Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If you'd like a sample mp3 of "The Day Bear Bryant Died", I'll shoot you the attachment. Just let me know.

From: Buddy Buie


I will be appearing on the Paul Finebaum show Thursday April 13 at 3:00 CST.
Please listen and call in if you have the time.
I had previously announced 4/12 .
I'll be talking about our song THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED and my career.


The Second Track of Buddy Buie's Interview on WTBC on March 15, 2006

Buddy: Well, I thank you, I'm here not only to talk about the songs I've written in the past but I've got a new song. Actually, it's not a new song. It's a lost song. It's a song that we wrote when Bear Bryant died. The name of the song is "The Day Bear Bryant Died". We wrote the song. Then we forgot about it and then some friends of mine encouraged me to try to get something done with it in Tuscaloosa and ,hopefully, you'll be hearing it because...

Who's that?

[a caller to the radio show claims to have so much influence over Paul Finebaum that Buddy is guaranteed a spot on the show by the caller]

Buddy: Oh man! I'd love to be on Finebaum!

Wally: Well Buddy, there goes your career!

Dave: Git 'er done! Git 'er done! Git 'er done! YEAH! We already got Finebaum, man!

Ronnie: You want to tell us a little about it and let us play that song right now?

Buddy: What happened was Ronnie Hammond with the Atlanta Rhythm Section, a guy I write with quite often, and I were at Lake Lanier and it was in January of '83. Bear Bryant had died a couple or three days before.

We came into Lake Lanier and we rented one of those cabins and were sitting there and the funeral procession that was strung with so many people on the side of the road and Keith Jackson talking about it...
Just a wave of emotion came over us and it was one of the most profound things I've ever seen. I was an Alabama fan. Ronnie wasn't a football fan but it even got him and so that day we wrote the song about Bear Bryant.
You know most people think about songwriters awaking in the middle of the night saying, "OH! Boy! I got THIS IDEA!" or they see a sunset and it comes over them and they write this song.
Well, that's not what happens!
Usually it's pretty much, you have an idea and you try to develop that idea.

Almost like writing a book. You have an idea and you try to develop it ...


Like this song.
Written strictly with emotion at that moment
I'm really proud of it. I played it for a gentleman from Dothan, Alabama by the name of Harrison Parrish, one of the owners of Movie Gallery.
He's big Alabama alumni and I played it for him and got really excited about it and then he played it for Johnny Williams, the assistant athletic director here and he got excited about it and he played it for Tom Stipe and he did.[got excited about it]
We want this to be,
now I'm prejudiced, Ronnie and I wrote that thing!

When you hear the front of the record you're gonna hear Bear but you can barely hear it. The only thing I had was Bear's voice on an old media piece which I don't even have anymore, where you could hear Bear talking but it has so many scratches. It's almost inaudible but still I put it on the front intro of this record and one of the things I want to achieve while I'm here is to possibly get the university to give us a nice clean copy so we can put it on this intro.
So let's listen to it and see...

Dave: So here it is.

Voice over of Coach Bryant:
"I've said this before, of course,
I've said anytime I've had the opportunity that I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world because of the privilege of being here at The University & passing my time here.

I WILL never put anything against your education. We want that to come first.


To be second!

We want football to be second!

Because we feel a very strong obligation to you and we feel like you should to The University because it works both ways.

First of all,
we want you to write home!


lyrics of "The Day Bear Bryant Died" by Buddy Buie & Ronnie Hammond

I'll never forget the day
That I heard the news
Bear Bryant has died!!!!
Funny, I thought he'd refuse
I watched as they laid him to rest
In Old Alabama
OH how I cried
The day Bear Bryant died



The Nation Cried
Friend and Foe Alike
The Legend Lives On
Oh how I cried
The Day Bear Bryant died.

The day he was born
GOD gave us one of a kind
& I'm glad he did
'Cause heroes are so hard to find
Many a fine young man
He led into battle
He taught them to win
He turned boys into men



The Nation cried!
Friend & foe alike
The Legend lives on!
The HERO is gone!
OH! How I cried
The Day Bear Bryant Died.



The Nation cried
Friend & Foe alike
The Legend Lives On!
OH! How I cried
The Day Bear Bryant Died.

Wally: Wow! Buddy, that's good!

Dave: That's strong, Buddy!

Ronnie: You got some tears, I guarantee you, out there in radioland!

Buddy: It makes me very emotional.

