Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mo' Tippy Armstrong from "CUBA, ALABAMA":

Hey Man,

Finally put a page up for Tippy A. I guess I was waiting on myspace to arrive... the perfect forum for it. Anyway, thanks for checking it out. I want to integrate tons of the blog on your site somehow. Any suggestions, contributions of pics, info, rumors, music, etc. are greatly appreciated and will be duly noted on the site.

Best Regards,

Rick Hirsch

To: "robert register"
Subject: Fw: [MFV] Tippy Armstrong Cat Tale #3
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 00:00:01 -0500

Chap IV
----- Original Message -----
From: Dean White
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: [MFV] Tippy Armstrong Cat Tale #3

Came in off the towboats one time- my momma said "Tippy's been calling here for the past couple days lookin' for you".

When I got hold of him, he said "Cap'n! (he hung Cap'n on me)-" they want me to play a solo gig at DownUnder (on the UA campus) tonite. I ain't got a guitar. I ain't got an amp. Got nobody t' hep me with the sound. But I got this bottle a' tequila..."

Question: "Tippy, where's your guitar?"
Answer: "Loaned it t' Joe Rudd."
Question: "I can get guitars. Where's your amp?"
Answer: "Loaned it t' Glenn Butts."
Question; "Can we go by Glenn's and get the amp?"
Answer: I couldn't do that, Cap'n- that just, well, it just wouldn't be right."
Question: "Why not?"
Answer: "Cause I, well, just cause I loaned it to him."
Question" Can we go by Glenn's, and I'LL ask him if we can borrow it?"
Answer: "Well, that'd be mighty nice of ya."

Couple rounds thru T-town, that bottle of Tequila, and one bottle Mateus Rose' later, he entertained a crowd of mostly students, ('cause he wouldn't tell anyone else 'bout the gig), and I was blessed to have been there to experience it. Everything from "Hideaway", to "Malaguena" to "El Condor Pasa" to "Don't Stop the Honeymoon in my Heart". Told everyone he and I were workin' on a song called "This Ain't Love, but it'll Have to' do 'til we can get Some Sleep", but it wasn't ready yet (it never was). Closed with "You Send Me".

We traveled in the Lincoln- at one point during a break I wanted t' 'round up Duke, and a few others, to come see him, so I asked to use his car. His response: "MAH LINCOLN?" It was as if I'd asked t' see Miss Goldie (his mamma) nekkid. I never asked again.

Got a picture I'll try to scan and send around- it's my first wedding, and Tippy's standing there beside me with his hand on my shoulder...
...and that far-away look in his eyes...


----- Original Message -----
From: Wyker
To: MightyFieldofVision

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 11:49 AM
Subject: [MFV] Tippy Armstrong Cat Tale

I sure do remember that old black Lincoln that Tippy drove...I did not know he traded it for the suicide weapon...there are still lots of folks that don't think Tippy offed himself.....I do not know many details at all..

I rode to Tuscaloosa with Tippy once from Muscle Shoals in that old black Lincoln...he was wearin' a big wide and straight brimmed light gray Stetson hat...and a pair of reflector aviators goggles...sunglasses....he had a quart ofbeer between his legs as he drove...may have been wine or The Whip or shine...but he did not seem to be impaired at all by it...

The movie EASY RIDER had been out for a while...and Tippy wanted me to help him write a movie titled HARD WALKER...the story of Hardin Walker...some imaginary character that he dreamed up...Tippy had a funny dry sense of humor and that titled started about as the punchline to one of his jokes....after he said somethang funny or offbeat like that he'd look at you with this crazy almost smile...but his eyes would have a look that said it all....

anyway as we were motivatin' along in that old black late 50's or early 60's Lincoln on a two lane black top at speeds around 70 or 80 miles and hour I saw a truck about to pull out into the road at a 90 degree angle....we would have hit it broadsided....I pointed to the truck and tried to remain calm...and said somethang like "Watch out...a truck !"

Tippy never flinched or even looked like he thought about hittin' the breaks or slowin' the very last moment as this movin' target was half way blockin' the road cool hand Tippy just whipped the wheel with one hand....looked like one finger on a suicide knob and we went around that truck like stunt driver in a thriller felt like the car bent to shape itself around the truck so we would not have to get all 4 wheels off the hardtop.....

