Friday, October 10, 2008

Here are the pictures of Jim Coleman that I promised you. The band shot is of Mr. Wizard done during a break in the taping of our two PBS specials (1971?). The photo was taken by one of the studio guys, possible Bill Connell. Left to right: Jim Coleman lead guitar, Bruce Hopper Bass (but sitting at the drum kit), Asa Gaston drums (playing with Jim's Gibson) and Jimmy Butts guitar and lead vocals.

Bruce Hopper

The next two pics should be credited to Marshall Hagler. One is of Jim taken at The Chukker. Of course Jim had to be different and drink Schlitz when everyone else drank Pabst.
Maybe that is because he was left handed.

The last pic is: Eddie Hinton, Jim Coleman and unidentified female (maybe someone knows who she is). [ed. note: I was told that the girl is Hinton's first wife]


I'm a single 67 year old fellow from
Raleigh, NC and I set up the
website for
Dr. Coleman about 3-4 years ago. We became friends when I emailed him
night not knowing if he was still around or not. He responded back
immediately and from then on we became friends. About a month later, he
emailed and said his website was gone and he was not aware of it and
back it up. I told him I could re-create it again as I dabble in this,
after a few short weeks, we had it up and running better that it was
even added videos of him and Chet.

Dr. Jim Coleman & Chet Atkins
image courtesy of

What a fine person Jim was and was shocked to see he died so suddenly.
sent me many an emails about life, music and things in general, and was
still mourning the lose of Chet. Jim was quite a person and I'm sorry
not having had the chance to meet him in person. I'm small in size and
asthma and other health problems so it would be hard for me to travel
far, so that never happened. Dr. Coleman did supplied me with several
medicines samples for asthma and cholesterol as his way of showing
for my work. I couldn't charge him for helping due to it being an honor
do so and for giving me experience with web stuff that I hadn't tried
before. He had sent me a VHS tape with several movies of Chet and him
different times and Jim on stage singing and playing his music. He was
of his talent and he was blessed for all the talents he had especially
medical achievements. Only God had a reason for calling him home so
early it
seems, only 58 years old.

Last week I sent a letter to his Mother as I had called her once since
death and told her I would write to her. She had fell a couple days
and had stitches put into her scalp from that bad fall. I hope she has
family to look after her as I think she has another son living nearby,
sure. Anyway I'm glad I found your email as it took me a few days to
your address. You need to put it on your Blog as I'm not up-to-date on
things yet. I searched and searched for it and finally found it today
wasn't sure.

You have a very nice setup and the pictures of all the musicians are
and glad to view them. I liked the Jerry Lee Lewis picture as that was
while back wasn't it. These are good for folks like myself who love the
groups and the music played back then. Of course I'll have to let you
that I love, over all the singers around, Jim Reeves the best. I too
right-handed guitar and play a little of Chet's style but not talented
enough to compete with Jim nor Chet. I started in 1959 learning how to
and do fairly well as we all can't be Chet, The Allman Brothers or the
can we. Enjoying the music is what it's all about and learning to
only adds to the enjoyment of the songs.

Let me know what you play and what group you worked with. I haven't
read all
the Blogs yet to know what you have but will be reading them for sure.
I'm a webmaster for our outdoor shooting range and you can see what
keeps me
busy some of my time anyway. I shoot pistol targets and do my own
My favorite are my Colt .45 and Colt 38 Super. I also have a nice
concealed carry model .380 by of course Colt. Reloading is about as
much fun
as shooting, or rather takes a little longer to do that to shoot them.

Hope to hear from you sometime when you have time to write and thanks
replying back to my guess of your address. Take care and God Bless!

donald walters

Dr. James Coleman website is You'll see my name
near the
bottom of home page. This is the Durham County Wildlife Club near Raleigh,

Dr Jim Coleman
image courtesy of

Hi Robert,
I appreciate you sharing that with me, it was very kind and thoughtful of you.

