Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hey y'all:

Like I said before, The Bicentennial Commemoration of the Arrest of Aaron Burr in Alabama is picking up steam.
Evidence shows that this arrest stands today as one of the most critical events in the formative years of the United States.

I gotta go to THE ROCKIN' GIBRALTARS' CHRISTMAS PARTY in Monkeytown Thursday night and the office party begins about 5 on Friday so as soon as I recover, I will be heading to some of General James Wilkinson's former acreage, Dauphin Island. I'll make it before sundown so all of my ninjas down there in the boggy bayous around the sound and bay need to plan to take me to the site of Fort Stoddard and Old Wakefield on Sunday. PRETTY PLEASE!

A book published in 2002 called AARON BURR Conspiracy to Treason by Buckner F. Melton, Jr. is stonger than wolf "you-know-what"!

page 158:

Two or three miles before they arrived, they stumbled across two men. One was the sheriff; the other was the striking horseman. The Florida border was close. Burr was working his magic again, and with the help of the sheriff he had almost escaped. But now the nightmare had happened. He was face to face with Wilkinson's army. It may have been the worst moment of Burr's life. As he spotted the soldiers he asked the sheriff who they were.
"That is Perkins and you are gone," said the sheriff.
"God have mercy," Burr swore, grabbing the bridle in both of his hands.

But "lord have mercy" the best part comes at the end of the book!!!!
page 230:

While Wilkinson's star sank into muck, Andrew Jackson's burst like a nova. The war made him a national hero, an even bigger one than George Washington. Champion of the Creek War, of the campaign to take Mobile, of the Battle of New Orleans, Old Hickory became the most wildly popular man that the nation had ever known.
After New Orleans he invaded Spanish Florida yet again, having done so once before, during the war. He was the most successful filibuster of them all, securing New Orleans and the whole of the Mississippi Valley once and for all for his country, grabbing massive amounts of land, regions the sizes of states, from the various southern tribes, and making things so hot in East and West Florida that by 1819 the Spanish were happy to give it to America.

The secret to his success was his ability to work with, not against, the federal government, a skill that none of the western conspirators before him had ever learned- not Genet, not Blount, not Burr, not Wilkinson.
With carefully worded, flimsy support from Washington, he could go on the march, launch an attack, as long as the politicians had what a later era would come to call plausible deniability. They played the good cop to Jackson's bad cop, telling Spain, and England, and everyone else that the government couldn't control Old Hickory, and that if the diplomats couldn't reach an agreement, then God alone knew what Jackson would do with his armies of rough frontiersmen. The ruse worked, partly because it wasn't a ruse. Andrew Jackson did not speak softly, but he did carry a big stick. All of this made him so popular that by 1829 he was president. He would have arrived in the president's mansion four years before that, if not for a fluke of the electoral system that gave John Quincy Adams a victory even though Jackson won the popular vote. But he got there at last, and that was soon enough for him to change the face of the presidency, and the nation as well.


Image courtesy of

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christopher Gots Lots Uv Congrats Out Uv Cybuhspace!!!!

My son,Christopher,who is a Senior at Tuscaloosa County High School, was awarded the Triple Crown of High Adventure.

This honor is bestowed upon Boy Scouts who sailed at the Florida Sea Base
, who worked on trail crew at the Minnesota Northern Tier Canoe Base
and who worked on the trail crew at Philmont Scout Ranch
near Cimarron, New Mexico.

It is my understanding that Christopher is the first scout in the history of The Black Warrior Council
to receive this award.


from Maggie
in California:,_California

I just love dolphins. they're always so happy and positive. kinda like the born-again Christians of the sea.
that's a good lookin' kid you got there.

from Jerry Henry,
music editor of PLANET WEEKLY:

Congratulations, I know you are very, very proud of him. I also know these kinds of accomplishments will help in in his future.

from Mark Booth,
perennial candidate for the office of Mayor of Tuscaloosa:

Congrats, You should be proud

from Greg Haynes,

Congrats; I was a Boy Scout
also an Eagle; congrats to Christopher!

from Ken Babbs,
co-founder with Ken Kesey

congrats to Christopher. good looking lad,
if I were a humorist I'd say he must take after his mother, but instead I'll say:
A blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.

She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"

The clerk says, "What denomination?"

The blonde says, "God help us. Has it come to this?Give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists."


from William Wheatley,

Eagle Scout,my childhood friend and Chairman of Wheatley U.S :

Congratulations to Christopher! An important achievement.

