Dowd's death back in October:

"You would think Tom Dowd's death would be front page news here in Miami, but since he didn't work with Whitney, Britney, or Shakira, I guess they consider him yesterday's news.

Damn this is sad. I really liked Tom. I hadn't seen him in 13 months. The last time was at the opening of the Historical Museum of South Florida's state music exhibit. He looked great, seemed to have a ton of energy, and was the center of attention for much of the evening. I always enjoyed talking to Tom, but it would be stretching it to say we were friends. I always looked up to him so much that I could never see myself as a peer. I always saw him as Mr. Dowd. Yeah I could have phoned him, and he would have taken my call, but it was always intimidating for me. Here's a guy who worked with most of the southern soul greats, and I am only writing, and only able to comprehend after-the-fact something so vast and gigantic and magnificent that my comprehension would never be enough.

Tom Dowd liked to tell stories. My favorite is the "Dusty In Memphis" saga, a grand battle of egos, of immovable forces that slowly moved and met each other a bit at a time, cutting through tension, cutting through layers of emotions until what was left was so wonderously epic that the results had to be part accident, which they were. Here came a lady who wanted to sing Randy Newman, Mann-Weil, and King-Goffin songs, walking into the heart of southern soul music, with some of the best southern soul musicians you'd ever hope to find... and each was in awe of the other's talent, yet not willing to lose sight of their individual visions. So the southern soul players lent their chops to Brill Building tunes (not unprecedented, after Aretha tore through Goffin-King's "A Natural Woman"), and Dusty sang Eddie Hinton, Donnie Fritts, Tony Joe White, and Wilkins-Hurley songs, when she wasn't spacing out and refusing to sing for weeks. And then there was "Windmills of Your Mind", a movie theme in the mold of Dusty's earlier movie theme "The Look Of Love", saved from MOR blandness by Dowd, Mardin, and company, but not before the trainwreck crashed into the studio walls and forced the engineers to speed up and slow down tapes and manipulate those tracks, and yet... yet.... the results were powerful, sultry, soulful, and psychedelic!!... providing for the ultimate climax song on the ultimate have-sex-while-this-plays album! When Aretha heard Dusty's version of "Son of a Preacher Man", she stood gobsmacked at how this white woman from across the seas just nailed it. And yes, Aretha soon covered it! And the whole time Tom Dowd is beating his head against the wall, wondering what a disaster this big-budget record was going to be, when all the while the tension was seeping through into something magical. Still, in Dowd's mind, it was the most difficult album he'd ever been involved in.

Sam Moore, from Paris, was "crestfallen" at the news. He spoke to Dowd just this past Thursday.

The official cause of death is respiratory failure. Tom Dowd was 77."

Jeff Lemlich
October 29, 2002

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"robert register"

Re: You Right. I Wrong.

Tue, 20 Jul 2004 11:43:14 -0400


Quote from "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music": "You can't always
believe what you read or find on the Internet, but if it's in 'The Heeey
Baby Days of Beach Music'it's probably true." Thanks to many of your
fellow Alabamans, the story of the era of R&B and the "party" in the South
in the 60's is being told factually and with a little color.
Contributors to the book whose bands were prominent in Alabama and who have
written narratives for the book or have provided substantial quotes include
John Wyker, John Townsend, (Rubber Band) Cliff Ellis (Villagers) Tommy
Mann (K-Otics) Marvin Taylor (K-Otics)
Bobby Dupree ( Rockin'
Jimmy Dean (James Gang) Wilbur Walton (James Gang) Rodney Justo (
plus Buddy Buie, Bill J. Moody, Tiger Jack Garrett, and Dave
Roddy and others. We have been given great material for use as well by
the Tyn Tymes, The Bleus, The Inn, and others. The input from Alabama
for "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music" has been tremendous. We always
considered when it came to Beach Music, there were two coasts: The East
Coast and the Gulf Coast. One of the book's largest chapters is titled
"The Party at P.C." The section of the book that deals with the bands
is generally found in the chapter with other bands from the same state
but we include the Swingin' Medallions with the bands from Alabama
because of their close identification with the state in their break out
years. A noted Beach Music historian,Chris Beachley, from Charlotte, quoted in the book: "The Medallions did not come around here that
often in the mid 60's."
We responded in the book: "The Swingin' Medallions
were under house arrest in the state of Alabama in the mid 60's and
were not allowed to leave the state under the party was over."

Regarding the great showman,Charlie Webber, he was the consummate cutup
with a flair for entertaining. He and guitarist, Jimbo Doares, worked
in tandem to create hilarity. His work on "Along Came Jones" was worth
the price of admission. Charlie by virtue of being on the Double Shot is
considered an Original Swingin' Medallion but did not actually join the
group until 1965. The band was founded by John McElrath and Joe Morris
and the first SIX members were John, Joe, Carroll Bledsoe, Steve
Caldwell, Brent Fortson, and Cubby Culbertson
. Cubby was the first to leave
the Original Six and was replaced by Perrin Gleaton at guitar. The
Medallions then expanded to EIGHT with the addition of two more horn players
bringing the number of horns in the Eight man group to FIVE. Those
added horn players were Fred Pugh (Sax) and Rick Godwin(Trumpet)In 1965,
Gleaton, Pugh, and Godwin
left and were replaced by Charlie Webber, Jimbo
Doares, and Jimmy Perkins.
It was these EIGHT ( McElarth, Morris,
Bledsoe, Fortson, Caldwell, Perkins, Doares,& Webber
)who recorded Double Shot and are considered the original band. In 1967, Fortson and Caldwell
left and joined with a group from Raleigh, N.C. called The Tassles.
These talented performers consisting on Carlie Barbour (Guitar), Jim
Baumgartner (Bass) Mark Wrenn (Sax)Irvin Hicks (Drums) Wally Woods
(Keyboards) and Ken Helser (Trumpet and lead Vocalist)along with Fortson and
Caldwell were the Original Pieces of Eight.
It was very simple math:Two Medallions plus Six Tassles equal the
Pieces of Eight.
Meanwhile; the remaining Six Original Swingin' Medallions
got two more great saxophonists, Hack Bartley and Johnny Cox, and kept
right on SYWITUP
(Screaming, Yelling, and Whooping it Up). The rest of the story is in
the book.