Tippy never flinched or said a damned thang afterwards...and I'm like boucin' up and down in my sit like a little kid beatin' on the dash board sayin' "Holy shit we almost got creamed good...death on the highway was almost our last scene....and TIppy seemed to allow the corners of his mouth to turn up in a little smile...but his eyes were shielded by those reflector sunglasses glass so couldn't read his mood as well.....he was so cool under the pressure of that moment...and played that big Lincoln like a fine guitar lick !

Hard Walker...Tippy Armstrong...he looked like a movie star with his square jaw and blond hair and blues eyes....and was born to play the guitar....such a short life...if there is a heaven I hope he's playin' there if I make it !


From: ned mudd
To: Wyker
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 12:28 PM
Subject: Tippy tale No. 2

Here's another Tippy tale from circa 1974.

Bill Marshall and I were recording a duo project called "The Truck Stop Opry" and Tippy would wander in from time to time, just checking out what was up, seeing if we were making progress etc. I recall he had an old sedan and carried his Fender bass around by sticking the back end on the rear dashboard, the tuning keys on the front seat. No case. That means, the bass was sorta flying in the car as he drove thru Tuscaloosa.

One day he came by and said he'd gotten a call from Jimmy Cliff. This was after "The Harder They Come". I said "What did he want?" Tippy says something about Jimmy wanting him to go on a big tour. I think it was a world gig but we're stretching my memory banks here.

"You going?" we said.
Tippy says, "I asked Jimmy if that meant I'd have to leave Tuscaloosa."
At that point, Tippy had no interest in leaving home. I reckon he told Jimmy "no."

Another time, shortly after that, I was working the door at Jumpin' Johnny's, downtown Tuscaloosa. I think Locust Fork was playing.

Tippy saunters up with this old gut string guitar on his shoulder, no case. The back end is dangling out behind him. Like everybody carried their guitar that way.

We chatted and he said "You think I could sit in?"
Locust Fork was one hell of a loud-assed band.
I looked at Tippy and figured he could work it out with the band somehow. No cover charge.

The guy who owned Jumpin' Johnny's, Alex Kontos, came by my place the other day with a CD. There was Tippy, jamming with Locust Fork, "live" at Jumpin' Johnny's.

I took one guitar lesson from Tippy. He decided to show me a cool lick and call it a day. The lick was a little 3 chord thing that was a mix of Appalachian with Muscle Shoals R&B thrown in.

Tippy said "Eddie Hinton taught me that."


Hey y'all:

Got an email from Buddy Buie today letting me know that the Tommy Wilcox Outdoors
segment with Buddy & J.R. Cobb at Sweet Apple Farms
is IN THE CAN!!!!

'bout to shower & shave so I can make the Avett Brothers
/Will Kimbrough



Just got back from doing the Tommy Wilcox fishing show.

J.R. joined me on the trip and we had a blast.

We fished at SWEET APPLE FARMS and caught a lot of bass including 2
six,one eight, numerous 3s and 4s,and bunches of 1s and 2s.

Wilcox is a great guy and we became instant friends.

Anyone interested
in catching big largemouth should visit SWEET APPLE FARMS in

Rock on,


Please get out some more votes for Alison!
It AIN'T OVER till the fat lady sings!!!Next wednesday.
Please tell everyone that they can vote 24/7 as long as they can hold out! Left click the mouse and hold it down . Start clicking the spacebar and let go of the mouse and click like monkeys on coke!!!
Thanks for everything YOU DO!!!!!
Robert Nix and Alison Heafner!!!.............................................
to make real simple, please tell everybody to go to

Alison is listed as the first artist. VOTE for her!!!
you are allowed to VOTE as many times as you want,
So get it on!
Robert Nix................
----- Original Message -----


listen & enjoy Alison's music
and then vote for Alison Heafner at

Johnny Townsend sent us the following email.
Johnny breaks the news about Rick Hirsch producing a new

Hey ya'll,
Our old buddy and great guitarist Ricky Hirsch has just put up a tribute site for Tippy Armstrong on myspace. Tippy's sister Kay just emailed me to let me know this. I think it's great that Tippy will have some place online for rememberance and where Tippy's old friends and fans can connect.
The site has just gone up so it's a work in progress but check in anyway and add stories, anecdotes, or send photos of Tippy if you have them. Those having photos or memorabelia, leave your email info for Ricky on the 'send message' link and he'll let you know where to send thangs......

