Saturday, April 25, 2009

From Gloria Jane Buie:

I went by yesterday and caught Wes hard at work on the mural!!

From Melissa T., one of my old bilology students from back in '84:

I know you don't remember me. I had you for 9th grade Biology in 1984. I went by Melissa. I have taught 5th grade for 8 years and can't remember all of my students.

My family is from Slocomb--we had that in common. I honestly thought about you the other day. When I was in your class, I had a BAD habit of biting my nails. I had done it all of my life and had tried everything to stop. You gave me a speech one day about how disgusting it was to bite your nails. As of that moment, I stopped. The other day in class while one of my own students was biting her nails, I said to her, "I wish I could remember the speech my 9th grade Biology teacher gave me about how disgusting that is." Fortunately for me, you taught me to stop biting my nails. Unfortunately, I didn't learn all the class content that I now am teaching to my 5th graders.

Hope you are well.


Dang, man!
That's some amazing stuff!
I was an honest to God fan of the James Gang when I was in the K-Otics! I'd go hear them any chance I got. Kim Venable and I drove from Tuskegee all the way to Selma to hear the James Gang play a one nighter. John Mulkey had bought a Fuzz Tone for his guitar and they played Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, which was a very current tune at the time, and until then I had no clue what made "that sound" on that song. Of course I went right out and bought one. Another brick in the road on the never ending quest for guitar tones!

A few years later in Atlanta, Wilbur assembled a new version of The James Gang with me on guitar and some other guys from down in the Dothan area and one guy from Florida. It was a good band but we struggled pretty hard on the "Chit'lin Circuit". Then miracle of miracles for me, Fred and Jimmy from the original band agreed to come back into the band. I can't say we didn't still struggle to survive, but I was in heaven playing with those guys. Not only were they amazing musicians - truly special - particularly in how solid they were together - but they were just damned cool! You can't teach that and pretty much can't learn it. One usually acquires it through building confidence, which I think in their case, came both from gaining some notoriety and a quiet sense of accomplishment - they were good, they knew they were good because they earned it, but beyond that they just had a presence on stage! It was not like some stupid ego trip - God knows we all saw plenty of that from less talented musicians everywhere - this was the real deal. These guys were humble and down right nice guys, but they had a presence like Rock stars, and it had become part of who they were. Wilbur had it too, but it came out a lot more with Fred and Jimmy back in the band with him, and I'm sure it helped my confidence and presence as well. Playing with Wilbur, Jimmy and Fred ranks with my fondest memories.

Marvin Taylor

"Values are like fingerprints - nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do."
Elvis Presley

The British Ambassador & Robertoreg Discussing Their Latest Blockade Run To The Havana

Miss Baby & Robertoreg At The Ball

The Deaconess & Robertoreg Enjoying The Evening Before The Battle of Selma



Roberto----wow, does this email you sent me bring back some memories..........
Concerning El Braddo-----he disliked me from the moment my senior year started, which was I think his first year on the job. Compared to what I look like today, I was pretty conservative looking, but my hair actually touched my collar, which was evil witchcraft in ol' Brad's brain.

I spent my senior year in the library during study hall, having promised myself that I would read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from beginning to end and damned near made it but not quite. A few weeks before graduation time, ol' Brad appeared at the door of the library and strutted straight to the table where I was sitting. He had already taken me off the staff of the Gargoyle because I passed through the smoking area coming from the Rec Center and quickly took a puff before going into the hallway. He was in the hall, smelled the smoke, and ripped me a new one.

Anyway, back to the library---he sat down opposite me at the table, and mentioned my hair. Everybody in there was watching us, including Mrs. Brown, my favorite English teacher (I had her in the 8th, 9th, and 12th grades). Ol' Brad looked me in the eye and told me I looked like a girl. This made me want to enter into a general discussion with him about comparative sexual experiences and sex in general, but it was 1964, so I held back.

It was a Friday.
He told me to get my hair cut or not bother to come back to school Monday.

Well, hell. I wasn't about to not graduate from that olive drab prison after all that time, so I got a severe trim.

He made a point of positioning himself in a place so he could give me a winner's grin that Monday. Mrs. Brown told me later that she went down to his office that day and told him he had better things to worry about than one student's hair.

