Saturday, August 06, 2005

Will someone please, pretty please, forward this to the notorious All-American DJ,
Hey, and we got a great Buddy Buie connection with THIS SIDE UP.
{& what kinda trip wuz you talkin' 'bout, Buddy?}

From: Rusty Crumpton
Sent : Saturday, August 6, 2005 5:12 AM
To : "robert register"
Subject : Bill J. & the "moody-go-round"

Hey Roberto,
Here's a little ditty about my first meeting with the AM Radio Legend, Bill J.

Where : Bill J.'s pad @ the Patio Club Apts., Mungumry, Al
When : Summertime '65 (as near as anybody could tell)
What : Bill J.'s 1st venture into band management

As I walked around the swimming pool, filled with unopened beer cans, I was "runned over" by 2 dudes from the Auburn Lambda Chi house. I barely held on to my guitar case as they dove into the pool. There they were, in the deep end, popping the tops (or using a church-key ?) & sucking down 2 Buds before they came up for air. At that moment, I knew this was something special.
A few weeks earlier, Ed Sanford invited me to audition with a new group called the Rock of Gibraltar or Rocky Gibraltar or something like that (I told my mom it was a gospel group...not total lie nor the truth, but hey, that's rock & roll). Now Ed was a well known exaggerator, but I believed him when he said that the in-famous Bill J. of WBAM was gonna manage the group, but first we had to do an audition/party at his place. Well we auditioned for 4 or 5 hours, before his neighbors threatened to call the police.
Now somehow, during the 3rd or 4th hour, I looked up & noticed someone was playing my old Gretch guitar. I looked around & didn't recognize anybody playin' our instruments, but they were doing a pretty good "Louie, Louie". I then looked around the floors of the dark apt.& saw the real RG's "making out" with some chicks. I was little worried that these other guys might get our gig, so I hopped up & grabbed my Gretch & tried to play on the 4 remaining out-of-tune strings. Thank goodness that was the last song of the night.
Now, even though Bill J. (& everybody else) was a little tipsy, he announced that we passed the audition & he invited us to come out to the Big BAM studio to rehearse & meet the Mr. Brennen, the Big Boss Man of WBAM. When I think back to those days, I realize how fortunate we were. Bill J. & Mr. Brennen were what Mama called "good people". Over next few years they led us to Muscle Shoals & Fame Studios...they played our songs on the radio ...they let us play in at least 4 or 5 Big Bam shows...we can't thank them enough. I think I can speak for the rest of the RG's by saying, Bill J., you da man!!!!!
Hoot Stang

The Case Of The Missing Photo of The Concert On The Quad :
THIS IS sooooooooooooooo KEWL:

Subject: Re: Time Waits For Noone Down At Archie's Place!
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 09:47:44 -0500
To: "robert register"

Johnny Wyker's nice words about me are very much appreciated. The
picture directly below Johnny' s comments caught my eye. If I'm not
mistaken the picker on the right side is Freddy Weller. He's done well
and is living in Nashville.

Subject :
blog pics

Hey Robert,
I was checking out you blog and came across some info about
bands playing in T town. Some info about a second pic and the
image was missing. It mentioned my name and I was curious
about maybe getting a copy of that image.
Ronnie Seitel
This Side Up


The picture that is still posted is from Bruce Hopper. I am almost certain the other one with you and Charlie Hayward came from Johnny Townsend.

I have missplaced it.

I am forwarding this to Buddy Buie because I'm sure he has some vivid memories of THIS SIDE UP.

Below you will find related material.



Squirm is Bill "Squirmy" Stewart who played drums in ' 69 with Tippy Armstrong, Paul Hornsby and Frank Friedman/Charlie Hayward in SouthCamp along with Ronnie Seitel and Chuck Leavell. It is my understanding that Mr. Stewart does not appreciate being called by his nickname because he earned the tag by being squirmy.
Robert Register

SouthCamp: August '69
courtesy of Bruce Hopper
far left,with only head partially showing, Chuck Leavell
Paul Hornsby
on keyboards
Bill "Squirmy" Stewart on drums
Glenn Butts on guitar
Frank Friedman on bass

