Saturday, April 11, 2009

I found this photo of my Mother, Lucy Kate Belcher, in the Georgia Archives on the Web.
Check out the hair on the driver. Looks like a woman driving the car.

My mother, Lucy Kate Belcher[1918-1985], was delivered by Dr. Wallace, Gov. Wallace's Grandfather, on October 7, 1918 near Baker Hill . Less than a year later Dr. Wallace's grandson, GEORGE C., was born in nearby Clio.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

My son, Christopher, is going to Morocco next month so I wrote him about the time his Grandpa Earl was in Morocco:


There's no way you're gonna be able to go to where your Grandpa Earl was stationed in French Morocco. He was located right next to the Algerian border at a town called Oujda

To answer your question about the size of the 446th Bomb Squad, a squad was usually manned by about 100 officers & 350 enlisted men.

The 446th insignia was Bugs Bunny shooting two six guns riding a bomb that's got eyes.
Your Grandpa's unit was the most accurate bomb squad in the entire war.
When they weren't bombing, they were dropping sandbags on a target near the landing strip.

Here's some of the stuff I put on the Web about Earl Register's unit:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Hey y'all:

Tomorrow I will finish reading Catch-22
for the first time since having the knowledge that the author Joseph Heller and my Daddy Earl both served together in the 57th Bombardment Wing of the 12th Air Force in the Mediterranean during WWII.

I MUST finish reading the novel tomorrow because I'm less than 100 pages away from the end & I promised THE BARRISTER that he could have the novel Monday afternoon when he comes to Happy Hour at the Possum Den Lodge #2.

I spent a lot of time with my father because, like my son, I worked with my Daddy and, like myself , Daddy liked to spend his spare time with me just like I enjoy spending my spare time with Christopher.
We were best friends.
He described his WWII experiences in detail because he believed his experiences surviving in a mindless bureaucracy whose only purpose was to kill him would help me if I ever got in a scrap.

One of the saddest stories he told was of a night in Corsica.

The day before he'd gotten permission to drive his personal two & a half ton Mercedes Benz truck up into the mountains. Daddy worked this out because he owned his own truck (captured from the Nazis in North Africa & decorated with a Confederate flag and the words THE REBEL painted on both sides of the truck.Daddy hauled that truck to Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Naples. It's the same kind of truck that Indiana Jones does the fight scene on when he's trying to capture the Holy Grail out in the desert. The first time I saw that movie, I blurted out, "That's my Daddy's truck!" )
& he volunteered to go up in the mountains to this Nazi Army rest camp and defuse the boobie traps.

He and his buddies didn't defuse anything.
They didn't even go into the rest camp.
They parked THE REBEL outside the camp, went hunting, then camped on the rocks overlooking their airfield & got stoned.

So my Daddy's drunker than Cooter Brown sitting up on this rock at 3:30 in the morning and the Germans attack his unit's airfield located at the foot on the mountain below him. For 75 minutes Daddy sat up on his rock watching the Germans knock out his unit's anti-aircraft guns, drop flairs on the airfield, cut on their bomber's landing lights and fly 50 feet above the ground strafing his buddies' tents.

All Daddy could do when it was all over was pass out on his rock and wake up the next morning so he could drive THE REBEL down the mountain and help clean up the mess.

Daddy always said that German spies had to have directed the attack because it was so successful.

Well, Joseph Heller,
our Brooklyn N.Y. Hebrew brother with a mother of a similar color, just happened to be down there at Alesan Airfield that night & he used the incident in his novel Catch-22.

Text courtesy of

The base of the 340th. Bombardment Group AAF, Alesan Airfield, Corsica, was attacked under a waning moon in the early hours of 13 May, 1944, by the German Air Force. Extensive damage to planes and other equipment and many personnel casualties resulted. The operation gave every indication of being thoroughly planned and carried out accordingly. The gun control room of the anti-aircraft units defending the airfield reported the first enemy plane was plotted at 0335 hours. Aircraft spotters identified the craft as Beaufighter (presumably captured by the enemy for pathfinder use.)

