Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hey y'all:

has put out an incredible Dothan Rock'n Roll number this month.

It's in garnet & gold
[FSU colors fo' all uv y'all in YERBA Linda]

Unfortunately, a couple of dings:

"Right String Baby but the Wrong Yo-Yo"
were written by Atlanta's
"Piano Red" Perryman

Kinda interesting too 'cause when you look at the old Early Map of Georgia,
our part of the country was called, PERRYMAN!

image courtesy of

This cat named William Barlow wrote literally a blues encyclopedia in '89 called LOOKING UP AT DOWN: The Emergence of Blues Culture.
Dr. Barlow interviewed William "Piano Red" Perryman at Wolf Trap, VA in August of '81.
"Piano Red" composed RIGHT STRING, BABY, BUT THE WRONG YO YO which was covered by Wilbur Walton Jr. & The James Gang in the mid Sixties.

Check out what "Piano Red" had to say:

You couldn't make a livin' playin' them rent parties, but you could have a good time. You could make a little something extra, eat and drink all you want, and hang around with the other musicians. There was a lot of piano players back then. Old Soup Stick was a good one, played that low-down blues. Then there was them boys from Spartanburg I used to run around with- Ted Wright and Colfield West. Oh, there was a lot of them, but mostly they didn't have no names- just come and go.

(Dr. Barlow continues...)
Unlike most of Atlanta's blues piano players, Piano Red remained based in Atlanta for his entire career, which spanned five decades. He made his first recordings with Blind Willie McTell in the mid 1930s; then in the postwar years he became "Dr. Feelgood," the popular host of a daily blues radio show broadcast on WERD.

Throughout the 1920s, Atlanta was the major race recording site in the South and therefore attractive to migrant blues musicians. The two major race record labels active in Atlanta were Okeh and Columbia.

I rilly hope Robin shoots me some of those images from his magazine, especially the garnet & gold
& "Wilbur & Jimmy on the Front Porch."
Oh yeah, I'll take
"REFLECTIONS- on the Greatest Hits of the past & present" image too!!!!

image courtesy of

Two udder dings:

Our ole pahdnuh Robert Nix was not interviewed in any of the articles in the latest issue of DOTHAN MAGAZINE
& I hope he was contacted.
Pretty sure he's pictured in a couple of places in the magazine.
Robert's myspace site is

Robert plays drums in Alison Heafner's Band

& not only that BUT
Robert also played drums on "Tuesday's Gone" on Lynyrd Skynyrd's
because Al Kooper asked him too.

Hate to tell you but unfortunately the latest issue of DOTHAN MAGAZINE spells your name "Al Cooper".
Forgive us all & not only 'dat, we'll celebrate your 50th year in Show Business neck year!!!!

Let me hear from ya!



From Barlow's book on the blues:

image courtesy of

The man responsible for the Okeh recording sessions in the city was Polk Brockman, a white Atlanta native who got into the record business after taking over the phonograph department of his father's furniture store. Brockman had little interest in the blues, but when he realized that money could be made selling black secular and sacred recordings, he made a deal with Ralph Peer at Okeh Records. In essence, Polk Brockman became Peer's surrogate in Atlanta, and eventually in other southern cities like Birmingham, New Orleans and Dallas. The best-known rural blues artists he signed for recording sessions included the Mississippi Sheiks and Blind Lemon Jefferson. On the local black music scene, he preferred the vaudeville performers who played at the 81 Theatre; it was there he came across Eddie Haywood, and famous comedy duo of Butterbeans and Susie and arranged recording sessions for them. His most prolific and profitable recording artist was a local preaching phenomenon, the Reverend J. M. Gates, who had a large following in Atlanta's black community. Later in the decade, Brockman was joined by Frank Walker of Columbia Records, who made frequent trips to Atlanta to supervise recording sessions. Among those he recorded were Lillian Glinn and Blind Willie McTell.