She was a jewel, and she gave me the love of the written word.
I treasure her and the memory of what she gave me.

A couple of years later, when I was in The James Gang and had hair halfway down to my ass, my grandfather died during a visit to Greensboro, North Carolina. My parents went up to accompany his body back to Troy, and my step-grandmother took a plane back from Greensboro to Dothan.

I met her at the plane and was helping her to the terminal when, to my amazement, there was ol' Brad walking out to the plane. He recognized me, detected distress, walked up to me, and offered some half-ass phrase of commiseration.
I gave the bastard the coldest look I could muster and passed him by.

Some years later I read that he had died----a tractor or a truck or something he was driving fell on his head and killed him.
I really was sorry about it.
As you get older, you learn not to wish anybody ill, because bad things can happen to anybody.

But that didn't change my feelings about him.
I did not like the man because he did not like me, and because he was not a fair person and did not see anybody for what they really were.

A person's legacy is not made up of the grand things he publicly lays down in his path.
It is made up more of the day to day things he does. I reckon Ol' Brad didn't know about that.

My wife reminded me of this the other day when you sent the drawing of the musicians' mural to us.
She knows I played in the last version of The Webs,

The James Gang when it recorded Georgia Pines and the Yo-Yo song,

Wilbur Walton Jr. and Jimmy Dean
image courtesy of Robin Rainer & DOTHAN MAGAZINE

Bubba Lathem, Jimmy Dean, Wilbur Walton Jr., Fred Guarino, Johnny Mulkey

and Beaverteeth when it was B. J. Thomas' back up band,

B.J. Thomas & His Backup Band
Photo taken in front of the Bitter End in New York City
Left to right: Rodney Justo, David Adkins, John Rainey Adkins,B.J. Thomas, Jimmy Dean, Charlie Silva, Jon Stroll

... all groups mentioned on the mural, and wanted to know how come I wasn't on the dadburned thing.
I told her I had no idea. I guess I don't have enough friends in high places.

But I know what I did, and she does, and my friends do, so that'll have to do.

Twenty years from now, it won't matter anyway.

It's likely Brad Stevens treated his wife and kids very well and now enjoys a firm seat in Heaven. I wouldn't know. But that ain't exactly where I would have wished him to go in 1964.

thought you might be interested in this idiotic picture. This is the last reincarnation of the Webs, the one that played at the Old Dutch in 64. From left to right: Larry Coe, Bill Ackridge, Wilbur Walton, Jr., Bruce White, Jimmy Dean. We weren't actually wearing our pants up around our chests--those are cummerbunds. This photo was taken in 1964 at a club in Atlanta called Pigalley, and they made us wear those stupid clothes, including the cummerbund. Buddy made us play there so we could learn "stage presence". All I learned was how to sneeze thirty times a minute. The joint was totally covered with two inches of dust dating back to the depression, which was our mood while we were there.
I'm still trying to think of a way to get Buddy back for this.

Jimmy Dean

DOTHAN MAGAZINE Reception for the DOTHAN MAGAZINE Article About Buddy
l. to r. Jimmy Dean, Buddy Buie, Bill J. Moody, Wilbur Walton Jr.

James Gang Reunion
Wilbur Walton Jr., Buddy Buie, James "Bubba" Lathem, Paul Cochran
Jimmy Dean, Fred Guarino

Pretty sure I got this image from Jim Hodges

image from Jimmy Dean

Pretty sure this came from Jim Hodges or maybe Jeff Lemlich

Jimmy Dean, Fred Guarino, Johnny Mulkey, Bubba Lathem & Wilbur!
image courtesy of Jimmy Dean


Bubba Lathem, Jimmy Dean, Wilbur Walton Jr., Fred Guarino, Johnny Mulkey
image courtesy of Jimmy Dean

Bubba Lathem, Fred Guarino, Jimmy Dean, Wilbur Walton Jr., Johnny Mulkey
image courtesy of Jimmy Dean

Wilbur Faces Temptation!
image courtesy of Jimmy Dean

Jimmy Dean, Greg Haynes, Wilbur Walton Jr.
image courtesy of

Wilbur Walton Jr. & Jimmy Dean with Mr. & Mrs. Percy Sledge
image courtesy of

Jimmy Dean, Robert Register, Wilbur Walton Jr.
image courtesy of

Japanese cover courtesy of Jim Hodges

Japanese liner notes courtesy of Jim Hodges

Wilbur Walton Jr. & The James Gang performing at Ft. Brandon Armory in Tuscaloosa.
photo courtesy of WTBC

photo by Michael E. Palmer

photo by Michael E. Palmer

photo by Michael E. Palmer

Friday, April 24, 2009


I bareley recall the asshole in question,
but I do remember Brad Stephens,
who made my life miserable, as often as he could.

