Saturday, August 29, 2009

image courtesy of Playground Recording Studio

Was this the girl????

Please watch McCarty's video I posted on YouTube

I feel compelled to let you know how much you improve my life.

THE CARTEL is a mystery to all us old boys so we need access to the telepathic powers double agents like yourself are able to share with us.

I came up wid all dis stuff to say to you while I were out on the deck but I didn't write it down so now I'm tongue tied.

CRS Syndrome, one mo' time agin'!

Oh, I remember, it were on the subject of the delightful power of VENGEANCE & how effectively it solves promblems.

I love you K. in my own special way
& I just hope I can be a cat who deserves your attention.

Please view the McCarty YouTube Video


Save the Last Dance for Me

Drifters, Ben E. King, Doc Pomus

You can dance
Ev'ry dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye
Let him hold you tight
You can smile
Ev'ry smile for the man who held your hand
'Neath the pale moonlight
But don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin', save the last dance for me, mmmm

Oh, I know (oh, I know)
That the music's fine
Like sparkling wine
Go and have your fun
Laugh and sing
But while we're apart
Don't give your heart to anyone
But don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin', save the last dance for me, mmmm

Baby, don't you know
I love you so
Can't you feel it when we touch
I will never, never let you go
I love you oh, so much

You can dance (you can dance)
Go and carry on
'Til the night is gone
And it's time to go
If he asks if you're all alone
Can he take you home you must tell him no
'Cause don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arm's you're gonna be
So, darlin', save the last dance for me

---- Instrumental Interlude ----

'Cause don't forget who's taking you home
And in whose arm's your gonna be
So, darlin', save the last dance for me, mmmm

Save the last dance for me, mmmm-hummmm
Save the last dance for me, mmmm

by Pomus / Shuman

Jerome Hopkins was an incredible character & a superb piano player.
Check out the myspace music site for Bama Coach Dude Hennessey's wife,

Tuscaloosa matchbooks

There's an omen on this image.
Thursday I was contacted by Dr. Bill Morton of Atlanta about my Ellicott work & I find a cocktail napkin Saturday at Archie's Whorehouse with an image of the tavern on top of Ellicott's Hill in Natchez, the place where the American flag was first unfurled down here in 1797.

As most of you old heads know Tommy Bradford, the cat who painted the SISTENE CHUKKER, also designed this graphic for Solomon's paper bag

image courtesy of

Believe it or not, I have two of these posters pitching THE ROCKIN' GIBRALTARS, DAVID KELLER & THE PREACHERS PLUS THE OUTER MONGOLIAN HERD!!!! (Hey, Jeff, you know anything about "The Miami Beach" group?")

Woke up this morning & decided to PUSH the Michael McCarty Art4YouTube video. Let's see how many views we can get in the first 24 hours. We already have almost 100 views and we've got ten more hours to go. GIVE US YOUR COMMENTS & refer us to your friends! This video is guaranteed to make you HOMESICK FOR THE WORLD'S MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES!

December 24, 1958
image courtesy of

First impression: New Jerry Lee Lewis single 'Mean Old Man'

courtesy of

August 27, 2009 | 6:46 pm

Jerrylee350 It must be great, as a 73-year-old founding father of rock ’n’ roll and the celebrated “last man standing” of the stable of towering talents discovered and signed by Sun Records visionary producer Sam Phillips, to be able to snap your fingers and get new material written especially for you by the likes of Kris Kristofferson.

But that’s just what Jerry Lee Lewis has in “Mean Old Man,” the first single and title track from his forthcoming album, billed by his label, Shangri-La Music, as “his first country record since the ’70s."

That’s a tad misleading—his 2006 album for Shangri-La, "Last Man Standing," had plenty of country spirit in it, because rock as originally mapped out by Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and other Sun artists was equal parts country and rhythm and blues, primal influences those artists never fully abandoned even in their hardest-rocking recordings.

Kristofferson provides him with a song that celebrates the yin and yang of what it is to be the Killer, proclaiming himself to look like a mean old man, a good old friend, a voodoo doll and, finally, hilariously, “your uncle Bob.”

The single, which just went up on iTunes,, Rhapsody and most of the usual places, opens with the down-home twang of a tremolo-laden electric guitar over a midtempo martial drum beat. Conspicuous in its absence is any hint of the signature pumping piano work by the famous Fireball.

In recent years he’s appeared increasingly frail, but vocally he sounds very much himself and very much in possession of the telltale quaver in his voice and a take-no-prisoners, make-no-excuses authority over the material at hand.

“If I look like a voodoo doll/Who’d take his lickin’ standing tall/Who’d rather bite you back than crawl/That’s what I am,” he snarls. The ferocity he often tapped in his prime may be a thing of the past, judging from a certain thinness in his vocals, but the deliciously cocky attitude still evident here probably will be with him till the day he dies, and even then, it may not follow him down without a fight.

-- Randy Lewis

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gonna be on the Wally and Dave's Morning Show @ WTBC next Friday, Sept 4 @ 8 A.M. to promote your CD and maybe Jerry Lee Lewis' newest release
or maybe anything else I wanna push.

