Saturday, May 09, 2009

Kate & Beck @ 403

I have the most wonderful memories of my mother.

The dance floor at the bottom of the bluff @ Bluffton

Walking Out Of Waddell's Mill Pond

Lord, I miss that Old J.C. Higgins sleeping bag! It saw some action @ Phillip's Inlet

The Pink Sea Monster of Waddell's Mill Pond

Inside The Cave

On Top Of The Talladigger Fire Tower

@ Brushy Pond in Bankhead



Laurie @ Bob


Friday, May 08, 2009

Click here to see Wes Hardin painting the mural:

BAMAQUEEN did a good turn when she drove over to N. Foster and captured a bunch of images of the Musician's Mural.

I think the murals are fabulous. I am amazed at just how many great musicians there actually were that hailed from that general area - many of whom never became famous beyond the local area, so are barely remembered now, but were very impressive back then. I remember playing some sort of benefit with Wilbur in Dothan where lots of local acts performed, and group after group played that day. Some were just throw-togethers, some were working bands, but all seemed to have these killer musicians! I remember thinking then how unusually good all these musicians were, and also wondering why they called that area "The Wiregrass" - did they smoke that stuff or what?

Marvin Taylor

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

Happy Belated, Robert.
Sixty ain't nuthin! Try sneaking up on sixty one.
Thank you for all the people you've gratefully put me in contact with. The pleasure has all been mine.
And I never thought I'd ever see em again- What a treat!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


What about Mike Bloomfield?

I know we here in ZERO wanna know mo' 'bout Mittuh Mike!

image courtesy of

Dylan had his say in this latest ROLLING STONE interview:

"I ask whether, as bandleader, Dylan had ever played a set with the perfect guitarist.
Dylan jumps at the opportunity to answer rather reminiscently.
"The guy that I always miss, and I think he'd still be around if he stayed with me, actually,
was Mike Bloomfield. He could flat out play. He had so much soul.
And he knew all the styles, and he could play them so incredibly well.
He was an expert player and a real prodigy, too.
Started playing early.
But then again a lot of good guitarists have played with me.
Freddy Tackett, Steve Ripley- Mike Taylor played with me for a minute."

Full of memory lane, Dylan goes on to tell a story about first meeting Bloomfield in Chicago at a headhunt on the South Side. A social misfit, Bloomfield was the rare white guitarist who had recorded with the likes of Sleepy John Estes and Big Joe Williams.
"He could play like Willie Brown or Charlie Patton," Dylan says.
"He could play like Robert Johnson way back then in the Sixties. The only other guy who could do that in those days was Brian Jones, who played in the Rolling Stones. He could also do the same thing. Fingerpicking rhythms that hardly anyone could do. Those are the only two guys I've ever met who could...from back then...the only two guys who could play the pure style fo country blues authentically."

Late in the same article/interview:

"When a musician friend turns ill, Dylan plays one of that musician's songs in concert as a personal tribute. Months before Mike Bloomfield died of a drug overdose, Dylan, learning he was struggling, reunited with him in San Francisco to play "Like A Rolling Stone" one last triumphant time. Playing the role of passing angel, Dylan has sung the songs of Jerry Garcia, Warren Zevon, Frank Sinatra, George Harrison and Waylon Jennings, to name just a few, soon after they died, as a spontaneous tribute to their artistry."

AK, we'd rilly luv a response!


A piece of the house where Robert Johnson did something
courtesy of

BEE BRANCH | The first time I ever heard a Robert Johnson song, it was probably on the juke box in the Birmingham-Southern College student center in 1966, although it was not the original by the King of the Delta Blues; it was a frenetic version of "Crossroads" by Cream, a young British trio led by one Eric Clapton.

The first time I ever met Ben Windham, the former Editorial Page Editor of The Tuscaloosa News who announced his Jan. 31 retirement in today's paper, was also in 1966 and likely in that same rec center.

We immediately bonded over a shared taste in music, at that point mostly the blues and Bob Dylan, beat literature and a facile cynicism characteristic of all the little Holden Caufields who I imagine are still showing up with intellectual chips on their shoulders on college campuses across the nation every fall.

By our second semester we were roommates and as fate would have it, worked together (with a few side trips here and there) for most of the last 35 years, first at The Decatur Daily and then for nearly three decades at The Tuscaloosa News.

When Ben wrote a column published Dec. 21 about a Christmas present of a weathered board from the home in which Robert Johnson was allegedly born that he was giving "a friend," I was a bit envious. That is, until I opened my present from him Christmas morning to find that board, by far my most cherished gift of this holiday.

