Monday, December 22, 2008

We at Playground would like to wish all of our Alabama friends a very Happy Holiday Season. We would especially like to thank Wilbur Walton Jr. for getting 2008 kicked off with a great product. We have issued 6 CDs in '08 (most all available at CDBABY)
We also thank Robert Register and the Bama Queen for being great supporters and promoters.

We have several projects under way, not the least of which is a compilation of the PLAYGROUND RHYTHM SECTION which includes John Rainey and David Adkins on virtually all cuts and most tracks have never been heard by the general public. WE are also in the process of developing a new buisness model for digital distribution. If we have any entrapenuers out there who have aspirations to be in the music biz contact us at

We have started an iLike PRS account recently. Some of the stuff we are working on will be posted there and friends of PRS are urged to login and help us get a "Viral" thing " going. is the link (I believe) and we will be continually posting video and music from our archives as well as the new stuff we are working on.

A Very Happy Holiday wish from Playground

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hey y'all~

Do the cool ones you love a favor & get 'em a copy of Mr. Redbud!


All of the Hard Times

They’ve been a School for you






Click on the link below to purchase Wilbur's first recording in 35 years
(sometimes this page has trouble loading.
In that case, go to
& click on "PRODUCTS" icon)

Or click below to download Wilbur's four new tunes

all three images courtesy of

FRIDAY MAY 7, 1965


On Friday, May 7, WVOK makes Birmingham the entertainment capitol of the South. The performance is so big that it will be held at Legion Field. The array of stars include: America's number one group, the Beach Boys, England's great Rolling Stones, America's top duet, the Righteous Brothers plus, one of America's favorite country and western stars, Marty Robbins and his band; the Mexican lads with the big hit, "Land of a Thousand Dances"; Cannabal and the Headhunters; Skeeter Davis and her band; the boy with the novelty hit, "Ridercella" Archie Campbell; Del Reeves, singing his current best seller, "The Girl on the Billboard"; and, extra added, Alabama's own fine star Sonny James and his group.

This will mark the first time any place in the world the top groups- The Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, and the Righteous Brothers, have appeared together in the same great full length show.
Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m.- Legion Field in Birmingham


Okay, it's probably a totally off the wall idea.

But, I cannot get the idea out of my mind.

The idea of making Devil Make a Third into a play and having Dothan Musicians write a rock opera musical around it is just something I can almost hear!

The scene with eighteen year old Buck (Dan Baker
[ed. note: Joe (Buck) Baker, Jr.] ) putting the ladder up to the schoolmarm boarder Big Vic's room in the home in which he built for his mother, father, sisters and brothers, leaving his shoes at the foot of the ladder, and later seeing his mother's head bobbing about in the window just has such potential for a memorable (and extremely humorous) scene and possible song,

I chuckle just imagining it.

I marvel at Bailey's gift of description and character development. Those characters just jump off the page.
Few realize what colorful beginnings our hometown had.

I think Dothan's talented musicians need to put on their thinking caps and pull out their song writing pens.

Devil Make a Third is prime material for the multi-talented Buddy Buie and Bobby Goldsboro.
What a gift it would be to their hometown and a recognition of our pioneer roots and families.

It should be performed in the Dothan Opera House that Buck (former mayor Dan Baker[ed. note: Joe (Buck) Baker, Jr.] ) envisioned as his "redemption." The story runs the gamut of emotions of human strengths and frailties with drama and humor running neck and neck as each character develops.

With plenty of opportunity in the story for ballads (Buie's, Goldsboro's and Walton's forte, the story of this high energy individual also has potential to showcase powerful performances on the electric guitar playing upon the persistent thrust of forward progress of a young man's vision, the gyrating intellect and vigor of a man beset with demons and driven to succeed, a community moving ahead with the pounding of each spike of the rails and the persistent thrust of track and train bringing prosperity and adding to the wealth and success of the prescient, wheeler-dealer hero. Along the way to his fortune, his friends, those railroad men who drive those spikes, barter their souls as they pawn the watches that determine their employment on the railroad to Buck so they can afford the favors of the "ladies" in the whorehouse next to the tracks.

More than enough fodder for a great production.

Oh, how I wish I had the talent and opportunity of Dothan's gifted musicians. All I can do is encourage those whose talent I so admire.

Their work is not done.

