Ya know I really believe we choose our parents. Well, not only do I believe we choose our parents, we choose where we want to be raised and I am so proud I was raised in Dothan.
The following is so wonderful, so infinite and so interesting, it will, in the words of Kuhn, produce the heuristic value of a theory.
Sun, 10 Jul 2005 18:31:35 -0400
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you til now. I am having problems
getting emails out on my regular email . We will be
glad to send you the article and photos from the magazine. I will get
my Art Director to send it Monday. If you will give me your mailing
address, I will be glad to put you on the comp list and also send you
copies of our first issues. Thanks for the history info. We started a
regular history feature in the last 2 issues and plan to continue as long as
people are interested.
I too have some early roots in music. I grew up in Notasulga
Tuskegee and Auburn) and went to school with Marvin Taylorhttp://www.fivefeathers.com/MarvinTaylor.htm
.. and was
friends with Kim Venable...
naturally was a big fan of the K-Otics
had a booking agency and night club in Auburn
helped line me up with some concert acts including ARS
. We helpedWilbur Walton
put together a group (of Dothan
guys) and they stayed
with us in Auburn
for over a year. My partner in the Auburn
and used to play with Mitch Goodson & The Capers
Didn't know if you knew it or not, but Bill J. Moody
now working as sales manager in Dothan
for The Radio People,
a group of
stations here. We plan to do a story on him in the near future.
I appreciate the mention of the murals in Dothan
. I have been on the
Mural committee ever since we started it. We do have a Music Mural
penciled in on our list of future murals. We have been trying to find
that would bring us some financial help, but I feel sure that we will
get 'er done sooner or later.
Let me know if I can be of any future assistance. Keep up the good work
with your site!
Regards,Robin RainerLOCAL MUSIC LEGEND BUDDY BUIE
Written By: K.W. Keene
As Published in Dothan Magazine, May/June 2005.
Dothan has been a hotbed of musical talent ever since the late 50s and 60s, when it all seemed to skyrocket. In the middle of the music scene at that time was Buddy Buie.
Locally, the Buie family is probably best known for Buie's Restaurant, a longtime favorite Dothan eatery. The restaurant got its start in 1936 by Buddy's uncle J.D. Buie. J.D. later partnered with Buddy's dad Carlton Buie, who operated the family restaurant until it closed in 1980. Buddy's brother Jerry currently lives in Atlanta and his sister Gloria Moring lives in Headland. Their mother Grace Buie is an active ninety-year-old and still has the family home where Buddy grew up on Irwin Street.
Buddy got his start in music during his years at Dothan High, where he graduated in 1959.
He says, "I loved poetry and music and listening to Bill J. Moody on WBAM in Montgomery. I went to school with John Rainey Adkins and Bobby Goldsborough (who later in his recording career changed the spelling to Goldsboro). John Rainey was creative and a gifted musician. He was the first person that didn't snicker when I told of my dreams of being a songwriter. We used to sit in front of his house on Main Street in my '55 Chevy and I would sing my ideas while he would pick it out on his guitar. He was my first songwriting partner and the one most responsible for helping me start my career."
As for his skill with musical instruments, Buddy says, "I play guitar fairly well...no, let's just say I'm a guitar owner!"
Buddy was not only a talented songwriter, but also a very effective promoter. When John Rainey formed his band The Webs with Bobby Goldsboro, Amos Tindell and Dave Robinson, it was Buddy's ambition to break out of being just a local band and achieve national success.
In addition to promoting The Webs, Buddy also helped put together The James Gang with Wilbur Walton, Jr., whose original members included Jimmy Dean, James Lathem, Fred Guarino and Johnny Mulkey.
Buddy says, "Wilbur Walton was another great talent that I was lucky enough to work with. I am shocked that I can go all over the country and people can still remember 'Georgia Pines' (one of his first recorded songs, co-written by the late John Rainey Adkins). It didn't sell a lot of records, but it was a big hit in the South."
Though Buddy had already become an integral part of the local music scene, a turning point in his career would soon bring him success on a national level.
He explains, "I booked Roy Orbison at the Houston County Farm Center in the early 60s and before he came, his people said that he needed an orchestra. I told them that we didn't have an orchestra, but could give him a backup band (The Webs) that reads music. When Orbison arrived in Dothan, he had no idea that the guys had practiced and practiced his music for weeks until they played all of his songs perfect."
At their first practice before the concert, one of Orbison's people handed out the music that would be performed and asked the band to give it a try. When they started to play, a startled Orbison exclaimed, "God Almighty!" He couldn't believe his ears. These guys were exactly what he was looking for.
When Roy Orbison said that he wanted to take the band on the road with him, Buddy told him, "You can take them on the road as long as you take me!" With Buddy as road manager, they rented a U-Haul trailer, traveled all over the world (including a tour with The Beatles), and the rest is history. The group later changed personnel (with John Rainey Adkins still an original member), changed their name to "The Candymen," and landed a recording contract of their own with ABC Records.
One of Buddy's first songs to hit the Top 20 charts was "I Take It Back," recorded by Sandy Posey. It was also his first song to win a BMI Music Award. "I Take It Back" was co-written by J.R. Cobb, a member of the group The Classics IV. Cobb became Buddy's dear friend and his most successful writing partner.
Buddy's next step up the ladder of musical success came when Dennis Yost and the Classics IV were discovered by Paul Cochran and Bill Lowery Music in Atlanta. Buddy made the move to Atlanta and became the group's producer. He once again teamed up with J.R. Cobb to write some of his biggest hits, such as "Spooky," "Traces" and "Stormy." During BMI's anniversary, "Traces" was named the 34th most-performed song in their catalog. To put this into perspective with other all-time great songs, "Yesterday" was listed as Number 1 and "My Way" was 49th.