Barlow 'bout knocked me down when he used the following 1937 quote from a local black newspaper in Dallas to open Chapter 7- "STORMY MONDAY": Urban Blues in the Southwest:

Down on Deep Ellum in Dallas, where Central Avenue empties into Elm Street and Ethiopia stretches forth her hands. It is the one spot in the city that needs no daylight saving time because there is no bedtime, and working hours have no limits. The only place recorded on earth where business, religion, hoodooism, gambling and stealing go on without friction.


Barlow saves his most profound thoughts for his conclusion on page 346 of his book:

An unusual cross-section of people are currently engaged in blues culture. Their race, class, and generational differences have made it one of those rare, eclectic, and in many ways utopian social experiments that can take place only on the fringes of the dominant culture. In mainstream American society, integration on the job and in the schools is mandated by law, but social space remains color- and class-coded. That is, people work together and share public accomodations and services, but spend their leisure time in separate communities according to race and social class, in that order. The blues culture runs contrary to this sort of social stratification, especially where color is concerned. What began as a black proletarian cultural formation a hundred years ago has been transformed by succeeding generations of blues people into a novel interracial melting pot. In particular, the postwar transference of the blues tradition from an old black working-class generation to a younger white middle-class generation has sent ripples of unconventional social relations throughout the society.

The magnitude of this cultural exchange is unprecedented in the history of race relations in the United States. Not that all is peace, harmony, sisterhood, and brotherhood in the blues community. The historical legacy of racism must still be overcome, and there are class, generational, and gender differences that need to be breached. But at least there exists the possibility of some cross-cultural communication and even conflict.

Check out Jerry Henry's Interview Wid Fred DeLoach in the latest issue of Planet Weekly:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hey y'all:

Well folksizzzzzzzzzz,
It beezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze
happenin' tonight!
The John James Audubon documentary is premiering TONIGHT on PBS at 8 P. M. CDT!

I went down to Auburn on Sattiddee and had a good time at the wedding reception.
Heard I missed it when the girl in the leopard skin cocktail dress & the gold metallic high heels got out in front of the band and showed off her stuff but it beeze dat way sometime.
'Nair nothin' but a thang.
Nothin' but the world...

With my short attention span, I had to move on down the line after I'd gorged out on the shrimp & grits w/ the beer.

I toured Auburn's campus and was rilly impressed with the Richard Shelby Engineering Building going up on Magnolia Street. The building is so neoclassical that it looks like a little bit of the Capstone in Tuscaloosa landed on AwBaRn!

The old Shepherd's Purse Club out on 14 toward Loachapoka is now a carpet barn.

Faith's old groovy little hippie pad is still standing. It's uninhabitable rite now but folks be trying. There's a big pile of nice driftwood in the front yard and the graffitti painted on the asphalt in front of the house reads "PLEASE HELP US FIND OUR LITTLE 6 MONTH OLD LAB."
It's got a good roof but the windows suck and the chimney has fallen in.
All of Faith's pasture has grown up but they've still got horses across the street.
I never remembered the chestnut tree by the driveway but it's there and it's full of chestnuts this year.

Got to Tallassee and they were having a street fair with The Sweet Young'Uns and Ray Goss & Friends playing.
I checked it out and met a couple of guys who were THE SOURCE on Tallassee. They told me about how to get to where "The Giant's Cave" was filmed for "BIG FISH".

I got to Gelly's in Wetumpka Saturday night safely and got up the next morning & after visiting the old 1820 callaboose on the cliffs of downtown Wetumpka headed back to Tallassee.

I visited the boat landing on the Tallapoosa where Tim filmed "THE GIANT'S CAVE" on the shoals of the Tallapoosa.

Had lunch at the Talisi Hotel and explored the old six story ruins of the Confederate armory & then drove up the east side of the river so I could hang out at Horseshoe Bend for awhile.