Wally: Me too.

Ronnie: That was pure emotion from the actual day!

Wally: Do you know if Paul Jr.'s heard it?

Buddy: I don't know whether he has or not.

Wally: Yeah.

Buddy: I sure hope that I get a chance to , first of all, just to meet him and play it for him.
I've been an Alabama fan since I was a child.

Wally:Um hum.

Buddy: And all my family's Auburn fans.

Wally: Really?

Dave: I bet that goes over real well at dinner.

Buddy: And we just don't watch the Alabama-Auburn game anywhere near each other!

Wally: I bet! I bet!

Buddy: But my brother's got four kids that graduated from Auburn.
He said,"Buddy, I love that song even though I'm an Auburn fan!"

So, I don't know, my dream is for that song to become an anthem for the university. I'd love to hear that stadium sing "ROLL TIDE!"

Wally: I have got a good friend of mine that I've known for many years named Coach Clem Gryska.

Buddy: Uh huh.

Wally: He used to be on Coach Bryant's staff and he's now over at the Bryant Museum.

Buddy: Oh really!

Wally: You need to hook up with him and see what kind of...

Buddy: Any help I could get to exploit this! Money is not the motive here.

Wally and Dave: No.

Buddy: Because you know, like I told Ronnie[Hammond] when we wrote that song, I said,"Well, that'll never be a commercial record because of the fact that half of the people in Alabama are gonna hate it and half are gonna love it!"


Wally: Well, I loved it!

Buddy: Thank you!

Dave: Yeah, great stuff!

Buddy: Thank you, yeah, I'm proud of that song. I'm as proud of that song as any hit I ever wrote.

Dave: And I think if there's one person who can help you find the audience you're looking for it is Tom Stipe.

Buddy: You know Tom, I was telling off the air, Tom is a great songwriter himself.

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: I just hooked him up with a boy, Jeff Cook, a guitar player with ALABAMA.
ALABAMA is retired now but he's going on with his own career and they're recording Tom's song called "Twenty Toes In The Sand".

Wally: Till you told me that I'd never thought Tom Stipe had ever thought about writing a song.

Buddy: He's really talented.

Dave: Heck of a trombone player.

Buddy: That's what I heard.

Dave: Very good trombone player.

Buddy: That's what I heard, yeah.

Wally: I know people listening know your not here selling records. Is there any way we're gonna get copies of that?

Buddy: Yes, we are...we're gonna.
I don't know the release date but
The Last Song
"The Day Bear Bryant Died",
it's been around since then...

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: And nothing has... I've never tried to exploit it. Now I want to exploit it because, I don't know, it seems like the time is right and I hope the message is right. I'd love to see the people of this town and the students of this town and the school embrace it because Bear Bryant was not only a hero of mine but he taught me lessons. Reading books about him; I just read THE LAST COACH.

Wally: Um huh.

Dave: Great book!

Buddy: God,what a book!

Dave: Great book!

Buddy: And he was right...Like we were talking about singers before, you know I said,"Most of 'em are born. They're not made. They're born. When they open their mouth they sound that way when they start singing", & I believe that Bear was just a human being that could have been a general. I mean people would follow him!

Wally: Sure.

Buddy: You know people hated him but they loved him.
His players.
Then later on they'd get out of school...I've read so much, what they said, You know,"God I cussed him. God I hated him but, God, what a man he made out of me!"

Dave: He molded people.

Buddy: "... and how proud I am to played for him."

Wally: One of my best friends in the world is Bob Baumhower.

Buddy: Oh really, yeah!

Wally: Bob and I went to high school and college together.

Buddy: Oh really!

Wally: And if it wasn't for Coach Bryant, Bob would have left the Crimson Tide. He wanted to quit. Was gonna quit.

Buddy: Couldn't take it!

Wally: Coach Bryant, just like a father, took care of him, got him back on the team and, of course, Bob went on to play nine years for the Miami Dolphins.

Buddy: Yeah, he did!

Wally: Well, that never would have happened if it hadn't been for Coach Bryant!

Buddy: You know I don't know too many people that... I've never been in the military but you never hear people talk about their drill sargents that way. They hated them!
But he could treat people the same way and put 'em through their paces and they ended up loving him.

Wally: Yeah.

Buddy: So what a leader he was!

Wally: Now you gonna let us know how we can get a record?

Buddy: You bet I'll let you know!
As a matter of fact, my "Boswell" in town is a man named Robert Register. He's sitting over there smiling.