I could tell a half dozen stories about that unbalanced horse's ass, if provoked.

Provoke me.

Please do tell your stories.

One of the reasons we partied so hard on the weekends was out of rebellion against Brad & Archie.
Brad Stephens made my high school days an endless horror;
he scrutinized every move I made,
always looking for a flaw in my grades and such,
but never found one,

so he concentrated on my style of dress,
and my long hair (he should have seen me a few years later),
and anything he could find, to give me grief.

I had little chance of surviving his Nazi regime,
but on several occasions,
I broke all the rules.

The first time I was called into his office, he had the paddle out, so I turned around and walked out the door. I was expelled, but a call from my mom settled it all.

Second time, I was admonished for the length of my hair, with ole Brad headed toward that paddle, and again, I left his office, expelled again.

This time I had to handle it myself, so I did, in a diplomatic style, reminding him of changes in taste, and casual dress, and the rest of the world, outside Dothan.
He didn't like it, but I was off the hook, one more time.

Last time I was expelled, was for wearing checkered slacks I bought from LC Green.

He didn't go for the paddle this time, rather expelled me from ever coming back to DHS, period.

I calmly waked out of his office, down the street to the Superintendent of Education, next to Young Junior, and demanded my right to an education.

That poor man was horrified, picked up the phone, and called Stephens,
saying "I have a young man here who wants an education; let him back in school".

Stephens was miffed, and, already hating me, he found a way to block my graduation, which is why I'm not in the Senior Gargoyle photo, Class of '66.

I walked away from him, and every other train wreck I've encountered along life's path, without looking back.

If there's a Hell,
Stephens is roasting in it.

I did attend the 35th reunion, in 2001, and really enjoyed all those I saw.
Not a single teacher was there, either.
Wonder why?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hey y'all,

I started off not thinking about a thing downloading on myspace, reason being the images are better than Google's blogspot, so up popped Archie,
so this is what we got.


"I WORKED in the office one year with that dirty old man...

OLD in the sense that I was only 16, so he was old to us!
And...I do have stories!

Why are we blasting Archie?

Just for fun?!

Oh boy, my favorite reason!! =)"

So here's some of Archie's story...

This cat, Archie Trawick, was somebody we hated more than Brad.

This cat was due for a terrorist attack.

Britt was an absolute piece of shit.

He was in our study hall along with Glenn and Calhoun.
Pretty sure his fambly had a barber shop & some stuff on East Burdeshaw.

One day Archie Trawick called me into his office.

Britt had fingered me for kicking him down the stairs & he had given Archie this racist cartoon that I'm pretty sure Mike Griggs drew, & blamed that shit on me, too.

Back then, if I was guilty, Mr. Turk could make me cry threatening me with my own Daddy, but Archie's bullshit made me break the damn chain.

I rilly lost my shit.

I was ready to hit him.

He & I didn't have no mo' promblims but dat chump Archie had problemzzz wid some uv
my sistuhzzzzzzzzzzz.
Sho' nuff deeeyid!

Glenn Griffin was in the Mrs. Harmon's 6th Period Study Hall along wid Britt & Calhoun.

Calhoun & I were always cool.
I bought his silly sissy ass some drinks one time at Nick's when he was going to Stillman.

Robert ,
Concerning THE SORRY BASTARD , Archie Trawick ,
the man tried to make my life a living hell my last year at DHS ( 1970 ) because I had sideburns.

I was aways being called to the office so he could "measure them ".

Seeing what happened the next year , I guess I was lucky that's all he tried to measure .

Anywho ,
what goes around , comes around .

The next year , guess who was trying to get a job as office manager at my Dad's nursing home ?

Thats right , the sorry bastard himself .

I went up to him as he waited to interview with my Dad and let him know that he would never get the job and he was a pervert to boot .