Mash here --->

Peace and Love,

Johnny Townsend


From: Wyker
To: MightyFieldofVision
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 6:14 PM
Subject: [MFV] Fw: The Magnificent Rubbers Pt. 1

The one with the guitar is the legendary Tippy Armstrong...even Jimmy Hendrix was a fan of his..he later went on to play some famous sessions in Muscle Shoals...and some say that over the years he drank too much bad wild cat whiskey...some makers put old batteries and other crap in the mix when they are cookin' it up....but anyway... sadly...they say Tippy committed suicide with a rifle....even The FBI got into the act....I think he had some with a studio owner and a couple of other shady cats...and of course there is always the jealous lover theory...Tippy was a handsome man and not shy with the ladies...

From: Bobby Dupree
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 9:50 AM
Subject: RE: [MFV] Fw: The Magnificent Rubbers Pt. 1


Don’t know if you ever heard this, but Tippy was asked by Janis Joplin to join her band, Full Tilt Boogie Band. This was around the first part of 1969. The band “Heart” had gone through some member changes, and Tippy was playing with us out in LA. We did some gigs at The Whiskey and she saw him there. I believe I have a slightly blurry photo of him on stage………………


{Lost this image- please shoot us a copy, Capn Dean!}
Group Picture from Capn Dean's Wedding:
Tippy is third from left,followed by his wife,Nancy Derrington,Fluker, THE NOTORIOUS Crockett Roberts and Eve Owen
photo courtesy of Dean Smith


Gonna fwd you a strang of Tippy stories that ran on MFV about a yr. ago.

Plus sum extra pitchers.

I miss that guy ever day...


George Fluker, yours truly, and Tippy Francis Armstrong at my 1st wedding- Greensboro, AL Aug. of '75.
- Dean Smith

{lost this one too}
Left to Right:

Hey Robert,

Tippy was a big inspiration to me. He had "the magic". Thanks for
including my thoughts on your site, which is
MAJOR COOL, by the way.
Having lots of fun reading through it.


Rick Hirsch

Friday, March 30, 2007

Subject: It took me 9 hours to DISCOVER and ABANDON the best Peepin' Tom Site In the Entire World!


#10: Saw my first cowbirds south of Defuniak.

#9: Decided to name the main rock band in my GREAT SOUTH AMERICAN NOVEL

#8: The Tyler, Florida Community Club has a sign that sezzzzzzzzzzzzz:
Playground Studio Doesn't Want Anybody KEPT OUT!


Directions. out of Crestview 85 dead ends into hwy 20 in NIceville .. go right (west) this will take you into Valp. make a left on the 2nd Bayshore (which is immediately before the Tom's Bayou bridge, if you cross the water you've gone too far) go 2 or 3 blocks and make a left on either Westview or Southview .. go 2 blocks and you'll run right into the studio.. both streets will get you here.. if all else fails follow signs to the Heritage Museum.. we are right next door in Old Downtown Valp
Come around behind the studio in the alley.. or just give me a call
Looking forward to seeing you


Thanks for posting my email! I have already received a reply from Bill Hanke about the song "HardTimes". It seems this was recorded by a Dothan Band called the "Del Rio's" that included Bill, George Cheshire, Roan Campbell and Bill Gant. Again many thanks, your blog and networking capabilities are a tremendous help to me... Maybe we can get some of this fantastic 70's music back out to the public soon.!!
Glad to hear you are making plans to come to our opening on April 28th.. seems like we are going to have folks coming from all over..Chicago, NewYork and I am even expecting some folks from England. We hosted Garry Cape formerly owner of Grapevine Records last week for 3 or 4 days. He is starting a new Brit label called "Soulscape". While he was here in Valp, we searched for old tracks and timeless masterpieces and we cut a track on Mary Gresham from Muscle Shoals...So we are looking forward to seeing you and any other interested parties from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi.. or wherever...
Thanks a Million..
Jim Lancaster
Playground Recording Studio

#7: It's so kewl to a pass a sign that sez "ENTERING PERRY COUNTY" & your brain automatically goezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
"Oh, uh, Pickens County is #54
so 53zzzzzzzzzz gotta be Perry."