Wally: Robert!

Buddy: Robert lives here in Tuscaloosa and he's going to head up the sales of this.

Dave: There's "Two Cents Worth" coming in here!

Everybody: All right! Thank you! Thank you!

Wally: Appreciate that, Robert!
And I know we have listeners who'd love to have a copy of that!

Buddy: Well, we will definitely make it available. Does anybody know who sang that song?

Wally and Dave: Uh uh.

Buddy: Ronnie Hammond, the lead singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section!

Wally: Is that who it was?

Buddy: And so we're hoping that in the fall we can work one of the fraternities or something of that kind, get the band to come to town & Ronnie is retired now but I called him the other day.
He said,"Man, if you could get that going at the university, I'll come up and I'll sing that song!"
So we'd love...

Wally: Great!

Buddy: We'd love to have an ARS concert here and bring Hammond back to sing that song!

Dave: WHOO! BOY!

Wally: We're gonna get you on Catfish Country here in a minute over there on the FM side, if you'll stick around.

Buddy: I'll stick around.

Wally: I wanted to bring this up to you. I see where "Spooky" sold over 4 million & "Stormy" sold over 3 million...

Buddy: You mean not "Sold" but "Played".

Wally: Played! O.K., played..."Traces" - over 6 million times played. Performance awards.

Buddy: Yeah.

Dave: And those are all BMI awards.

Wally: So in all your library of stuff, how many times they've been played or how many copies sold, do you ever keep up with that?

Buddy: I don't keep up with copies sold because after the initial sale of a record, the first year, you'll sell 95 per cent of that record. Now then it goes on and gets recorded by other people and sells...
"Traces" has been cut 70 or 80 different times, everybody from Montovani to, you know, a lot of the big classic artists have recorded it.

Dave: "Mighty Clouds of Joy" is another one, B.J. Thomas and Al Green both had a hit with it.

Buddy: Yep. Yeap.

Wally: Not to get too personal with your finances or anything, but how residual checks work, do they come in once a year or every month? How does that work?

Buddy: You get paid twice a year from...
There are two streams of income for a songwriter.
One, I think this is interesting that songwriters are guaranteed their...
how can I put this?
Songwriters were included in the Constitution of the United States. It covered patents and copyrights.

Wally: I didn't know that!

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: It's in the Constitution. The patents and copyrights. Intellectual property at the time was protected because, you know, they had the U.S. Patent Office & the U.S. Copyright Office.

Wally: Right.

Buddy: So they set what we call a "statuatory rate" for every copy sold. On an album now a song earns about ten cents. If there's twelve songs on a album, somebody's paying,for every album sold, ten cents for those albums.

Wally: Per cent?

Buddy: Per cent.

Wally: Um huh.

Buddy: The other way is performance by getting played on the radio and that's two sources there:
Broadcast Music Incorporated and ASCAP and SEESAC.
In the past, they kept up with how much every record was played because you guys know this:
You had the log.

Dave: That's right! I filled out a bunch of BMI logs in my time!

Buddy: Exactly! & when you log, you only log like once a year. Right?

Wally & Dave: Uh huh.

Buddy: & what happened was they did like a political poll. They would take samples from different areas of the country every day and through that they could compute.
Basically, all those political polls are pretty accurate.

Wally & Dave: Uh huh.

Buddy: & it was that way. Now each song, now when it's played, I don't know what it's called, has an ID of some kind. The satellite....

Dave: Yeah.

Wally: They can track it.

Buddy: Yeah, tracks it! So we know exactly...

Wally: How many times!

Buddy: & now its sales are all computerized the minute it's sold so it's good one way but you can't tell any fibs anymore!


Buddy: They've got scientific data.

Dave: There you go!

Wally: Buddy, but if you're ever back this way come over. I've got some more questions for you. We just got it started this morning.

Buddy : I'd love to come back & I'd love for you people in Tuscaloosa to help me make "The Day Bear Bryant Died" an Alabama anthem!

Wally: This morning show is going to get behind that!

Dave: We'll do it, Buddy!

Buddy: Thank you so much!

Dave: Thank you for coming by!



Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I got on Finebaum
today at about 5:35 and complimented him on his show and noted that today he had an interview with Taylor Hicks, had speculation concerning Ronnie Milsap and had connected Hank Jr. to crime, sports & entertainment. I encouraged Paul to put more emphasis on entertainment. He told me he thought it was a good idea.

