Saturday, February 03, 2007


Mike Clark, owner and manager of Southern Tracks Recording, died at home on Thursday, February 1, 2007, after an 8-month illness. Under Mike's direction, Southern Tracks has become one of the most successful recording facilities in Atlanta's history, a studio of world reknown. Southern Tracks has contributed to the combined sales of over forty million albums. Since 1984, of the fewer than 300 albums to have charted No. 1 debuts at Billboard magazine, Mike's studio has recorded or mixed twelve of them.

Mike was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1999. Along with Ludacris, Organized Noize Productions and Trisha Yearwood, he is scheduled to become a 2007 Recording Academy Honors Award Recipient from the Grammy organization, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), to be presented by the Atlanta Chapter of the Recording Academy on April 26.

Born Charles Michael Clark on December 13, 1943 in Atlanta, Mike attended Joel
Chandler Harris Elementary School in the Atlanta community of West End, where he began playing drums in the 5th Grade. He was a member of the prestigious West End Elementary Band, featuring outstanding players chosen from grammar schools in the area.

After a bout with Non-Paralytic Polio in the summer of 1956, Mike Clark enrolled at Atlanta's Brown High School. One of his schoolmates at Brown was a singer named Tommy Roe, with whom he formed a combo, Tommy Roe and The Satins. In 1958, their single, "I Got A Girl," was recorded at music publisher Bill Lowery's studio, which in those days was an old schoolhouse equipped with a Gates Radio Console and a simple two-track tape deck. Lowery pitched Roe's song to Judd Phillips (brother of Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records who had discovered Elvis Presley), and it became a regional hit for the Memphis label, Judd Records. This was the beginning of Mike Clark's association with Bill Lowery, which lasted four decades until Lowery's death in 2004.

Mike graduated from high school in 1962, the year that Tommy Roe had his first
million-seller with "Sheila." As Roe's drummer, he toured with Dick Clark's
Caravan of Stars, which remained an unforgettable experience for him. The legendary package tour was headlined by Sam Cooke, and it featured every top R & B act from the period: The Drifters; Jerry Butler; Solomon Burke; Little Eva; Smoky Robinson and The Miracles, who were having their national breakthrough with "Shop Around."

During the Sixties, Mike was in demand around Atlanta as a studio session
drummer. He played in most of city's popular clubs including The Sans Souci,
The Domino, and The Darlington Lounge. He backed up Freddie
Cannon ("Palisades Park") at Ponce de Leon Ball Park, the now-demolished home
of the historic Atlanta Crackers. On the road, he briefly toured with Roy Orbison. He jammed with Liza Minelli at Miami Beach's famous Peppermint Lounge. He worked dates with Ray Stevens' touring group that on occasion included both Jerry Reed and Joe South.

In 1966, Bill Lowery asked Mike to work at the Lowery Music Company. (Lowery Music would be named BMI's #1 publisher in 1969.). In a short time, Mike was elevated to National Director of Promotion. By day, he promoted records; at night, he did session work at The Old Schoolhouse, playing drums on successful tracks by the Classics IV ("Traces"), Billy Joe Royal ("Cherry Hill Park") and Lou Christie. At the same time, Mike flew out on weekends for national dates with Billy Joe Royal. By the early Seventies, the demanding schedule had become overwhelming. He gradually withdrew from steady roadwork, though he continued to hold down his job at the publishing company. Mike eventually persuaded Bill Lowery to let him begin producing records, a move which led to success in 1975-76 with Starbuck's hit "Moonlight Feels Right." Later in the decade, Mike left behind his promotional responsibilities to become Lowery's Administrative Assistant, overseeing two label deals with Capitol and MGM Records, licensing masters to record companies and working with new songwriters.

By 1979, Mike was now managing the old schoolhouse studio. He co-engineered two Grammy-nominated albums for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. Under Clark's watch, the studio cut Bertie Higgens' surprise 1981 hit,"Key Largo." When Atlanta's rapid transit system, MARTA, acquired the old schoolhouse property in 1983, Bill and Mike moved their headquarters to the current Northeast Atlanta site. The new studio, Southern Tracks Recording, was built from the ground up and designed by George Augspurger as a single-room facility. At first, it was used primarily for Lowery's stable of songwriters and artists.