Left there and landed in Ashland, county seat of Clay County.
First time I'd ever been there and kinda got lost so I crossed though the mountains on the backroads and ended up in Talladiggah but
that rilly didn't matter 'cause I found the road to Cheaha
and got to drive for over 26 miles in Alabama without seeing a mailbox.
First in a lifetime experience fo' me.
Made me ashamed of myself to think I'd been living a little over a hundred miles away from the most spectacular natural formation in Alabama and ignored it all these many years.

Learn somethin' ever' day.

Left the wilderness on I-20 and headed east fo' Dave's
in Southside B'ham.

That capped off the weekend and I got back home safely.

I'm gonna work on finding all these places where "Big Fish" was filmed and y'all need to tune in sometime to that American Masters show on Audubon on PBS which is gonna premier in less than ten minutes.


Lee Senile, director of Alabama's Bureau of Tourism and Travel, has compiled some of the locations where Tim Burton shot "Big Fish" so both are residents and tourists can see them.

Here are some of the major settings used in the film:

The town of Ashton was generally shot in Wetumpka. East Bridge Street and Court Street was the site of the parade, and looking up the hill at 402 East Bridge St., you will see the Bloom family home. The Ashton Courthouse in the film is actually the Elmore County Courthouse at 100 Commerce St. You also will find the site of the Horizon Savings & Loan bank robbery in Wetumpka. That was filmed at the Old First National Bank Building, across from Little Sam's CafÈ on Company Street.

Karl the giant's cave is on the banks of the Tallapoosa River at the Lower Boat Ramp behind 2171 Highway 229 in Tallassee.

Auburn University was shot with a stand-in. Montgomery's Huntingdon College, on East Fairview Avenue, fills in for the Auburn campus.

Many of Edward Bloom's sports highlights were filmed on the baseball and football fields at Capitol Heights Junior High School at 206 Federal Drive in Montgomery.

The church scenes were at the Lowndesboro Presbyterian Church at 25 N. Broad St. in Lowndesboro

Big Fish” is about leaving a legacy. Do you think about your work living on?
DANNY DEVITO: I think this film is going to live on forever and ever and ever, and we’re so lucky to be in it. We’re just blessed to be part of this magical experience that’s going to be thought of as one of the classic films ever made, I think.

HELENA BONHAM CARTER: – Everyone agrees with you, Danny. I do. I think it’s a wonderful film.

DANNY DEVITO: I was in “Cuckoo’s Nest,” I felt that way. “Terms of Endearment” was like a lasting motion picture. This film will be thought of in many, many years to come as one of the great Tim Burton movies.

From : Witt, Robert
Sent : Tuesday, January 20, 2004 2:28 PM
To : "robert register"
Subject : RE: A Guide To The Woodland Campus of the University of Alabama


You were right about "Big Fish"

Bob Witt

Hey, baby, do ya like daffodils too?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hey y'all:

So now I must finally take on the task of describing the magnificence of Alabama's
black skimmer...

image courtesy of

Sundown on Sunday July 8 found me parked on the side of the road leading to the Dauphin Island Airport looking at a blue heron feed on the edges of a cord grass slough.

Suddenly a black skimmer appeared and began to feed along the top of the water by poking its larger lower red & black (DHS colors) beak into the water as it swiftly crossed the slough's black water. The heron took notice and actually backed up into the cord grass to give the skimmer room.
The bird then began to make passes over the slough.
The skimmer would feed by flying in a straight line over the water then turn and create an X on top of the water by
lifting up into the air, turning, crossing its original path and repeating this figure eight pattern over and over and over again.

What I came to understand was that the bird was prospecting to find where the critters were located on the surface of the slough and as soon as it knew where the goodie was located, the figure 8s ended and it began to make ZEROs
circling after each pass &
then returning directly straight toward me to fly over the same portion of the surface skimming it for food with its larger lower red & black beak.

What a once in a lifetime experience this was for me!