--William Wheatley

from Jim Tiger,
Oregon lawyer, descendent of Creek Indian chiefs and outstanding historian of The Creek Indian Nation:

Hey, congratulations! That’s a great honor!


from David A. Smith,
Young Junior Baby Criminal & adult supervision for The Southeast Alabama Medical Center:

dear bob,
please tell chris, from one scout to another, JOB WELL DONE !!!
hope all is well, will you be around during christmas? if not, hope you and yours have a very merry one.

from Greg Spies,

Tell Christopher that this old Eagle Scout/ Order of the Arrow is proud of his achievement- I wished I could have done what he is doing!

from Thomas Wheatley,
childhood friend of mine, Eagle Scout and an attorney in Portland, Maine:

This means more to those of us who were once active scouts, so please give my congratulations to Christopher.

from Harrison Parrish,
Dothan High Class of '66 & co-founder of Movie Gallery:

Great accomplishment….

from Buddy and Gloria Buie:

Congrats, Robert! Tell Chris we are proud of him!!

from Rusty Crumpton,
old BAMA friend and former guitarist for The Rockin' Gibraltars:

ROBERTO & Christopher,
Justing sending you a "way-to-go" dad. I know you must be very proud of Christopher. 'dem chilun' of ours is show nuf a blessing. My 24 yr. old daughter is in grad school in Columbia, S.C. I've got to go meet her on the other side of Atlanta cause she's a little skidish driving around that big old scary town. She apologizes for us to having to drive so far to meet her. I tell her it's OK, that I wouldn't have it any other way.
A few years ago, a friend of mind over-heard me talking about having to drive her back & forth to B'ham when she was at UAB. He said he would do it everyday if he could & for me to cherish every moment. His 14 yr. old son died the previous year in an auto accident on the Atlanta Hwy. in Montgomery. I always remember him when my daughter calls & says she's coming home. I can hardly wait to see her & get that big hug.
Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Monday, December 11, 2006

THE DAY BEAR DIED On Sale At All Bama Movie Gallery Stores!

Hey y'all:

There's a special offer from Coca-Cola and Movie Gallery which you get when you purchase a THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED CD in any Alabama MOVIE GALLERY.

In Tuscaloosa, the CD is on sale at all locations of Movie Gallery, both locations of OZ MUSIC, the Paul W. Bryant Museum, the SUPE Store, the Alabama Bookstore, Alabama Express, The Trunk, The Bama Fever Store on The Strip and the Bama Fever Store at University Mall.

The CD may also be purchased on the Internet at

Please help us make this song become a BAMA NATION Standard!

My Aaron Burr stuff is really taking off!
Ain't it grand to live near the AMELIA GAYLE GORGAS LIBERRY!

One of the members of the DHS Class of '66 asked for some shots of Charlie Silva and I think I got two. Y'all correct me where I'm wrong:

????John Rainey Adkins, Charlie Silva, Frank Tanton, David Adkins
Kenneth Griffith [courtesy of Frank Tanton]

Kenneth Griffith, Frank Tanton, Charlie Silva, David Adkins, John Rainey Adkins
[courtesy of Frank Tanton]

Saxophone player for The Crowd Pleasers, George Byrd.
Jerry Henry's Planet Weekly INTERVIEW
with George Byrd!

George, how did you take up the saxophone?

I got my first saxophone when I was getting ready to go into the 7th grade. Which was back in 1955. I've been playing saxophone ever since.

Why the saxophone?

I saw people playing the sax on TV. I liked the sound and that is what I decided I wanted to play. I played in the school band. I started off with the beginners band in the 7th grade. I played with them for 1 year. Then I played in the main band until I graduated from Druid High School
in 1961.

When did you start playing in rock and roll bands?

1956! My older brother, Earnest Hawkins, had a band called the Aces. He's still living and he lives up in Washington D.C. He was a trumpet player.
The Aces played at the high school and the Elks Club. That was about the only black place you could play back in those days. The Elks Club was over on short 19th street.

After the Aces, what was your next band?

I had a high school group of my own called the Dominoes. It was actually a band and a singing group. When we were the singing group we called ourselves the Flamingos. Those two groups lasted about 30 years around here in one form or another.

How did you get from Tuscaloosa to Motown?

I decided to take a chance. I had some good friends in Detroit that told me to go talk to Barry Gordy.

Mary Wells was a cousin of mine. He came down to visit and had Mary Wells with him one Christmas.

We got together and that is when we recorded "Lonely Teardrops" with Jackie Wilson.
At that time he was a independent record producer before Motown. I wanted a bicycle for Christmas and he wanted "Lonely Teardrops" so I traded him that song for a bicycle.

You wrote "Lonely Teardrops"?

Yes Sir I did! After that I went to Detroit and Barry started his own label, Motown, with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and all those other famous people you've heard about.
The Funk Brothers played behind all those songs. You know James Jamerson, the bass player, and that bunch. I worked with them. Martha Reeves gave me my first audition. I worked with all of them like Stevie Wonder. Everybody pitched in. Sometimes they would need back up singers. They didn't care who you were, if your voice fit in, they would use you.
The Temptations sang back up on my sessions that I recorded for Motown.

