Saturday, January 05, 2008


This morning I was talking to this old cat who wears the USS Alabama hat down at the
"temporary" Temporary Emergency Services just over the 9th Street viaduct by Russell S. Lee & he said he used to see Howling Wolf in St. Louis.

I jived with the lady who runs the place about those dresses with the loud colors that are gonna be featured in HONEYDRIPPER. She said,
"Oh, I thought about being one of those juke joint women!"

Yeah &
the old cat in the USS Alabama cap was raised in Tuscaloosa & said HONEYDRIPPER was a MEGAHIT in the later '40s.
I found that out on the Web.

Mr. John who is the maintenance man for P.E. Lamoureaux & Associates is the cat to talk to. He's lived here all his life. He said he wasn't sure who was the first person he saw who entertained a club with an electric guitar here in Tuscaloosa. He said it was either Muddy Waters or Howling Wolf.
Both of them played here in clubs on the West End.



My next entry into the SKYPILOT CLUB cookbook contest:

I live alone so I basically do as I please in the kitchen.

I spend most of my time in the kitchen snacking & washing dishes but
I do my best to spend two weekends a month holed up in the house taking
care of business in the kitchen.

I am not writing this to advocate any sort of lifestyle or dietary discipline.

I just hope it helps someone who lives alone.

In a perfect world, I get to go to the store on Saturday.
I spend about $90 a week but I can skip a week with no problem & have plenty of food to spare.

I used to buy two pounds of on-sale shrimp a week but now I'm about up to around over 3.
When I get home from the store on Saturday, I start the shrimp boil.
I cook corn, potatoes & onions in the boiling water with bags of shrimp boil spices,
Old Bay Seasoning, lemon quarters and ground red pepper.
As soon as the water starts getting hot after I first put the shrimp in, I start sampling the shrimp by scooping them out of the boil and putting them on ice.
I take shrimp out early, in the middle & at the end.
It makes a good mix.
I strow my secret Cajun seasoning all over them befo' I peal.

They look so pretty pealed in their own container there on the top shelf of your refrigirator so go ahead & plan on losing some to the moochers - especially if the cocktail sauce is nearby on the same shelf.

A bowl of cocktail sauce will last for two weekends. I use cheap ketchup, good horseradish, lemon juice, a little balsamic vinagrette , little hot sauce & a little Dale's

I also buy meat on Saturday.
Generally, I get a big piece of beef and/or a whole chicken and/or some pork.

I marinate in varying combinations of lemon juice, cheapest balsamic vinagrette & Dale's.

I can cook on either Saturday or Sunday but Sunday's best because the meat gets to marinate. (I sometimes keep a few skrimpfish out to marinate & skewer & braise just before putting the meat on.)

As soon as the stuff you've grilled is cool, put it in freezer bags and freeze it.

Any vegetable you boil with the shrimp freezes & defrosts with no problem and retains full flavor.

A great way to cook the leftovers is to defrost the meat, take it off the bone & saute it in a pan with butter & spices.
Then you can use it for burritos, nachos or echiladas!


I spoke with Teresa tonight. She said that David's "body" has healed, but he remains in a coma due to 2 heart attacks he had while hospitalized. The docs are gonna try to stimulate his brain & wean him off his ventilator. It looks like our prayers have been answered as far as David's terrible septicemia, but prayers are still needed for his complete healing.
Below is an update from the local newspaper in Grovetown, Ga.

Grovetown Councilman Daughtry still in coma

A Grovetown city councilman remained comatose Wednesday after being hospitalized for more than three weeks.

Councilman David Daughtry has been transferred from Doctors Hospital, where he was initially being treated for an infected leg wound, to a rehabilitation facility in Augusta, former Mayor Dennis Trudeau said. Mr. Daughtry was hospitalized in early December for complications from his diabetes.

Mr. Trudeau said Mr. Daughtry's city council seat has not been relinquished

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hey y'all:

I watched this show on TV last night called MODERN MARVELS: Cold Cuts
& the part about the Carnegie Deli gave me a Jones for a pastrami sammich so
about 11:20 A.M. today I started looking for a McCallister's.

Before I went to lunch I pulled into Oz
& bought the latest issue of GOLDMINE
to read while I was eating my sammich.

Talkin' 'bout a GOLDMINE!

Jerry Schilling has just written a book called ME & A GUY NAMED ELVIS.,,9781592402311,00.html

I wanna read it!


