I have three records sitting in front of me right now that pertain to the "gang", all of which I have questions about.
First, for Buddy Buie:
I'm looking at Get It Over/I Won't Be Back by SPENCE JAMES, on the Circle label from 1965.
"Get It Over" is a Buie/Adkins song. What do you recall about Spence James? I know he was half of the duo "Ben & Spence", from Pensacola. Did Spence James come from/live in Pensacola? Was the Circle label owned by Finley Duncan?
For Buddy Buie or Robert Nix:
Here is a record by THE SUNDANCE KIDS FEATURING BUTCH CASSIDY, Blue/Little Miss Magic, on the Romar label. The A-side was written by Nix-Daughtgery-Goddard; the flip by Buie-Cobb-Nix. Produced by Buddy Buie; arranged by Buie & Dick Miller. Who were The Sundance Kids, and how did this record come about? The date on it is 1973.
For John Wyker or any of the Bama guys:
Here is Ooh-Poo-Pah-Doo/Baby Doll by THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, on Vee-Eight Records. Was this the pre-Rubber Band group, or a different group with that name?
That's all for now. Thanks in advance for any and all information about these.
O.K. so here's the blast email I sent out to the gang early this morning:
----- Original Message -----From: robert register
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 3:13 AM
Subject: Re: Spence James, The Sundance Kids, and The Magnificent Seven
No doubt my good fellow that your questions concerning these three 45 RPM records will produce much heuristic value for those who follow Deep South music.
Would ya'll please cooperate with our partner in research, Jeff from Miami, and share any information you might have.
Hey,you never know, it might even end up on FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! or in Jeff's next book on rock 'n roll.
NOW READ RODNEY "THE ROCKER" JUSTO'S REPLY:
Oh boy !
The Sundance Kids!
And the most compelling reason I left ARS !
When we were doing our first tour,I was really happy that we were finally doing some live work (as compared with spending all of our time in the studio for two years).
I felt that if we really wanted to build the group that playing live was a necessity.
While we were in California, Buie came up to me and told me that I would not believe the deal he had struck that day.
I thought that it was, that we were going to open for the Stones, who were going to embark on their first tour since forever.
I had to sit down when I heard that it was a deal to cut the sound tracks for a cartoon show called Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The funny part is, I have no idea who sang the song on the record.
As for the song (Blue), we cut it originally with B.J. Thomas but it alas never got released.
By the way, on that same session with B.J. we also cut You Were Always on my Mind which went on to be one of the biggest songs ever, probably ten years later..
So that there's no misunderstanding......All of the guys in ARS as well as Buie are my close friends,and it's just the way some things happen in life.
Buddy was doing what he thought was the best thing to feed his family, and I did what I thought that I needed to do, take care of mine.
& HERE WE HAVE BUDDY BUIE'S REPLY TO MY MORNING'S BLAST ABOUT THE PAST
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kids was a Hanna-Barberra cartoon series.
I was hired by Carl Engleman, vice president of Capitol Records, to produce the music . His son was the singer for this imaginary band.
I cut the tracks in Studio One in Doraville and did the vocals with Carl's son in Hollywood.
Spence James was the singer in a R&B band playing at the Cellar Restaurant in Dothan. John Rainey and I thought he was great so we wrote the song Get It Over and recorded it. For the life of me I can't remember where the session took place but I think the great Finley Duncan put it out on one of his labels. Spence was making Atlanta his home when we were working together.
Hope this answers some of Jeff's questions.
SO HERE'S MY REPLY TO RODNEY THE ROCKER:
I mentioned this to Jeff last night. Isn't there a line in SING FOR YOU about The Sundance Kids?
& I WUZ RIGHT.....
ROCKIN' RODNEY WROTE:
Oh Yeah, I forgot.
This ain't me, no cartoon show.
With a guitar fill that sounds suspiciuosly like the solo on "can't stand it no more"
PLEASE YA'LL CHECK OUT MAL THURSDAY'S PODCAST AND WEBSITE:
IT BE DAH BOMB!
Another swingin' episode of FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! is now available for your listening and dancing pleasure at http://www.podcast.garagepunk.com/. This installment is the second half of the "Sunshine State Garage Revisited" episode, and features great '60s combos like the Hustlers, the Barons and Hoppi & the Beau Heems, as well as such modern day garage bands as Miami's the Heatseekers, Jacksonville's Thee Monarchy V and Orlando's the Evidents.