"Wow the Southcamp photo that was second is very similar to the one I took that afternoon in August of 1969. Same angle. There was a lot of jammin going on that afternoon. Was Townsend the source for that picture? He is mistaken about Mullinex playing. My picture has Squirmy on drums (same shirt as in your pic, but you can see Bill's receding hairline in my pic, definately not Lou. My pic also includes Hornsby and half of Chuck's head. Glen Butts is standing where Charlie is and Frank is playing bass. In your pic, Frank's bassman is on the ground but in by pic it is on the stage. I think that a lot of people played that day on the quad. The neat thing is that there is only a two recepticle plug that came out of the ground next to that big Oak Tree. All the power came from there. You had to be careful about how many amps were pluged in or someone would have to go and replace a fuse in the ROTC building." BRUCE HOPPER

Another shot from the same afternoon [this is the missing photo from the same day which I have missplaced. I believe I originally got it from Johnny Townsend:sorry, Ronnie,

Dear Pete, Changing the subject from politics for a moment,I've got a couple of CD-Rs Swamp Dogg burned for me of Irma Thomas - In Between Tears & Doris Duke - I'm A Loser. On the credits, both albums say the guitars are you and Duane. Regarding the Irma Thomas album, I've read that Duane only played on "You're The Dog (I Do All The Barking Myself)" and the medley called "Coming From Behind (Monologue)/Wish Someone Would Care." (That medley blows me away everytime I listen to it. The way she segues right from the monologue straight into the song is amazing.) Is it your recollection that Duane and you played together on those two tracks(and that he wasn't on any of the other songs on that album)? Re: the Doris Duke album, I've read that you played lead and Duane played rhythm on the whole album. Is that your recollection? Finally, the Irma Thomas album lists the drummer as "Squirm." Was that Johnny Sandlin or somebody else? I know Johnny played on the Doris Duke album,but I'm not aware of his nickname being Squirm (unless that's something Swamp Dogg just made up for the album credits).

DAVID ROSENTHAL ld vcls, drms A B
ART SHILLING drms, vcls B

1(A) Why Can't I Dream / Sun Arise (Prestige Productions PP66-151) Aug. 1966
2(B) Book A Trip / In (Capitol 2129) 1968

The Romans were formed in 1963 with members drawn from Ramsey and Shades Valley High Schools in Birmingham, Alabama. A couple of years later they evolved into This Side Up when core members Rosenthal, Seitel and Sherrill were joined by Friedman, Royal and Arkus. The latter pair departed around the time of their debut 45 in 1966, and Shilling was brought into the fold.

Why Can't I Dream is readily accessible again via Psychedelic States: Alabama Vol. 1 (CD). It's a yearning, dramatic pop-punker.

The following year they won a Battle of The Bands, sponsored by WSGN radio and Capitol records, thereby securing a 45 deal. Composed by the Buie-Cobb team, Book A Trip is not surprisingly heavily-produced bouncy mainstream pop; the flip is a soft'n'cosy orchestrated ballad (have to wonder if any of the band were allowed to play on these tracks?). Oh, and Buddie Buie became their manager into the bargain.

Subject: Re: This Side Up (pic)

Groovedog wrote

> This Side Up including our own Art Shilling! I

Forgot how cool we all were in those days. And how much hair I had.
Don't know where John Sherril is. I don't believe he's related to
Billie Sherril. David Rosenthal lives in Atlanta, Ronnie Seitel teaches
school in Birmingham, and of course southersoul list's own Dr. Frank
Freidman, from Dallas now, you know about.

That picture was taken in the summer of "Seargent Pepper", in Atlanta
after we had just signed with Buddie Buie's management company.

One of my favorite stories from This Side Up was when we went to
Nashville to record our single for Capitol Records. We had won the
recording contract in a battle of the bands contest in Birmingham. We
didn't have many songs that we had written. We wound up recording a
Buddie Buie song called "Book A Trip". Capitol assigned us a producer
named Kelso Hurston. He used to produce Ferlin (the proof is in the
puffin) Huskey. Our contract gave us two singles, so Kelso said one day
that he was going to send a guy over to our room to play some songs for
us, that he had alot of good songs, and for us to see what we thought
for the second single later on that summer. The fellow who came by was
Bucky Wilkin, later to be partnered with John D. Wyker in the American
Eagles project. Anyway, he played some songs and told us that the main
song he thought we ought to do was one he played for us that his room
mate had written, done to the tune of "Bringin In The Sheaves" and the
lyrics were about the Rolling Stones being busted recently. When he
left we all had a good laugh about that song, and all agreed that we
would never consider doing something so corny, in our opinion. The song
was called "Blame It On The Stones" and his room mate was an as yet
unknown guy named Kris Kristofferson. Kelso informed us, after
listening to our opinion, the next day before we left town that we would
be doing that song for the next single. He still hasn't called us back