Where did you go after Motown?

I came back to Stillman. I was still in college when I did Motown. I was only about 19 or 20 years old. I had a music major and a music minor. I've got a music minor in saxophone from Stillman.

After college did you go on the road to make your living playing music?

Yes I did. I went on the road with Joe Simon. The guy that had the hits "Chokein' Kind" and "You Keep Me Hangin On". We played all over the country. I had a chance to go to Europe with him but I turned him down. I told him I didn't want to go across the water. I don't regret it and I still don't have a desire to go. That's when I went to Muscle Shoals and did session work up there. I worked with Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter, all those folks that were recording in Muscle Shoals back then. I got to play with The Swampers, Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Roger Hawkins, Clayton Ivey, Barry Beckett, all those guys.

Didn't you do "When a Man Loves a Woman"?

Yeah, that and "Slip Away". Lots of those songs.

Was "When a Man Loves a Woman" recorded in the little studio in downtown Sheffield or when they moved out on Jackson Hwy?

In that little studio in downtown Sheffield. That was for Fame, Rick Hall's studio with Quin Ivey.

What came after Muscle Shoals?

I went back on the road with my own bands, The Everyday People, Salt and Peppa, and today it's The Crowd Pleasers. Salt and Peppa was the house band at the Citizens Club for a long time.

Wasn't that when Jimmy Montgomery owned the Citizens Club?

That's right Jimmy Montgomery and Shorty Wilson owned it. There was a lot of fights there. When the fights started I would go the other way. (laughter) We played those places over in Northport, The Red Ox, The Shiloh, all of them. I played the VFW for a long time with Don Holt and that group.

You did some work up at Stax Records in Memphis, didn't you?

Yea, we played with Isaac Hayes and all them. One of the musicians, Ray Thomas, was a band director. He was from Memphis and he knew all the musicians in Memphis. Some of them would come down here with him in the summer and we got to play with them. They would take our material back to Stax. I got to play with great musicians at Stax like Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Booker T. Jones, all those guys.

Which of your peers do you look up to as far as saxophone players?

Junior Walker and Hank Crawford are the people I looked up to when I was learning how to play.

You've been on the road through the good and the bad. Any regrets?

I don't have any regrets. I'm relieved to know that I wouldn't try some of the things now that I tried back when because now I know better. But I never did get on the drugs. I stayed away from the drug scene. I stayed clean.

George there's only one time in my life that I have seen you without that saxophone. You must truly love it.

All my girlfriends tell me it stays around my neck more than they do. (laughter) I call it my wife. I tell them why it stays around my neck. Because it feeds me, takes care of me, don't fuss, don't fight, and I don't have to pay it any alimony. (laughter)

George, any advice to anyone taking up the saxophone today?

Yes, I started out on alto, which is a small sax because I was so small. They thought the tenor and the baritone would be too big for me. I played alto for 12 years. I got my audition at Motown on alto instead of tenor.
After I was there awhile they need a baritone sax player for the Supremes and that's how I started playing the baritone sax. I played on Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" with a baritone sax.

I recommend the alto for anyone starting out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

P.S. Sunday morning I was drunk as a "BY GEORGE" & I tried to write my three favorite prayers! Here's the result with the corrections in bold type.



Theme of the first verse is 23rd Psalm. It is now @2:39 A.M. and I am gonna try to type the prayer by heart.
[Since I wuz drunk on Sunday morning when I did this, I decided to correct myself]


The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
He maketh me lay[they say: lie] down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside the still waters
He restoreth my soul [ I totally lost this: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake]
Yay[Yea] tho' [though]I go[walk] into[through] the Valley of The Shadow of Death
I will fear no evil
For thou art with me
Thy shield and thy sword
They comfort me [Now You Git An Idea Uv Where My Head Is Right Now!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
Thou annointest my head with oil
My cup runneth over
Surely goodness and mercy
Will[Shall] follow me all the days of my life
And I will live in[dwell in] the house of the Lord forever.

Verse two will be about A.A.'s SERENITY PRAYER


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,courage to change the thing I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living each[one] day at a time. Enjoying each[one] moment at a time. Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.

Taking, as Jesus[He] did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.

Knowing[Trusting] that you[HE] will make all things right if I surrender to your[His] will.

So[no "so" in the prayer] that I may be reasonably happy in this life
& supremely happy with you[Him] forever in the next,

Verse 3 will be about the LLOYD'S PRAYER:

Our father who[which] art in heaven, hallow[hallowed] be thou[thy] name
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
As it is in HEAVEN
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those[them]
Who[that] trespass against us
Lead us not into Temptation
But Deliver US From EVIL
For thine is[THE KINGDOM], the Power and The Glory