As you have probably already guessed, I am still having a hard time with Jim's death.

I have kind of moved past the question "WHY" but now the question is....trying to figure out the reason the Lord put Jim in my life, a stranger, 6 months before his death???

I am trying very hard to understand "what" if anything, that it is suppose to tell me??? But, It could have been for Jim, instead of me???

Oh...well....I will probably be crazy before I figure it out. LOL!

Thanks again,

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Random thoughts~ Driving through campus today I noticed so many students wearing HOLLISTER 1922 t shirts. I asked myself,"What kind of fashion statement is this?"

Here's the answer:

image courtesy of

image courtesy of
OTIS REDDING has done it again with the recent release of LIVE! PARIS & LONDON!



Riding along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
my curiosity running wild
crusin' and playin' the radio
with no particular place to go

Riding along in my automobile
I's anxious to tell her the way I feel
So I told her softly and sincere
and she leaned and whispered in my ear
cuddlin' more and drivin' slow
with no particular place to go

No particular place to go
So we parked way out on ko-ko-mo
The night was young and the moon was gold
So we both decided to take a stroll
Can you image the way I felt
I couldn't unfasten her safety belt

Riding along in my calaboose
Still trying to get her belt a-loose
all the way home I held a grudge
for the safety belt that wouldn't budge
Crusin' and playing the radio
with no particular place to go

The last time I talked to Nix he told me Kooper had gone into his Nashville deposit box & given him a copy of the log sheet on TUESDAY'S GONE.

The latest issue of CLASSIC ROCK

on the third page of the article we find TUESDAY'S GONE right there next to TUMBLING DICE.


Most bands would struggle to beat the feats of the then youthful 20-somethings Lynyrd Skynyrd as they wrote their way through their 1973 debut album PRONOUNCED Leh-nerd Skin-nerd.
Unsullied by the music industry, and the cynicism that comes with age, the three main songwriters in the band unleashed a swirl of memorable mood and melody that remains uniquely untouched by the passage of time.

As a standout example most people would probably opt for Skynyrd's epic FREE BIRD, with it's three-guitar assault leading to its climax. But for sheer passion and poetry-
especially for ones so young-
the melancholic tones of longing and of a time passed(one the song makes clear one will never reclaim), the connoisseur's choice is the second song on the debut.

That Skynyrd ultimately managed to shroud a song of loss with some kind of hope (best illustrated by the use of the song in the film DAZED & CONFUSED) puts
there as a piece of untouchable music history.



#9~ If I hadn't gotten rid of you, I'd never known how good it is to be a woman.


#7~ At one time you had more than you could handle living under your own roof!

#6~ I never knew what happiness was until I got rid of you.

#5~ You're clueless.

#4~ Ya never asked what I liked.

#3~ Never realized just how creepy you can get.

#2~ They tell me anything more than a mouthful is a waste.



Monday, October 06, 2008

Hey y'all~

I'd like to thank everyone responsible for making

It took a lot out of me but all that effort was worth it.

Now it's time to get back to work, recharge the batteries and get ready for the
next coming
episode of MO' MOISTURE

continues to draw interest.
It now has over 9000 views!


‘Bear Country' to highlight 'Bear' Bryant

By Dana Beyerle Montgomery Bureau Chief
Published: Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 6:58 p.m.

MONTGOMERY | The Alabama Shakespeare Festival will kick off a new year in January with a play about legendary Alabama football coach Paul W. 'Bear' Bryant.

The play 'Bear Country' is scheduled to open Jan. 9 and will feature eight performances a week through Feb. 15, said festival spokeswoman Meg Lewis. Casting starts in December in New York, Lewis said, so no one knows yet who will portray Bryant.

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival presents about a dozen productions a year including modern plays, musicals, and, of course, Shakespearean plays. It also holds the Southern Writers Project, which helps create works with Southern themes.

Playwright Mike Vigilant, a self-described 'enormous football fan,' said whomever plays Bryant in 'Bear Country' may not look like Bryant, but he must have a commanding presence.

