Saturday, November 05, 2005

Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2005 14:41:26 -0600
From: "Ben Burford"
To: "robert register"
Subject: Re: Photo From Jimmy Dean With Johnny Mulkey In It

Robert my man!

My favorite James Gang line:

"I told my Papa, he lives in Hollywood
He told Hedda Hopper
and she told Natalie Wood
Everybody knows.
Everybody but her.
I reckon I oughta tell her
that I really love her
then she'll know
what everybody knows.

That song was better than Georgia Pines, in my humble opinion.

Ben Burford

THE JAMES GANG photo courtesy of
left to right:Bubba Lathem, Jimmy Dean, Wilbur Walton,Jr., Fred Guarino, Johnny Mulkey

Hey, Roberto. Here's an old photo that was on my wife's computer that I thought you might be interested in having. It's a picture of the James Gang in one of our more sober moments, obviously. That is me in the lower left corner, most certainly holding a Bud which you can't see. That is Fred Guarino, our drummer, holding a cheap picture he removed from the wall of this motel, wherever it was. Under him is Johnny Mulkey, guitarist, Bubba Lathem (piano player) pretending to talk on the phone, and that is Wilbur Jr holding a lamp on his head. Yes, a lamp on his head. As you can see, our primary interest from the beginning was elevating the standards of Southern Rock and Roll. Well, that and rendering motel rooms unoccupiable for some time after we went to the next town. Don't give Holiday Inn, Inc., my address.
Jimmy Dean

Friday, November 04, 2005

Subject :
Frank Bethea

Hi Robert,
I last saw Frank at Sid White's house about 3 years ago. Sid was the drummer for a band called The Strangers. I think Larry Coe and Little Bill Ackridge were in it. Frank was the bass player for the Ramrods and was very good. The guitar player for the Ramrods was Johnny Mulkey. He and I played in a band together in Marietta Georgia for 12 years. He moved to Pensacola when his wife retired from Bell South. He performed with Joe South for several years. A great bass player.The Ramrods and the Webs both spit up, and members of each band formed the James Gang. Larry Coe and Jimmy Dean could tell you a whole lot more about that.
Bill Hanke

Rock Bottom was written by Buie and recorded by Wynona Judd, who I refer to as Ashley's sister, on her second single album.

And I thought Frankie was younger than you indicated. Seems he was blisterin' on a Hoffner (McCartney) fiddle style bass. Great, Great player Mr. Bethea.

Pileup On Bridge Knots Traffic, Sends Four People To Hospital
By Jason Morton Staff Writer
November 03. 2005 3:15AM

A major pileup involving a logging truck on the Hugh Thomas Bridge stalled traffic for about an hour Wednesday and sent at least four people to the hospital.The weight and force of the 10:15 a.m. collision caused the tree-laden logging truck and four other vehicles to skid about 60 yards along Lurleen Wallace Boulevard South and through the University Boulevard intersection.Northport police Officer Greg Durr said four drivers were taken to DCH Regional Medical Center.“There did not seem to be anything life-threatening," he said.

Their names and conditions as of Wednesday afternoon were:
Christopher Peoples, 38, of Carbon Hill -- good condition;
David Lamont Cotton, 36, of Tuscaloosa -- fair condition;
Lakeith Crenshaw, 28, Northport -- treated and released;
Kirk Randall Junkin, 38, of Tuscaloosa -- treated and released.

A fifth driver, 29-year-old Kevin Wayne Bohannon of Brookwood, did not require hospital treatment, police said.

Durr said it appeared that the chain-reaction accident began when Peoples, who was driving the logging truck, struck the rear of the 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis that Crenshaw was driving.The Grand Marquis was knocked into a 1995 Toyota Avalon driven by Cotton, which struck a 2003 Dodge Ram driven by Bohannon. The Ram then struck a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by Junkin.Northport police are handling the investigation because the bridge is in their jurisdiction.

Employees of Pake Realty Co., which sits at the intersection of Lurleen Wallace and University Boulevards, said they had been expecting an accident of this kind to happen for some time now because of the nature of the intersection.

“This is one of the worst wrecks I’ve ever seen," said real estate agent Kevin Pake, who is the son of the company’s owner.

Pake was outside with Denise Lynch, a maintenance worker with the business, and others when the vehicles came careening into the intersection. In fact, the Pake Realty workers were under the hood of Pake’s car and almost got caught up in the wreckage.