Hope you dig it!
Producer Florida Rocks Again!
Industrious Communications Inc.
P.O. Box 1975
St. Augustine, FL 32085 www.floridarocksagain.com IF YOU LOVE "CUBA, ALABAMA", YOU'LL LOVE THIS! CLICK ON FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN!
And here we have a SUPERB interview with Robert Nix:
INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT NIX
Roy had a number of different backing bands during his career - probably the best remembered were The Candymen, who were with him during the hit years of the Sixties. Recently Robert Nix, drummer with The Candymen, dropped by the office with his wife, Allison and we grabbed the chance to do a quick interview with him.
BOP - First Robert, we would like to thank you for agreeing to do this at such short notice. Perhaps you could start by telling us your background in music, before you get to Roy?
RN – Well, I was born in Georgia, grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, Rock N Roll capital of the world. Allison always says “in your dreams” because she is from Memphis, but a lot of people from Jacksonville have gone on to be in the recording industry and the music business in general, you know, Skynyrd and all those guys. J R Cobb & me from the Atlanta Rhythm Section & The Candymen, & The Allman Brothers, everybody started there, so it’s a major southern rock city, you know. It was right after I got out of high school there – I was playing a club called The Golden Gate Lounge and Roy was in town playing the Coliseum at a Big Ape convention, radio convention with The Dave Clark Five and that was in ’64 or the end of ’63, right there. I started with Roy right after the Ed Sullivan Show and Roy came out that night to the club, because John Rainey Adkins, his guitar player had told him about me, as a drummer. Paul Garrison was the other drummer before me with Roy and he had a collapsed lung or something. And also Joey Lemmon played with him on guitar and the drummer before. In between Paul & me was Dewey Martin, who ended up with Buffalo Springfield.
So he came out to this club and he backed his bus up in front of the club, caused riots literally and he walked in there, it was about midnight and he had those sunglasses on and the place went bananas. He listened to me play for about fifteen minutes and then I went over to his table and he immediately started calling me “Big Bob” instead of Robert – he always did that. Anyhow, I sat down with Roy and he said “Big Bob, I’d like for you to be my drummer” and I was in shock. I was about 18 years old and I was really in shock. So I said “Where do I start?”. He said “How about London in two weeks”! And you’ve got to remember, I’d never been anywhere in my life, except for Nashville – Jacksonville, back and forth. I had a record deal up here when I was a senior in high school with Dot Records – we’d save our money up and come up and we got a deal with Noel Ball and Dot Records.
The next week I was in Clearwater Beach, Florida at a hotel there, rehearsing with John Rainey and all these guys, learning all Roy’s songs and we watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show that night. I’ll never forget it. And then two weeks after that, Roy had gone to Australia with the Stones. He flew around the world the other way and met us in London. So my first job with Roy Orbison was, first concert was at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. I couldn’t believe it. We did encore after encore. I had never played with him before that night. I rehearsed with the guys,but never played with Roy, I did a sound check with him that day. We had one rehearsal at some club in London, the day before the gig, but there was really nothing to it. And Roy says, “hey, this is great guys, let’s do it”. So, next night, sold out, Hammersmith Odeon. I’m on this drum rise on stage and every song we did with Roy, we got encores. And we got to Running Scared and we did seven encores. The crowd would not let us quit playing that song. Finally, I was so overwhelmed that I jumped down off the rise and grabbed Roy and just hugged him & it was great. I was just in shock, I’d never done anything like this in my life.