'One thing we know is we're not going to try to imitate coach Bryant.

'He was one of a kind, but we know we can have an actor represent coach Bryant,' Vigilant said. 'He'll have to be large, tall and have a presence and understand the way Bryant speaks.'

Vigilant said he's read everything on Bryant he could find and spoke with former players and coaches. He wrote a draft script that was read to professional actors and former players.

'One of the encouraging things from our reading was to get a first look at this play and get a reaction,' Vigilant said. 'We had a core group of Alabama players in the audience that night as a sounding board and the reader didn't sound or look like coach Bryant, but the way he spoke and how he said it, it worked for our players and [former assistant coach] Clem Gryska.'

Former Alabama player John Mosley said he heard the first reading with an audience of at least 100 people and then spent at least an hour with Vigilant.

'They were asking for stories, trying to use sayings that he had like ‘bingo,' which means intercepting a pass and everyone reverses and goes the other direction,' Mosley said.

'You're truly skeptical of things like this,' Mosley said. 'The concerns are they do it the right way and tell it the right way and not try to go off on their own mindset and not take what we say and turn it against coach Bryant and the university.'

A coaching icon

There have been movies, documentaries and books written about Bryant, who earned his lifelong nickname after wrestling a bear as a young man in Arkansas.

Bryant began his head coaching career in 1945. He became a football icon, coaching at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and the University of Alabama where his teams won six national championships over 25 years.

His career ended in 1982 with his retirement from UA. At the time of his death in January 1983, Bryant was the winningest college football coach of all time.

Vigilant's research with former players yielded a lot of evidence of Bryant's influence.

'What I kept finding in all of them was just being on an Alabama team was a life- altering experience for them

... how he helped make these boys into men,' Vigilant said.

'When I looked in their eyes, men in their 60s they said he had an incredible impact.'

Vigilant isn't a native Southerner, but he said understands the intense football rivalry like the Alabama-Auburn game.

'I was born on the East Coast, grew up on the West Coast and spent time in the South,' he said. 'My wife is [a] Michigan [fan] and I'm [a] Michigan State [fan].'

As a young man, Vigilant, who is in his 50s, said he actually replicated the wrestling legend of Bryant's early years.

'I wrestled a bear,' Vigilant said. 'Probably for attention.'

He said the stunt was at an armory in Michigan where 'the call went out for local sports celebrities to wrestle 'Victor the Wrestling Bear.' He said he and his softball team buddies got into the moment.

'The bear had a muzzle,' Vigilant said. 'I actually have a scene in the play describing coach Bryant wrestling his bear as a teenager. I can smell the bear's breath and was thinking how a bear would eat me.'

Vigilant, besides being a playwright, is also the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's chief operating officer.

'We were having a Southern Writers Project budget meeting and the controller happened to bring up if we ever did a play about ‘Bear' Bryant, it could be popular and in accountant language that meant it could make money,' Vigilant said.

‘An extremely rich life'

He said Bryant's character will narrate important events in his life.

'He'll function as a storyteller, like he was interested in his memories,' Vigilant said.

'It will show all the things he had to do to become tough himself, how he drove a mule wagon to school every day, sold vegetables with his Mom,' Vigilant said.

A houndstooth hat will help set the scene as will Bryant leaning against a goalpost and his famous practice field football tower.

Most of all, Vigilant said, he wants the play to show Bryant's relationship to his players.

'I've been asked, what do you want to tell in this story and I say the impact on young men, the life-changing experiences, being high school football players in Alabama to being on the great teams that were usually devoid of superstars,' Vigilant said.

'We take a look at the late '60s and '70s' and the first black players,' Vigilant said. 'I hope it is seen as a respectful, accurate depiction of him as a man and the impact on the lives he touched.

'We are well aware he had shortcomings, we know he drank and how he liked to gamble,' Vigilant said. 'I'll write what I think he would have said, what were the important highlights of his life.