Some few minutes after this craft was plotted, it dropped flares on the airfield and almost immediately other enemy planes attacked, dropping more flares, which thoroughly illuminated the area, and loosing demolition and anti-personnel bombs, including delayed action as well as butterfly bombs. As the attack progressed the enemy resorted to strafing, dropping down to within a few feet of the ground. The enemy planes were identified as JU-88's, FW-190's and possibly ME-109's, DO-217's, and HE-111's. Some of the fighters strafed ack-ack positions on the beach bordering the airfield and on the ridges north and west of the field. The attacking force was estimated at from twenty to thirty planes.The specific targets attacked were the airfield proper, the gasoline dump, and the ground radio station trailer due west of the center of the field and the adjacent highway, the operations intelligence building close by, and the 489th. squadron area about three quarters of a mile north of the field. A pattern of fragmentation bombs intended for the Headquarters tent area a mile and three quarters north of the field, fell a few hundred yards off shore into the sea.

The attack lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, which was from the time that the first enemy aircraft was plotted to the time that the last one departed. Attacking the airfield the planes seemed to come over first at about three thousand feet, but when the field was well lighted by flares dropped by the pathfinders and by burning aircraft, and when the anti-aircraft barrage was found to be ineffective, they dove down as low as fifty feet on strafing runs. Two courses were flown in the attack. Although some of the planes seemed to come in from different directions after circling off the target. These courses were approximately northwest-southeast and southeast-northwest.Most of the 340th Engineering personnel. Armament men, and ordnance men had their tents on the airfield proper, and although many had slit trenches to use, casualties were exceedingly high from the bombing, from the strafing, and from our own planes blowing up, many of them with a full bomb load. Some men did not wake up in time; others who did regarded the air alert as just another nuisance raids similar to those to which we had been subjected to for so long - many of them were killed in bed. Some took shelter in slit trenches, ditches or under vehicles. Others were to terrified to run a few feet to shelter once the devastating anit personnel bombs began to explode all around them. Still others were even injured or killed in their slit trenches as a result of the thick carpeting of the area with these bombs. personnel detailed to the airfield crash truck started to put out fires before the last attacking planes left.

The attack was preceded by a raid on the Poretta Airfield about fifteen miles north of Alesan Field at 1000 hours, During which twenty-five Spitfires were knocked out and a number of men killed. other casualties in the raid on the 340th. Group included dead and wounded in the 324th. Service Squadron, which had been doing third echelon maintenance for us, and also dead and wounded in the anti-aircraft organization protecting the area.

From report of flashing lights in the hills south of the village of Cervione and west of the airfield, both on the night of the attack and in the weeks previous, it appears that enemy agents aided or attempted to aid the attackers. It is known that German paratroopers had been landed on the island in considerable number earlier in the year.

Anti-aircraft artillery personnel defending the field claim to have shot down two of the aircraft in the attack. Allied Beaufighters report destroying two other planes.

Regularly each night for weeks before this heavy attack which was reminiscent of an earlier and more competent era in the G.A.F. history, air raid alerts were the accepted nightly routine. An hour or two after midnight the sirens broke the deep silence of the Corsica night with their screaming warning. Most of the men in complete darkness groped for helmets, gas masks, and guns, and then, scantily clad, stumbled out of their tents and into slit trenches. This was a nightly occurrence with Jerry overhead taking pictures. It was evident that a day of reckoning would come.


One of the most memorable episodes in Catch-22 is the incident where
Milo Minderbinder, a pilot in Yossarian’s squadron, bombs his own airbase
at night.

After being appointed the base mess officer, Milo forms an international
business syndicate that includes as members not only the Allied
nations but the German government as well. He signs a contract with the
German military to bomb and strafe his own men in order to save his syndicate
from bankruptcy (264-6).

It is no coincidence that Alesan Airfield on
Corsica, the base for Heller’s own 340th Bomb Group, was bombed and
strafed by the Luftwaffe in the early morning hours of 13 May 1944.
Although Heller’s base was not bombed by friendly aircraft as in the novel,
it is interesting to note that the first enemy plane over the field was actually
a Bristol “Beaufighter,” a twin-engined British night fighter operated by
both Great Britain and the United States in the Mediterranean Theater. The
340th Bomb Group staff officers speculated that the Beaufighter had been
captured by the Germans and put to use as a “pathfinder” aircraft, whose
job it was to drop lighted flares over the target before the main force came
in for the attack. The Germans apparently left the British markings on the
Beaufighter intact in order to fool the Americans into mistaking it for a
friendly plane.

The German aircraft used in the raid were identified as twin engined
Junkers JU-88 medium bombers, similar in function to the
American B-25s, and Focke-Wulf FW-190 fighter planes.