Devil Make a Third
is a gift to our community. One wonders what it is that makes people decide that a book "has meaning" and "potential for greatness." One thing I know, many great works are only appreciated long after the death of the author. It is time to resurrect and re-evaluate this fascinating book that is based on real people, places and events in Dothan's history.

Wouldn't you love to see what these guys could actually do with this story?
Sharman Burson Ramsey


I'm on board.

How 'bout this proposal?

Put up $10,000 and have a contest.

Give away $100 a week to the person who wins the Devil Make A Third Song/Set/Choreography Contest. You could put together at least 17 songs in one year and then have $5000 left over for the Grand Prize Winner.

I don't know how you'd find a stage big enough for Buck's first scene where he plows up circles in the front yard of the Baker farmhouse.

Somewhere we oughta be able to find a scene where we could adapt Creedence's Proud Mary for locomotives.

Great idea. Got me going.


Graves in the Baker Plot of the Dothan City Cemetery

Joe Baker Sr.
Born March 16, 1836
Died December 8, 1900

Jane Baker
Born April 12, 1849
Died May 6, 1918

Joe Baker Jr.
Born March 21, 1869
Died March 26, 1920

James Baker
Born July 17, 1877
Died July 5, 1899

Colie Baker
Born May 7, 1886
Died September 24, 1937

Cyrus F. Baker
Born November 11, 1882
Died October 27, 1930

The Day The Alabama Air National Guard Led The Bay of Pigs Invasion
with Hudson Strode,author of The Pageant of Cuba,on the front page!

from Carl Carmer's STARS FELL ON ALABAMA:


Ben Delimus is a dying legend now. Only a few old-timers in Alabama, fellows who know a good story, speak of him. My friend, the late Colonol Breck Musgrove, who was a page boy in the carpetbag days at Montgomery and knew Ben well, told me about him not so long ago. And one February night in Montevallo, about a year before he died, T.W. Palmer, President of Alabama Women's College, told me just about the same tale. Here it is:

The youngest soldier in Croxton's raiding Yankees on their quick tour of Alabama was a little dark-haired black-eyed drummer. His name was Ben Delimus and he was a French Jew, born in Paris and brought over to New York when he was very young. He was about sixteen when he rode through Alabama, his drum strapped to his saddle. But he was old for his years
and his little black eyes saw many things. Among them was the dark soil beneath his horse's hoofs- promise of fertility. And in Lowndes County he looked on wide reaches of the level black land punctuated only by negro shacks and widely separated plantation homes. Then and there he resolved that when the war was over he would come back to this place.

Ben did not have much to pack into his carpetbag when he set out on his return journey. His discharge papers, probably, and his army wardrobe. He could hardly expect to buy land and wait for crops to grow on it. There is no record, however, that such considerations, even momentarily, deterred him. He went straight down to Lowndes County. Then he looked about for some means of acquiring wealth, and his genius immediately asserted itself.

The newly freed negroes were in a highly emotional state. Emancipation, no matter how their former masters might look at it, was no doubtful blessing to them. Father Abraham and General Grant had become deities no less powerful and generous that the Christian God, and somehow all three were fused in their simple minds. It was natural, then, that when Ben Delimus rode about the county announcing himself as Massa Lincoln's closest friend, and the right-hand man of the greatest Yankee war-god, they listened. Ben said he bore a message from Father Abraham to his black children. The great man in Washington was worried over their souls. A negro baptized in slavery, he said, could never hope to escape the torments of hell-fire. Such a ceremony performed when the convert was owned by a wicked slaveholder could not be expected to take effect. In fact, Ben reported Mr. Lincoln as saying, all baptisms that had taken place before the Emancipation Proclamation were null and void, and all negroes so baptized were inevitably bound for eternal torment. But there was a ray of hope. Mr. Lincoln's good friend, the bearer of the message, would be willing to save all thus exposed from the danger of the devil's grip by rebaptizing them at a dollar a head.

Mr. Lincoln's good friend did a land office business. Negroes poured out of the Big Swamp to be immersed in the muddy stream near Hayneville where Ben saved them for the Lord. They came from Bogahoma and Collirene and Big Union Church, even from Soapstone over in Dallas County. Payment was strickly in advance, to avoid the calamity of recieving Confederate money, and dollars rolled in. A great religious revival swept the county, and for weeks there were singings and visions. Then business began to let up. There was no one left to save.