'I'm trying to take a man's 69 years of an extremely rich life, an enormous life that was humbling to me,' Vigilant said. 'My prayer is to do a good job with it and folks will walk away and know who he was.'

image courtesy of

from Daniel Burnley:

...I know some of you must be weary of reading about this film, so since it will be on hiatus from the festival circuit until spring, I thought you might want to know:

SKIPTRACERS received two awards at Athens' Dixie Film Festival, including Best Comedy and a special Best Acting award for writer/producer/actor Andy Stuckey. This brings to 5 the awards the film has received after its first four film festival screenings.

The producers now plan to spend their time seeking distribution through LA while hoping to resurface on the festival circuit next spring in SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, Slamdance and a few others.

If you haven't caught it, it has a killer soundtrack featuring Langhorne Slim, the Avett Brothers, the Difibulators and others, and does feature a number of Atlanta actors.

See you in Austin...I hope.

DISCLAIMER: Though I promised this would be my last post on the film for awhile after flooding the board with updates, I reserve the right to post if something significant happens with the film. Like it gets me another job, or I make some more money or it is invited to screen at the Inauguration Ceremony for Barak Obama. Stuff like that.

Japanese cover courtesy of Jim Hodges

Thanks for getting the 45's back to the guys who
created the magic 40 years or so ago. They were only
collecting dust in Mother's storage room. I was in
Dothan only a couple of days to visit Mother while
traveling from Finland to Australia (I have moved Down
Under). I had intended to find Robert Dean (Jimmy's
younger brother - haven't seen him in a hundred years,
but I saw a photo of him at Wilbur's recording session
at Playfround, and he looks just like he always has,
and not 40 pounds heavier like the rest of us) and
give him the records, but I just ran out of time.

Thanks to you for helping revive the interest in our
great southern r&r music of which we are so proud, and
helping get out that sound to many who were not even
born at that time. The internet's a great thing, isn't

I look forward to hearing some of the RGs tunes. I
loved them as much as the James Gang. Rubber Band was
great, and also Heart, but the RGs ruled white soul!
Summer dances from 66 & 67 at the Dothan Rec Center. I
remember after a cover of a Major Lance song, some
drunken blonde beauty threw her arms into the air and
screamed "Well get down on your knees!" and RGs lead
singer Sonny Greer immediately rasped into the mike
"Well honey, take off your clothes."

Take care,

I worked with a cat at Loftin's Atlas Van Lines in the summer of '71 who's son played sax in James Brown's band. He told me James Brown loved to hire horn players who were Carver boys because they could blow on cue & they worked for nothing.

Artis Gilmore integrated Dothan by moving to Dothan from Chipley(Somebody cut a deal).
Light skinned folks filled the Carver gym to see Artis play.

I think you are mixed up on your bands. The band that always captured our imagination at the Peanut Festival Parade every year from 1950 until 1968 was the FAMU Rattler Band. Tuskegee also marched but the FAMU Rattlers were always off the chain.
In our baby eyes, the Florida A & M Rattler Band had "reverted back to savagery."


Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the dinero.
I made the nut with that money
so there's no debt from the Reunion Jam.



Jimmy Dean, Gloria Jane Buie,Frank Tanton, Buddy Buie

Hello Friends...
Here's a link to the latest tune from "Franks Garage" featuring Richard Burke on vocals... Enjoy...
Please let me know if you don't want to receive any more of these updates...
I'm cool wit dat...



Who are some of your favorite bands of the sixties?

Dead, dylan, new riders, buffalo springfield, Quicksilver Messenger, white rabbit JF band, east meets west chicago Paul Butterfield Blues Band, new holy modal rounders, 13th floor elevator, Blue Cheer, MBOP, Ray Charles, Beatles, James Brown, Richie Havens, many more.

Are you a listener of jazz music?

oh yes, Miles to go, Coltrane, Brubeck, many many more

Who are some of your favorite artists of the time? and now also?

