Saturday, October 01, 2005

Best White Southern Soul Singer?
"robert register"

Best White Southern Soul Singer?
Johnny Townsend

The Rubber Band with Johnny Townsend seated at right on back of the sofa

& Gregg Allman get more than a few
GREGG on the left playing keyboard for THE ALLMAN JOYS

WILBUR WALTON JR.[click here to hear Wilbur sing 24 Hours of Loneliness]

How about Wilbur Walton ?(Wilbur was so damned
convincing that the Japanese version of 24 Hours has
an artist rendition on the record sleeve of a Black
Man singing),

Sonny Greer (Rockin Gibraltars),

Sonny Greer out in front of The Rockin' Gibraltars at the Houston County Farm Center in Dothan

Rodney Justo,

l to r: Rodney Justo, David Atkins, John Rainey Atkins, B.J. Thomas, Jimmy Dean
outside NYC's BITTER END


King Biscuit Boy (Richard Newell - ok .... so
he was from Southern Canada)
for more on King Biscuit Boy, click on

Eddie Hinton,

Eddie Hinton's Senior Portrait at Tuscaloosa High School

Ronnie Hammond

, Jimmy Hall

DEEP SOUTH courtesy of Excalibur Photography
Jimmy Hall on Sax with drummer Bob Nix in background

.........AND MY VOTE GOES TO..................


,wife Bonnie was pretty damned good too.


Hey Jim:
No gripes about your lineup but what about po' ole LEON!

My name is Christopher Register and I am from Northport, Alabama.

I am a member of two Adventure Crews, Troop 90 and the Aracoma Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. I am Vice-Chief for Administration in Aracoma Lodge and President of Adventure Crew 90. I attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Iowa State University in 2004, crewed on the William H. Albury, a 70 foot schooner, on a voyage around Abaco Island at the B.S.A. Bahamas Sea Base in 2004, and attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia in 2001. After returning from National Jamboree, I was elected Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 90 at age 12.

Christopher Register at the wheel of the William H. Albury off Abaco Island, Bahamas

I have worked at my local Boy Scout camp, Camp Horne, for the past three summers as a life guard on the aquatics staff where I taught rowing and canoeing merit badges. I am the rank of Life Scout and hope to soon earn the rank of Eagle Scout. I have been awarded the 50 miler Foot/Afloat Award for hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail in 2000. In 2003, our troop traveled by bus to a campsite north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where I experienced camping in the northern woods along the shore of Lake Superior for the first time. During the summer of 2005, I participated in the Order of the Arrow Trail Crew program and completed the National Order of the Arrow Northern Tier Voyage along the boundary waters between Minnesota and Ontario. I received the 150 miler Foot/Afloat Award for this voyage. I have also been awarded the 100 Nights of Camping Award.

Christopher Register canoeing the Minnesota/Ontario boundary waters west of Lake Superior

During spring break of 2005, I visited New Mexico for the first time and was able to day hike at Carlsbad Caverns and the surrounding Guadelupe Mountains. Every since then I have wanted to go back to New Mexico and go backpacking. During the summer of 2006 I plan to go to Philmont Scout Ranch with my contingent from the Black Warrior Council here in West Alabama. I also want to remain at Philmont after my hike and participate in the Order of the Arrow Trail Crew. After leaving Philmont next summer, I plan to attend the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Michigan State University.

I have lots of experience building trails and I do a very good job. I am also very interested in high adventure. I love traveling, canoeing, hiking, fishing and climbing. I go camping and fishing a lot. In school, I make mostly A's and B's. I get along with others exceptionally well and I like meeting new people and making new friends.