Beginning in 1986, Mike managed and produced the Contemporary Christian band,
Newsong, whose "Arise, My Love" has become a standard in the field of
Contemporary Christian Music. Then, in 1988, Bill Lowery and Mike formed an
official studio partnership, and the modern era of Southern Tracks Recording began. They opened the studio to the public, purchasing new equipment that included a Solid State Logic (SSL) recording console. Under Mike's management, Southern Tracks began turning out platinum albums by Silk, Keith Sweat and Another Bad Creation.

In 1989, a young local engineer/producer named Brendan O'Brien began bringing his projects into the studio; by 1993, having established himself on the West Coast as one of the
decade's most important producers of American Alternative Rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers;
Pearl Jam; Stone Temple Pilots), O'Brien relocated to his Atlanta home and made Southern Tracks his base of operations. Mike immediately purchased the first SSL Ultimation console in the South and, with the addition of an arsenal of vintage microphones and electronic gear, he transformed Southern Tracks into a recording facility of world reknown. Things had come a long way from the day in 1958 when Tommy Roe and Mike had cut their first record on a little two-track machine and Gates Radio Console.

Since that time, guided by Mike Clark, Southern Tracks record of success became extraordinary. The list of rock, country, Rap and R & B artists who tracked or mixed at the Atlanta studio in the 90's included Pearl Jam, Black Crowes, Keith Sweat, Stone Temple Pilots, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Rage Against The Machine, Matthew Sweet, .38 Special, Kansas, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Silk, LSG, Doug Stone, Travis Tritt, Indigo Girls, Another Bad Creation, and Outkast. The studio worked on soundtrack albums for "Godzilla", "Dumb & Dumber", "Money Talks", "The Bevis & Butthead Experience", the "Friends" TV soundtrack, and the two "Crow" movies. Mike returned to studio work in 1997, co-producing the Dove Award's Album Of The Year Nominee, Newsong's "Love Revolution".

In the 21st Century, Southern Tracks Recording has continued to set a unique standard. A crowning achievement of Mike's career, Bruce Springsteen visited the studio in 2002 to record his monumental return album with The E Street Band, The Rising, as well as his solo disc from 2005, Devils and Dust, both with Brendan O'Brien as producer. Train has recorded three albums at Southern Tracks including their multi-platinum single, "Drops of Jupiter". The Wallflowers and Third Day made their most recent discs at Southern Tracks, and up-and-coming rockers The Bravery cut their forthcoming disc here in Summer/Fall, 2006.

With over six decades of experience, Mike Clark became closely identified with Southern Tracks Recording and with the music business, which he loved. However, he had many outside interests including a passion for collecting historical antiquities and raising horses with his wife Melissa on their Forsyth County farm. He is survived by his wife Melissa, his children Courtney, Chris, Payton, Robyn and Travis, and his brother, Randy.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Mike Clark died today at 12:30 ET.

He was a musician, record promotion specialist, and the principal owner of the legendary Southern Tracks Recording Studio.

He was 63 and has long been a leader in the Atlanta music scene.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.


At 10:38 PM 1/29/2007, robert register wrote:
I cannot find William "Igor" Alford's version of what happened the evening Kesey & Leary spent in Tuscaloosa but I'm sending this along to some who may be able to enlighten about the sitcheeation when Kesey & Leary came BACK to BAMA!

Igor wrote:

Hi Guys,
I've just changed PCs and that little blurb is on the old HD, which is still OK and I'm gonna import all that into this new one very soon. I'll find it and expand it a bit.

I attended the event at the UA and then hung around for the party afterward and talked to everyone and then next day, I crashed Kesey's hotel room by myself since he didn't fly out until about 2 in the evening and we hit it off and spent several hours together. He bought an "Innerquest" from me after trying one (still got a copy of the check . . . he admonished me to be sure and CASH the check and not save it as a souvenir).

The Innerquest is a "brain machine" which induces altered states by flashing LEDs in one's eyes, so I can go on record as the one who first turned Kesey on to "electronic" drugs. I just "happened" to have one in the car and in conversation asked if he had any experience with this technology. When I described it to him, he asked did I have one and when I said yes, he said, "Let's do it!" and I retrieved it from the car. He was so impressed that he wanted to buy it from me.