Ken Sharp interviewed him in the latest issue of GOLDMINE.

Here are excerpts from the interview I thought would be of interest to the citizens of

GM: What's your take on Elvis' producer, Felton Jarvis?

JS: He did really good in bringing in the right musicians. Felton really tried hard when it was difficult to get good material to Elvis through all the politics. Felton recognized that Elvis was his own producer. He didn't get in the way of that, and he complemented that.

GM: As a vocalist Elvis is revered internationally as one of the greats. But who were the singers that he loved?

JS: Elvis was really into Jackie Wilson
[ed. note: Barry Gordy bought the rights to LONELY TEARDROPS from Tuscaloosa's George Byrd for a Christmas bicycle]
They became friends, and he came to the film studio. We saw him play live at The Trip. He was a huge fan of Roy Orbison vocally...huge fan of Tom Jones.

image courtesy of
l. to r.: Chips Moman, J.R. Cobb, Buddy Buie, Gloria Buie, Paul Cochran

Elvis loved Roy Hamilton. He caught up with him when they were both recording at
[Lincoln Wayne] "Chips" Moman's studio, American.

He loved Aretha Franklin. I think that had something to do with him getting The Sweet Inspirations as his backing vocalists, because they were doing all the backgrounds on Aretha's records. He loved James Brown. He liked Charlie Rich, too. In fact, his record, "Mohair Sam", was playing when the Beatles came to visit. Elvis also loved Dean Martin. He was a huge influence on him.

GM: In the interview with Elvis for "Elvis On Tour", Elvis speaks about how doing the movies was making him "physically ill". Why couldn't Elvis have said,"Enough, I'm not doing these crappy songs or these crappy films" ?

JS: Some big-name stars who I've spoken to have said similar things to me.
"Jerry, he was Elvis Presley. He could do what he wanted to do."
I was there when he protested that he wasn't gonna do a film. He was told if he didn't
honor these contracts he couldn't do anything. The Colonel had a network, and he controlled
the record company. He controlled the studios when it came to Elvis product.
He controlled the agency, and don't forget, the same thing happened on the road.

When Elvis fired the Colonel in the '70s, when Elvis tried to get a tour together, everybody
was afraid that The Colonel would be back in. And if they moved on it, they were gonna be out,
and nobody would touch 'em. I lost my friend at a very early age because of these frustrations.
The drugs were only the Band-Aids.
This guy wasn't a drugger.
This guy was a creative giant that they gave morsels to, and it just didn't sustain him.

GM: When Elvis returned to the stage in Las Vegas in 1969, how had he changed as a live performer?

JS: I'd said earlier that I loved the raw Elvis of the '50s, but I'd also have to say from the " '68 Comeback Special" to the first couple of engagements in Vegas, the first couple of years, that's where he was at his greatest. He looked the best, he sounded the best and, unlike the shows he did after he came out of the Army in 1961, he was showing off his animalistic rebelness. So, he had it all. He took it to the next level when he did "If I Can Dream."
That song is Elvis.

GM: Outside of the " '68 Comeback Special," Elvis never sang that song live.

JS: I've never thought of that. It was a hit, and it was one of his most powerful performances. I'd put that up on the level with "How Great Thou Art."

The " '68 Comeback Special" wasn't the show the Colonel had planned. He wanted Elvis to do a Christmas special. Thank God for (director) Steve Binder. Now, there was a producer who knew what he wanted and has the conviction and strength to achieve his vision.
Elvis got to be Elvis.

image courtesy of
left to right: Chips Moman, Buddy Buie, Paul Cochran

Same thing happened when Elvis worked with the producer "Chips" Moman on the Memphis sessions. You will notice that you won't see them again, which is normal business, if you go in and have hits, like Chips Moman did with Elvis, who do you bring to produce the next session?
Chips Moman?

GM: So, why didn't Elvis work again with Steve Binder or Chips?

JS: I think in the later years the people that he had great successes with were creative challenges to the business atmosphere that was around. I think it made those business people nervous. Most of things come back to monetary issues.

image courtesy of

When you've got Chips Moman, you're gonna pay a producer what you're gonna pay a producer regarding the material that comes in. George Klein told Chips how to get along with Elvis.
"Don't tell him things in front of people. If you talk want to talk to Elvis, do it one on one."

Chips said,"Elvis, can I talk to you for a minute?"

