2005 DOTHAN MAGAZINE RECEPTION FOR THE BUDDY BUIE COVER STORY
Jimmy Dean,Buddy Buie, Bill J. Moody, Wilbur Walton Jr.
From: "Bill Moody"
To: "'robert register'"
Subject: RE: To The Memory Of Fred Guarino
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 10:08:31 -0500
It’s always a pleasure to turn my computer on in the morning when I get to the office and read the interesting information you and your friends email me. I especially enjoyed the information on the James Gang since in my opinion they were one of the greatest bands from the Golden Era Of Rock And Roll and To The Memory Of Fred Guarino.
My wife Cathie and I moved from Montgomery a year and a half ago and we really love living in Dothan and have recently moved into a new house here and I plan to end my radio career in the Wiregrass. While here in Dothan I have renewed friendships with Jimmy Dean, Wilbur Walton Jr. and Buddy Buie and I can tell you this has meant a lot to me.
My career began from 1961 to 1978 at the Big Bam in Montgomery, later I went into sales with Colonial Broadcasting and because the owner of the stations enjoyed oldies so much he hired me to do an all request oldies show on Saturday nights on an AC station Mix 103.3. In 1998 I became the manager of Cool 104.3 an all oldies station in Montgomery and did a Saturday night all request revival of Hubcap Classics. I kept a list from 1995 to 2002 on both of my oldies shows and Georgia Pines was the number four most requested song in a period of 7 years.
After two years with Cumulus Broadcasting I moved to Dothan January 2, 2005 and became the General sales manager of the Radio People and things are going great here.
On Saturday night July 1 I will MC the class reunion of the Class of 1966 at Robert E Lee High School in Montgomery and for the first time since the BIG BAM Spring Spectacular of 1968 another great band from the Montgomery area THE ROCKIN' GILBRALTARS with all the original members will perform. This band was put together and practiced at the BIG BAM studios back in 1965 and I was their first manager.
God has really blessed me over the years and maybe after this email I will hear from many of the old band members, friends, and former listeners I have had the pleasure to know my last 47 years in broadcasting.
ROCK ON AND ALWAYS KEEP IT COOL””””
Bill J. Moody
THE ROCKIN' GIBRALTARS Cuttin' up the juice and cutting the damn thang loose at THE FARM CENTER in Dothan.
l to r, Ed Sanford[keyboards], Ronnie Monroe[horns], Sonny Grier[lead singer], Bobby Dupree[drums], Keith Brewer[bass], Rusty Crumpton[guitar]
FROM JAMES HODGES:
Personally, I liked the RGs. I remember seeing them at one of the Dothan Rec Center Summer Dances about a hundred or so years ago - I know it was the sixties,but cannot remember the year. A drunken pretty blonde girl showing her ass after a cover of a Major Lance song yelled out "Well get down on your knees!" and the RG lead singer (Sonny Grier?) immediately said "Well honey, take off your clothes."
I saw the Rubber Band a couple of times and also liked them, but the RGs had more soul.
I saw Heart at one of the Big Bam Shows at Garrett Coliseum. I remember that they announced that their set was being filmed for a movie about Alabama. I wonder if that exists somewhere.
From: Rusty Crumpton
Sent : Saturday, August 6, 2005 5:12 AM
To : "robert register"
Subject : Bill J. & the "moody-go-round"
Here's a little ditty about my first meeting with the AM Radio Legend, Bill J.
Where : Bill J.'s pad @ the Patio Club Apts., Mungumry, Al
When : Summertime '65 (as near as anybody could tell)
What : Bill J.'s 1st venture into band management
As I walked around the swimming pool, filled with unopened beer cans, I was "runned over" by 2 dudes from the Auburn Lambda Chi house. I barely held on to my guitar case as they dove into the pool. There they were, in the deep end, popping the tops (or using a church-key ?) & sucking down 2 Buds before they came up for air.
At that moment, I knew this was something special.
A few weeks earlier, Ed Sanford invited me to audition with a new group called the Rock of Gibraltar or Rocky Gibraltar or something like that (I told my mom it was a gospel group...not total lie nor the truth, but hey, that's rock & roll). Now Ed was a well known exaggerator, but I believed him when he said that the in-famous Bill J. of WBAM was gonna manage the group, but first we had to do an audition/party at his place.
Well we auditioned for 4 or 5 hours, before his neighbors threatened to call the police.Now somehow, during the 3rd or 4th hour, I looked up & noticed someone was playing my old Gretch guitar. I looked around & didn't recognize anybody playin' our instruments, but they were doing a pretty good "Louie, Louie". I then looked around the floors of the dark apt.& saw the real RG's "making out" with some chicks. I was little worried that these other guys might get our gig, so I hopped up & grabbed my Gretch & tried to play on the 4 remaining out-of-tune strings. Thank goodness that was the last song of the night.
Now, even though Bill J. (& everybody else) was a little tipsy, he announced that we passed the audition & he invited us to come out to the Big BAM studio to rehearse & meet the Mr. Brennen, the Big Boss Man of WBAM.
When I think back to those days, I realize how fortunate we were. Bill J. & Mr. Brennen were what Mama called "good people". Over next few years they led us to Muscle Shoals & Fame Studios...they played our songs on the radio ...they let us play in at least 4 or 5 Big Bam shows...we can't thank them enough.