I look forward to having a opportunity next summer to once again participate in the Order of the Arrow Trail Crew program by working at Philmont.

for more information on the Order of the Arrow High Adventure, click on

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I am Pro-War and I love music. The reason I am Pro-War is I know Moslems and Moslems, by their law, intend to destroy us.
No "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it!
Look what happened to your people in Indonesia. Talking about innocent. Go out to a disco to have a good time and BOOM!
If you are against the war, whether you like it or not, you are pro-Moslem and being pro-Moslem means that you want to see Western Civilization {or what passes for it here in Alabama} destroyed.
I ain't about that. I stay on everybody who is a malcontent, an insurrectionist, an anti-American or a revolutionary zealot and that includes our screwball "Christian" brothers and sisters who believe "God" sent Katrina to the Gulf Coast because we legalized gambling and because lots of queers lived in New Orleans. I stay on 'em hard and I mean to tell you I make their life miserable. I mean it. I give them hell every damn day from every direction I can come up with and that's extensive. I am a very creative person and I understand the world of employers, landlords, insurance agents, welfare workers, tax collectors, maintenance personel, policemen and health service providers. I will find a way to needle their asses to death.

I'm a screwball, a nonconformist, a maverick, a deviant, an oddball, a dissenter and an unconformist. My country's constitution allows me to be that way but these knuckleheads wanna cut my fuckin' head off on videotape.
I got no problem with most dissent but I have one hell of a problem with true Moslems.

I am also amazed at how much can be learned & how many friends can by made by using the Internet. We are all growing closer and we'll be able to win this thing because we will be able to convince these jokers to quit their meaness, however, we might have to put a few in the ground before it's all over.

Be assured that we really appreciate what Australia is contributing to this incredible effort.

Hope I didn't hurt your feelings but that's where I stand.

Oh, yeah. I grew up in Dothan south of Montgomery. Hank Jr.'s mother, Audrey, was from Troy which is located on U.S. Highway 231 between Dothan and Montgomery. My Daddy's brother, Page, was president of the letter carrier's union in the late forties and they were having their convention in Montgomery and he needed to hire a band for the dance. He went to the city judge in Montgomery to find out who to hire cause all the guitar players were a bunch of drunks and ,of course, the judge would know the best.
The judge said,"Hire this Hank Williams boy. He ain't made a record yet but he'll be big some day."
Robert Register

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

photo courtesy of

My pal the shrike and I have really developed quite a relationship over the past two weeks since I found his "meat market" on the barb wire of our warehouse fence. When I first found his display of his prey, he had impaled a frog and a little indistiguishable ball of guts on the barbs. Since then, he has displayed and eaten a five lined skink and numerous grasshoppers.
Yesterday my relationship with Mr. Shrike reached a new level when I impaled three katydids and a large grasshopper on the barbs. The shrike ate two katydids yesterday and when I drove into the warehouse yard this morning he was waiting on me.
I went over to the barbed wire he uses and what a surprise. The shrike had eaten the remaining katydid and grasshopper and had recently impaled a large female cricket on a barb. The cricket was still alive.
Now talkin' 'bout sho' nuff strange. You feed a bird and the bird brings more food back to the feeding spot. FASCINATING!

Already getting compliments about Mal Thursday's podcast. Folks are sitting at their computers all over the world now listening to the some of the same bands we listened to 40 years ago. AMAZING!
"Cuba, Alabama" congratulates Mal Thursday & Jeff Miami for a job well done!

Gregg Allman in Macon, photo courtesy of Pete Carr

Muchas gracias to Randy Poe for the following update on his Duane Allman biography:

Dear Robert et al,
Gregg is cooperating with me regarding the Duane book about as much as you'd expect. He shared some hysterical stories with me about himself, told me a handful of stories about Duane's (and his) very early years (pre-military school), agreed to meet and talk with me in NYC in March, and then decided to take a pass (after I had flown to NYC, of course).

In a way that's truly inexplicable, he has an awful lot of charm while simultaneously being a royal pain in the ass. I agree with what others said below.I think he and Johnny Townsend have the two greatest(white) Southern Soul voices of all time. When Gregg opens his mouth and sings, everything else is forgiven.

I know Gregg has a dream of writing his own book some day, and I truly hope he can find it within himself to pull it off. With the amazing life he's led, it has the potential of being great. On the other hand, somebody's going to have to do a lot of research to sort of remind him of the way things really were.