If there is anyway any of ya'll can move Paul in this direction, please do it BUT


On Wednesday April 12, BUDDY BUIE will appear on THE PAUL FINEBAUM RADIO NETWORK at 2 P.M. to promote "The Day Bear Bryant Died".

Track 2 of the WTBC recording of Buddy's interview is a 17 minute 34 second endorsement for "The Day Bear Bryant Died".

WHAT A TRIP! Listening to this CD, we hear these classic Buddy Buie quotes:

"What's the question?"
"Hey, let me finish this story!"
"Now what's your next question?"


Here's the end of Buddy's interview :

Buddy : I'd love to come back & I'd love for you people in Tuscaloosa to help me make "The Day Bear Bryant Died" an Alabama anthem!

Wally: This morning show is going to get behind that!

Dave: We'll do it, Buddy!

Buddy: Thank you so much!

Dave: Thank you for coming by!


All you DOWN HOME MOVERS & SHAKERS ought to get behind putting a historic marker in front of the Rec Center. This could be a beginning for Dothan's Rock & Roll Mural!

On this site in the ---- of 1964? ROY ORBISON first auditioned THE WEBS, Dothan's premier Rock & Roll Band. Orbison was so impressed with their music that he later hired the band to tour with him & named them THE CANDYMEN. Dothan musicians who toured with Orbison included Buddy Buie, Bobby Goldsboro and John Rainey Adkins. All three of these men went on to achieve tremendous success in popular music which naturally drew worldwide attention to their hometown of Dothan.

On a little more important subject, some of you have suggested that I write ADVENTURES OF A SECTION 8 MAINTENANCE MAN.
I already began that text with an earlier essay called CRACK BABY.

Here's the next installment:

Me: Y'all got a dead cat under your house.

Teenage Sister : I been smelling something when I went around there.

Little Brother: I wanna see it!

Me: Naw you don't! Right now it's at that black, soupy stage just moving like waves with maggots!

Teenage Sister: We want to see it!

Me: O.K. , just make sure you give me my two flashlights back!

I'd just finished building my plastic lined "cat casket" and was adjusting my respirator when the kids returned.

The Little Brother would grit his teeth, squat, shake his head and jerk up yelling, "EW!". He'd recover a bit & then he'd grit his teeth, squat....

Teenage Sister: I pulled my shirt up and put it over my nose!

Me: Well, I want to tell y'all about something way scarier than that dead cat. I want to tell you about the 'BERTA BOYS!

Teenage Sister: What?

Little Brother: Oh, I know them! They BLOODS!

Me: Yeah, you're right. Red & black! Red bandana with a black cap or red cap with black bandana. Red shirt, black jeans

Both kids: Yeah! Yeah!

Me: Well, they're all up with "CRUNK" as in "crazy hopped up on crack drunk!"

Little Brother: Showl iz!

Me: They are awful bad folks & not only that...
They kidnap girls like you and feed 'em drugs!

Little Brother: They showl do!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, AT THAT VERY SAME MOMENT A WHOLE CREW OF 'BERTA BOYS ROUNDED THE CORNER [ I had seen the gang walking in our direction earlier when I entered Juanita Drive so I knew they were coming]

Little Brother went over & picked up his bicycle. The Teenage Sister went directly inside her house while I continued cleaning off the lip of my big coal shovel on the curb.

Our buddy Ignacio sent us some more photos of aircraft dedicated to freedom in Cuba.

Hello, Roberto thank you for your mail
In Miami we have a B-26, Capt. Amado Cantillo is doing a Memorial side in Tamiami Airport, they have a B-26 painted in Bay of Pigs Colors

This airplane is going to be display with the nanes of Cuban and US Pilots who died in the invasion.

C-46 Cuba Aeropostal

C-46 Aerovias Q, also have DC-4


S-Constellation Cubana de Aviacion

Thank you for your time.

Ignacio Del Valle

Monday, April 03, 2006

From :
Sent :
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 12:45 AM
To :

Subject :
Ignacio Del Valle

Hello,I am in the bussines of static aircraft models,made in resin and plastic.

I made over 17 models from Cuba BF.C46 Aerovias Q,C46 Cuba Aeropostal,etc.
and I will like to do the B-26K used by Air America in Asia,Congo.
They were a Cuban group of freedon pilots,I think the people there call them
If you know were can I get some pictures and more info please let me know.
Thak for your time
Ignacio Del Valle.