Actually, the US Gov was the very first, as he told me that when he was in college, he participated in trials paid for by the Gov in which he was sensory deprived, given drugs, and strobe lights flashed in his eyes . . . so the Gov was actually responsible for all that came after!

You gotta love irony!

I always wondered what happened with it after he got back home. A friend said that a year or so later he saw or read him in some interview talking about the whole tech with the new consciousness altering machines.

You know, the entire forum with Kesey, Leary and Bobby Seal was videotaped and I've tried to get a copy for years. Tom Haliday and Tracey Priest videotaped it and now I understand from Tom that Tracey has the only copy and he has since moved to Bham. I now have capacity to convert VHS to DVD and would dearly love to do so and share with others. I'll try again to track him down and beg it out of him.

Kesey being the innovator that he is and knowing the football history of Alabama had buried a wireless microphone in a foam rubber football and when an audience member asked a question, he would throw it to him out in the audience. Ha. I remember that Kesey said he didn't like to fly and had to change planes about 3 times flying out from Oregon to Alabama and that *nothing* could have induced him to do that except the exceptional opportunity to be on the same forum with both Bobby Seal and Tim Leary.

Just this weekend I watched the DVD of "Steal this Movie" the story of Abby Hoffman and was reminded that as Seal, Leary, and Kesey were talking together here I heard them exploring the likelihood of whether both Abby and Jerry Rubin were assassinated or not. They didn't have any real reason to suspect that but just a conjecture from their collective past histories that it wouldn't altogether be surprising . . . just thinking out loud when somebody asked about it. I gotta say after seeing "Steal this Movie", I gotta wonder too. Oh yeah, when I bought the DVD, I asked the 20-something kid at the cash register, "I bet you don't know who Abby Hoffman is, do you?" He admitted "no", but when I told him he once wrote a book entitled, "Steal this Book", he did say that given the title, maybe I ought to steal the movie.

Yeah, we're old.

William "Igor" Alford

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I wuz surfing the Web tonight & googled archaeology "slave cabin" alabama
Got 296 hits and the second damn one was called PRE-EMANCIPATION ARCHAEOLOGY: Does It Play In Selma?


Din Izzzzzzzzzzzzzzze decided tuh google "slave cabin" robertoreg
& Isssssssssssse
gotzzzzzzzzzzzzz three hits:

Dah nex one wuz

& dey wuz unnudder onezzzzzzzzzzz

While contemplating this information, I wandered back into the POSSUM DEN [Tuskaloosa Lodge #2] and as I retrieved another cold refreshing beverage from the icebox, I noticed an old Randall Company product I had restored.

The top two are Martin Luther King[dead at the time of production- later to be called dtp]
& Marian Anderson, followed by Frederick Douglas [dtp] , George W. Carver [dtp], Thurgood Marshall, Benjamin D. Davis Sr. , Jackie Robinson, Ralph Bunch, Asa Philip Randalph, Mathew Alexander Henson [dtp], Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, Dr. Charles Richard Drew [dtp], Booker T. Washington[dtp] & Cristpus Attucks[dtp].

By the way, I found $380 under a piece of linoleum at the house where I got the plaque!


P.S. If you know anyone who is not computer savvy, please make it
YOUR CHRISTIAN MISSION WORK to push their muffler ninja azzzzzzzzzz over to a lieberry so they can make sho' to git up to speed!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Roll Tide Roll !!!!!!!!!!!!

I am glad to see someone who loves the Crimson Tide like I do.

I was five years old when Coach ( Bear ) Bryant Died. My father actually had tears in his eyes, and I asked him why? He said don't worry about it, one day you will understand.

Now I do. I remember that most over all of the catastrophies in my life.

Roll Tide Roll..

The Bear Will Always Live on!!! No Matter What!!!! Two years and we will have #13.
What you think?

BamaQueen agrees...superb it is! Thanks Roberto!


1. You are either for Auburn or Alabama (some are even Trojans). You have no choice. If you abstain, you will be assigned a team. There are no other schools. It's better to learn that sooner than later. For newborns a team must be chosen by age 3.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. No one pays attention to them here. Merging, yielding, and right-of-way are completely foreign terms. As are turn throughs, turning off your blinker, and four way stops.