I've seen this happen with so many artists,songwriters, etc. Wonderful stories are derived from small nuggets of truth. The end result is usually a very funny anecdote with a set-up, an entertaining middle, and a hilarious punchline. Every once in awhile, it might even be true.

Many years ago I worked for the great American lyricist, Sammy Cahn. He was the funniest man I ever knew. It was like having my very own Groucho Marx to hang out with every day. But, just like so many others in the music business, he had a hysterical story behind every song he ever wrote. Every single song. To believe every story was to believe he never had a day when he was sitting alone, desperately trying to hammer out a lyric for a movie, or Sinatra, or anybody else.

Leiber & Stoller have some funny songwriting stories too. But, when I asked Leiber once about writing "Charlie Brown," expecting to hear a real side-splitter, he said, "Man, I just remember sitting at Jerry Wexler's desk at Atlantic Records, working my ass off trying to come up with a follow-up to 'YaketyYak.' It was the most miserable songwriting experience of my life."

I admire that kind of honesty a lot more than,"My brother called me and asked me to join this band he was forming in Florida, so I hitchhiked all the way from LA to Jacksonville. Got a ride with a truckdriver who just happened to be going there."

In the end, thanks primarily to previous interviews I'd done with Gregg for an in-flight audiochannel I did on Southern Rock, I've got all the Gregg Allman quotes I need. But man, what a voice. And he's a damn good songwriter too.

Gregg Allman in '66, sorry but I have no idea who sent this to me. Was it you, Captain Dean?


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Figured out what I was doing wrong on the FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! podcast. I had the volume turned all the way down on the Windows Media Player.
Man, you gotta hear what Mal Thursday and Jeff Miami are putting down on the I4 Corridor Battle of the Bands!
Right now I'm listening to Justo, Nix and the rest of the Candymen playing John Rainey's HOPE!

This episode features The Canadian Rogues, Noah's Ark, Berkeley Five, The Jackson Investment Company, The Tropics, The Lost Generation, Ron & The Starfires, The Spades,The Split Ends and The Roemans with Barry Oakley on bass.

Have a super flashback to the FABULOUS SIXTIES tonight! Check out THE ALL TIME GREATS FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE!

CLIQUE, circa '74

This is Clique round 74' Larry Coe, Jerry Wise who died of a aorta aneurysm
several years ago, me, Steve Clayton who is awaiting a lung transplant after
being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibroses, and Steve's older
brother Donny Clayton. This was around a year before we recorded Love Is
The Power,
Jay Scott did the sax break, that record did well regionally and
stayed locally at number three for eleven weeks, close but no cigar!
Richard Burke

Jerry Wise and moi round 76', notice the particularly spiffy TASCAM 8 track.
I wish I still had that dbx compressor.
Clique during this period owned Studio Four. I remember John Rainey and David laying down some tracks for one of the morphs for Beaverteeth at this time, I don't remember the tunes. I also remember Rodney Justo and it seems some guns from Tampa coming in and laying down some tracks round this time period, but I was on the periphery needless to say. The only recall I seem to have lyrically from listening to the unmixed tracks was something bout,"Like a galleon with ratchets, spars and riggings" and someone asking for,'the payment due, from the loved ones who had stood by you". But I could be wrong.
I'm also the one in the studio during the days of Wild Country that told Jerry "If you can't run off Randy Owens and his cousins Jeff and Teddy I'll do it for you, they ain't gonna' mount' to shit anyway!"[Randy, Jeff & Teddy went on to form ALABAMA-ed]
Richard Burke

Monday, September 26, 2005

THE BOPCATS [l to r, top: Frank Tanton{Chimes, Clique,Beaverteeth},Ronnie Waller ,
l to r,bottom: Richard "Buddy" Burke{Clique, Easy Street, Equalizers, Legend} & Lamar Miller