B26 1/72

Fake "FAR-931", the B-26B flown by Capts. Ponzoa and Pujol as "Gorilla 1" on the morning of 15 April 1961, during the strike against Puerto Cabezas.

Mon, 3 Apr 2006 22:38:55 EDT
Re: Ignacio, I Am Featuring Your Models of Cuban Aircraft On My "Cuba, Alabam...

Yes, I know the pilots and support crew who flew in the Congo. Many of them flew in the Bay of Pigs.


Janet Ray Weininger and her daughter at the press conference in Miami when she filed her suit against Fidel which she won!

The following comes from back in the fall of '03 when I first met Janet:

This is so wild! Tony Delacova sends me this information about Pete Ray's daughter. I look up her website,

find an article about recovering Bay of Pigs veterans bodies from Nicaragua and find Lino Gutierrez in the article! Lino was ambassador to Nicaragua when Janet Ray Weininger put together the team that excavated the bodies of two Cuban exile pilots of a B-26 that crashed on a Nicaraguan mountaintop after the Bay of Pigs invasion. I knew Lino when he was a student at the University of Alabama. The reason I got to know him so well is because I taught Biology at Druid High School in Tuscaloosa with his mother, our Spanish teacher.If this story doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you don't have an idea about the horrors of communism.

Dear President Clinton:

Thirty-four years ago, a six year old girl's heart shattered when she learned her father's plane would never again break through the clouds,never again would she run to the arms of the man in the green nomex flight suit, never again would her cheek know the feel of her father's whiskers. With a plaintive howl, she pleaded to God not to abandon her father. The only sound she heard was the whimpering of her dog,Chase, as he licked her tears, tears of pain, selfish tears.

Out of love for her father, this little girl embarked upon a mission lasting over eighteen years to learn the fate of her father, to learn what makes a man take off on a mission he knows will be his last. Why would an American give his life for Brigade 2506 and Cuba during the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion?

The answer would come as she watched his coffin descend from the plane in the shivering mist. This son of the south made his final flight home to Alabama, to the arms of his little girl, after being kept in a pullout drawer of a Havana morgue since his execution.The only request she made of the Cuban exile community was for a Cuban flag. It would be the last thing that rested on the coffin of an American who made decisions of conscience, decisions of honor.

As the coffin was slowly lowered in the ground, Pete Ray's daughter cradled his Cuban flag that now held tears for Cuba. He had taught her how precious freedom is, her mission had just begun.

If you don't understand the reason for the September 2nd Democracia Flotilla to Cuba, read Pete Ray's daughter's letter to Richard Nuccioor ask her why an American would join the flotilla. I know what she will tell you because I am that six-year-old girl who will never abandon Cuba.

It is time for Cuba to be free.


Janet Ray Weininger

17901 SW 84th Avenue

Miami, FL 33157


For the first time during the invasion Alabama Air National Guard pilots were at the controls of warplanes taking part in the fray. Prior to April19th the Alabama guardsmen were not allowed to fly combat missions in support of the brigade. The White House feared that an American pilot might be shot down and expose the U.S. Government's role in the covert affair.

President John F. Kennedy, newly inaugurated and concerned about the political fallout from the invasion, was adamant that operations be carried out in such a way that the U.S. Government could plausibly deny any involvement. Unfortunately, the concern for "plausible deniability" within the decision-making process took precedence over military requirements.Pre-invasion air strikes against Cuban airfields were held to a minimum to mask U.S. involvement. This was done on direct orders from the President.

Remnants of Fidel Castro's air forces, including two British-built Sea Fury prop fighters and two Lockheed T-33 jet trainers with fighter capability, survived the attacks to strike back against the invasion forces and their limited air support. The fighters attacked the landing forces at will, sank their ammunition and supplies coming in from the sea, and wreaked havoc on the B-26s coming to their aid.

The denial of U.S. fighter cover from the carrier Essex steaming offshore yielded command of the air to Castro's few surviving planes. The minimal bombing strikes two days before the landing on April 17 not only failed to destroy all of Castro's planes, but alerted the Cuban dictator that the landing forces were on the way.

On the morning ofthe 17th Castro's planes sank two of the brigade's ships, the Houston and the Rio Escondido, loaded with war supplies. Five of the liberation airforce's 16 B-26s and their crews were lost on the day of the landing. Flying one and sometimes two missions a day-each mission six and one-half hours over open water without navigational aids-the Cuban pilots were physically and emotionally exhausted by the third day of the invasion.