He said “Big Bob, we’ve got to do another song” and put me down. And so then we went from that to Pretty Woman and the rest. It was total hysteria. All Roy’s concerts were like this. It would be like when he would come on stage, we would be out there playing and Roy would have a mike, hand mike and he would be standing behind the curtain and we would go, it would be blacked out, as quiet as it could be and it would go “dum dum dum dummee do wah” and we would start that and all of a sudden, you see a pin spot hit a curtain over here and the crowd would go nuts and then all of a sudden BLAP. “Only the Lonely” and Roy would walk out with that hand mike and they would hand his guitar to him and he would get up on the mike and start singing and the place would get where you could hear a pin drop. The top seats in the place, the balcony and you’ve got to remember these theatres in London, they are so archaic and just amazing theatres – four or five hundred years old, beautiful places, gorgeous. It was like a magical mystery tour, I’m telling you. I could not believe it. And the crowd, immediately when we were finish the song, like the first song Only The Lonely, the crowd would go in mass hysteria, it was so loud and unbelievable and then when Roy would start another song “doo, doo doo doo doo I was alright for awhile “ we would go into another song and the crowd, it was like a vortex, sucked the sound out of the place – all you could hear was Roy and it was going all through the place. It was just amazing and this went on and on and every song we played was a smash, gigantic record by Roy and every record he had was a hit, so he was number one male vocalist in the world. And nobody could touch him and the Beatles had like one through to five in the charts and there would be Roy Orbison and so he was their competition. They were in such awe of him, it was like ah...he had a movie star thing about him over there you know? It was amazing to see people when he walked in a place it was like everyone was in shock, bowing down. I have never seen such adulation in my life to anybody other than I guess Elvis. Every night you could never tell who was going to be back stage, it was just an amazing potpourrie of personalities, Graham Nash one night, Paul McCartney the next, Tom Jones..I mean it was just unbelievable, the Stones, everybody had to come to a Roy Orbison concert if we were in the area. Jimmy Page, and all his guys. Page and Roy got to know each other very well when we toured Australia together he was with the Yardbirds then.
B.O.P- Can you recall an incident when you played a trick on Roy with the tuning of the guitars?
R.N- It was in England, Barry Booth the piano player talked us into it! We tuned Roy’s guitar every night. Roy would never touch it hardly ever until “dum dum dummy doo wah” when he would put his guitar on. Well it was the last night of a tour and we tuned Roy’s guitar up an octave so he starts singing, and he turns around and he knows something is weird but its too late we couldn’t de-tune everything in the middle of a show so he goes on and he sings “Crying” and everything is different and like his neck is swollen and the veins are popping out but guess what he hit those damn notes like you would never believe! Like ringing a bell it was clear as a bell!
Then he turned around and said “Mercy, you sons of bitches!” and he did the whole show an octave up and hit every note clear as a bell! We could have tuned it two octaves up and he would have hit them that’s what kind of voice he had.
B.O.P- So how long did you stay with Roy?
R.N- Over five years
B.O.P- And you played on some of the albums right?
R.N-Yes the first couple of MGM albums, The Orbison Way ,..I was singing one of those songs the other day…”if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”. That was Roy’s philosophy too, he was a great guy….golly I learned so much from him, we all did- he had such an impact on us. He told me “Big Bob, that was what he called me, Big Bob your going to be a great song writer” and he was the first to ever say that to me.
B.O.P-Where did you record the songs?
R.N- Right here in Nashville over at the old RCA studios where Elvis cut. We went through some changes, Roy got us a deal with MGM and we put out a single called
“You Pretty Fool” but under the name of THE WEBS and then we came to tour Australia with Roy and the Walker Brothers and The Yardbirds and they billed us as “The Webs” but then we went to England again and we were back to being The Candymen, it kinda stuck with us
B.O.P.-Just to clarify a point here, that’s you on the Combo concert and not Paul Garrison right?
R.N- Yes that is definitely me, Bill Dees named the line up but he must have lost a few brain cells! (laughing)
B.O.P- Apart from the shows was there any rituals that had to be done during tours.
R.N-The biggest ritual we had with Roy was Indian food every night. Roy loved Indian food and would scour out the best and finest Indian restaurants to go to and I mean like the best in the world and I am hooked to this day on Indian food and now also Allison. That and cars, Roy was fanatic about cars, I remember in Canada he would see a car he liked and would buy it there and then and hook it up to the back of the tour bus and bring it back home!
B.O.P- You mentioned Jimmy Page, he got "Communication Breakdown” from Roy didn’t he.
R.N.-Yes,Roy had a hit with it in Australia and Jimmy loved Roy and asked if he could borrow the title and he was leaving the Yardbirds to start up his own group Led Zeppelin and they have a song called “Communication Breakdown” on their first album ((N.B. For fans, it is not the same song as Roy’s, just the same title)
B.O.P-Recently we have found recordings of Led Zeppelin and Page playing “Down the Line” and also “Only the Lonely”
R.N.-Really fantastic, I told you he loved Roy!