#6: Saw the most bizarre bus in front of a house on the U.S. 80 bypass in Selma. Looked like it had been painted white and then had been completely covered with Bible verses painted in black.

#5: I saw more fireants around DeFuniak than anywhere I've ever seen in my life.

#4: I saw a sculpture of a bird dog on top of a mailbox with it's lid pointed toward the house and the mailbox had it's own driveway so the mailman could pull off the road to get out of the traffic.

#3: I don't know what happened. I know I saw some Indian Cane growing on the side of the road & I got distracted.

When I saw the "BLUE LAKE" sign going to the right, my little brain said," Uhgggg, 'Blue Lake' sign 'sposed to be on the left."

When I crossed the Yellow River, I knew I wuz sunk.

#2: Standing on the 12th floor balcony of an 1100 sq. ft. ocean front condo neck do' to Britney Spears 5000 sq. ft. ocean front condo, watching the SEA BLASTER go by and thinking


2: In the words of Buddy Buie:

3. In some of my mother's last words:


Where the bridge goes over from Ft. Walton Beach to the island really is the narrowest place between Geneva and Pensacola. For some unknown reason "the powers that beeezzzzzzze"
allowed us to fly our twin engine Cessna Golden Eagle into Eglin airspace so we got to fly down the coast from Destin to Navarre before we had to turn north & come back to Tuscaloosa.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hey y'all:


Now is the time for y'all to become completely vertically integrated and start producing your own entertainment.

But before you do that you oughta send somebody over to Guildwood to interview
who interviewed two people


Check out this email:

Mr. Register:

I did not know until I saw copies of documents you recently sent me that you had an interest in the University of Alabama's history. Two eyewitnesses described to me the burning of the University in 1865. One of these was Thomas Clinton, who published articles in the local papers and whose papers are in the Tuscaloosa Public Library. The other was the daughter of President Landon C. Garland, who later married Eugene A. Smith. Smith, in 1865, was, I believe the student commandant of cadets at age 25. I have been told that he had been in the Confederate army. Although in his old age and my young age I knew him well, he never told me anything about this. But Mrs. Smith did. After Smith died in 1927, she burned his papers, for reasons that are inexplicable. Somehow I acquired some of the empty file boxes, which I used for many years. President Garland led the cadets off out of the way, to the south, accompanied by Smith, who then walked home to Prattville.

Incidentally, Smith was sent by his family to Germany, where he studied geology and some other things. When he returned, he became a professor at the University of Alabama and state geologist. He had much to do with the development of the mineral industries in Alabama. Smith's father was a physician, and his mother, I believe, was a sister of Daniel Pratt, a principal leader in the establishment of industries in Alabama. His original enterprise eventually evolved into the Continental Gin Company of Texas. Smith lived on the University campus, where the physics building now stands.

Alex Sartwell, who used to be librarian of the geological survey and, when I last saw him, had an office in the Oil and Gas Building, devoted a great deal of time to the study of Eugene A. Smith. If you can find him, you might like to talk with him.

On archaeological studies of the University of Alabama Dr. Jerry Oldshue is the principal authority. He is retired but still lives here. I presume you know him. He has also studied University documentary
records extensively.

These are just tidbits, but you might find something useful in them.

James F. Doster.

& not only that
Movie Gallery oughta produce a movie based on Dougie Bailey's DEVIL MAKE A THIRD.
Just the colloquialisms out of Dougie's book are worth the effort to make it into a movie. [example: p. 13
"Son," she said, mildly, "you act like you've plowed up a snake."]