Air Guard Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L. Shannon recalled that the Cuban pilots were in no shape to fly on the 19th, but some flew anyway.Faced with exhausted aircrews and a desperate situation on the ground in Cuba, the CIA authorized Alabama guardsmen to fly missions on the 19th.

Four Guard pilots and four crewmen stepped forward. The lead formation on the19th was commanded by Billy "Dodo" Goodwin, a major in the Air Guard, and Gonzalo Herrera, a fearless Cuban pilot known as "El Tigre" by his compatriots. The other Alabama Guard pilots were Joe Shannon, Riley Shamburger, and Thomas Willard "Pete" Ray. Crew members from Alabama included Leo Francis Baker, Wade Gray, Carl "Nick" Sudano, and James Vaughn.
A second exiled Cuban pilot, Mario Zuniga, and his observer rounded out the strike force.

At the last minute the B-26s were promised air cover from the Essex, but in a tragic mix-up the jet fighters did not show until the bombers were leaving the target area. The Navy pilots had orders not to fire unless fired upon.When the unprotected bombers arrived over the beachhead at sunrise, the Cuban fighters were waiting for them. The two lead B-26s piloted by Goodwin and Herrera sustained hits but delivered their ordnance and were returning to Puerto Cabezas when the other bombers arrived in the target area.

Two of the B-26s came under attack as they approached the beachhead. Joe Shannon was able to outmaneuver the T-33s, but his wingman Riley Shamburger was hit.Shamburger and his observer Wade Gray went down with their plane. Further inland, a Cuban fighter brought down Pete Ray's bomber as he pressed the attack against heavily defended targets.

Ray and Leo Francis Baker, a flight engineer, survived the crash only to be killed in a shootout with Cuban soldiers.That afternoon the beachhead collapsed and the Cuban exiles, having exhausted their supplies and ammunition, surrendered to Castro's army.

It had taken just seventy-two hours to crush the invasion. Some survivors were rescued by U.S. ships, but the brigade took heavy casualties including 114 men who died and 1,189 who were taken prisoner. Fidel Castro held the prisoners until December 1963 when he ransomed them to the United States for$53 million worth of food and drugs.

A humiliating defeat for the U.S. Government, the Bay of Pigs was a tragedy from which the Cuban exiles and their liberation movement would never recover.No one shared the loss more than their U.S. comrades. Joe Shannon recalled that he and the other Alabama guardsmen had flown the final mission on 19 April because they "were closely associated with the Cuban aircrews, and . .. felt a strong dedication to their cause."

Captain Edward B. Ferrer, a pilot in the liberation air force, wrote a book on the air battle at the Bay of Pigs and declared that the U.S. crews who volunteered to fly with them in combat were no longer advisers, but brothers.

Despite the swirl of controversy surrounding the Bay of Pigs fiasco and their strong feelings about the constraints placed on air power, Shannon and the other air guardsmen kept their silence for decades. They had been sworn to secrecy,and they honored that commitment. They did not even tell their wives.

For the families of the four heroic guardsmen who gave their lives on the final day's mission, theirs was a compelling story. The families mourned their loss, but went years without knowing what happened to their loved ones.

How could they relate the deaths to the Bay of Pigs if the government denied they were ever there? Some family members refused to give up. In a poignant twist to the Bay of Pigs tragedy the family of Pete Ray learned in1978 that for 17 years his body had been refrigerated in Cuba on Castro's orders. The Castro regime kept the slain U.S. pilot's body as a propaganda trophy and as evidence that the U.S. government was behind the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Thomas Ray, Jr., (a San Francisco attorney) and his sister Janet (the wife of an Air Force colonel and F-16 pilot) were small children when their father was killed. Although the family learned that he had died while supporting the invasion, officially he was never there.

While growing up theson and daughter relentlessly pursued the truth about their father's death and what had happened to his body. The family's persistence persuaded the Cuban government to return Thomas Ray's body to Alabama for burial inDecember 1979.

The U.S. Government finally admitted in May 1999, nearly four decades after the event, that Ray and three other Alabama guardsmen were shot down on April 19, 1961, flying combat over Cuba's Bahia de Cochinos.