In addition, there
were unconfirmed reports of Dornier DO-217 and Heinkel HE-111 medium
bombers and Messerschmitt ME-109 fighters (History of the 340th).

Twenty two
men in Heller’s group were killed, and two hundred and nineteen were
wounded; only seven aircraft were airworthy the next day (“Chronology”
1). The description of the attack on the 340th Group’s online history bears
a close similarity to Heller’s description of Milo’s raid in Catch-22.

I am not aware of any instances where Heller alluded to this similarity in
print, the conclusion seems inescapable that Heller has once again has
taken an episode from his own combat background and, with some important
changes for dramatic effect, incorporated it into his novel.

From Catch-22:

M & M Enterprises
verged on collapse. Milo cursed himself hourly for his monumental greed and stupidity in purchasing the entire Egyptian cotton crop, but a contract was a contract and had to be honored, and one night, after a sumptuous evening meal, all Milo's fighters and bombers took off, joined in formation directly overhead and began dropping bombs on the group. He had landed another contract with the Germans, this time to bomb his own outfit. Milo's planes separated in a well-coordinated attack and bombed the fuel stocks and the ordnance dump, the repair hangers and the B-25 bombers resting on the lollipop-shaped hardstands at the field. His crews spared the landing strip and the mess halls so that they could land safely when their work was done and enjoy a hot snack before retiring. They bombed with their landing lights on, since no one was shooting back. They bombed all four squadrons, the officer's club and the Group Headquarters building. Men bolted from their tents in sheer terror and did not know in which direction to turn. Wounded soon lay screaming everywhere. A cluster of fragmentation bombs exploded in the yard of the officers' club and punched jagged holes in the side of the yard of the wooden building and the bellies and backs of a row of lieutenants and captains standing at the bar. They doubled over in agony and dropped. The rest of the officers fled toward the two exits and jammed up the doorways like a dense, howling dam of human flesh as they shrank from going farther.

Colonel Cathcart clawed and elbowed his way through the unruly, bewildered mass until he stood outside by himself. He stared up in the sky in stark astonishment and horror. Milo's planes, ballooning serenely in over the blossoming treetops with their bomb bay doors open and wing flaps down and with their monstrous, bug-eyed, blinding, fiercely flickering, eerie landing lights on, were the most apocalyptic sight he had ever beheld. Colonel Cathcart let go a stricken gasp of dismay and hurled himself headlong into his jeep, almost sobbing. He found the gas pedal and the ignition and sped toward the airfield as fast as the rocking car would carry him, his huge flabby hands clenched and bloodless on the wheel or blaring his horn tormentedly. Once he almost killed himself when he swerved with a banshee screech of tires to avoid plowing into a bunch of men running crazily toward the hills in their underwear with their stunned faces down and their thin arms pressed high around their temples as puny shields. Yellow, orange and red fires burning on both sides of the road. Tents and trees were in flames, and Milo's planes kept coming around interminably with their blinking white landing lights on and their bomb bay doors open. Colonel Cathcart almost turned his jeep over when he slammed the brakes on at the control tower. He leaped from the car while it was still skidding dangerously and hurtled up the flight of steps inside, where three men were busy at the instruments and the controls. He bowled two of them aside in his lunge for the nickel-plated microphones, his eyes glittering wildly and his beefy face contorted with stress. He squeezed the microphone in a bestial grip and began shouting hysterically at the top of his voice,

"Milo, you son of a bitch! Are you crazy? What the hell are you doing? Come down! Come down!"

"Stop hollering so much, will you?" answered Milo, who was standing there beside him in the control tower with a microphone of his own. "I'm right here." Milo looked at him with reproof and turned back to his work. "Very good, men, very good," he chanted into his microphone. "But I see one supply shed still standing. That will never do, Purvis- I've spoken to you about that kind of shoddy work before. Now, you go right back there this minute and try it again. And this time come in slowly...slowly. Haste makes waste, Purvis. Haste makes waste. If I've told you once, I must have told you a hundred times. Haste makes waste."

The loud-speaker overhead began sqawking. "Milo, this is Alvin Brown. I've finished dropping my bombs. What should I do now?"

"Strafe, " said Milo.

"Strafe?" Alvin Brown was shocked.

"We have no choice," Milo informed him resignedly, "It's in the contract."