THE BOPCATS have carved out a very special place in my heart. Frank, Buddy and Lamar put together a band for one gig called "City Kids" [i think] in about '82. They decided not to be a cover band but to play their own stuff. Back in '72 and '73, I had written some lyrics and Buddy had put them to music but that was back when we were in our early 20s. Well, Frank, Buddy and Lamar gave me a dream of a lifetime when,ten years after I had forgotten that stuff, they played the tunes I wrote the lyrics to and recorded their set at something called "The Frogtown Festival" [i think]

Anyway, I had the tape for years. Right now, I have no idea where it is but during the darkest summer of my life, I played that cassette every day. I absolutely loved hearing the people yell after my songs were played. The songs they played were [i think] "Sally Sang", "Andrew, You're Gonna Die On A Back Ward", "The Ballad Of Grover & Becky", "Don't Be Too Fast For The South" and "A 40 Year Vacation Is All I Need".
All of us became friends for different reasons. Unknown to three of us, our fathers were already best friends and we didn't even know it because we were so young and ignorant.
I have no idea what it must be like to have been a Rock Star but I know what it's like to hear your songs played live to a crowd who enjoyed them. For that, I wanna thank The Bopcats from my hometown of Dothan, Alabama.

Here's some mo' Wiregrass Rock History courtesy of Hanke[DHS '66]

Subject :
Dothan bands part 2

I don't want to bother you too much but I thought I'd try to clear up a couple of things. David Tedder was the one who died in a traffic accident. He was the drummer with the Offbeats and also Norman Andrews and the Concrete Bubble.
In 1972, Billy Gant, George Cheshire, Roan Campbell and I released a record on the Shelby Singleton label called "Hard Times".
It actually made it into the top 100 for a very short period of time. We played a few shows (state fairs etc.) before we all went our seperate ways.
Bill Hanke

Jeff Lemlich of
started a mess with reminding everyone that Butch Trucks played with The Vikings. I'll do my best to preserve the thread. Oh yeah, Jeff and Mal Thursday have a podcast featuring Rodney the Rocker.
It takes time to download and I can't get any sound out of it but ya'll check it out and tell me how it works:


The Florida Rocks Again! radio program can now be heard on the web at

For some reason, they've chosen the second half of the "I-4 Corridor Battle of the Bands" as the first offering. It would have made much more sense to have the opening half of that episode be first, but I'm so glad the show can finally be heard around the world, I ain't gonna bitch about it. Besides, the segment includes special guest stars the Candymen, who qualify for the show thanks to good ol' Rodney Justo.

Florida Rocks Again! is hosted by my alter-ego Mal Thursday, and produced by JM Dobies (me again) and Jeff Lemlich.

Hope y'all dig it!
J.M. Dobies Producer Florida Rocks Again! Industrious Communications Inc. P.O. Box 1975 St. Augustine, FL 32085

& here's what Rodney the Rocker had to say about Biloxi!

Re: Robert "Big Bob" Nix Chimes In With A Few Details On "The Vapors" in Biloxi
Mon, 26 Sep 2005 19:58:29 -0400

Ahhh Biloxi....The Bird Sisters (twins)
The drinking age was 18 in Mississippi, and, it was my experience, that wherever the drinking age was lower, so was the age of consent
We didn't play a whole lot of clubs because we were lucky enough to get a record deal that let us play more one nighters.
But, I can tell you that The Vapors was
Top 5 with a bullet.
It was owned/run by one of the nicest guys that you could work for named Gene Jernigan.
Nix may remember that The Vapors was where we learned Good Vibrations.

Man, we studied that thing because everyone said that it couldn't be done.

We played with Little David and the Giants, who were really nice guys, and later had a record I really liked.(did the title have the word circles in it or the word green?)

We also met a left handed guitar player there that we really liked (he reminded me of Barry Bailey) and I seem to remember a couple of us fantasizing what it would be like to have him in The Candymen.
I think that Eternity's Children was the group Bruce Blackmon of Starbuck fame was in before Starbuck and the had a wonderful record called Mrs. Bluebird.

They also had a girl singer named Linda Lawley who I did some record dates with in New York. Very Soulful and a good sense of humor.