Chips said,"I have a stack of records here that your publishers brought in, and none of them are hits. I have a stack of records over here that you don't own the publishing on, but they're hit records.
Which pile do you want to do?"
Elvis said,"Look, I wanna go back on the road. I want hit records."

If that doesn't tell the story, I can't explain it any better.

GM: So, financially, to get really good people working with Elvis, there would have been a significant outlay of income?

JS: Yes, on the short term, but there really wouldn't have been a loss of income. It was about people being paid what they deserved.
On the long-term, we would have had an Elvis that would have been around singing today, and a lot of people making a lot of money.

GM: Against the string of melancholy ballads Elvis was inclined to record during the '70s came the rocker "Burning Love."
But, surprisingly, Elvis originally didn't want to record this obvious hit.

JS: Felton Jarvis felt it was a hit record. Having heard the demo of "Burning Love," I also felt it was a hit record as well. Joe Esposito and I also really encouraged him to record it.

GM: Did Elvis know how good he was?

JS: I think he knew he was a great singer but not on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes he thought he was washed up.
But I've seen him where he enjoyed his own voice and knew it was something special, but he wondered a lot and searched a lot as for why he was so blessed with his gift.

GM: If you could spend some time with Elvis again, what would you talk about?

JS: I'd like to just sit up all night and shoot the bull with Elvis.
The conversation could start out talking about girls, and it could wind up talking about Hinduism.
He was unpredictable.
That was one of the exciting things about him.

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

sent me both DVDs of THE MOVIE so now I watch it on the computer or I reduce it & listen to the audio which is a mixture of '64 & the '90s...
Kesey: "So here we are at Lake Ponchartrain..."

My new project is reading a book called TALLEYRAND- A Vivid Biography of the Amoral, Unscrupulous, and Fascinating French Statesman by Louis Madelin of the Academie Francaise.

image courtesy of

TITLE: Destruction of the French gun-boats-or-Little Boney & his friend Talley in high glee

SUMMARY: Cartoon showing Napoleon, sitting on the shoulder of Talleyrand, gleefully peering through a large rolled document, "Talleyrand's plan for invading Great Britain", at the channel, where the French flotilla is being destroyed by shells from British ships. Talleyrand stands behind the gun embrasures of a fortress on a cliff at whose base the gunboats are foundering. On the horizon is the English coast, with Dover Castle on a cliff.

MEDIUM: 1 print : engraving, color.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: London : pubd. by H. Humphrey, 1803.


Gillray, James, 1756-1815, engraver.

Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

Ole TALLEYRAND has been a character in a ton of movies:

information courtesy of

Icons of Power: Napoleon's Final Battle (2006) (TV) Played by Dorin Andone
  1. Austerlitz, la victoire en marchant (2006) (TV) Played by John Dobrynine
  2. "Napoléon" (2002) (mini) TV Series Played by John Malkovich (as Charles Talleyrand)
    ... aka Napoleon (Europe: English title)

  3. "Pinky and the Brain"
    - Napoleon Brainaparte (1995) TV Episode, Played by Richard Libertini
  4. Souper, Le (1992) Played by Claude Rich
    ... aka The Supper

  5. "Jupons de la révolution, Les"
    - Talleyrand ou Les lions de la revanche (1989) TV Episode, Played by Stéphane Freiss
  6. "Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story" (1987) (mini) TV Series Played by Anthony Perkins
  7. "Marianne, une étoile pour Napoléon" (1983) TV Series Played by Bernard Dhéran

  8. "Joséphine ou la comédie des ambitions" (1979) (mini) TV Series Played by Robert Rimbaud
  9. Talleyrand ou Le sphinx incompris (1972) (TV) Played by Raymond Gérôme
  10. "Napoleon and Love" (1972) (mini) TV Series Played by Peter Jeffrey
  11. Fossés de Vincennes, Les (1972) (TV) Played by Alain Nobis
  12. Komm nach Wien, ich zeig dir was! (1970) Played by Tilo von Berlepsch

  13. Kongreß amüsiert sich, Der (1966) Played by Paul Meurisse (as Count Talleyrand)
  14. Austerlitz (1960) Played by Jean Mercure
    ... aka Battaglia di Austerlitz, La (Italy)
    ... aka Napoleone ad Austerlitz (Italy)
    ... aka The Battle of Austerlitz (USA)