3. To find anything in Dothan it is required that you know where Wiregrass Commons Mall is. It is the Alpha and the Omega: the beginning and the end.

4. Directions to anywhere may, and usually do, make a reference to "the old Lowe's" and "The old Wal-Mart".

5. The morning rush hour is from 7am to 9am. The evening rush hour is from 4pm to 6pm. Saturday has no rush hour just avoid Montgomery Hwy at Wiregrass Commons Mall (see #3).

6. If you actually stop at a yellow li ght, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot. Repeat after me, Green means Go, Red means Stop, Yellow means Speed Up!!!

7. 231 North and 231 South, 84 East and 84 West meet at Ross Clark Circle which actually has no direction, its a circle, it goes around the city. It is NOT a bypass, only an import would call it that.

8 . Honeysuckle, Westgate, Westgate Extension are all the same road.South Park and Taylor Road are the same road. All five of these roads also make a circle around the city.

9. The "Club" is the Country Club, the "Golf Course" is Highland Oaks.Do not get these confused.

10. The interstate connector is probably not coming. Once it does you will be to old to drive.

11. Watch very carefully for road hazards such as deer, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, pot holes, cats, pieces of other cars, single shoes, opossums, truck tires, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, crows or vultures feeding on any of these items.

12. The minimum acceptable speed on Highway 231 North is 75 mph.Anything less is considered downright sissy. This is Dothan's version of NASCAR.

13. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously.

14. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 in a 55 zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be "flipped off" accordingly.

15 . Ground clearance of at least 12 inches is recommended for city driving.

16. If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.

17. There are really only two seasons here: Summer and Christmas.

18. "I got caught behind a tractor" is a perfectly acceptable excuse for anyone who is late. As we all know you are likely to see a tractor on any road at any time of year.

19. If you come from Cottonwood we will assume you live in a trailer. If you come from Headland we will assume you are a peanut farmer. If you come from Ashford we will assume you have a pageant crown or a football trophy and no educatio n. If you come from Rehobeth we will assume you paid to much for your house and your parents made you move there to attend school in the Large Blue Building that reminds us all of the Peanut Festival.

20. If you choose to live in The Highlands, or, God forbid, Chapelwood, plan to leave for work at 4am and return home around 11pm. Otherwise you may get caught in what can only be described as "the world's longest turn lane".

21. Don't get here late and expect something to eat. After 9pm, your choices are Waffle House, Krispy Kreme and Krystal.

22. You can buy a million-dollar home on the golf course but you have to drive 10 miles for a loaf of bread.

23. Downtown is an interesting place. Every time you visit, there will be a whole new set of restaurants, fewer stores, and less parking. Grand Central, however, is a permanent fixture.

24. All city council decisions must be signed off on by First Baptist Church.

25 . Lena Street. Don't go there . Ever. Unless, of course, you are looking for drugs or the Most Wanted.

26. Learn all of the lyrics to every Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Trust me on this one. Always have a lighter on hand to stand on a chair and yell "Free Bird" everytime there is live music.

27. If you like southern-style barbecue, you've come to the right place.There's a restaurant on every corner. But, they all close at 9pm.

28. Convenience stores are literally EVERYWHERE, The same applies for banks.

29. No matter where you want to go, you can't get there from where you will have to merge into traffic on the Circle.(See rule #2)


Yo, Robert—Chris Hillman, huh? Just a quick ‘Betcha didn’t know THIS!’ In 1979 I sent a letter to a talented musician in Nashville who you may recall. The trio that played in T-town was Kimmel, Kimble, & Riley [early 70s’ish?]. Tom Kimmel was married to Jennifer Kimble [who sang back up for years with Crystal Gayle and others] and no clue who Riley is.
Anywho, I broke up with Tom’s brother-in-law, the infamous Mr. Peter Kimble, and sent Tom a letter with a song I was attempting to write, to explain to him why I was ending my relationship with Pete so that Tom wouldn’t think I was a jerk. WHO ME? Tom wrote the music and we collaborated on the final lyrics from my original stuff..