So, Roberto, that's the skinny...and I am sticking to my story unless
someone comes up with a better one.


Greg Haynes
author of "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"

> From: robert register <>
> Date: 2004/07/20 Tue AM 09:45:48 EDT
> To:
> Subject: You Right. I Wrong.
> Greg:
> I ran into Charlie's obit while I was looking for Steve Caldwell.
That's how I mixed up on the founding member of Pieces of Eight but
doesn't the obit say that Charlie was a founding member of Pieces of
> With your help, I'll straighten evahthang out dis evening.
> 'preciate it.
> robert

Monday, July 19, 2004

JANUARY 17, 2003
Swingin' Medallions' founding member turned SLED agent Charlie Webber dies of cancer at age 58

GREENWOOD, SC (AP) - Charlie Webber, who played saxophone for the Swingin' Medallions at the time of the band's 1966 hit "Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)," has died. He was 58.

Webber died of cancer at his Greenwood home Friday, Jan. 17, 2003.

An original member of the Swingin' Medallions, Webber left the group in 1969 for a career in law enforcement. He worked for a sheriff's office before he joined the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in 1978.

Webber was a senior agent with SLED's Fugitive Task Force when he received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, in November, 2002.

John McElrath, who has been with the Swingin' Medallions since
the early '60s, said the band was thinking about Webber when
they played at Gov. Mark Sanford's inauguration barbecue
Wednesday night.

"I had talked with his wife, Vicki, that morning and knew he
wasn't doing too well," McElrath said.


Charlie Webber, trumpet player (the AP erroneously said he played sax) and original member of The Swingin' Medallions passed away Jan 17th, 2003, from cancer at his home in Greenwood, SC. He was 58. Charlie was an integral part of the band's reputation as a "party band" and was their resident "cut-up".

He is the second member of the group, who recorded "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love), to pass away recently. Steve Caldwell, saxophone player, passed away 11 days short of one year prior to Webber's death.

Webber was also a co-founder of the band "Pieces of Eight" who recorded "Lonely Drifter", another beach music classic hit.


Charles D. Webber, 58, of 715 W. Deadfall Road, husband of Victoria Capps Webber, died Friday, Jan. 17, 2003 at his home.
Born in Kingstree, he was a son of Louise Easler Webber and the late Carlisle L. Webber.

A resident of Greenwood since 1950, he graduated from Greenwood High School and Lander College and attended Clemson College. He was employed by The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and was an original member of the Swingin' Medallions.

In November 2002, he received the Order of the Palmetto. He was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Survivors include his wife of the home; his mother of Greenwood; a son, Charles Carlisle Webber and a daughter, Amanda Kathryn Webber, both of the home; two brothers, James C. Webber of Heathsville, Va., and Thomas Michael Webber of Anderson.
Services are 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003, at Main Street United Methodist Church. The body will be placed in the church at 2 p.m. A private family burial is in Oakbrook Memorial Park.

Pallbearers are James William Webber, Robert Edward Webber, William “Bubba” Easler, William David Webber, Marty Easler and Chuck Easler. Visitation is 5-8 Jan. 18, 2003, at Blyth Funeral Home. The family is at the home.

Memorials may be made to the Lander Foundation for the Criminal Justice Program. 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649. Blyth Funeral Home is in charge.

(back row left to right) *Charlie Webber-trumpet, vocals *Steve Caldwell-saxophone, vocals *Jimmy Perkins-saxophone, bass guitar, vocals *John McElrath-keyboards, vocals *Carroll Bledsoe-trumpet,vocals *Jim Doares-guitar, vocals (front row) *Brent Fortson-saxophone, flute, vocals *Joe Morris-drums, vocals

When Steve Caldwell and Brent Fortson formed the Pieces of Eight in 1967, they were replaced by Hack Bartley and Johnny Cox. Grainger (Brother) Hines was added to the band in late 1967, when Michael Huey became the Drummer

Lewis Grizzard wrote in a 1993 article that, "Even today, when I hear the Swingin' Medallions sing "Double Shot of My Baby's Love", , it makes me want to stand outside in the hot sun with a milkshake cup full of beer in one hand and a slightly-drenched nineteen-year-old coed in the other."




Rick 10276


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Well, he wuz 29 when he died on January 31, 1952 so I suppose he wuz borned in ' 23. Buffett just released "Hey, Good Lookin' " and I wuz thankin' tuhday 'bout how nice it wuz that Hank had a chance to share his music with the old folks of the Deep South who were alive in the late 40s and early 50s. I remember sitting on my Great Grandfather Shepherd's lap and he wuz borned in 1859 so he come a lot different than I did and I wuz thinking about how great it wuz that Grandpa Shepherd wuz able to listen to Hank on the Opry and the Hayride.
capn skyp

sept. 17th is a good day. what year was hank born? kesey was born in 35.
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