  15. "Caméra explore le temps, La"
    - L'exécution du duc d'Enghien (1958) TV Episode, Played by Pierre Asso
  16. Königin Luise (1957) Played by Charles Régnier
  17. "The Count of Monte Cristo"
    - The Talleyrand Affair (1956) TV Episode, Played by Malcolm Keen
  18. Napoléon (1955) Played by Sacha Guitry
    ... aka Napoleone (Italy)
    ... aka Napoleone Bonaparte (Italy)
  19. Desirée (1954) Played by John Hoyt
  20. Louisiana Territory (1953) Played by Leo Zinser (as Charles Talleyrand)

  21. Diable boiteux, Le (1948) Played by Sacha Guitry
    ... aka The Lame Devil (International: English title)
  22. Un seul amour (1943) Played by Jean Périer
  23. The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) Played by Albert Lieven (as Tallerand)
  24. Destin fabuleux de Désirée Clary, Le (1942) Played by Jean Périer
    ... aka Mlle. Desiree (USA)

  25. Sposa dei re, La (1938) Played by Achille Majeroni
  26. A Royal Divorce (1938) Played by Frank Cellier
  27. Conquest (1937) Played by Reginald Owen (as Tallyrand)
    ... aka Marie Walewska (UK)
  28. Perles de la couronne, Les (1937) Played by Robert Pizani
    ... aka Pearls of the Crown (International: English title)
  29. The Romance of Louisiana (1937) Played by Ian Wolfe (as Tallyrand)
  30. Hundert Tage (1935) Played by Alfred Gerasch
    ... aka Hundred Days (International: English title)
  31. The Iron Duke (1934) Played by Gibb McLaughlin
  32. So endete eine Liebe (1934) Played by Edwin Juergenssen
    ... aka End of an Affair (International: English title)
    ... aka So Ended a Great Love (UK)
  33. The House of Rothschild (1934) Played by Georges Renavent (as Count Talleyrand)
  34. Congrès s'amuse, Le (1931) Played by Jean Dax
  35. Alexander Hamilton (1931) Played by John T. Murray (as Count Talleyrand)

  36. The Fighting Eagle (1927) Played by Sam De Grasse
  37. Ace of Spades (1925) Played by John Shanks (as Tallyrand)
  38. A Royal Divorce (1923) Played by Jerrold Robertshaw

  39. Brigadier Gerard (1915) Played by Fernand Mailly

Last night I finished reading ACID TEST again and I started exploring the Babbs family on the Web. I found stuff about O.B., Thor & Simon but not much about Gretch. What's her story?


So this morning, I'm coming back to the office for more keys to abandoned buildings so I can winterize them. We're having our first hard freeze tonight and I see your package in my inbox.

What a treat and what a way to start off the new year!

Thank you so much.
I really enjoyed seeing my old Tuscaloosa partner, John Cassady.

If anyone asks your advice about this ACID TEST movie, tell 'em to film part of it in Alabama.
We can stand in as a location for East Texas, Louisiana, Pensacola and the Blue Ridge.
I want to audition for the part of the Alabama State Trooper/Mobile County Deputy Sheriff.

Muchas, mi amigo.


ROBERT AND ALISON !!!!!!.......................................................

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hey y'all:
2008 will stand as an anniversary year for many milestone events but the one that stands out for me tonight will occur in August when we celebrate the 40th birthday of Tom Wolfe's THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST which was first published in August of '68.

This afternoon I finished reading THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST & it caused me to seriously reflect upon the cultural & artistic impact of Kesey & The Pranksters.

The book reminded me a lot of the story of Elvis:
a regular cat from Memphis who started off with an idea of what he wanted to do with his life and before he knew it, his personal vision completely changed the world.
[just had a flashback of little crippled Forrest Gump teaching Elvis how to shake it up on stage- now I'm craving to hear
Elvis sing some gospel like THIS OLD HOUSE-
OH I FOUND THIS J.D. Sumner tribute to Elvis

OHHHHHHHHHhhhh but dis beeeeze dah dope!


So I'm searching the Web for Prankster stuff tonight and I find where my Tuscaloosa neighbor Philip Beidler wrote a book back in '94 where he argued that the '60s would stand as the last time the printed word would create a cultural revolution and that future cultural change would originate from audio-visual or electronic sources.