“We heard it and looked up and saw it happening, boom-boom-boom-boom-boom," Lynch said. “It was coming right for me. My brain was saying 'move,’ but my feet wouldn’t. …

“When Kevin said something to me, it kind of got me out of the zone."

The Pake Realty workers said they often hear tires screeching from vehicles coming off the 55 mph bridge and realizing too late the traffic light at University Boulevard is red.

“You hear them all day long hitting their horns because they can’t stop," said Karen Lightsey, a property manager for the company.Lightsey said it was amazing the drivers weren’t more seriously injured, although she noted that Peoples was not moving when rescuers removed him from the vehicle’s cab.She also said Crenshaw jumped from his vehicle as it was skidding, and Cotton was forced to escape through his vehicle’s sunroof.

“They need something bad right there," Lightsey said.

Reach Jason Morton at or (205) 722-0200.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I googled "john rainey atkins" this evening and got 97 hits. Most were for lyrics for the song John Rainey wrote with Buddy entitled "Time Changed Everything" which appeared on 1966's THE ORBISON WAY. Another song on that album, "The Loner", was also written by John Rainey and Bill Dees.
I also googled "john rainey adkins" and got 114 hits. Lots of good stuff including what is apparantly a John Rainey guitar riff from "Mean Woman Blues" at

I also discovered that some dude named Perry Carlton Buie co-wrote "Save The Sunlight". Is that something like "save the whales"?

Plus I found this quote attributed to Buddy Buie:
Rock bottom is good solid ground and a dead end street is just a place to turn around.

Finally, I bring to your attention a post by Frank Bethea of Dothan. I'm pretty sure Frank was born about '43 so he probably graduated from Dothan High in '61. If any of ya'll know how to contact Frank, please forward this to him. I found an article which said he was living in Gainesville, Florida in December of 2002.

If any of this rings a bell, let me hear from ya!


I promise you I will not innudate you with my music background if you will just read this one time.
Played with Ramrods from Birmingham AL 1963-64. Record out named Night Ride on R&H (Rick Hall label). Best stuff recorded at Fame never released.They were Rick Hall produced along with Carlton Buddie Buie who wrote two cuts and sang with us{he is from Dothan Al my home town]. Buie is of Classics IV and Atlanta Rhythm fame and is in Song writers hall of fame. Also, Spooner, Dan Penn and Carrigan[played on major Aretha Franklyn hits from Fame] were studio musicians that played keyboards and drums on one session.You talking about the GREAT Muscle Shoals sound!! There were three songs we did that I would like to expose to some movie/tv producers that might pick one up as a theme or episode music. My boyhood friend Bobby Goldsbough [Honey, Funny Little Clown] also wrote theme to Evening Shade a Burt Reynolds TV show. My home is Dothan AL home of Webs with Goldie as singer{ backed up Roy Orbison for a time}, John Rainey Atkins lead guitar{check out ride on Roy Orbison's Mean Woman Blues} that has produced many entertainers.

Do you know of anyway I can contact some people who might steer me right to decision makers when it comes to selling our music? I would also like to write a book of history of rock from southeast Alabama, the deepest true south along with a CD to go with it.Thank you for listening
Frank Bethea

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm sending this out to some of you who may have an interest in the history of the Gulf South.

November and December are really important times to focus our attention upon two important bicentennials: The Creek Indian Treaty of Washington, November 14, 1805 which gave the U.S. the right of way to build the Federal Road from Athens to Mobile and the death of Bowles on December 23, 1805 in Morro Castle in Havana harbor.

Just wanted to remind ya'll to not forget our more ancient history as we continue to investigate the artistic & cultural revolutions of the Sixties in the Gulf South.

Let me hear from ya.


It is hereby stipulated and agreed, on the part of the Creek nation that the government of the United States shall forever hereafter have a right to a horse path, through the Creek country, from the Ocmulgee to the Mobile, in such direction as shall, by
the President of the United States, be considered most convenient, and to clear out the same, and lay logs over the creeks: And the citizens of said States, shall at all times have a right to pass peaceably on said path, under regulation and such restrictions, as the government of the United States shall from time to time direct; and the Creek chiefs will have boats kept at the several rivers for the conveyance of men and horses, and houses of entertainment established at suitable places on said path for the accommodation of travellers; and the respective ferriages and prices of entertainment for men and horses, shall be regulated by the present agent, Col. Hawkins, or by his successor in office, or as is usual among white people.
The Horse Path developed into the Federal Road.
Peter Hamilton, writing in Colonial Mobile, says of the road: "This first rough roadway at first not more than a blazed path, played for Alabama, the part which the Stone via Appia did for the country south of Rome. But for the Federal Road
with its forts, there would have been no Alabama as we know it."