"Oh, okay, then," Alvin Brown acquiesced. "In that case I'll strafe."

This time Milo had gone too far. Bombing his own men and planes was more than even the most phlegmatic observer could stomach, and it looked like the end for him. High-ranking government officials poured in to investigate. Newspapers inveighed against Milo with glaring headlines, and Congressmen denounced the atrocity in stentorian wrath and clamored for punishment. Mothers with children in the service organized militant groups and demanded revenge. Not one voice was raised in his defense. Decent people everywhere were affronted, and Milo was all washed up until he opened the books to the public and disclosed this tremendous profit he had made. He could reimburse the government for all the people and property he had destroyed and still have enough money left over to continue buying Egyptian cotton. Everybody, of course, owned a share. And the sweetest part of the whole deal was that there really was no need to reimburse the government at all.

"In a democracy, the government is the people," Milo explained. "We're people, aren't we? So we might just as well keep the money and eliminate the middleman. Frankly, I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry. If we pay the government everything we owe it, we'll only be encouraging government control and discouraging other individuals from bombing their own men and planes. We'll be taking away their incentive."

Milo was correct, of course, as everyone soon agreed but a few embittered misfits like Doc Daneeka, who sulked cantankerously and muttered offensive insinuations about the morality of the whole venture until Milo mollified him with a donation, in the name of the syndicate, of a lightweight aluminum garden chair that Doc Daneeka could fold up conveniently and carry outside his tent each time Chief White Halfoat came inside his tent and carry back inside his tent each time Chief White Halfoat came out. Doc Daneeka had lost his head during Milo's bombardment; instead of running for cover, he had remained out in the open and performed his duty, slithering along the ground through shrapnel, strafing and incendiary bombs like a furtive, wily lizard from casualty to casualty, administering tourniquets, morphine, splints and sulfanilamide with a dark and doleful visage, never saying one word more than he had to and reading in each man's bluing wound a dreadful portent of his own decay. He worked himself relentlessly into exhaustion before the long night was over and came down with a sniffle the next day that sent him hurrying querulously into the medical tent to have his temperature taken by Gus and Wes and to obtain a mustard plaster and vaporizer.

image courtesy of

Hey y'all,

My Daddy,William E. Register(serial number 34333122) was drafted along
with the rest of the Dothan gang on Valentine's Day 1942.

He served in the 446th Bomb Squad of the Army Air Corps' 321st Bomb Group
of the 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force.
The 57th was the only Mitchell B-25 bomb wing in the entire 12th Air Force.
A cat named Bob Ritger has put all of the issues of the 321st Bomb Group's WWII newsletter,HEADLINES, on the Web.

The material I found on the Web this afternoon is nothing more than a miracle for me because my sister Becky has a copy of HEADLINES
in our family album and this
publication by Daddy's Bombardment Group
gives spectacular details which confirm all the war stories told to me by my Daddy.
You can't imagine the comfortable feeling surrounding me as I read
all about my Daddy's unit this afternoon.

I lost almost all of Daddy's WWII stuff because it was in storage at McGough's house when it got flooded by Frederic back in '79.

I was also pleased to find that a cat from Lakeland, Florida has devoted an entire portion of his website to 57th Bomb Wing!

But here's the kicker!
Anne M. O' Conner at Maxwell
copied the ENTIRE DECLASSIFIED TOP SECRET HISTORY OF THE 446TH SQUADRON(usually manned by about 100 officers & 350 enlisted men)
put it on the Web!

Insignia of the 321st Bomb Group of the 12th Air Force's 57th Bomb Wing

Bugs Bunny riding a bomb while firing six shooters in each hand
Insignia of the 446th Bomb Squad
images courtesy of

There are hundreds of photographs
(Mitchell B-25 nose art for The Pink Lady, The Grim Reaper, Blossom Time, Princess Paula, Pennsylvania Polka, Patches,Missouri Waltz, Dollie, Arkansas Traveler II, The Madam of St. Joe the 2nd)
plus all the debriefings and descriptions of over 600 bombing missions.
It's got every date, addresses for every target, the number of planes and the types of bombs used on every mission.