Here's one of my responses to an inquiry from a reader of the book:
{folkzez, dis wuz right off uv my head, so forgive but ,pretty please, correct}

DEVIL MAKE A THIRD is the story of Buck Baker,mayor of Dothan. He and his whole family are buried in the Baker plot in the City Cemetery.He brought his entire family from up in Newville and built them a house near what was known as the Baker Lot. Carnivals, circuses and medicine shows set up on or near the Baker Lot. A lot of people with the Mitt Tolbert Show [mispelled] lived in Dothan.
Buck remained single all his life & I don't have any details about his love life but when they tried to name Southside Elementary Baker Elementary, the Christians raised Cain. He built and ran the Hotel Martin. He was inspired to build it in a triangular shape because he liked the Flatiron Building in Manhatten. A continuous poker game in the Hotel Martin was the source of Buck's bad reputation. Acres and acres of land were lost to Buck Baker at that poker table.When he would clean a guy out, he'd give him a consolation prize like a canary in a cage he give to his wife for a gift. He owned the land where Tyndall is now. He owned the land where Landmarks Park is in Dothan.He owned most of downtown. He owned the land where Memory Hill Gardens cemetery now is.[Dougie Bailey, the author of DEVIL MAKE THIRD, was Buck's nephew and built Memory Hills]
The Salibas and the Blumbergs are in the book under fictitious names. I think he mentions the Salibas selling the first bananas in Dothan.
The incident in the book where they decide to tax the "fancy houses" [whore houses] actually happened. The main red light district was in Frog Town between Young Junior and Williams & Vorris Lumber Co. Buck was afraid the tax collector would trade out with the girls on taxes.
You got me wanting to read it now. I'll get a copy next week.
P.S. I talked to Dougie Bailey over the phone about the book. Hilarious conversations but when I brought up dope, prostitution and gambling, he pleaded the Fifth. I have cassette tapes of my conversations with one of Buck's neices. She had a walking cane and cigarette case Buck got on a gambling trip to Mexico. The last thing Buck told his brother before he left for his last trip to Hot Springs was to "never sell the power plant." Buck died in Hot Springs, Arkansas on a gambling trip. He could have been poisoned but the cause of death was listed as appendicitis. Buck built the first hydroelectric dam on Omussee Creek below Columbia. I'm pretty sure that's the reason Dothan is today the # 1 customer of Alabama Power. When you live in Dothan, you pay your power bill to the City of Dothan because Dothan still owns all its transmission lines and buys power wholesale from Alabama Power.
Buck's brother got busted by the Feds back in the 20s on some kind of agricultural loan scheme. The Bakers were on the school board for the city schools forever.

O.K. Here's the part of the book where Buck comes up with a way to overcome the banker Longshore wanting to call in all of the city's overdrafts.

" Tobe," he said, not frowning now, "old Longshore's got me to thinkin'"

"Unh-unh," Tobe smiled sourly.

"Come here an' sit down," Buck said, reaching for a pad and pencil. He looked up as Tobe straddled the chair in front of him.

"How many gamblin' joints in town?"

Tobe shook his head. "God knows."

"Saloons? Them that ain't licensed?"

"No tellin'. "


"Five," Tobe said, quickly.

Buck tossed his pencil on the desk.

"I want a list o' those places. Names of the owners. When you get that, we'll get together an' reckon up what each of 'em can stand in taxes."

Tobe gulped.
"Tax a gamblin' joint?"

"Hell yes." Buck said, and his eyes got to snapping with excitement. "Here we are givin' them police protection, streets, schools, an' a brand-new fire truck, an' they ain't payin' a dime. Legal places are totin' the whole load."

"Taxin' the girls don't seem right," Tobe frowned. "More like pimpin'"

"Hell, it ain't us," Buck said,
"it's the city."

Tobe raised his eyebrows and stared at Buck. Slowly, his face relaxed, and he began to laugh and slap his knees. "That's the ticket," he said, " I can just see little old Ed Reddick collectin' taxes from
Josie's Hollow Horn Girls.
Fussin' at 'em when they want to trade it out."

"Ed ain't goin' to collect them taxes. We need a big man, an' a strong one, to start off."

Tobe's smile faded and he groaned.

Buck stood up and slapped his hands together. "We'll open a new account," he said, "private, An' stick ever' dollar we collect in it. Then we'll pay it on the city's debit till we come out."


Hey y'all:

On Sunday & Monday, The Mobile Register published 6 articles about Eddie Smith.