And ya wanna guess who recorded it first? THE BYRDS! McGuinn, Clark, & Hillman. It was their 1980 comeback stab. It was a rather bubble gummy LP and didn’t make much of a splash. I think the title of the album was just CITY. Sad that I don’t recall right now. It was A HUGE moment in my life. THEN, Gayle Davies, an aspiring young Nashville chick recorded the song and it was also the title of the album called ‘Givin’ Herself Away’ [as in she AIN’T givin’ herself away TO YOU!]

Got to hear Davies sing at a club in Nashville . What a sensation. If you Google the title you can find the words. But dang it if they didn’t spell my last name correctly. I made a few bucks from it.

My dream has been to have Ms. Emmy Lou or Mellissa Ethridge belt it out. If I ever heard Joni Mitchell sing it…well, I’d listen, lay down, and die.
Thought you might get a kick out this.

-- Lynn

Hey y'all:

Last Friday, a thread was started on about a video put together to the sound of THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED.


It is SUPERB!!!!

Check out the discussion it generated at on January 26 & 27.


The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of this event will rivet THE ATTENTION OF THE BAMA NATION along with THE AMERICAN NATION!!!!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Hey y'all:

Before we get to the song called THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED...

Hard to believe that noone in this world seems to be interested in how THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CAPTURE OF AARON BURR has importance.

Since ALABAMA HISTORY was allowed to be banned in public schools back in '96, I knew what the story was.


I HAVE SPAMMED ALL THESE "HERITAGE" FOLKS LIKE A MUFFLER, so dat showzzzz ya what happenin'!


Saw Chris Hillman of THE BYRDS at the BAMA Sattiddee night. Gave him some stuff about WVOK's SHOWER OF STARS but no feedback yet.

We'll see but I ain't holding my breath.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 will be the 25th anniversary of Coach Bryant's death.

One of the misconceptions about the song called THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED is that it's a sad song.

Yeah, it'll pull a tear from your eye but that song is an absolute THANK YOU to GOD that we could have someone like Coach Bryant to help us to victory.

We now have 2000 friends at BAMA NATION MUSIC

Our friends need to do one simple thing for us.

Put on your TOP FRIENDS
NOW to help put a push for next year when we on
January 26, 2008
commemorate the 25th anniversary of
The Day Coach Bryant Died.

We'd 'preciate it!


P.S. Buddy Buie who helped write THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED has a large portion of the publishing rights to a new song called SAVE ROOM by a cat named JOHN LEGEND
which will be performed before the SUPER BOWL.
If you go to the VH1 website, click on the JOHN LEGEND Box Set & see the entire video of SAVE ROOM which samples the music from Stormy by BUDDY BUIE & J. R. COBB, however you do have to witness a Clairol ad...

Hey y'all:

Saturday, January 26, 2008 will be the 25th anniverary of Coach Bryant's death.

One of the misconceptions about the song called THE DAY BEAR BRYANT DIED is that it's a sad song.

Yeah, it'll pull a tear from your eye but that song is an absolute THANK YOU to GOD that we could have someone like Coach Bryant to help us to victory.

We now have 2000 friends at BAMA NATION MUSIC

Our friends need to do one simple thing for us.

Put on your TOP FRIENDS
NOW to help put a push for next year when we commemorate the 25th anniverary of
The Day Coach Bryant Died.

We'd 'preciate it!



"Howl At The Blues" has been added by XM Radio.

My promoter says that's the big one.

We'll see.

Current leader stations playing tracks from the CD are:

KAXE Grand Rapids KBCS Bellvue KDNK Carbondale KFAB Fargo KFAN Fredricksburg KFJC Los Altos Hills KSUT Ignacio KSYM San Antonio Public Radio East New Bern WBCG Port Charlotte WDBM East Lansing WETS Johnson City WGCS Goshen WMKY Morehead WQNR Auburn WXLV Schnecksville XM Satellite Radio

Other stations have said they're adding tomorrow, but the above stations are already spinning us in rotation.

The Americana Charts closes posting reports at 4PM EST Monday of each week, so tomorrow afternoon around 3:30 we'll know better how things stand.


sf-- Stephen Foster & Howler