There was good reason poor Glenn was a train wreck every Monday, if we had played a gig over the weekend. If there was a Friday gig, as well as a Saturday one, we skipped school altogether, and Kim Venable would drive down and collect us, and back to Tuskegee, before lunch. Kim was an only child, and his overindulgent father had built a small abode behind their main house for the sole purpose of letting Kim practice his drums in the privacy it provided. It also served as a place for the whole group to jam, and offered storage for instruments, and several beds, a shower, and a refrigerator for the beer that flowed nonstop.
His dad was into some sort of foundry/iron work there in Tuskegee, and had made the trailer we used custom, to fit exactly what was needed on the road, and Glenn and I were welcomed guests, either in the large home, or out back in that " Rumpus Room". His mother cooked exceptionally fine Southern meals, and we were expected at the dinner table with each of these. If the gig was close by, we came back to Kim's house; if not, it was the usual motels. By Sunday, everyone was blown out, so someone driving us back to Dothan was out of the question; off to the airport in Montgomery (30 miles away), and home on the most rustic, noisiest old airplane I've ever been on. It was some pre-WW2 thing, but a flight, for 11 bucks got us home around 10pm, with Glenn's mom collecting us in Dothan. Most of the time, I just spent the night there, and also arrived at school looking like an unmade bed, as well, if I went at all. Even teens have a breaking point, where sleep is involved.
Kim's parents treated us like their own, and were gracious, gentle folk, a kindness I'll never forget. Marvin and Tommy also lived in Tuskegee, with Ray Goss not far away in Tallassee, so we were off and running in no time flat. Most gigs during the school year were at Auburn, in one fraternity house or another, and an easy drive back to Tuskegee. How can I forget wading ankle-deep in spilt beer, loading the trailer, after one of those frat parties? The frat boys made sure we had a good time, too, but I was always saddled with the job of driving, so I had to remain somewhat sober. No one at any of the parties drank more than Tommy "Swampman" Mann, the singer, but we were used to that; he did it without fail, if alcohol was available. I recall gigs in dry counties where my first taste of "moonshine" happened, but a party was had, somehow, after each gig. The groupies and hangers-on always provided us with something, back in the motel of choice, and we never declined.
Now you know why Glenn Griffin slept during study hall, every Monday; he was part of the "Outer Mongolian Herd"
L. S. D.
9 April 2009

You asked, so here goes.
I was born in Moody Hospital on September 9, 1948, same day as a sax player named Joe, a guy I met in high school, in Mrs Hamner's French class, I think, so I guess it was a good day for great ears to be born. I have no idea why my allure to music was what it was, but it was, and I have never stopped learning about music of any sort, to this day. A passion, perhaps, but a lifelong companion, and one I love.
My introduction to it so young came as a surprise to me, but I can now recall at age 60, just how exciting it really was. A road manager for the K-Otics at 16-18, working with the Rockin Gibraltar's between, all while attending Dothan High, with far less success as Buddy Buie recently told of in his eloquent speech at the 50th reunion. Go to school during the week, meet up with the band on weekends, with one problem: Glenn Griffin (the keyboard man) and I were in Dothan, the other 4 were near Montgomery. Most times, they collected us literally, from in front of the high school, and off we went to play some gig at Auburn or in one of the small towns where a dance with a live band was a treasured thing. Either made money, and the booking was not handled very well, so I saw a chance to make it happen. In those days, you found a hall, a REC. center, or an Armory, paid a modest sum to have a dance, hired an off-duty cop, and all was fine. Put a few spots on a local radio station, and 400-600 kids would show up, at a buck a head. I had previously learned this from Buddie Buie, so credit goes to him.
We played all over Southern Alabama during one summer alone, 17 or 18 gigs in every venue imaginable, but what a time we had!
Alabama didn't have a boundary back then, so northern Florida, western Georgia and Mississippi were fair game, too. A big, cushy Cadillac with a custom made trailer was icing on the cake with K-OTICS emblazoned on it, as it and the long hair plus the mod clothing drew careful attention from the locals, all over the conservative South.
The original members of the band were Kim Veneble, drums; Marvin Taylor, guitar; Ray Goss, bass; Glen Griffin, keyboard, and Tommy Mann, vocals. I believe Kim Veneble went on to play for Classics IV, and have no idea about the others, after 1968. They were good musicians, spontaneous, and eager to learn, so I would buy current top 40 hits, decipher the lyrics, and they'd cover the song. That, combined with a rich repertoire of R&B was exactly what live audiences wanted to hear in those days, making it easy to please. They also had state of the art equipment, all Vox amps from England, a Vox keyboard, with a Fender Rhodes on top, Gretch and Gibson guitars, and AKG mikes.
Not too shabby for the mid sixties.
Did I mention they were all privileged youth?
Next post, I'll tell you about the studio time at Fame, in Muscle Shoals, and Stax/Volt in Memphis, cast of characters, and all.
L. S. D.
9 April 2009










Wilbur Faces Temptation!
image courtesy of Jimmy Dean


We want all the stories!