But Ben had prepared for this. Immediately he delivered the second part of the Emancipator's message. It was that, for reasons similar to those stated before, all weddings that had been solemnized before his proclamation were also ineffective and participants in them were living in a state of sin. His good friend and duly appointed representative, however, would save them from the horrible consequences of such wickedness by rewedding them at the absurdly reasonable rate of a dollar a couple. Again the roads were dotted with mules and wagons on their way to the deliverer. Giggling couples paid their dollar, received his blessing, and drove away on second honeymoons. Unexpectedly for Ben a number of negroes used his announcement as authority for immediate divorce. Failures to remarry cut into his receipts, but the wedding ceremonies, while not as numerous as baptisms, brought in a tidy sum.

The fertility of Ben's inventive faculty now became more strongly evident. He was no man of a single idea to be run at last into the ground. He left the county for a week or so. When he returned he brought a carload of bottles containing a dark liquid- the first of the long line of hair straighteners for kinky heads. Ben brought with him two letters, one of which stated that the writer had observed the workings of this wonderful boon to the negro race on the curls of many of his colored friends and its straightening powers in each case had proved infallible. This letter was signed by Abraham Lincoln.

The other epistle was more laudatory than the first but stated conservatively in conclusion that should one bottle fail of its purpose, the writer had no doubt that two would be sufficient. The name subscribed was Ulysses S. Grant. Ben Delimus had somewhat unethically anticipated modern endorsement advertising by more than half a century.

The sale of the unkinking mixture at a dollar a bottle was fabulous. Ben was growing rich. Now that he was a man of popularity and influence and means, the will to power descended upon him. He felt sure that he could command much of the newly acquired negro suffrage in the county, and the successes of other carpetbaggers in the state pricked his ambition. He announced himself as a candidate for the Alabama Legislature. But other white men, envious and disapproving, had been watching Ben, and to his surprise he found a sudden and bitter opposition to his nomination. He called his negro friends for aid and they responded manfully. Still the issue was in doubt when the day of the convention dawned. It would be a close fight. Fate seemed against Ben from the start. As he and one of his henchmen were driving to the convention, they found a bridge down, destroyed by enemies to delay them. When they arrived the meeting was under way, the opposing forces had elected the chairman and were in full control, and the tribe of Ben was weakening. The chairman would not recognize their leader when he rose to speak.

"I call upon this convention to witness," thundered the little man, "that it has committed sacrilege, that unlike any past convention it has sinned against God."

There was a silence. Even Ben's enemies were a little awed by that charge.

"No convention has ever begun in Alabama," shouted Ben,"without a prayer to the Almighty for guidance. In his name I now offer that prayer."

There was no shutting him off. The chairman, well aware that all the negroes might turn against him if he ruled out a prayer, was helpless.

"O Lord," began Ben, "although the chairman of this convention obtained his position by lies and deceit, bless him and make him see the light. Although he and his friends are full of false promises although they would rob the black man and swindle the white, make them realize the truth before it is too late." On and on he went in a masterpiece of prayerful vituperation.

At last one of his enemies could stand it no longer. Rising, he leveled an accusing finger at Ben and roared out:
"Who is this who dares to accuse us? There stands one of the men who crucified our Lord."

There was a great gasp from the convention. Ben saw the black faces of his negro supporters turning away. In another moment his cause would be lost.

"It is not true," he said steadily and with rising force."Your Lord was crucified almost two thousand years ago. I am not that old. You can see that. And furthermore, if I had been there, I would have put a stop to that business."

Ben was elected. He went to Montgomery and he sat in the carpetbag legislature. He bought a nice house in Montgomery and married. He had made his money, had had his share of public favor- and he took life quietly and serenely from then on. Few of his neighbors knew of his strange past. He lived quite to himself, was happy with his wife and family. He died hardly a decade ago.

I know you have to be proud of Christopher. I really admire his artwork. I always loved the exotic posters
which advertised concerts. Mike McCarty did some fine ones for ARS. I wish I had kept them.
Tell Christopher to keep it up, and bring the sixties and seventies back.
The year is almost over and I want you to know how much your blog has meant to me.
I wish you and yours a very very, merry merry, holiday season.
Jesus is the reason for the season.

Lance Miccio to me:

hey Rob when you get a second check out my new WWII trailer Diamond in the Pacific
spoiler alert Japan loses again
completed projects page