B.O.P.-It’s amazing you wouldn’t think Roy’s kind of music would influence a band like Led Zeppelin.
R.N. – Page was very much influenced by Roy, you could see it, he just hung to him like glue all over Australia & New Zealand and then we went to England and he hung out with us there, so Roy influenced everybody. I can see it, I can hear it man, especially those soft things, they get real soft & Robert Plant gets down in there man, you can hear Roy. I hear it, the chords and everything – it’s there. Roy influenced everybody, he’s touched everybody.
B.O.P. – Would you agree he was bigger in England than he was in the US?
R.N. – Yes, he was, that’s what was amazing, I mean, The Candymen, we were treated like The Beatles. It was phenomenal, I mean we were hanging out with Tom Jones, McCartney & John Lennon & I started a whole deal on this tour. We had big black coats, Highwaymen type coats, they were black with velvet collars and it was like a riot every night. So everybody bought a little tape recorder and we strap them on under our coats and Roy would say “OK guys, let’s go” & we would push the tape button and run down the gauntlet of police, the kids to the cars to get out. When we got back to the hotel, we would compare tapes and you could hear the kids screaming, clapping & grabbing – it was unbelievable.
Now Page, he took things a step further. He had this little rig, it was a dish with a microphone in it and a recorder and he hide the recorder & record what was going on. He did it all over Australia & New Zealand with us man. Next day we would sit around, have a beer or something, not Roy – he would have a Coke because he loved Coke and all of a sudden there it would be – Page would play this stuff. You’ve got to imagine being on the road with these guys was wild – poor Roy but he put up with this though – he got a kick out of all this.
Now you guys are from Scotland & I’ll never forget the first tour I did with Roy. I was like the young gun & everybody liked to put me on a lot, so we were on this coach heading up to Glasgow in Scotland and we get to the border, there is not really a border but we were crossing over into Scotland & they made a big deal of it. Roy says “Big Bob, I hate to say this, but when we get to the border you have to get off & meet this officer and take an oath”. So we get to the border and it’s snowing like crazy and I get off the coach. I am standing with snow up to my knees with this policeman – he’s standing there, real official looking, he’s got these papers and he says “Raise your right hand Mr Nix and I raise my hand and he starts saying things like – you will obey Scottish Laws, you will do this – you will uphold our dignity while you are in this country”. I said “Yes, sir, I will, yes, yes, yes”. I looked over and everybody in the coach is looking out the window with sad little faces, it’s like they felt sorry for me and all of a sudden he gets to the end of it & he says, “And you will not have sex with any Scottish girls, whilst you are here, unless you marry them of course”. Roy was just cheering and leading everyone on the bus. They were laughing and beating on the windows. I shouted “You son’s of bitches”. So, we go on & we played that night, it was Glasgow and they had riots, turning over cars and stuff and Roy is on the front of the newspaper. It said “Roy is back” – it was unbelievable, just his whole face was on the cover of the newspaper, which is phenomenal for a rock star to go into a place like that and dominate the newspaper.
B.O.P. – Glasgow, that’s the place where Roy first bought a whole lot of black shirts.
R.N. – Oh, we went to the – I think it was Universal Shirt Shop or something. We all had monogrammed shirts made and we all bought ten shirts a piece. We also went to a boot company in London that had been around, since whenever. That’s where The Beatles had these things called Beatle-babba boats & they had nice heels. Roy wore those all the time and also other ones with Cuban stacked heels. One day, Roy sent me over there, to pick up some boots for him. I was having my foot measured for my own boots. A little lady is standing there, a short little lady in a nice coat. She says, “Son, can you try on these boots, because they look perfect for you”. She is looking at me & gets down on the floor, staring at the heels and everything. It turned out to be Mother Mabel Carter – she was buying them for Johnny Cash.
B.O.P. - Do you think that the public over there had the wrong image of Roy, because they all thought of him as a sad & lonely man?
R.N. – Roy was like a chameleon in that respect as an artiste, because he could put himself in that position to write a song and as it happens, he did have a tragic, sad life later on – but you have to remember he wrote a lot of these songs. I think it all stems from growing up in the oilfields, in Wink and escaping to escape literally, because Roy, he could just get into that mind-set and slip of into something and write about it. He was just one of those guys who could write it, without having to live it, but he always wanted to escape, I know that and just go off. He was a genius, a sheer genius. Not just his physical singing ability, but being able to write about stuff like that. Think about it, just go back through it, it’s amazing (sings Leah) – he’s talking about someone on an island, I mean there’s always escaping from something.