This Side Up was a good band. We sort of had a rivallry that summer
with the Candy Men from Atlanta to see who could do more Seargent Pepper
songs than the other. I played with Frank later on in a band called
Willie, that became "Wet Willie" Frank Friedman was really the founder
of "Wet Willie."

Another Bham band at that time was a band called "The Distortions" with
Zack Zackery and Robert Alexander. If anybody knows anythinbg about
those guys I'd love to hear about it.

By the way, the first time I ever met Johnny Wyker was behind the Oporto
armory in Bham. We had played a show there with "The Rubber Band".

OH yeah! John Sherril had a Hofner bass, just like McCartney.

Art Shilling


Tippy was a very good friend of mine and we started playing the guitar at the same time. He played on my album that I did in Muscle Shoals in 1969--71. Eddie Hinton was the producer of my album which was never released although we had an offer from Atlantic Records for it and a 3 year contract. Tippy was just about the best guitar player I ever heard. Not because of a lot of notes her played, but, because of the way he played what he did. We use to play together for hours at a time back in 1965 and 1966. I was member of the Rubber Band and played in that band with Tippy for a year. The true story of his death has never been told. There are a lot of people who don't think it was a suicide.
It's hard to believe that Tippy has been dead 26 years. The fact that people still remember him is a testament to his greatness. All that knew him see his death as such a great loss for the world. I still remember guitar licks he showed me that no one else has ever played. He was a very creative person in a lot of ways. It is my belief that he did kill himself and was not murdered. Tippy was very depressed and disturbed at the end. My ex-wife was his girl friend and knows the story as well as anyone.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tippy Armstrong and Johnny Wyker on stage at the Old Hickory in the Summer of '65

From:From : Jeff Smith
Sent : Wednesday, August 3, 2005 7:34 PM
To :
Subject : Tippy Armstrong


I saw some stuff on your site about Tippy. I knew him from the
music store where I worked in Huntsville. He had this "young
Grizzly Adams with a beach attitude" look going on when I knew him.

One night I was pulling sound/roadie duty for him and Jack Robbins
over at Joe Wheeler State Lodge. At break, Tippy said, "Let's go
outside... I've got something to show you." I figured... "weed."

We got out there, and all he wanted to show me was this old VW
wagon he'd bought for (if I remember correctly) $650. I couldn't
figure why he'd be showing it to me. It seemed a little strange
because it had seemed almost urgent to him.

He was a nice guy and a real player. That night, he played his
blond Tele. His playing was understated and extremely precise and

I never learned much about his death. A mutual friend, Angie Shelton,
told me he'd shot himself. I will never forget him.

Jeff Smith
Athens, AL

"robert register"
Old Dutch/Buddy Buie
Mon, 1 Aug 2005 19:38:53 -0500

My band played at The Old Dutch when I was about 14...I was as big as I am now...

We met Wilbur Walton ,who I already knew, Buddy Buie...I was really impressed with Buie...he'd write a song and he could not sing or play the guitar very well back then but he could put the song across so raw and raunchy that he sold it to you !

Buie was one of my teachers...whether he knows it or not...he had management skills and organizational skills and he knew how to put a great band together !

Now all of these years later he has wriiten some of the best songs in the world !

I often wonder why some of us are so driven to make music !

Hey Robert,
I was checking out you blog and came across some info about
bands playing in T town. Some info about a second pic and the
image was missing. It mentioned my name and I was curious
about maybe getting a copy of that image.
Ronnie Seitel
This Side Up

from Monday's "Brad About You" column from THE NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN:
Can y'all do 'Sweet Home Alabama'?!?

Strange but true: There's a Southern rock/pop tribute band forming in Nashville with actual founding and former members of, well, Southern rock and pop bands.