I liked what Beidler had to say about THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST:

We have come back more or less where we came in.
And what a trip it has been, aboard a vehicle named "FURTHUR",

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

In honor of Fidel's 77th birthday, August 13,2003, I am giving Cuba a rest and looking at Kesey stuff on the Web. Check it out at

babbs, kesey and friends

with Kesey and the Pranksters. It has been one last great pilgrimage in the old American tradition, a pilgrimage, as always, to discover America and to invent it.
We have been on the Bus.
We have all taken all the tests.
We have attended the graduation.
We have had a total '60s trip.
Thanks to Wolfe, and the style he invented, we have also had the
total '60s trip. Compatriots in '60s reading and writing would go on to stake out new areas of this garish, teeming geography.
But Wolfe, the first Prankster-king of what he called the New Journalism,
remained largely responsible for making the textual explorations possible.

image courtesy of

Got this terrific email from Tommy Mann of the K-Otics:


My niece Leslie's December 7 graduation from Nurse Anesthetist School in Memphis
left to right: Brad,Buddy,Leslie,Becky

The Duck Observation Deck From Across Cowarts Creek

The chairs & footrests are made out of deadhead cypress. I'm pretty sure it was pulled out of Cowarts Creek.


Y'all take a few precious moments out of yo'
'08 & dare to shoot me something GREAT!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hey y'all:
My Christmas trip down home was marvelous...

2609 University Boulevard

2609 University Boulevard
didn't end Friday night.
It took all the way 'till Sunday morning before my appetite for pure human enjoyment had been satisfied.
By then I was finally able to summon the will to haul my lazy ass out of the sack &
pack it up so I could hit the road south a little before noon.

The bare trees exposed Alabama's warts & all for me as I drove over 200 miles back to my hometown. The scenery has really improved since many of the loggers started leaving a strip of old timber beside the road to buffer the impact of clear cutting.
I enjoyed most all of the holiday lawn decorations but none compared with Kevin's Jewish manger scene. (I think it was the way in which he arranged the pine straw in the manger that gave it so much class)

I listened to Christmas music (my favorites: I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by Elvis, Pretty Paper by Orbison, Family Affair by Sly & the Family Stone,
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,
Merry Christmas, Baby
) and contemplated the arcane economic principles utilized by the cartel in supporting the prices of their commodities.(riding down the highway asking myself the burning question-"Just how much did I really pay for that Christmas gift?")

image courtesy of Violet Moon

All I knowzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

THE CARTEL released more in '07 than they have in about 40 years so
I suppose we're still at "the mercy of every hysterical fad"
but somehow it seems worth it all.

Watched TV with Brother Bill & Kathryn Sunday night & got up at the crack of dawn Monday morning and explored the old neighborhood. I drove down to the ditch where Coe Dairy Road crosses the Bay Line. That's where I went one Saturday morning back in '59 or '60 when Mother called the cops to go look for me the first time.

I guess I knew the ditch was really a creek but in my youth it was just a sewage ditch filled with raw waste from which we fished "white trout" out of on Sunday afternoons that we used to decorate privet hedge bushes in the woods so we could go to Safety Patrol early Monday morning at Cloverdale & brag to everybody about our trophy catch that came from Saturday night's revelry in our neighborhood.
The Shit Hole where we fished out the "white trout" was north of Coe Dairy Road off Massee Drive up towards Creel Truck Line. We figured that by the time the bad stuff flowed all the way south down to Coe Dairy Road the solution to the pollution had already occurred in the dilution.

I followed my old haunts along Third Avenue Extension down to the trestle where the Bay Line crosses Cypress Creek. (looking at maps later I discovered that the ditch was the beginning of Cypress Creek which flowed into Limestone Creek which flowed into Big Creek which flowed into Cowarts Creek just below the Florida line to form the Chipola River)

I drove down to Panama City Beach, hung out on the jetties and had lunch at Hooters. The waitress was so nice to me. Business was slow so she sat down with me while I ate my grilled fish on their terrific deck overlooking the Gulf beside Breakers, my old stomping ground.
Stopped by Dave & Kathy's in St. Andrews' LITTLE DOTHAN
on the way out & hung out with Casper.

Had to go to The No Name for a nightcap but I made it home safely before 11. (knock on wood!!!)

Woke up Christmas day and went over to my sister Becky's in Cottonwood for Christmas dinner.
My brother-in-law Buddy gave me the most wonderful compliment at the dinner table.
He said that he'd never seen anybody put a log on the fire better than me (you'd really have to understand our situation to know what a superb compliment that was).
I ascribe my superior log handling technique to nine years of handling Mama Kong's commodes. One slight ding and a cracked, leaking commode means a half a day spent in a spider/roach infested cess pool replacing the commode.
That kind of practice makes you careful.