I feel so inadequate trying to describe how wonderful this was for me!
For myself, this was further evidence that there's no such thing as EVOLUTION!
How could something so magnificent, so majestic & so miraculous be the consequence of CHANCE?!!!!!!!!!
There's gotta be something more to make something so elementary yet so complex as
the black skimmer.

I thought about the Old Salt back in the summer of '77 telling me the story of the skimmer killing itself instantly when it hit something with its lower beak & broke its neck while feeding along Dauphin Island's shore and then I thought of another bird story...

Way back in the day about 20 years ago,
I was in the Chukker sitting at a table and the conversation turned to drugs in South America and this young kid from Duncanville bragged,

Needless to say I immediately went into shock!

I responded,
"Don't tell me you actually took ayahuasca & san pedro at the same time & you're sitting at a table here in the Chukker able to tell us about it!"

That cooled his beans a little & he replied,
"Oh, it was bad!"


Seems the kid from Duncanville, Alabama in Tuscaloosa County had grown up as the child of a Southern Baptist missionary in Ecuador.
Seems like he rebelled against his Dad & one day,
for some God forsakened reason , he took both of these powerful poisons.


He said that when the stuff first came on him, he looked over at a cara cara bird on the beach and immediately had his brain transfer into the brain of the bird.

image of the cara cara bird courtesy of

He looked at the hairs on his arms and watched each of them turn into cara cara bird feathers.
He looked over at the cara cara bird & it took off.
So suddenly this cat from Tuscaloosa County is looking out over the Pacific Ocean in front of Manta, Ecuador through the eyes of a cara cara bird.

Well, that's sorta like how I felt about watching the black skimmer there by the airport.

About the time it was rilly gittin' good another car pulled up & I let down my window & waved 'em over toward me.
It was a whole family packed into a sedan. I told them about the bird with the red & black beak. Showed them the heron and told them they could take my spot after they turned around at the airport.

As I drove toward the pub, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw them parked in my spot with the kids in the back seat waving at me.

I know they saw the heron but I rilly hope they saw the skimmer.

Sat next to Bob & his girlfriend at the pub. They said they'd be there for a while so I went back to Archie's & got the copy of HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC

Bob had lived around Virginia Beach and in the Carolinas so he knew what he wanted to look at in the book.
I bragged on my autographs and we all had a good time.

After Bob and his girl checked out so did I & I went back to Archie's & cooked my best meal of my vacation.
I blackened Buddy's bass, covered the filets with lump crab meat, covered that stuff with cracker crumbs, then covered that with some superb Parmesan cheese & baked it all until crispy!

Turned the left over lump crab into West Indies Salad!

I plumb gorged out!

Woke up early Monday morning eager to return to Tuscaloosa so I could save Pake Realty from confusion & chaos as my alter-ego:
(ain't it grand that I glory in squalor!)

Monday July 9 was another immaculate mornin' on the island.

Praise dah Lloyd! I had plenty of gas in the ole Exploder!

Stopped by the Rippy Mart fo' coffee, the 40th Anniversary Rolling Stone Magazine Maggie from Yreka told me to get & a Press-Register
and paid for all of it with the last bill I had in my pocket.

That boys is how you end a trip to the beach!

Headed North? Uhhhh, no.
I had to drive down to Ft. Gaines on the east end. There'd been a sign up saying the ferry was down and sure enough it was. Headed back toward the bridge and admired a mailbox shaped like a flounder.

Two of the Register's front page headlines captured my attention.
My History of Alabama Surveying student Nancy Worley was up for trial for her alleged crimes during her tenure as Alabama's Secretary of State
and my ole pahdnuh Lew Toulmin had written his own damn article with a headline at the top of the front page of the Monday July 9, 2007 number of the Register...

I don't care whut ya say, it don't git no kewler dan dat!

As I was leaving Mon Luis Island, I saw where a native had taken a ladder and propped a light pole that had blown down
up on top of it.
Now it don't git no lazier than that!