This cat is the GODZILLA of spoiled 19th hole you-know-what. He lives in that 17,000 sq. ft. house on Fowl River just east of Bellingrath Gardens.

I heard his Daddy's company wired Mercedes.

Anywayzzzzzzzzz, back in the 90s he gypped
Sheriff Ted and his posse out of some green.

But the thang I luved 'bout reading all six articles was that Mrs. Sonneborn [the wife of the man who built the 17,000 sq. ft. house east of Bellingrath Gardens ]
said she and her husband looked everywhere for a place to build their dream house [quote:"Palm Springs and Palm Beach"] & they decided that they needed to build in L.A.[a.k.a. Lower Alabama]

Now to me that says something!

These Yankees had more money than it'd take to burn a wet mule and they wanted to live here!!!!



BB and JR fishing with Tommy Wilcox for a tv show.
BB new career..bassmaster.


This is Robert Register. Saw your site on some Raudelunas stuff and thought I'd check in.

Enjoyed your site. Hope you're doing well. I'm living on University Boulevard and preparing to face another Monday in Tuscaloosa's challenging urban environment!

You might find something of interest on some of my blogs.



Oh yes,
thanks for the memory jolt...
those were years of chronic relocating, and sometimes it’s confusing---
where, when, and who was around.
However, I don’t recall sharing a side of the house with LaDonna---
you’re not thinking of Melissa Delbridge?


RR wrote:

Melissa was there all the time too so, yeah, you right.
I wonder whatever happened to ole wildchild Melissa.
I remember going over to her apartment on Caplewood and she showed me a whole box of EXOTIC portraits of herself.

Well, here’s a question I can answer!
Melissa is a tenured archival librarian at Duke University, and looks as lovely, and exotic, as ever.
Are you in touch with Leah and Igor?
I can’t think of many more of my Tuscaloosa friends who are still around, other than Tim Reed---not sure that you know him...



I think it is wild and kozmic that we have crossed paths after all these years.....
there has to be more to this story and I can't wait to write the pages.

You have been on my mind a lot and yes, you showed me the book in your car, The Pageant of Cuba.

You also talked about Hudson Strode
to me.

Somehow we must hold some links to the past that need to be reconnected for other things to happen. I don't want to sound weird, but there is a reason.

Time will tell us.

Happy reading! I am only half way thru the book and I am a fairly slow reader, reading only at night before I go to bed. So bear with me....I want to get to the end before we talk about the book. I never have liked knowing the ending of things....I like the path better!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Subject :


Jim Lancaster from Playground here...
I'm currently (like right now) going through some of our 70's rock and pop recordings...I know I can probably search your site and find a member or two from Concrete Bubble or Magic Bubble..But if you happen to know one.. please have 'em email me or call me ..

"Witches Brew" is great.. as is most of it..

A couple of other things I might find out from one of your sites:

Anybody know a band from Pensacola (?) called Cudzue..

I've Got some songs that I would like to know who the artist is like "Hard Times"
"Red Ryder"
"Voice of Change"
"Outta My Head"
Maybe some of your readers will recognize the titles "Unfairy Princess"

Thanks.. let me know which site to look on... seems as if Cuba has turned into something else
back to work



Like everything else in America, we decided that changing the name of CUBA, ALABAMA would improve the scene but nothing is different.

We just out here up in amongst the world discussing what seems important at the time.

When you "google" a title that might be on CUBA/ZERO, ALABAMA/WEST FLORIDA, just put the word robertoreg behind it and you'll find out most of what we have here.

Good to hear from you. I'm saving my comp time. I plan to go to Dothan on Thursday, April 26, and then come to VP for the Playground Reunion on Saturday, April 28 for SATURDAY IN THE PARK
and if I'm sober enough, I'm heading to I-10 before sundown to crash on Dauphin Island. Otherwise, I'll smell the curry powder and spend my money at the PATEL MOTEL!

Sunday, April 29, is my 57TH birthday. I got some other people interested in the festivities in VP so keep us in the loop.

I'm shooting this out to former NORMAN ANDREWS & THE CONCRETE BUBBLE alumni & ASSOCIATES so we should get some feedback about WITCHES BREW.

Know nothing about CUDZUE from Pensacola.

Let me hear from ya.