& here's Jim Coleman's post on The Vapors:

The Rubber Band with Johnny Townsend, Tippy Armstrong, Johnny Wyker and me played at a club in Biloxi, Mississippi with the Vikings in 1967.

When we played at the Vapors in Biloxi with the Rubber Band they had these great dancers in cages at the side of the stage. I hooked up with one of them, her name was Linda DeGeorge which I still remember after all of these years. I'm really sorry I let that one get away. Hahahaha

& here's Robert Nix's post:


Here's a Vapors Club memory from the WEB:

tbrown: I too am a long time Eternity's Children fan. Grew up in Biloxi, played in a local band in high school. Used to go hear the Children at the Biloxi Hotel and at the Vapors in about 1967. Along with Little David and the Giants, they were the hottest groups around at the time....great memories. I see messages here by Bruce, and it looks like Roy maybe, and also saw one from Charlie Ross. Would love to hear from any of you guys just to find out what you are all up to these days.

According to
Jerry Lee Lewis played Joe Namath's in Tuscaloosa on April 15 & 16, 1974 as well as The Vapors Club in Biloxi on December 28 & 29, 1974.

& Ya'll please, please, please check out Miamuh Jeff's Limestone Lounge. This cat has got it down!!!!
Butch Trucks' REALLY ancient history was with a group called The Vikings. Check out the following thread on the Limestone Lounge:



& last but not least, somebody reviewed Johnny Townsend's record and mentioned Rodney The Rocker so this is how that went:

It is my impression that Gregg has had his head in places it was never meant to fit into. As far as I know, he's may have forgotten many of those who he played with before March of '69 and I am really wondering how much he is cooperating with Randy Poe on this Duane biography.

It would be interesting to talk to Scooter Herring about Gregg seeing as how Gregg got federal immunity to testify against Scooter.

rodney wrote:
It's nice to see but, I may not belong in that group.
I hear from Dean Daughtry and Buddy Buie about how great Jimmy Hall is,I loved Johnny Townsends singing (ironically I had a couple of my friends tell me that they thought I was the singer on "Smoke from a Distant Fire----no such luck)and of course, what can you say about Greg?
He has in my opinion, the quintessential southern/white/expressive/soul/blues voice.
He doesn't like me very much, but I think that he's great!
----- Original Message -----
Reviewer: Jimmy Conner
Southern rock and roll has been blessed with great, expressive singers such as Gregg Allman, Rodney Justo (of the Candymen and the first Atlanta Rhythm Section\'s album), and Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie. Johnny Townsend is at the top of that heap. The first and only time I heard Johnny Townsend sing live was at a local YMCA dance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He sang "Kansas City" and set the standard by which I judged the voluminous and labyrinthine varieties of Southern vocals that I explored for the rest of my life. I knew then I would never hear better and God knows I have tried to find it. My brain was tattooed by his music. Do not miss listening to Johnny Townsend! You can buy all of Townsend\'s work (the first Sanford-Townsend\r\n Band album is a masterpiece) just for his singing. but in addition to having a voice that defines his genre; his songwriting and, in particular his lyrics, follow up closely behind in quality. They define the sense of place that all Southern artists seek to express and Johnny nails the genre to the wall. Southern music does not get any better than Johnny Townsend. God gave Johnny his voice and he added his own contributions to yield a fine Southern artist that anyone who claims to have any taste as an expert must immerse ones self in. This may be a total immersion baptism for some. Dive in and enjoy the swim."

The Jimmy Conner review must have been paid for by Townsend’s handlers. No doubt, he has a good voice, but it takes more than that to be big in the industry. Don’t forget, Ed Sanford and Steve Stewart (both from Montgomery) co-wrote “Smoke”. I don’t know but that one song Townsend had a hit with, but Ed Sanford also co-wrote “I keep forgettin’ we’re not in love anymore” with Michael McDonald. I believe that was bigger than “Smoke”. Personally, Gregg has the ultimate Southern Rock voice, in my opinion. Hey, we all grew up on black R&B singers. Listen to Dan Penn sometime. Now there’s a real singer!