Heading north, I stopped at another convenience store in North Mobile County and witnessed Mexicans cussing each other loudly in Spanish inside this Rippy Mart.
I didn't like that.
I thought about saying,
"Eso es nuestros pais, y, aqui, nosotros hablamos ingles, por favor!"
I didn't say anything but I looked mean.

Once you got off I-65 in Creola , you saw the real estate signs on the side of road all the way up to Leroy below Jackson.

Thare's gold in that there gallberry thicket!!!!
(courtesy of Thysson-Krupp)

I'll leave y'all wid dis.

Before I left for the beach Satiddee morning at 403 Mortgage Avenue in Dothan Alabama I sat down & had a good conversation about old times with David Smith.
I was telling him about how Daddy always wanted me to make fo' sho' I'd had a good bowel movement before I went with him on his route.
His route included every trailer shop, trucker yard & company tire warehouse in town.
That meant that all the commodes were OWNED by the OSO NEGRO smugglin' speed freaks
who liked to deposit some Lincoln Logs in those outfits!

Daddy didn't want me to see that.

He'd say, "Bob, don't pay any attention to what truckers say. They are just like little children."

Two truckers really brought out the Christian missionary in my Daddy.

Radio and Rabbit Man became family pets over at 403 Mortgage Avenue.

Both of them were suicidal speed freaks who drove produce trucks out of Dothan down to Mexico.

They hauled some produce back along with cases of Oso Negro gin, whisky & vodka along with some RJS Blacks (a.k.a. L.A. turnarounds)

Radio ate so much speed he talked all the time.
So everybody called him "RADIO".

Rabbit Man ate so much shit
he couldn't even talk
so all he did was twitch his chin down to his chest
so everybody called him "RABBIT MAN".
All I remember Rabbit Man SAYING was smiling.
I don't remember him ever talking.

One time Daddy got this big idea to go out to the Creel farm and sein the pond.
Only thing in there were stumpknockers and bullheads but Daddy didn't care.
He was ready to put Radio & Rabbit Man to work.
I help them but we didn't catch much.
We let everything go but I loved it.

I don't remember seeing Radio & Rabbit Man much after that.

Y'all be good.




A good friend of mine, Greg Haynes, is about to have two book signings
in Virginia
Please check out his website

Here's two occurring

You oughta check it out.
A lot of psychedelic southern rock founding fathers don't like to admit their horn band James Brown blue eyed soul origins.


Hey y'all:

Please take a few moments out of your busy day and visit Greg Haynes' HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC site


Earlier this month he did three book signings in the Liverpool/Manchester area in the UK & he got an incredible response.
Check out part of his description of the response to his book:

In this part of the world, music ( on 45s) by such groups as the Appreciations, Buddy Skipper, Wilbur Walton, Oxford Nights, Novas Nine and too many other Southerners of
the 60s to name, is available for purchase at the main counter in stores like Funky Feet, Beatin Rhythm and many other collectible record stores.
If you can’t find it in a store, go

to one of the Soul Nights. You might find it there. Why, you ask, would I go to the U.K. to find 45s by our local heroes of the 60s?

From what I have pieced together, when the

Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music ended at midnight on December 31, 1969 and the American record labels abandoned the sweet sound of soul music, any records left unsold or unreleased remained in warehouses, basements, stock rooms etc. making store shelf space available for the new rock age.

In the Manchester, U.K. area, there were many

more kindred souls who rebuffed the new sound in favor of the great sound track of the 60s aka “The Music of The Heeey Baby Days!”

Several enterprising Brits launched their
own British Invasion and came over to the U.S. and bought up thousands of these
records, primarily 45s, so they could be spun at all-nighter events and purchased by the
locals for home play.
So what happened to all of the great American 45 RPM soul records of the 60s?

They are
alive and flourishing in the U.K.!