It wasn't long, of course, after hearing the Cream 45 that spun almost incessantly on that juke box that I discovered the real Robert Johnson, probably on one of the many LPs Ben brought to college with him. I also distinctly remember my reaction maybe 30 years later when the first picture of Johnson was published in Rolling Stone: I was chilled to my bones and had to get up and walk around the house a few times before I could even speak.

For anyone who feels a connection to the blues, the deepest is likely to be with Johnson, who was at one time thought to be almost sui generis, that is, a singularly haunted man as much legend as fact -- a man who purportedly sold his soul to the devil at that crossroads to become the immortal musician he remains and who sang mean, tortured songs about beating his woman until he got satisfied, the "blues falling down like hail" and the "hellhounds" on his trail.

Well, recent books and even a CD Ben included with the board containing contemporaneous blues recordings demonstrating that Johnson did a whole lot of borrowing, have made a pretty good case for Johnson being just one of many obscure musicians mining everlasting songs from the deep black soil and experience of the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s and 1930s.


There is something about Johnson, who was recorded in only two sessions before dying at the age of 27 in 1938 (again, in one telling howling like a dog after being poisoned by either a jealous man or woman), that resonates deeply in the darker parts of some of our souls; I've had hellhounds on my trail at certain points in my life, too. And may again some day, at which point I'll feel around for my shoes, walk over to that stack of CDs and dig out the Johnson boxed set to get a little satisfaction of my own.

As for Ben, well, our lives and the lives of our families have been so intertwined that I don't think it will make much difference that I won't be seeing him first thing every workday morning, sitting down to sip on my coffee with him and, yes, sharing a few early morning cynicisms. I know where he lives, I've got his telephone numbers and the same can be said of him and my home and numbers.

Here's a link to Ben's column about the board he gave me and the one he kept for himself and here's one to his retirement -- but not farewell -- column, since he will continue to contribute his essays for publication every Sunday. In the first column you'll find the details of how he came into possession of these profane artifacts. In the second he ruminates on how the only dogs he'll have on his trail for the foreseeable future will be corgis.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

image stolen from Images of America Houston County- The Frist Hunnerd Years

Hey y'all~

Look like I be heading south to Dothan Sattiddee.

One of the most wonderful things that happened during last summer's reunion was one of my old girlfriends telling me, "Robert, you always seemed to come from a happy family."

Yeah, you right!

Another kewl little nugget was one of the beauty queens telling me that when they axed Miss Dothan what it was like to have sex with Mr. Football, she said, "It's like a big cigar."


image courtesy of

New mural celebrates local musical influences

By Peggy Ussery

Published: April 30, 2009

The images are larger than life.

On one end of the brick wall is the legendary Ray Charles with his trademark dark glasses. On the other end is Bobby Goldsboro, known for his 1969 hit “Honey,” holding a guitar. The two musicians may seem to have nothing in common, but they share a connection to the Wiregrass. And they’re among the musicians immortalized on a brick wall in downtown Dothan.

“There just aren’t enough walls to tell the story of music in the Wiregrass,” mural artist Wes Hardin said.

It started out as a mural dedicated to the arts. But as the Festival of Murals committee began reviewing designs and options, one mural became three. This makes 20 murals for downtown Dothan.

The first in the series, painted on the side of a law office in the 300 block of North Foster Street, should be completed in time for this weekend’s Mural City Art Fest street festival. The street festival is Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the downtown historic district. Activities will be held at the Wiregrass Museum of Art, Poplar Head Park, the Dothan Opera House and along North Foster Street.

Eventually, there will be a gospel/jazz mural and a country music mural. There is also an interactive aspect planned so visitors can use a radio to listen to a narrative about the music murals and samples of music by the artists featured.

The first mural focuses on contemporary musicians with Wiregrass connections.

There are musicians — like brothers John Rainey and David Adkins — who may not be as well known or musicians whose Wiregrass connections aren’t so obvious.

David Adkins remembers his older brother John Rainey Adkins working on the song “Georgia Pines,” which John Rainey wrote with Buddy Buie, at the family’s home on West Main Street in downtown Dothan.

John Rainey Adkins played with The Webs, which backed-up Roy Orbison during the National Peanut Festival in the late 1960s. Orbison was so impressed, he hired the group as his permanent back-up band and called them The Candymen.

“There’s a lot of talent that comes out of this part of the country,” David Adkins said. “I’m glad they’re finally being acknowledged.”

And he can’t believe he’s up there with them.