To the Memory of William Augustus Bowles, General of the Creek and Cherokee Nations, Who died in a Spanish prison on the 25th December, 1805, after having (from an apprehension of poison) subsisted thirty-one days on oranges

MORRO CASTLE,the place in Cuba where Bowles died in December of 1805

Monday, October 31, 2005

MOUNTAIN GIRL ,check out the dedication of the amphitheatre in San Francisco Saturday to her late husband, Jerry Garcia

Inside FURTHER, October,'05

Lance Miccio is working on the History Channel's special on the hippies plus another number entitled GONZO UTOPIA. Check out the production photos at

According to "The Birmingham News", Dothan's favorite son, Jeeeemmmmy Parkman, is going to be spending time in Birmingham defending high profile persons accused of crimes. I thought it might be fun to resurrect pictures from the DHS annual of the early nerdo geekazoid Parkman for your blog. A closeup of him in his old 442 escorting Nancy Bufford to the Martin Theater would be fun, as well. A little background into the soon to be world famous "Wiregrass Matlock" would be amusing--perhaps comments from his 4 (or is it 5?) former wives? I am sure that your creative juices are flowing.


What in the fuck are you talking about?

photo of Dothan Municipal Airport courtesy of Gaines Photo

Gretsch Tennessean
"robert register"

Lamar Alley used to play Fender Telecasters - it was a
good guitar for him because he played a lot of funky
little chops and didn't hold the notes for long.
Sounded really good. But he bought a Gretsch
Tennessean once, I think because he saw Chet Adkins
play one. He pretty quickly went back to Telecasters.
Lamar loved country music and was a big fan of Merle
Haggard. Lamar could actually mimic Merle's voice
pretty well. His favorite songs were "Sing Me Back
Home" and "Today I Started Loving You Again."
first time I ever saw the K-Pers (Lamar + Mitch
Goodson + Wade Dykes + ????) was at the old "Teen
Club" at the old Dothan Airport maybe in 1966.
Lamar &
Mitch were probably 13 years old, but could play and
sing pretty damned well!

I had a girlfriend in 1968 or 69 who lived near
Rehobeth. Her family was moving to Louisiana, and I
went to see her off. I was talking music with her
father, and I told him I was trying to learn to play
guitar (I never did learn more than 3 chords). Her
father said, "I've got a guitar in the storage barn
I'll bet you've never seen one like." We went outside
and he pulled out an old case and opened it. He said
"My uncle used to play this in the Gran Ole Opry back
in the 30's. I ended up with it after he died. You can
have it if you want it." I told him no, because I
seemingly had no talent for playing and that he should
keep it. The moving van came that afternoon and hauled
all their stuff to Louisiana. I talked with my
girlfriend a few times after that, but never saw them
again. That night, I went to Lamar Alley's house with
Mike "Odell" Crane to hang out. I told Lamar about the
guitar and discribed it to him. An acoustic guitar
which was nearly all shiney chrome-like metal full of
holes and looked like it was made from the tin plates
covering the openings on my grandmother's pie safe,
there was some engravings on the front and back of
some rose petals, the neck was wooden like a regular
guitar but the strings were high off the frets and
were played with a slide like a steel guitar. Lamar
looked at me, and said, You better have taken that
guitar! I said it was in a moving van on its way to
Louisiana. He almost beat my ass! He grabbed a guitar
collectors magazine off his bookshelf and showed me a
picture and asked if that were the guitar. I said yes,
and he almost beat my ass again. Lamar said "That was
a 1929 National Dobro! I want it!" Well that was 36
years ago. I wish I had taken it too. Wonder whatever
happened to it?

We at "Academic Shitheads"
Celebrate The Misery of Professor Brad Vice!
Book to be recalled over plagiarism charge
By Mark Hughes Cobb
Staff Writer
October 27. 2005 6:19PM

A book that began with "Tuscaloosa Knights" will end as landfill.