Dali, picasso, oh my mind is warped, more coffee, more tea, shapes are shifting, what time does that melting clock say? Oh if it could only speak.

I hear you are writing book about yourself and Ken Kesey and your life and times. Could you tell us more about it?

It is strictly an accounting of our adventures together, not a biography or explanation of his motives or intents or a summing up of his books or anything like that, but what is known as a burlesque, something that doesn't need to adhere to any kind of truth other than that stated by the character Chief Hank Bromden Stamper in the great American classic, Sometimes A Great Cuckoo, "It's true even if it didnt' happen."

What was Ken Kesey telling us through his writngs and his novels?

You like to write? Then write. Even if you never get published. Write it the way you like it, throw it out there in the arena, come see come saw. As fer Kesey, he put his protaganist and compatriots in fiery furnaces and had them stand up whilst all around them the combines were churning through the farms, forests, salmon, oil, banks, hospitals, gobbling up the goodies and spitting out patriotic platitudes.

What circumstances brought about the changes in attitudes and morays in the 1960's?

Well, the morays didn't have a chance after the power grids found they could hook up their transmission towers to the eels and charge the consumers big bucks to keep the current flowing. Did anyone ever mention LSD as a catalyst for change? Not unless you wanted a moray eel stuck up your ass, that would shut up any but the most astute, so good thing when meatball hit it hit everything, the trees the rocks the people the houses the institutions and now all is psychedelisized or as kesey said the 60s ain't over till the fat lady gets high.

How did these circumstances effect yourself, Ken Kesey and other friends and colleagues?

Made us richer than Croesus and when you factor in inflation it means the mountain of dough has never risen higher as the baker said who kneaded dough so he made his own bread, don't cough in the batter, and that's exactly how we were effected: our affectations went way deeper than the asphalt, we learned not only to treat our fellow mammalians with understanding and respect but also to feed and clothe ourselves by raising the lambs to higher consciousnesses, sheering the grown sheep, carding the wool, spinning and weaving and sewing and stitching whilst out in the garden the greens and yellows and reds perform the essential job the Prez and Congress can never approach, plum good eating, pies and flavorfuls, for health is the true wealth although Kesey said, "The only true currency is that of the spirit," and there's no arguing with that.

image courtesy of

Lewis Ross: Wet Willie founder, Now a Po' Monkey

By Jerry Henry

courtesy of
I interviewed Lewis Ross at Bailey Brothers Music Company's store on Highway 280 in Birmingham. Lewis is manager of all things percussion for Bailey Brothers three stores. He is well qualified because as a drummer, he is considered legendary. He was the original drummer for Wet Willie, which scored hits with songs like "Keep On Smilin'," "Leona," "Keep A Knockin'" and "Country Side Of Life." Wet Willie was a versatile, high energy Southern rock band that was signed to Capricorn Records in the 70's.

Lewis learned to play drums in a parochial school marching band in the 4th grade. He loved the rhythm and syncopation, especially when he was exposed to black school bands. His influences were Al Jackson (Otis Redding), Dino Danelli(the Young Rascals), Mitch Michell (Jimi Hendrix) and Ginger Baker (Cream).

The Wet Willie saga started in Mobile, home to Lewis and all the other band members. The original members were Jimmy Hall (vocals, harmonica & saxophone), Jack Hall (bass), John Anthony (keyboards), Ricky Hirsh (guitar) and Lewis Ross (drums & percussion). Jimmy and Jack's sister Donna Hall (now wife of Rollin' In The Hay bassist Stan Foster) was part of the background vocals that became known as "The Williettes."