And he never did and he still is .

Best ,

David A. Smith

From KPS...

I was sent home (suspended for 2 days!) because I wore my white leather 'over the knee boots' with a mini skirt to DHS during my Senior Year by Archie Trawick! He also made sure that I received zeros in my classes which dropped by GPA drastically! What a bastard!

Robert Register is soliciting stories about a sorry bastard who used to be Vice-Principal of Dothan High. His name was Archie Trawick.

Todd Bailey at 2:26pm April 22
He settled out of court for molesting squirrels.

William Hanke at 3:46pm April 22
He made me go home once for wearing Madras pants.

Debbie Hendrickson O'Toole at 4:19pm April 22
I WORKED in the office with that dirty old man...he sent me home for wearing a miniskirt...but NOT BEFORE HE MEASURED IT...and he didn't rush the measuring that he obviously enjoyed as much as he enjoyed paddling the football players when they got in trouble! He'd be BELOW the jail in this day & age...
that sicko!!
William: MADRAS pants? I LOVE 'EM!!! Archie was just jealous that he couldn't wear them...

A friend will help you move, a really good friend will help you move the bodies!
"Have Shovel, Will Travel"
Holler if ya' need me.

The sad plight of Ray Whitley...


Gene Lee said...


As evidenced by the pics of mine that you saw, The Epics had quite a bit of interaction with Ray Whitley back in the 60's. I was aware that Ray had a problem and it saddens me to find that he has yet to overcome them. Ray Whitley was a blessing to the Sensational Epics and he gave everyone much joy with his musical talents. Please keep me posted as to anything that might be done to help Ray.I(and The Epics) would surely like to be a part of it.
Hmmmmmmm......possibly a "Save Ray Concert"?

April 6, 2009 3:02 AM

Blogger heybabydays said...


Thanks for your comments. Those photos of Ray were great adds to the book and certainly helped the story we had about Ray in the book. When it comes to the music of the hey baby days , few names stand out any more than Ray Whitley's. By the way to all those lovers of Raggae, RAY WHITLEY composed "Dancing Mood." About have the listings you see for the song originally recorded by the Tams has either no composer listed or Desmond Wilson, who covered it in a Raggae arrangement that became a huge hit. The Tams' "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me" another Whitley composition became a #1 in England. He and J.R. Cobb created a southern anthem with "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy" first recorded by the Sensational Epics and then covered by the Tams who hit it big with the song. So many others like "What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am"( Tams) and the Tams' song covered by virtually every Southern band including the Epics. "I've Been Hurt," There are so many others that I am not sure I can list them all: "I Found A Rainbow" recorded by the Swingin' Medallions, "Too Much Fooling Around", "Silly Little Girl" "Laugh It Off" "You Lied To Your Daddy" etc. etc. Wayne Logiudice said about Ray, "He was always writing a song."

Thanks for alerting folks about Ray and if they want to make a comment or two about the greatness of his works, ask them to post a comment to this posting.



April 6, 2009 11:27 AM

Blogger SOL said...










April 22, 2009 6:18 PM

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hey y'all~

This is definitely an INNER SANCTUM post because of the four detailed jpgs of the first Wiregrass Music Mural but this message also goes out to the cats who hung out at DHS from '65 to '68 & BEYOND.....

You won't find Archie Trawick in the '66 Gargoyle but he was there because he called me into his office over whatever happened to Britt in the stairwell.
Was Britt going up the down staircase?
Please tell me something I don't know!
It were bad so I gotzzzz to meet Archie cause Britt fingered me.
I lost my temper over that shit.

I plan to compose my reminiscences of the sorry bastard,
Mr. Archie Trawick, & I invite all of you to contribute.



Monday, April 20, 2009


This email has been sitting blank for almost two hours because I couldn't come up with anything that'd lift your spirits so I just decided to write something for my own damn satisfaction.

Yesterday, I heard a story about a job well done, the opportunity for a new career and firm resolution about the future.

Somebody felt they had WON!

Tonight I heard the voice of uncertainty.

Right now I don't wanna say anything else but I got to.

Please, pretty please, do this one thing for me.

Please kick back and watch this coward squirm.

To me,
you are a Goddess &
I mean that with all sincerity.