Some guys from 38 Special (Jeff Carlisi), Lynyrd Skynyrd (Artimus Pyle and Ed King), Wet Willie (Nashville's Jimmy Hall) and Atlanta Rhythm Section (Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry) have joined together to form Deep South, a new/old group launching Aug. 17 at the Mercy Lounge.

That night, they'll play a private show for music industry booking agents. Then you, the public, can come at 8:30 p.m. and check it out.

The set list includes songs like Hold On Loosely, So Into You, Saturday Night Special and, of course, Freebird. Should be interesting, if nothing else.

Maybe they can score Bo Bice to be lead singer?

Tagger by Robert Register

[Tagger walks on board train car at South Station and takes a seat next to a woman]

Woman: What is that god awful smell?

Tagger: Sorry. Guess I spilled some thinner. I'll put my pack over there in that empty seat.
[long silence]
for more of this potentially controversial story click on
Tagger: Pretty exciting, huh?

Woman: You mean the chase?

Tagger: Yeah.

Woman: I could have done without it.

Tagger: Not every day you get to see a running gun battle through the street in front of South Station.

Woman: I wasn't expecting to have to be on the street in front of South Station. When will they ever stop repairing those rails?

Tagger: Ahhh yes! The unexpected! Sudden change! Right when you least expect it! Boom! Out of the blue!

Woman: Don't I know you from somewhere?

Tagger: From another life, I suppose?

Woman: No. No. I know you. You've grown a beard. Buddy! Oh, Buddy! It's you![woman hugs Tagger's neck]

Tagger: Remember Hellcat Swamp?

Woman: Oh, Buddy. Plum Island! It WAS from another life.[they kiss]

Tagger: I remember every detail. You've changed your taste in fashion.

Woman: I guess the "goth" said a lot about where I was going.

Tagger: The night I met you at the Thirsty Whale, you were heading six feet under.[long pause]

Woman: Yankee Homecoming in Newburyport brought up some bad memories.

Tagger: And some good ones too. Remember the next morning on the boardwalk on Plum Island. We were entering Hellcat Swamp and you told me about her.

Woman: Sally?

Tagger: Yeah, Sally: your imaginary friend from childhood.

Woman: And you sang me your song.

Tagger: [singing to the tune of "Further Along"] Is it high on the mountains or down in the lime sinks. Is my life for the highway? Will it go in a dream? Will a man come and save me or must I go under? But will my mind answer with the words I desire?

[woman joins in singing] Life answers no questions that come from outside it. Life will never tell us what come further along so lay down sweet Sally and love your poor body cause a light in the tunnel might burn your sweet smile.

[woman singing alone] I'll run like a shorebird who's looking for footsteps. I'll hide in his sandpath and shield from the wind. I'll live between high tides. I'll love gulf's green waters but will my mind answer with the words I desire.

Tagger [singing] I'll live as the days come and die when my time comes. I'll love those who touch me. I'll keep what I earn. I'll ask all the questions and not expect comment. I'll live like the old ones and die like a child."

[singing together] Life answers no questions that come from outside it. Life will never tell us what comes further along so lay down sweet Sally and love your poor body cause a light in the tunnel might burn your sweet smile.

Tagger: You still love Sally don't you.[long pause]

Woman: Yes, Buddy.

Tagger: Then help me love her now.[Tagger takes off his hooded sweatshirt, puts it over both of their laps and they kiss. They stroke each other to orgasm. The train stops. Tagger puts on his sweatshirt, picks up his backpack, throws the woman a kiss and walks off the train]

Monday, August 01, 2005


During Spring Break of '68, Billy Joe Royal did a documentary about Daytona entitled MONDO DAYTONA. Later on it was rereleased with a new title, WEEKEND REBELLION.
What an appropriate title for the life we all led living our daily routine Monday through Friday in Dothan and then heading for Panama City Beach on the weekend in order to let it all hang out.
July of 2005 was one of the most fruitful months of my entire life. Those palm tree seeds we planted in the sand behind the Old Dutch in the Summer of '66 took root a long time ago but we are just now beginning to enjoy the harvest.
Keep your eyes open. Good things are coming our way.
I guarandamntee it!