“It’s really kind of overwhelming at first,” the 55-year-old Adkins said. “It’s just a real honor to up there for all time.”

David Adkins played with John Rainey, who was 12 years older, in the group Beaverteeth. And he thinks his brother, who died of a heart attack in 1989 at age 47, would be honored to be included in the mural.

“He would love it, I’m sure,” David Adkins said. “He’d be thrilled.”


Who’s in the mural?

Ray Charles — Born in Albany, Ga., the blind soul singer known for hits like “Georgia on My Mind” and “Hit the Road Jack.”

Dean Daughtry — Keyboardist with the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Daughtry, who is from Kinston, also played with Roy Orbison’s back-up band The Candymen and with the group Classics IV.

Buddy Buie — A songwriter and producer from Dothan who now lives in Eufaula. He wrote or co-wrote songs such as “Traces” and “Spooky.” He has been recognized by both Alabama’s and Georgia’s Music Hall of Fame.

David Adkins — Dothan musician who played with Beaverteeth, once the back-up band for B.J. Thomas.

John Rainey Adkins — Dothan musician and member of The Webs. He played lead guitar with The Candymen, Roy Orbison’s back-up band.

Wilbur Walton Jr. — Another Dothan musician who performed with The Candymen. He later played with The James Gang.

Mickey Thomas — Born in Cairo, Ga., Thomas was best known for singing lead on the 1976 song “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” while with The Elvin Bishop Band. In 1979, he became lead singer of Jefferson Starship, which was formerly known as Jefferson Airplane and then later known as just Starship. While Thomas was on vocals, Jefferson Starship had hits with “Sara,” “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now” and “We Built This City.”

Martha Reeves — That’s Martha Reeves as in Martha and the Vandellas, the popular Motown act known for early 1960s songs like “Heatwave” and “Dancing in the Streets.” Reeves was born in Eufaula, although she was raised in Detroit. On the mural she is flanked by the Vandellas.

Bobby Goldsboro — Born in Marianna, Fla., and moved to Dothan at 15. Goldsboro was with The Webs and then The Candymen before going solo. He had a number one song, “Honey,” in 1968.

image courtesy of


The Sweet Healing Power of Rock n' Roll

by Sonny Edwards

One of the largest single day Rock and Roll parties in the valley's history is going to take place on June 7th at The Crossroads Music Hall, 115 Clinton Ave. E., in downtown Huntsville. "MUSIC 4 MEDS" is the Concert to Benefit The Cmmunity Free Clinic. Doors open at 1:00PM, and music begins at 2:00PM, and will continue nonstop until the wee hours. A minimum donation of $10.00 is requested, but if you feel more generous you are encouraged to act on your emotions. The growing line up of confirmed artist at this time includes (alphabetically)

The Community Free Clinic, located at 410 Sivley Rd. in Huntsville, is in the business of helping people, many who simply can't afford to get medical attention and life saving and sustaining medications anywhere else. The Clinic and it's volunteers do this all year long. They help people, and they never fail to do it with respect and professionalism, leaving the patients dignity intact. Lately the numbers of people seeking help at the clinic has been steadily growing. The economy sure isn't helping. When people lose their jobs they usually lose their medical insurance as well. When people don't have insurance, they often fail to get early treatment of many illnesses that could be easily managed, but left undiagnosed often become much more serious, even resulting in death.

When I learned the Clinic itself needed help, financial help to continue to serve the community, I talked to a few of my fellow musicians. The result was the decision to do a benefit concert one evening to help the folks who are working to help others all year long.

Jamie Hunter, Jeff Goltz, and David McLain volunteered their venue, Crossroads Music Hall, with it's great stage, sound system and light show, and the folks who run it. All of the artist are donating their time and talents. Jill Wood, of The Valley Planet is donating ad space to get the word out in the community. Even our logo was donated. Everyone I've talked to has been so amazingly generous, helpful, enthusiastic and supportive.

At times like these, I imagine we all wish we were wealthy enough to write a huge check to solve the problems that arise, but for most of us, the best we can do is pitch in a little, and try to get the job done. If you can afford to show up and donate a few bucks, we promise to play our hearts out for you and make it worth your while.

Won't you plan on coming out and being a part of this celebration? Together we can do a lot to help our community, and have a great time doing it. Hope to see you there! Thanks so much for your help and support.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Happy birthday, Robert. After all, if it weren't for this day in history, you wouldn't be here, and an important blog documenting and memorializing Southern Rock would be missing. Now, get out there in the street and dance. Oh, and have at least one beer.