The "K-Otics" from the Sixties
L to R: Glenn Griffin[A SR. '66 DOTHAN HIGH TIGER!!!!] on his Vox organ, Tommy "Swamp Man" Mann, Kim Venable
Marvin Taylor (seated) and Ray Goss


please, send me
Snake's email addy.
He was LSD to the guys, but he will always be Snake to me.
And All that stuff he said bout' drivin' and promotin' is true but I'm gonna say he never did any of it cause' I know he did.
Louis, I gots kit n' kin in Carlsbad, Ca. and the next Burke girl, my granddaughter will become a California girl in August.
Best Louis, you be the real deal brere'!
What speech class was we in and who were the babes of the class? DHS, spawnin' at the shallow end of the gene pool,

GO Snake!

I think we did some Choctawhatchee River time too?
Maybe Bridges of Twinlyness?

Hey Robert

Been a while, Dude! I hope this finds you well and prospering! Things are fantastic on the home front for me and mine.

I was tickled to get reunited with L. through your blogs.

L. put in some serious time with hazardous duty back in the old K-Otics days in Alabama in the sixties! It was great to get an email from him and catch up. But apparently the K-Otics lead singer, Tommy Mann, found fault with some of L. recollections from those days. Let me first go on record admitting that I am no authority on those events - as the saying goes, if you remember the sixties, you didn't live them! But truth is I was really young - almost as young as Louis was, and I was totally focused on the music, or some other lame excuse for not having a clue what was happening all around me! I love Paul McCartney's album title "Memory All Most Full" because that does seem to describe the syndrome I have concerning my own history. Man, as long and eventful and wondrous as my ride with The K-Otics was, it was only the first leg of an incredible journey that I am deeply grateful to still be on, so details are really sketchy for me sometimes. I can be so convinced things went a certain way, only to learn for sure that I had some of it wrong.

I confess that I really don't understand what Tommy got so upset about.We have all had a lot of glorious waters flow under our bridges, and it is inevitable that some will remember things differently than others, but there is no need to attack each other over things that mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme! I know he will probably read this, so, Tommy I apologize for not responding directly to you first - no disrespect intended in any way.

Everything L. said sounded right to me, and I don't think he meant in any way to blow his own role out of proportion or say he was "the man" behind it all as maybe Tommy thought, but I certainly remember him being an important behind the scenes man for us for a considerable time! Tommy did handle the booking and the business of the band. I have a slightly naive and limited perspective. I was about 16 or 17 when I started playing with those guys, and was probably only 19 when it began to peak on a national level. I didn't have a clue about half the stuff that was going on at any level! Tommy was 24 or 25, and had graduated with a business degree from Troy State. Kim was next in age, and sort of second in command by default. Ray and I came next, and Glenn was the youngest. Let me say that from my perspective, I was naive enough to think it was a democratic deal, and that we had an equal say in stuff. I never felt like anybody was "over" me. I can easily see how ridiculous that is because if it were not for Tommy, and probably to some degree Kim, nothing would have ever happened! None of the rest of us ever so much as booked a gig or even made a phone call that I can remember! What amazes me is that Louis was only 17 years old when he worked with us! Jeez Man - he was doing an amazing job for a kid! You know, when I was seventeen, I didn't realize what an idiot I was, and few of us do I expect. Being allowed the privilege of raising kids into adulthood, I realize how damn young 25 is, and it's light years down the road from 17! As I recall, L. was sort of point man for us for gigs down in his part of the state, which involved a boat load of phone calls and logistics - he and Glenn, our keyboard player, were high school students in Dothan and we were all up around Tuskegee and Tallassee. L. also hit the road with us sometimes, and even did the driving and load-ins and set up the whole band by himself, and we had a TON of equipment! I think he got paid a commission on some dates that he took a more active role in handling down in the Dothan area, and surely must have gotten paid for other duties, but I guarantee you it was not enough for the effort it must have required for one guy! L. was not some big hulking jock, but he got it done! The coolest thing was that he did it mostly because he loved the band, loved the music, and was Glenn's close friend and supporter, and just liked being part of it all. He says flatly that he cherishes the time he spent with us. Well, likewise L.!

Marvin Taylor

"Values are like fingerprints - nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do."
Elvis Presley