Glenn Griffin was in my study hall @ DHS 65/66
& I got to see how wasted he would be on Mondays.
He was always in a daze on Monday.
He always slept during study hall when Mrs. Harmon was out of the room.

I helped him with his books.

Man, I got all the stuff on The Webs, Wilbur Walton Jr., The James Gang, The Candymen, The Rubber Band, The K-Otics, and The Rockin' Gibraltars.

Put any of those bands' names into Google with quotation marks as in
"Rockin' Gibraltars"
then add robertoreg as in
"Rockin' Gibraltars" robertoreg

Trying to get something going with THE OUTER MONGOLIAN HERD.

You send the stories & you'll get a whole lotta feedback!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

FROM the

Monday, April 6, 2009

High Interest in Ray Whitley

Above image: From the "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"
photo courtesy of Gene Lee click on image to enlarge

Many have emailed about Ray Whitley following yesterday's post. One of the greatest composers of the Hey Baby Days, Ray Whitley was responsible for some of the era's greatest songs (some of which were hits in other genres)i.e. provided there is a genre other than Beach Music.

"Dancing Mood" - originally recorded by the Tams, it's a classic in Reggae

"Be Young, Be Foolish Be Happy" (with J.R. Cobb) - a southern anthem

"Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me" - No 1 in England

"What Kind of Fool ( Do You Think I Am )"

"I've Been Hurt" one of the biggest songs of the party ; original Tams' but covered by many

"You Lied To Your Daddy"

"Laugh It Off"
"Too Much Fooling Around"

I lost a lot of things in my life but I miss my mind the most.

I'm telling you blood, these Yankees had more money than it'd take to burn TWO ASBESTOS MULES!

From the keyboard of THE ROCKER!

Sad to hear about Ray Whitley.
He also wrote (I think) The Joker Went Wild by Brian Hyland as well as two songs on the first Candymen album (Roses Won't Grow in My Garden, and Happier Than Them).
He must have played us 20 songs (which we didn't think we good for us) and those were the last two he played.
I remember asking him, "why didn't you play them first"
We used to go see him play at a small club in Atlanta, and I think we helped him come and play at The Scene in New York.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Proposal For An Historical Marker To Be Erected At The Location of Studio One in Doraville

I agree.

As the fundraising chairman of the Friends of the Library, one of my personal goals for Dothan's new library is to have kiosks where folks can go and listen to the music created by our Dothan folks. In that area, I would love to display album covers from our "stars." I also am very proud of the contributions of our guys.
I anticipate Dothan producing lots more talent. You know this August 14 will be the first annual Dothan Superstar where I hope we can encourage kids to develop those garage bands, sing songs that move us, and write fantastic music like these wonderful examples. David Adkins is on board helping us and I hope others will become involved and make this fundraiser for our New Library so much more than just a fundraiser. With Dothan's talent it could became a major event and...a chance to bring hope and opportunity to children who might otherwise be on the streets wasting their talents.

Check out Rockin' Rodney
& dah crew

Robert I have friends that are working on bringing Chuck Leavell to the Bama theater in the fall .Do you think we could fill it up

1991 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductee

Year of birth: 1943

City of birth: Columbus, Ga.

 Born in Columbus, Ga., Ray Whitley was only 14 years old when he formed his first band. Famed producer Felton Jarvis discovered him and introduced him to music publisher Bill Lowery, who took Whitley on when he was 17 years old. His first song, �Deeper in Love,� was released on Vee Jay in 1962. Whitley was not only a performer, but a talented songwriter who penned hits for other artists in the Lowery stable, including �Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy,� �What Kind of Fool� and �Hey Girl� for The Tams, �Everything Turned Blue� for Billy Joe Royal, co-wrote �Nighttime� and �Leave Her� Tommy Roe, the Swinging Medallions.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

This is so cool!
My mother died in '85 & the Altrusa Club of Dothan is still giving away a scholarship in her name.
It's called THE KATE REGISTER NURSING SCHOLARSHIP & it pays up to $1,080 to a student during each term at Wallace.