Over the past 40 years the daring B-26 mission on the final day of the invasion-resulting in the untimely death of four intrepid guardsmen-has become a symbol of the Alabama Air National Guard's role in the Bay of Pigs invasion. That role had its start when a large contingent of Alabama guardsmen, joined by other volunteers from Arkansas units and the civil aviation sector, deployed on a secret mission to Guatemala in late 1960.They served there as advisers to Cuban exiles who were preparing to liberate their homeland under the auspices of the CIA.

No one else, not even their families, knew where they were. The failure at the Bay of Pigs had far-reaching implications for the U.S. Government and its Cold War policies.It led directly to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and may have propagated the political indecision and myopia leading to our more tragic failure in the Vietnam War. For the Alabama Air National Guard there were no Bay of Pigs service medals or campaign streamers, but the experience has become a distinctive part of Air Guard history. For the guardsmen who were part of that history, their silence was a badge of honor.

I received this email on 9/08/03
Dear Roberto:
The street that I lived on in Ozark was Anne Street. It would be interesting to learn something about the cemetery that was deep in the woods behind my home.
Do you have any connections?
I went to and saw the there was undeveloped property behind.

Janet Ray Weisinger found out she was living on Anne Street in Ozark when she entered the first grade and her Daddy was recruited by the CIA for the Bay of Pigs Invasion.I received this email from her today.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Man, I wanna tell ya, to talk to Janet Ray and hear her tell you that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT came to her family and said that her Daddy had gone to work for a bunch of rich Cubans as as a mercenery and got killed, so tough luck- just kills my soul cause I remember everbody in my neighborhood in Dothan talking about how we had lost men at Bay of Pigs and NOBODY WAS TALKING ABOUT IT !!!!
Now that's a Hell of a burden but think about what poor Janet has been through with her own government lying about the death of her Daddy!!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Check out wwwwwwwwwwwyker's article about Tuscaloosa's ROCK musicians from the Sixties on Planet Weekly's website

April of 2006 holds a lot of portent for me. Two important personal anniversaries will occur for me.
# 1) I will turn 56 this month.
#2) This month will mark the beginning of my eighth year with Pake Realty.

This morning I was reading the paper before work while Christopher was checking out the Internet. On page 3 of the Sports Section of the Tuscaloosa News was a photo of a girl[for these purposes we will call her "Betty"] who Christopher has known since kindergarten.
I yelled into Christopher's office, " Hey Christopher, Betty's picture is in the paper this morning!"

Uncharacteristically, Christopher came directly to my office to see the beautiful picture of Betty pitching a softball.

You see Betty was the winning pitcher yesterday in the title game of Tuscaloosa City/County High School Softball Tournament. Betty threw a four-hitter, striking out six batters with two walks, allowing a pair of earned runs.

I asked Christopher, " Hey man, you ever see Betty outside of school?"

Christopher said," Every now and then she'll show up where we're hanging out."

"Umm, O.K." I said.

We were soon inside the Exploder riding down River Road heading toward Lake Tuscaloosa to pick up a refrigerator the Boss bought yesterday at a garage sale. We were listening to the 25th Anniversary Jethro Tull AQUALUNG CD Christopher had found inside a broken CD player at the warehouse when Christopher received a phone call.

Christopher answered the phone by saying, "Hey, hi, I saw your picture in the paper this morning."

He listened to the phone for a while and said, "Not gonna be able to do it today cause I gotta work."

After listening again, Christopher closed the conversation by saying, "Well, I'll talk to you later."

"Who was that?", I asked.

"Oh that was Betty."

"What'd she want?"

"Oh I'd promised her that I'd take her fishing sometime and she wanted to know whether we could go today and I told her I had to work!"

"Oh," I replied.

You cannot imagine how this strange little irony helped to confirm for me the correctness of my decision to make sure my son lived in the same house and went to same schools for his entire public school education.

Fortunately, my son growing up in Northport has had the same opportunity that I had growing up in Dothan:


Here's the next installment on the 37 minute 47 second Buddy Buie interview with Wally Price, Ronnie Quarles and Dave McDaniel which occurred on 3-15-06 inside the WTBC studios here in Tuscaloosa:

Wally: My Daddy had a country music station here in town that I grew up working in.

Buddy: Oh, did he?

Wally: And I just always loved that Sandy Posey song "I Take It Back".

Buddy: That was the first national hit we had.

Wally: Uh, huh.