The University of Georgia Press is recalling stock of "The Bear Bryant Funeral Train,' a collection of short stories by Brad Vice, and revoking his Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, after apparent plagiarism was pointed out by a Tuscaloosa librarian.Wholesalers and retailers will be contacted and the book will be recalled, much as a defective car might be. Any individual who wishes to return his or her copy will receive a full refund.
"We will be pulping the stock as soon as it returns," said Nicole Mitchell, director of University of Georgia Press.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Looks like DEEP SOUTH is about to take off the training wheels and really let the rubber on the wheels of progress hit the road!
Congratulations to Robert & Alison Nix. I am so glad that all your effort is finally being rewarded.



If you're looking for wyldness, you've come to the wrong band 'cause you're not talking about a suburban U.S.A. high-school geek garage band, but guys who latched on to the beach music scene and were able to make a good living on the same circuit as bands such as the Swingin' Medallions, David & The Giants, and Wilbur Walton & The James Gang. Actually, there's little difference between the later Medallions ('67 on), sound-wise, and the Classics IV. We think of them as a soft rock band, but some of the same songs they cut are considered beach and/or Northern soul classics by other artists who don't have that top 40 baggage associated with them.

"Cuba, Alabama" encourages a healthy debate on the issues discussed in this weblog so it is with great pleasure that we publish Buddy Buie's criticism of Jeff's remarks about The Classics IV:

Sun, 30 Oct 2005 09:53:56 -0600
"robert register"

I hate to take issue with one of your contributors but THE TRUTH ABOUT
THE CLASSICS IV was inaccurate.
The Classics IV were never a beach music band. I spoke to J.R. Cobb and
he was amused at the very thought of being
lumped into that genre. You must understand that in those days there
were basically two band models. One was devoted
to entertaining and making sure the band and the audience had a good
time {Swinging Medallions} the other was devoted
to serious study and implementation of contemporary music and mastery
of their instruments {Classics IV-Candymen}
Jeff must understand that all these bands had one ultimate goal. HAVING
Rock On
Buddy Buie

And from the Dothan music scene we have inquiries and comments on David Thornton:

Subject :
David Thornton

In one of your blogs, Frank Tanton mentioned David Thornton. He was a good friend of mine in high school. I knew he was a great artist and he played some guitar, but I didn't know he ever played in a band. Do you know what happened to him?
Thank you
Bill Hanke

David Thornton was a good friend of my older brother Bob Tanton who was also an artist... He was an extremely talented guitarist, and he taught me a few hot licks... I don't remember his band, but he really was a great player... David was a serious chess strategist and also a pretty good poker player... I remember David being a superior intellect, and spoke in a very low voice, and seldom repeated himself, so I learned to listen very carefully whenever he spoke... He owned a fine, early fifties Stratocaster, that he was very proud of... His younger half-brother, Danny Dowling was also a talented guitar player, and friend...
I have not heard from David in decades... I would love to hear from him, as well as yourself, Bill... I'm in the phone book, call me...
Frank Tanton

Subject :
David Thornton

I would like to thank Frank Tanton for the information about David Thornton. I actually sold him that 50's stratocaster for $50.00. I had just bought a Gretsch Tennessean and was just trying to get rid of it. Boy was I stupid.David and I hung out together a lot in high school. Back then he had an Old Kraftsman guitar sold by Montgomery Ward. I had an old Silvertone. We used to go to Strickland music and play their Fender guitars after school.
Thanks again for the info.
Bill Hanke

and last but not least, Mal Thursday has his Halloween edition of FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! podcast online so you can hear the Classics IV version of "Spooky" along with hearing Goldsboro claim Marianna as his hometown in his intro to "Funny Little Clown"!
You can really help us out here at Bama by helping us recruit St. Augustine's Nease High School quarterback Tim Tebow. He was in Tuscaloosa for the Tennessee game and he's one of the top recruits in the country so how 'bout helping us convince this young man to join the Crimson Tide next year!}

The FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! Halloween episode is now available for download at, or at, with the all-time greats from the Sunshine State serving up horde of haunted hits and misses for All Hallow's Eve. Starring Fred Neil, Count Stephen, the Hate Bombs, and featured artists the Royal Guardsmen.

Happy Halloween from Mal, Jeff, Dave, Tonja, and Liam. Thanks to Ka$h for showing me how to hide y'all's email addresses.

J.M. Dobies
Producer Florida Rocks Again!
Industrious Communications Inc.
P.O. Box 1975 St. Augustine, FL 32085