I think I can speak for the rest of the RG's by saying, Bill J., you da man!!!!!
FROM BOBBY DUPREE
On August 22, 1967, we recorded four songs at Cosmos Studio in New Orleans, Louisiana, produced by Marshall Seahorn and Allen Toussaint. The songs were Shake Sherry Shake, a cover version originally recorded by the Contours, It’s a Wonder, a Sam and Dave song & Soothe My Soul (an original), and Get Out My Life Woman, a cover version originally recorded by Lee Dorsey.
The session was done in a few hours, and the tracks were some of the best sounding ones we’d done to that point. Cosmos Studio was up on the second floor of an old warehouse downtown New Orleans. We had to bring the equipment up an old freight elevator that was driven by a huge canvas belt. We signed contracts with Marshall Seahorn at his and Allen’s office. Some months went by, and we started wondering if the songs were going to be released. Marshall would never return our phone calls.
We played the Big Bam Winter show and were joined by our old friends The Rubber Band. They originally were named the Magnificent 7, and after they got the recording contract with Columbia, they had to change names. You see, Columbia had just done this movie called “The Magnificent 7” and the execs at Columbia didn’t want a movie with the same name as a band. So Wyker called us and asked if we wanted to sell our name. We of course told him no, and so he had this idea to name his band “The Herald Angels” and said that the first album released was to be titled Hark !”The Herald Angels Sing. “After that, they changed the name of the band to “The Rubber Band”.
Anyhow, they had a great song out called Let Love Come Between Us and it was on the WBAM charts. James and Bobby Purify later covered the song. They had just come back from New York and they all had bought these really cool Paul Revere and the Raider boots, leather vests, etc. We knew they were going to try to out-do us at the BAM show, so we decided to come up with the most outrageous outfit that we could. We went down to Weil’s, the local clothing store in town that carried the “hippest” threads around. We found these lime green pants, black shirts with iridescent flowers, white suspenders, and bright orange suede slip on Johnson-Murphy shoes. We cut the pants off and made them into shorts, and bought knee-high thin black silk socks to wear with them. We kept the outfits hidden until we were to go on stage. When the Rubber Band saw them, they knew we’d outdone them. We actually looked like a bunch of Bavarian yodelers. The Rubber Band broke up a short time after this show.
In the spring of 1968, we played the Big Bam Spring show in Montgomery and were seen by a producer from Hollywood named Bob Hinkle. Bob was producing a medical documentary in Alabama, and also was a promoter for Evil Kneival and Chill Wills. He wanted us to sign a management contract with him, but we were still under contract with Marshall and Allen. We finally contacted a lawyer who sent them a letter of our intent to be released from their contract. The songs we did at Cosmos were never released, and we forfeited all rights to the songs (5/68) in order to sign a management contract with Bob Hinkle.
Bob wanted us out in Los Angeles so that we could play some local gigs and get exposure there. We needed some songs he could take out there and shop for us a record deal. Sonny Grier, our lead singer, was married by then, and decided that he didn’t want to make the move. We were all saddened by his decision and felt a bit let down. Here we were, signed to a contract with a Hollywood producer and we had no lead singer.We called Wyker and found out that Johnny Townsend had just gone out to L.A. and was staying with Greg and Duane Allman, who had a group called The Hour Glass. We called Johnny, and made arrangements for him to fly back to Alabama so we could rehearse.
Bob got him signed to a contract, and we started writing and rehearsing so we could cut some demos. Bob took us to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and we recorded The Train, and Heartbeat in June 1968, engineered by Jimmy Johnson. These were the first demos recorded as the band Heart, with Johnny Townsend on vocals. Bob went back to California and contracted with Warner Brothers to sign us. The contract with Warner Brothers necessitated us moving out to California. We later cut The Train, and Heartbeat in L.A. and they were released on Warner 7/Reprise records.
“I saw the Candymen at the Montgomery Municipal Auditorium not long after they had returned from England. We’d seen them at a WBAM show backing up Roy Orbison and they were great then. Keith, Rusty and I went down to see them on the recommendation of Bill J. Moody, our manager and D-Jay at WBAM radio station. I remember them doing a song by the Beatles. By that time everyone was becoming big fans of the Beatles and had been listening to their records. They started playing that Beatles’ song and I know my jaw dropped to the floor because they sounded exactly like the record.”
quote from Bobby Dupree from THE HEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC by Greg Haynes http://heybabydays.com
Recollections from a Columbus, Georgia native:
I recall that even though Columbus had some great radio people, many people liked the fact that BIG BAM in Montgomery, who came in clearly, didn't play many commercials. There was Paul Simpkins in the morning, Dixie Hatfield, Bill J. Moody and a man named Chic. At 5pm they had a half hour of oldies called Dan's Dusty Discs with Dan Brennan. Many times they would not say anything in between songs, they would just play a recording of that big cannon shot, their big BAM. WBAM won't be forgotten by many who could hear it all the way down to Panama City where many of the guys and gals would dance to what they called PC music at The Hangout and other places. PC music was stuff like Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Dizzy", Lightnin' Hopkins "Mojo Hand" and "Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker. http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/georgia/page6.html