B.O.P. – In Britain, Margaret who ran the International Fan Club at the time, used to get inundated with calls from TV companies and such who wanted to interview Roy & he wouldn’t do them. That helped to create the mystery and as one reviewer put it “He comes, he sings, he conquers” but then he’s gone.
R.N. - I don’t remember him doing interviews at all. A man of few words but he did tell some tit-bit things on stage, little jokes. I remember one about Bill Gilmore, our bass player. Roy says “You know Bill, we are really proud tonight, because Bill’s wife, back in the US just presented him with a proud bouncing baby boy and I’d like for the proud father to stand up and take a bow” and we all stood up & bowed and Roy turns and murmers, “You son’s of bitches – Mercy, Mercy” and he had these corny little jokes like “we just flew in and our arms are really tired”.
B.O.P. - We were talking previously and you mentioned Otis Redding – do you know how Roy and Otis got together. You know there was an album planned to be named “The Big O sings The Big O” - Roy singing Otis Redding songs and vice versa?
R.N. - Yes I do, I got Roy and Otis together. We were flying back from England and Roy and I were sitting together. Behind us, there’s this white dude sitting with Otis Redding. So I get up and sit with Phil Walden, who was managing Otis at the time, so that Otis can get into my seat and sit with Roy. They talked and talked. As a matter of fact, Otis had a camera and he took photos of all this. I think Zelda, his wife may still have them and I happened to say you all need to do a record together, it would be great.
B.O.P. - It’s rumoured Otis recorded Oh Pretty Woman.
R.N. – Yes, I’ve heard that. He died too soon, didn’t he? Isn’t that something R.O. & O.R. – they were both also known as The Big O. I got to be a good friend of his, before he was killed. He wrote a song for us, The Candymen. (sings).
B.O.P. – When was the last time you actually played with Roy & how did you end up leaving?
R.N. – Well we ended up making a record deal with ABC Paramount – 2 album deal. I had already had a hit record with Billy Joe Royal and we just decided that we would try and do it on our own and we did. I wish we had never done it because Roy was out of my life and it was terrible. I missed him so bad, always have and still do. Thank goodness we got to talk to him later on after we had made it as The Atlanta Rhythm Section. Roy had followed our careers & I ended up talking to him in LA. I moved there for a couple of years & I was writing some songs there and Barbara came over to the house one day and she heard our songs. Roy was in Boston, I think. She got me to sing these songs over the phone to him & he flipped out over them. This was just before he did the Black And White Night thing. Later on, I was told he was trying to find me but I had moved. I split up with the guy I was writing with – we went our separate ways. Roy had such an influence on us and just everyone. I read an interview the other day, by Neil Young. He is talking about Roy and he is saying I’ve got to have an Orbison song in whatever I do. I’ve got to have that lonely Orbison song. So his influence is so vast, it’s deep, deep, deep. You hear it in other people’s records – Chris Isaak, The Mavericks, Alison & me will write a lot of stuff like that – Roy’s influence is in there and out there… it’s everywhere.
FOOTNOTE – Former members of The Candymen/Atlanta Rhythm section, Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry are now with the newly formed group DEEP SOUTH
& LAST BUT NOT LEAST OUR OLE PADNUH, CAPN SKYP [a.k.a.KEN BABBS] IS SLATED TO PERFORM NEXT WEEK FOR YET ANOTHER 40TH ACID TEST ANNIVERSARY!
AIN'T IT GRAND HOW "CUBA, ALABAMA" PRODUCES THESE LITTLE MONSTERS THAT [USE YOUR BORIS KARLOFF VOICE ON THIS] EVEN ITS CREATOR COULD NOT CONTROL!!!!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2005
Doing our yearly bugout to escape the Oregon chill, my wife and I are going to Santa Monica for a few days. I told Skypilot Darrin we'd be down there and she set me up with a guest appearance playing with the band, Cubensis. Next thing you know the gig became a full blown acid test fortieth year anniversary party. http://skypilotclub.com