Spent Christmas day laying around the farmhouse reading THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST.
Grilled some catfish, boiled some corn, gorged out,
then passed out-
got up at 3 A.M. and made it back to Tuscaloosa on time for work on Wednesday!

Christopher drove down to Dothan Tuesday afternoon and hung around town until Friday.
His uncle Buddy sent us some pictures along with a note.

Fur Trader,

Buddy Henry & a friend in Christopher's tent (you should be very secure
in your masculinity when you hang out with Buddy)

Just a short note to let you know we enjoyed your visit.
especially enjoyed "Christofurtrader".
He is a delight to be around.His
wisdom of and the pleasure he finds with nature is beyond the

and her friends really enjoyed meeting him and appreciated
his enthusiasism with helping clear around the"DOD"[ed. note Duck
Observation Deck].
(I saw a "Hooded Merganser" and several "Woodducks" today).

Cowarts Creek at the Duck Observation Deck Before Last Week's Big Rain

We got three inches of rain

I will send you some different pictures taken three days apart to
show the difference in water levels in Cowarts Creek.

Christopher and I
really enjoyed the catfish and corn you prepared.

Christopher has reached
the age that he respects you as a Dad and enjoys you as a friend.
To me
,that is the ultimate of being a "parent".

Buddy & Becky's Daughters @ The Rain Gauge @ Bud & Bec's Farm

Some of y'all might remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'd seen the great Tuscaloosa musician Ronnie Brown & his son at Publix.

Ronnie's sister is computer savvy & has been communicating for Ronnie and she wanted to know whether we'd ever posted anything about the Misfitz.
Well we ain't published much but Greg Haynes sure has in THE HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC

Here's Chuck Leavell's

The Misfitz, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

In my early days of playing guitar and keyboard, growing up and living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I found myself in my first band we called The Misfitz.

The first lineup was Jonathan McAlister on bass and vocals, Rodney Etheridge on guitar, Bill Johnson on drums, and me on guitar, keys and vocals. There was another band in town called The Gents that was a couple of years older than us. They had Jim Coleman on guitar, Court Pickett on bass and lead vocals, Jimmy Romaine on rhythm guitar, and Lou Mullenix on drums.
They were a really good band I admired. I sort of looked up to the Gents and wanted The Misfitz to be as good or better, so there was a friendly competition going on.

The Gents played the YMCA every Saturday night for the high school kids, and the Misfitz played every Friday for a slightly younger crowd, the junior high kids. We also would get other little gigs here and there. As time went on we even played some fraternity parties at the University of Alabama.

Eventually the Misfitz became pretty popular, and when the new television station (WCFT, I believe) opened up shop in Tuscaloosa we were approached to do a Saturday morning show that was modeled after American Bandstand, creatively called Tuscaloosa Bandstand. By then, our rhythm guitar player, Rodney Etheridge, had been replaced by a great musician, Ronnie Brown. Ronnie added a lot of spark to the Misfitz, taking the band to another level. The host of the show was a well-known local DJ named Tiger Jack Garrett. We were riding high, playing the Y every Friday night and doing the Saturday morning TV show.

We were also listening to lots of other bands that either lived in Tuscaloosa or that would float through town and play the local armory, Ft. Brandon. Gary and The Top 10, the Rubber Band, the K-Otics, the 5 Men-Its, and the Allman Joys were just a few of the many bands that played there.

There was also a Battle of the Bands that went on there at one point. We entered and won second place for our age group, I honestly can't remember who won first. It was a long time ago. In any case, there was all this musical activity going on in ole' T-town.

All of us musicians were having a blast playing and doing our thing, listening to other bands, listening to records, learning our instruments, experimenting with arrangements, and such. It was a wonderful place and a wonderful time for all of us, and was a sort of breeding ground for musicians.

Occasionaly, we would go out of town and play in other cities- mostly college towns like Oxford and Jackson, Mississippi; Auburn, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee, and such. We also played in Birmingham quite a lot, and even went to places in New Orleans,
down in Florida. It was sort of Chittlin' Circuit.

