April 25th 2006 Phil Paramore Interview with Buddy Buie on Dothan's WOOF AM
Phil: ...as promised, right now a very special guest in the studio with us and indeed a pleasure and an honor to welcome Dothan's own Buddy Buie here into the studio. Many of you are very well aware of his musical background and I won't go through it with you but I gotta start with some boyhood friends by the name of Bobby Goldsboro and John Rainey Adkins. They late became affiliated with Roy Orbison. Those guys becoming the crux of The Candymen and Buddy Buie managed Roy Orbison on tour as well. Later became affiliated with Bill Lowery and The Classics IV, the rest of it is history as you know, the megahits "Spooky", "Stormy", "Traces" and "Every Day With You Girl". Still alive today! Among the greatest hits still played in this country as well as his claim to fame, forming The Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1970, went on to produce several million sellers, went on to play at the White House and since that time, he's become involved with many modern day artists through publishing or producing albums including Travis Tritt, Wynona Judd, Gloria Estafan and many, many others and the heals of penning a story about a man who carries an awful lot of weight with all of us in the state of Alabama, the late "Bear" Bryant.
It's a pleasure to have Buddy Buie with us this morning in the studio. Welcome in my friend. Good morning to you!
Buddy: Glad to be here. I listen to you. I read your column and it's a pleasure to be here to talk about the great Bear Bryant and just to say,"Hello!"
We have some mutual friends. I wonder if old Fred Moody's listening. You think he is?
Phil: I don't know if the former Boomer's proprietor is up and stirring yet or not but we're rolling tape on this so we'll feed it down his throat a little later on!
Let's talk a little bit about this song,"The Day Bear Bryant Died."
The first time I heard it, I have to tell you, I just sat there with my mouth open, couldn't help but hearken back to that era when he died. Oh, by the way, just a little background information.
I was a senior at Auburn. I was a sports columnist for the student newspaper at that time and actually got to write the Auburn perspective of Coach Bryant's death and the neatest thing to be the school that he wanted to beat the most. Yet on that day it was almost as if a pall fell over even the Auburn campus. The grief and the respect that this state had was really, I think shown in the outpouring of emotions as the funeral procession wound through near Birmingham. It was a gripping time in this state, wasn't it?
Buddy: It certainly was a gripping time for me. I was up in Atlanta at Lake Lanier outside Atlanta. We were writing songs for an upcoming Atlanta Rhythm Section album and the procession...
Bear had died. This was in January of '83. Bear had just died and ,matter of fact, this was the day of the funeral procession and Keith Jackson with those dulcet tones, I mean, My Goodness! It gripped us.
Usually I tell...
Everytime someone asks me to tell this story, I'll say,"I wanna explain something to you. It's a myth that songwriters write from pure emotion. Like you see a sunrise and write,"Oh,What A Beautiful Sunrise!"
It doesn't work that way. You get an idea and you form it but this one wasn't written that way. This was written from pure emotion. We just put away...
We had an upcoming deadline to cut a record but we started this song there because that brought tears to our eyes and like you said, you know, one of the lines in this song is "The nation cried!
Friend and foe alike!"
I'm glad you alluded to that. I know you being an Auburn man, that interests me.
It'd be like Shug Jordan. You know I had that same feeling with Shug.
Phil: Well, you know, I guess Coach Dye being so beloved at that time. He had just snapped a long nine game losing streak to Alabama yet had the consumate respect for Coach Bryant. He basically had gotten to where he was in the coaching profession because of Coach Bryant's tutelage and his influence and help with him in hhis career and he sort of imparted the message to the Auburn family, "Look, there's nothing good about this. We have lost a true legend and a guy who has been a major influence on me and I, in turn, have tried to impart that wisdom on this program and I building a foundation off what I learned from him so let's all be aware."
This guy was our most bitter rival and as you know Coach Bryant's staunchest axioms was,"Beat your opponent, help him up and respect him when the game is over."
Buddy: Yeah, I just read the book, THE LAST COACH and I...
Phil: Wonderful book!
Buddy: Wonderful book, yeah. To finish my story, Harrison Parrish,one of the cofounders of Movie Gallery, I think you might know Harrison.
Phil: Absolutely! Does business with us now.
Buddy: Harrison was at my house and we were having dinner and I just played this song for him. I said,"I want you to hear something."
I knew he was a Sigma Nu at Alabama. I played it for him and he said,"Man! You need to do something with that!"
He said,"Didja just write it?"
I said," No we wrote it twenty years ago."
He said,"Well, have done anything with it?"
I said,"I never thought it was commercial to the extent, you know, I'm used to writing songs that have to be kinda universal and somebody in Missouri would not appreciate a song about the day Bear Bryant died.
Buddy: And so, not having any commercial aspirations...
It gets kinda...
As a songwriter, Ronnie Hammond and loved the song. We thought it was one of our best songs. We really did but knew the limitations commercially ahead so we just kinda forgot about it and then when Harrison heard it, he said,"My Lord! You gotta do something with that!"...
so he introduced me to some people at the university and right now we're at the end of negotiation with the university. Proceeds of this will benefit the Bryant Museum and it will be sold at all the ballgames and with Crimson Tide Sports Network...
Let me emphasize, I'm giving you advance information because as you know with any deal, it could fall apart but this looks like where we are gonna be going and my dream is for it to become an anthem for the Bama Nation!
and hopefully the other people, like the Auburn fans here.
Generally, if you've got anything about Alabama, the Auburn fans not gonna like it. In general, anything about Auburn, an Alabama fan's not gonna like it.That's just the way this state is!
By the way, you know my brother, Jerry...
Phil: Of course, yeah.
Buddy: Well, he's put three kids through Auburn. He graduated from Auburn and his wife graduated from Auburn so, you know, our family is a....
I was always a Bama fan growing up but I've learned to respect Auburn except when they play Alabama. He and I just watch it from different parts of the state. We have that agreement.
Phil: We're gonna talk a little more about the atmosphere surrounding the rivalry and also a little more on Bear Bryant, his influence on the state as a whole. If you weren't old enough to be around back then like we were back then many people don't really understand what a tremendous shadow he cast upon this state. In fact, it has been said by some that George Wallace admitted publically that the only guy he feared in the political arena was if Bear Bryant ever tossed his hat in...
I tell you what we're gonna do folks. We're gonna play this song in its entirety.
It runs about four, four and a half minutes.
"The Day Bear Bryant Died"
Then we'll go out to break and then we'll come back. If you could stay around with us we'll visit some more when we come back from the break.
Buddy: I'll be glad to.
Phil: Here it is, as authored by Buddy Buie, "The Day Bear Bryant Died"