About his friend and writing partner, Buddy says, "J.R. is very quiet and underrated. He is a great writer and tremendous musician." Cobb also helped write an old familiar favorite, "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" by The Tams and was published by Buddy.
The next phase of his career came in the late 1960s. He explains, "The British Invasion was still going strong. I heard all of these musicians play and thought, 'there are some players in the South that are just as good or even better than the ones coming out of England.' As a matter of fact, the Brits were copying us. So I decided to start a new group."
Buddy's new group became The Atlanta Rhythm Section. Buddy recruited J.R Cobb, Robert Nix of The Candymen, Dean Daughtry of The Candymen and The Classics IV and studio session musicians Barry Bailey and Paul Goddard. The original lead singer was Rodney Justo, who had previously been with The Candymen. After the group's first album, he left and was replaced by Ronnie Hammond.
While this project was forming, Buddy opened the legendary Studio One recording studio with partners J.R. Cobb, Paul Cochran and Bill Lowery. The studio soon became a haven for Atlanta musicians. Artists such as Al Cooper, Billy Joe Royal, B.J. Thomas, .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others all cut hit records there. Many Atlanta musicians hung out at Studio One just to take part in the musical experience that was going on twenty-four hours a day.
The Atlanta Rhythm Section continued to produce hit records and perform throughout the 70s and 80s. Such hit songs as "So Into You," "Doraville," "Champagne Jam," "Imaginary Lover," "Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" and others were written by Buddy and other collaborators in the group.
Buddy is quick to admit, "My success as a songwriter has come from the writing partners I have been fortunate enough to work with."
During the peak of their career, in 1978 The Atlanta Rhythm Section performed at their "Champagne Jam Concert" to more than 50,000 fans. Another highlight of that year was playing a command performance at the White House for President Jimmy Carter.
One highlight of Buddy's career came from a hit song he didn't write. He had established his own record label, BGO Records, and released a disco song, "I Love the Nightlife" by Alicia Bridges. It sold over four million copies. Interestingly, the saxophone solo on that song was played by Dothan's own Jay Scott, who also played with Alabama, Paul Davis and in Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name."
Buddy has written over 350 songs during his career, including twelve BMI Award-Winning hits. In 1999, The Atlanta Rhythm Section released their last album, "Eufaula."
Buddy explains, "We titled the album 'Eufaula' because that's where most of the songs were written and Eufaula has always supported us."
Not all of Buddy's success has come from the songs he recorded with his bands. In the 1990s, he and J.R. Cobb wrote a song entitled "Rock Bottom" that was intended as a comeback record for the Atlanta Rhythm Section with MCA Records. It didn't work out for the group, but MCA called and told Buddy that Wynonna Judd wanted to record it.
According to Buddy, "It became a huge record for Wynonna and one that she still includes in her concert repertoire. In fact, she often introduces it as her 'theme song,' which makes us proud!"
Garth Brooks was another artist who scored a hit from the writing talent of this Dothan native. Buddy and J.R. teamed up with songwriter Tom Douglas and later heard that Brooks wanted to record their song about an all-night disc jockey.
"We flew to Nashville and met with Garth and his producer," explains Buddy. "He said he liked the song but suggested some changes he wanted to make. So we all worked on it and even changed the title. The song became 'Mr. Midnight' and was included on his 'Scarecrow' album. We wanted to make him a co-writer of the song, but he said no. He is really a nice guy to be such a superstar."
Others who have recorded hit songs that Buddy helped create (as writer and/or producer) include: B.J. Thomas, Billy Joe Royal, Joe South, Roy Orbison, Gloria Estefan, David Sanborn, Herb Alpert and Carlos Santana.
More of Buddy's notable accom-plishments include his induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Two of his groups, The Atlanta Rhythm Section and The Classics IV, were also inducted.
In addition to his talented writing partners, Buddy credits the "Good Lord" and his wife Gloria for his success. Gloria is also a Dothan native. She is the daughter of Chester and Clara Seay, who operated Seay Radio and T.V. for many years.
When he speaks of Gloria, you can see a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye.
"My wife has been tremendously important in my career," he says. "She never gets the credit she deserves. When we got married, I already had a bunch of hits that were recorded at Studio One. We were all messy musicians, plus people were making all kinds of personal long-distance telephone calls. So Gloria came in and cleaned the place up and got us all organized. She has been great at helping me manage. All the royalties have to be collected, so she helps with that as well. We do it all from home here in Eufaula." Buddy smiles and says, "Gloria has been a great part of my life and very, very important. I trust her. She has more gold records on the wall in her office than I do. All the bands and artists just love her. If they ever needed anything, such as a hotel room, they knew she would take care of it for them."
So what are Buddy and Gloria Buie doing now? After escaping the rat race of Atlanta, they made a permanent move to peaceful Lake Eufaula, where they can fish in their back yard. They also spend time traveling and enjoy occasional visits with their children Belinda, Benjamin and Hunter and their four grandchildren. They still consider Dothan home and make regular trips to visit family and friends.
When it was apparent that he was stepping off the fast track of his music career to enjoy life for a while, he made the statement, "No, Mother, I'm not gonna get a real job!"
Although Buddy has taken some time off from writing, the old creative juices are starting to flow once again. He has recently reunited with J.R. Cobb to work on some new music for a giant project underway in Nashville.
Buddy says, "Right now I am enjoying life more than ever. But if an idea jumps up and shouts, I might answer back!"
And Buddy, we hope you do.