Eventually some of us began to intermingle and play with each other. When the Misfitz broke up, I wound up playing with some of these musicians. I played with Paul Hornsby of the 5 Men-Its (and who had gone to California and played with the Hour Glass, a precursor of the Allman Brothers Band) in a band called the South Camp, and later with Lou Mullenix and Court Pickett of the Gents in a band called Sundown after we had moved to Macon, Georgia. There were really some great musicians who came out of Tuscaloosa.

SouthCamp: August '69
courtesy of Bruce Hopper
far left,with only head partially showing, Chuck Leavell
Paul Hornsby
on keyboards
Bill "Squirmy" Stewart on drums
Glenn Butts on guitar
Frank Friedman on bass

"Wow the Southcamp photo that was second is very similar to the one I took that afternoon in August of 1969. Same angle. There was a lot of jammin going on that afternoon. was Townsend the source for that picture? He is mistaken about Mullinex playing. My picture has Squirmy on drums (same shirt as in your pic, but you can see Bill's receding hairline in my pic, definitely not Lou. My pic also includes Hornsby and half of Chuck's head. Glen Butts is standing where Charlie is and Frank is playing bass. In your pic, Frank's bassman is on the ground but in by pic it is on the stage. I think that a lot of people played that day on the quad. The neat thing is that there is only a two receptacle plug that came out of the ground next to that big Oak Tree. All the power came from there. You had to be careful about how many amps were plugged in or someone would have to go and replace a fuse in the ROTC building."

Some went on to make a career of it- myself, Paul Hornsby, Ronnie Brown, Eddie Hinton, Lou Mullenix, Glen Butts, Charlie Hayward and others. Those were heady days and man, did we have fun!

Chuck Leavell

Please pick up the latest copy of Tuscaloosa Magazine.
It's the one with the Lamb Family on the cover.

There's a twelve page article about my bossman Lee Pake's Tuscaloosa postcard collection.

The recently demolished Alta Apartments on the 2100 block of 6th St. [a.k.a.Cotton St.]

Lee's son Kevin is starting to put some of these incredible images on line.

premiered in NYC & L.A. Friday.
It opens nationwide February 1 but next month it will premiere in ATL, Chi-town & Bean Town on Friday January 18.

Written, Directed and Edited
by John Sayles

Produced by
Maggie Renzi

Opens Friday December 28th
New York & Los Angeles
Friday, January 18th
Atlanta, Chicago & Boston
Friday, February 1st
powered by PANDORA

Check out the new HONEYDRIPPER web site at

Reviews are mixed...
2 or 3 stars...
"too slow for its own good"
"the film seems kind of sluggish sometimes"
"HONEYDRIPPER takes forever..."

image courtesy of

December 13, 2008 will mark the Bicentennial of Madison County.
When this county was formed by the Governor of Mississippi Territory,
it was destined to become THE BIRTHPLACE OF ALABAMA.

The very first Baptist & Methodist churches in Alabama were organized on the Flint River in Madison County during the first week of October in 1808.

Madison County historic markers-

Flint River Primitive Baptist Church

Alabama’s oldest Baptist church was constituted by Elder John Nicholson on October 2, 1808 in the home of James Deaton in Killingsworth Cove. It was named “The Flint River Baptist Church of Christ.” The original building was built circa 1809 on the bank of the Flint River ~ 1 mile east of this site. Circa 1885, the congregation relocated to a new site ~ 2 ½ miles east of the original location. Circa 1937, the present structure was built ~ 3 ½ miles west of the second site.
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Flint River Primitive Baptist Church
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“Primitive” was added to the congregation’s name after a division occurred within the Baptist family in the 1830's. Those congregations that embraced new church practices such as mission boards, Sunday Schools, and musical instruments in the church were called “New School” or “Missionary” Baptist. Flint River Baptist Church continued in the simplicity of New Testament worship, thus being called “Old School” or “Primitive” Baptist.

Ford's Chapel United Methodist Church
(Organized 1808)

The Western Conference, Oct. 1-7, 1808 in Williamson County, Tenn., sent James Gwinn to the "great bend" of the Tenn. River. Gwinn organized at the home of Richard and Betsy Ford, the first Methodist Society of the six in the Flint Circuit. This circuit, among others, was served for many years by circuit riders. First building was started in 1815. Building and 2½ acres of land deeded to church trustees in 1824 by the Fords. Present sanctuary, begun in 1870 on original foundation, has undergone several renovations and minor alterations.