Hello to all, my name is Tom

I came across your blog through a google search for a man that I met recently. I'm involved with a ministry that brings food for the flesh and food for the soul through the word and music. At a homeless shelter in Gainsville, Ga I met this man playing guitar and singing to the other residents there. Through conversation I learned two things about him (other than being homeless). First he is very nearly totally deaf, and that his name is Ray Whitley; besides being an artist in his own right is author of many hits for such greats a the Tams, Billy Joe Royal, Tommy Roe, The Swing Medallions etc. Just thought you guys would want to know . I wish I knew how to post on your blog.


Note: I have responded to Tom and will be in touch with him over the few days. Hopefully, we will come up with some ideas that will help Ray. Ray Whitley gave us some of the greatest songs of our youth. Maybe we can give something back to Ray.

Hi Robert
Fred Moody has been sending me your blog for several months, and I've enjoyed the news and photos, but, recently, for one issue or another, I no longer see pictures when Fred sends these. Yesterday, my name was mentioned along with several others, and Fred says it's a photograph. I'd love to see this picture, if you can make that happen, or tell me how to log on to your blog.
I was very much a part of the "music" scene in Dothan, albeit a quite young novice, and had great experiences with several bands, and of course Buddy Buie. I was a roadie for the K-Otics along with Glenn Griffin, the keyboard man, both of us living in Dothan, while the rest of the band was in the Tuskegee area. I also booked and worked with The Rockin Gibralters, traveled with them a bit, and knew them all quite well.
A recent entry into your blog was from Bobby DuPree, whom I remember along with Keith, Rusty, Sonny, and Charles; we had many a good time, back in the day.
If Buddy was bringing a show to Dothan, I knew I had work. He always found something for me to do, and I ate it up. One time, he came walking into the Sports Palace, with another guy wearing dark glasses. He promptly got himself into a big money game on the front snooker table, came over to me with a 10 dollar bill in hand, saying "Play pool with him", indicating the man in the shades. I asked who he was, and Buie snapped "That's Roy Orbison, you fool!". So I played pool with Roy Orbison for 2 hours. A few years ago, in a documentary about Roy, he told of leaving his regular glasses on an airplane, in Dothan Alabama, forcing him to go onstage in his sunglasses, which eventually became a trademark. I may have been the second person ever to see the great Roy Orbison in shades.
Backstage, at the Farm Center, I met half a dozen performers Buddy brought down, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy Roe, and Brenda Lee, amongst many others. I knew Wilbur Walton, and the rest of the Candymen band, later the James Gang, all never knowing I was witnessing a part of history, still intact today, thanks to your efforts.
I live, and have lived in the San Francisco Bay area for 37 years, but never lost contact with my friends in Dothan. The passing of LC Green was of particular interest to me; how can one forget ole LC? If you walked into his store, he made sure you didn't leave empty handed, whether you had any money or not, and half the young guys in town owed him money, myself included. It became a running joke with us all: we all owed LC Green money. He had hip-hugger checkered slacks, while the rest of Dothan High wore Gant shirts. One pair of these got me expelled, an experience I'll never forget, class of 1966.
Buddy Buie's speech at the class reunion was especially touching, his fond recollections of so many things past, yet his optimism for the future said it all. I understand his recent heath issues have been put past him, and I hope he enjoys years of progress.
I've enjoyed reading about how most of this came to pass, things I knew, and many I did not. I left Dothan in 1967, and never looked back. I did, however, never lose touch with those fond to me, and made an effort to visit, regularly.
If you can send me this photograph, I would be eternally grateful.
Louis S Davis
Millbrae California
5 April 2009

To robertoreg~

Many thanks to Mr. Buddy Buie for the article about Studio One recording studio, formerly located in Doraville, GA. I read about it on the wikipedia website.
I happen to live just a few miles from that area. I recently visited that location from the address of that article. I know Studio One was demolished some years ago. The business building that stands there now has a door where "3864 Oakcliff Industrial Ct." should be, but its left blank, I guess out of respect to Studio One.
I think a some kind of monument should be established at that location as a historical landmark for recognition of those classic and historical recordings by those great bands.
Some of those recordings made a huge impact and influence on the history of rock and roll and are recognized all over the world. I am a big fan of those bands. Thanks again.