Jimmy Hall, Jack Hall, Wick Larsen, Marshall Smith and Lewis all played in a band that broke up because Marshall Smith got drafted. Lewis started forming another band, in late 1968, when he contacted John Anthony, who was in The Sons of Creation. He remembers that day; they were playing the Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in Dauphin Island. He then called Ricky, then Jack, they started rehearsing. Jimmy was singing in a group called Mrs. O'leary's Cow. They wanted Jimmy to join them but Jimmy's band had won a national battle of the bands contest and was going to cut a record. So they got George Mills that sang and played guitar for The Sons of Creation. George could not make up his mind which band he wanted to be in. Lewis approached Jimmy over and over trying to convince him to join them. He finally convinced Jimmy to come to a band rehearsal. Jimmy joined them and they started gigging on the road. The band was called Fox. They had to return to Mobile in order for John to finish high school. They played around Mobile until they got a phone call that would change their lives.

They got their start with Capricorn Records when Frank Freidman, a staff songwriter, needed a band to fulfill some contractual dates they had booked for a band called Willie. Frank called Ricky Hirsch (whom he had met in Tuscaloosa while both attended U of A) to ask him to be part of a band they were putting together to honor their commitments. Ricky said he would not come alone because he liked playing with Fox. Then asked if the band could come to Macon, Ga. to do the dates for them and get an audition. They had one original song and were working on the second. When they arrived at Capricorn they found it filled with Tuscaloosa/Muscle Shoals musicians; Lou Mullenix, Tippy Armstrong, Johnny Wyker, Cort Pickett, Eddie Hinton, Duane Allman and others. Capricorn had a huge stable of quality musicians. They did the dates after working up several of Frank's songs. They got their audition, in a warehouse where they had been rehearsing, by Frank Fenter, vice president of Capricorn. He liked what he heard, signed them, added Wet to the band name Willie and Paragon Agency began booking them. Lewis said, "It's remarkable that we did what we did. One of the driving forces behind all of that was the fact that people said we couldn't do it."

I asked Lewis about the unique and remarkable art work on their first album, Wet Willie (1971). He said they went to Athens, Ga. to play. While there they befriended a commune of artist that really liked the band. The artist set up an easel, with drawing paper, in the entrance way to a house they were renting. Every day someone would draw something different on it. The ear and the finger seemed befitting for a band named Wet Willie. The other odd graphics were the contributions of several artists. This was in the R. Crumb cartoon era and his influence is apparent. The sleeve photos were shot in Macon.

Lewis also co-wrote several of Wet Willie's songs. The most notable was their hit "Keep On Smilin'." Another is "Red Hot Chicken" which is an instrumental tribute to Macon's Le Carrousel Restaurant with his Dixie/Latin percussion pushing it. "Macon Hambone Blues" is also his; it is a stand out on their live album.

Back in those days Lewis played a set of Gretsch drums and played them until about 3 years ago. He still has them but they are too loud for his sound now. He played a vintage Slingerland set for a while but about a year ago got a Drum Workshop set. He said, "I absolutely love them."

Lewis also played with The Beat Daddys, a mixture of blues and Southern rock band. The Beat Daddy's had 2 releases for Malaco/Waldoxy, No, We Ain't From Clarksdale and South To Mississippi.

Lewis met Ross Roberts in Macon, during the Capricorn days, when Ross was in the Black Mountain Band. He ran into Ross again in 1992 when he was playing in a band at the Pink Pony and Ross was with Dick's Hat Band across the street gigging at the Barefoot Bar in Gulf Shores. Then one day Ross came into Bailey Brother's Music store, they began talking about music, one thing led to another and they started playing together. Now they have an 8 piece band, named Po' Monkey, that will represent Alabama in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February. Po' Monkey is Ross Roberts (lead guitar), Bruce Andrews (singer & harmonica), Clayton Swafford (keyboards), Mike Lingo (trombone), Rick White (trumpet), Jon Remley (saxophone), Eric Onimus (bass) and Lewis Ross (drums). Po' Monkey has an album in its final production stages (engineered by Tuscaloosa's John Kliner) and should be released in late October (watch Music Matters for review).

Po' Monkey will play in Tuscaloosa, on Iron Bowl weekend, at Little Willie's, Friday November 28th