Buddy: Right before that we had a song by Tommy Roe called "Party Girl" that made it it to like mid-chart. Uh, but, Sandy Posey, "I Take It Back", the way that came about... Chips Moman.
I don't know whether you know him. He's a legendary producer. He produced a bunch of stuff for Elvis: "Suspicious Minds", "In The Ghetto". He did "Willie & Waylon". He did "The Highwaymen".

Ronnie Quarles: WOW!

Buddy: I mean, he's legendary. Well, this was when he was in Memphis and,uh, I had... I knew about him and had met him by phone & I said,"Listen, I got a song."
So I did the demo myself. I sang the demo and I did "The Girl's Part". You know the Girl's recitation. I did it in the female gender!


Buddy: Then I did the male voice.

Wally: I'm glad I didn't hear that version!

Buddy: It was good enough to get a cut though! He called me in the middle of the night and said, "Hey man! I cut Sandy Posey on that song!"



Ronnie: So how do you write a song and get it to somebody like Sandy Posey? What,what... How did that happen?

Buddy: Well, that's what I was saying. What happened was I knew he was recording because she'd just had "Single Woman". This song called "Single Woman".

Ronnie: So you did not know Sandy Posey?

Buddy: No I did not know Sandy.

Ronnie: OK.

Buddy: I rarely ever know the artist.

Ronnie: OK.

Buddy: You know, it's usually through a publisher or what we call a "pitch" where you go in front of an artist or producer and throw them your song.

Ronnie: Is it easy today to do that?

Buddy: Well,

Ronnie[interrupting]: Is it easier today, I should say...

Buddy: I don't do it as much but when you've had a track record, you know, you can get in the door easier. It doesn't make them like it anymore though...

Ronnie: I see...

Buddy: You know, they'll still tell ya,"Naw, thank you for coming. Really appreciate you bringing it by but, naw, this is not for us."

Ronnie: See, I've always told Wally that we could get the Sunday newspaper, cut out some words out of each headline, put 'em together & line 'em up.
We'd have a country song!


Buddy: I got a couple of country titles but I can't say but one of them on the air!




Buddy: That's a Waylon Jennings' line!


Ronnie[laughing] That's great!

Buddy: Can I say "masturbate" on the radio?

Dave McDaniel: Yeah, I think you just did!


Ronnie: Yeah, I think you just did!



Dave: Oh no! There goes our license!

Buddy: I cleaned it up a little bit!

Dave: Yeah you did. We're with you on it , Buddy!


Dave: OH Lord!

Ronnie: Let's move it on!

Dave: Naw! Let it stay right where it's at!


Ronnie: So how did you hook up with the ClassicsIV?

to be continued...



My heroes in music were Johnny Mercer, all of the Tin Pan Alley writers, Bert Bacharach, Hal David, Roy Orbison, Chips Moman .

Chips Moman produced Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" and "Ghetto". He and Bobby Emmons wrote "Luckenbach, Texas". He produced Willie's "You Were Always On My Mind"; Waylon, Cash, Kristoferson. He's just a legendary producer.

In 1966, I got a phone call in the middle of the night. It was Chips Moman. He said, "Buddy, I cut 'I Take It Back'!"

I was really excited. It sounds a little dated now but then it was a work of art to me.

My friend and cowriter J.R. Cobb and I were writing this song and J.R. said to me,"Are you aware that what you are singing is 4:4 time in the verse and 3:4 time in the chorus. You're changing from 4:4 to 3:4."

I said,"I didn't notice it but I like it."

And J.R. said,"I like it too." So that's the way we wrote that song.

It was our first national hit and our first BMI award winner.


Spoken: Here he comes now. I've got to tell him somehow.

I could put it off till later but it's best I do it now.
Baby listen to me there is something I must try to say
I've put it off so long but I've decided that today is the day
My love for you is dying
Oh no, please don't start crying
I take it back
I didn't mean it
Please forget the things I said
I take it back
I'm sorry
I must have been out
Of my head

Spoken: He's such a man. It must have hurt him a lot if he let me
see him cry. But I must try again...this time I'll say goodby.

Baby you've been good to me you've always been the best you could
So try to understand me now the way you've always understood
I can't go on another day
Oh please, don't look at me that way
I take it back
I didn't mean it
Please forget what I just said
I take it back
I'm sorry
I must have been out
Of my head

Spoken: Sometimes it's better to be loved, than it is to love.

I failed to mention that the last song "I Take It Back" was sung by Sandy Posey