Let me know if we can get Shelby on the phone for a short interview about "ORION"



This sounds great! The CD which should be arriving pretty soon, initially will only be available from our web site or by emailing me at the above address. I'm having some difficulties with the playground site right now, but should be fixed in a day or two. The "Georgia Pines" cut on the CD was recorded here in 1972. Ellis
didn't sign with SSS as ORION until 1976.

The Orion story is just about as bizarre as they come and would make a great film. In 76 when Jimmy signed with Sun it was a provision of the contract that he always wear the mask in public and only answer to the name Orion. Finley found Jimmy in 1971 or so and didn't know what to do with someone who naturally sounded like Elvis. It was Shelby's idea to re-cut "That's Alright Momma" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky". So Finley recorded these two songs with the Playground Section which included David and John Rainey along with Jimmy Dean. Finley leased the tracks to Shelby and he put them out on the Sun label with no artist name listed, just a ? (question mark where the artists' name should be). Elvis fans bought the 45 like crazy thinking it was EP. RCA, who bought the Elvis rights from Sam Phillips prior to the Singleton purchase of the Sun catalog in 1969, also thought it Elvis and they injuncted the record and stopped sales. Later it was determined, that it was in fact Jimmy Ellis and the PRS section.. and Shelby laughed all the way to the bank. A true record man in my opinion and a hero of mine. Not many guys left like Shelby anymore.

There's not much known about the 1st 4 years of Jimmy's life as he was orphaned. When he was 4 he was adopted by a family in Orrville, Al. He lived with them while growing up and always considered them his true family. He went to school in Livingston. He was on his way to becoming a pro baseball player when he won the regional Ted Mack amateur hour. Jimmy still has many fans around the world who idolize him. At one time during his life he had at least 3 fan clubs comprised of thousands of folks worldwide. Caravans of fans would follow his tour bus.

This will be hard to swallow, but there is documented evidence that Vernon and Gladys Presley split up for a brief period of time and it is also documented that Vernon was an itinerant worker in the town that Jimmy was conceived. His birth certificate read Gladys Bell as mother and Vernon (with no last name) as father. I have seen a copy of the birth certificate. Draw your own conclusions.

The movie is actually a tragedy... not only the fact that he was murdered but the fact that he could never have his own identity as Jimmy Ellis.

image courtesy of

This was the motivation for the Jimmy Ellis at Playground Recording CD that was released in 2005. The Europeans who initiated the project with me wanted a product that featured Jimmy without the mask, not Orion. Of course the older Jimmy got, the more he played off the fact that he sounded so much like Elvis..The early Jimmy stuff truly sounds like young Elvis.. I don't think it was imitation, I think he opened his mouth to sing and that's what came out.

It's interesting that in 1979 SSS issued an LP called Jerry Lee Lewis and Friends. "Save the Last Dance For Me" went up the country charts to at least # 35. It was Jerry Lee and Jimmy Ellis... but the public believed it was Elvis.

image courtesy of
I'm not sure if Ellis was credited on the LP. Another credit for the great record man SS, but a devastating blow to Ellis who was desperately searching for his own identity. In 1982 somewhere at a performance Ohio, Jimmy had enough and ripped off the mask and cape. This brought his Sun career to an end.

The motivation behind the "Georgia Pines" release is to promote the song as it is truly a great song and most musicians will tell you that it has the perfect chord structure and the lyrics are astounding (Thanks Buddy).. but the musical structure and the lyrics fit together perfectly. In the movie "Georgia Pines" is the last song as Jimmy searches for traces of his biological parents after ending his illustrious and bizarre career. Only in the south... where the basis of all good music comes from.
Wow RR.. you got me on a diatribe.. Just another lost story from Playground. For your listening pleasure I have attached an MP3 of "Blue Moon" with banter on the front where you can hear the musicians talking before the cut. You can prominently hear David as he counts off.

God bless Wilbur Walton and all the boys from Dothan

Playground Recording
Valparaiso, Fl.

Get me some phone numbers. We'll start calling people about 7:30 & we'll go on the air at about 8:05 Friday morning.

I'm really enjoying listening to Jim Dickinson's clips on YouTube. Inside shit, to say the least.

There's a big article in the latest GOLDMINE about BIG STAR.
They just released some reissues and a new box set.

Talk to ya neck week.


thanks for taking your time
bst rgds
incidentally; had sent this to the correction desk of Enncyclopedia Brittannica re. its definition of the "Virginius affair"
Actually, there were altogether 4 conditions as set-forth by the United States through ambassador Sickles in Madrid for due accomplishment by Spain according to Jose Leon Ruiz's "Filibusteros en Madrid" edited in 1874. Two out of them are here neatly explained by EB. The remaining two were purposely and estrategically postponed by the United States to timely clash with the Isthmus (Panama) opening to ocean navigation and upgrading of the US Navy to cope with Alfred Thayer Mahan's conception of the USA as the emerging empire to lead the world. The third condition was accomplished by the Spanish decked battle-ship on the 25th February 1898 at time of passing off Battery Point NY and got no answer from shore to the ship's protocol salute to the United States flag. The fourth and final contemplated the defeat and surrender of the Spanish fleet overseas ending up with admirald Pascual CERVERA's presence at Castillo del Morro in Santiago right at the spot where 25 years before the VIRGINIUS crew had been slaughthered. Then a lieutenant CERVERA commanded the firing squad complying superior orders by general Juan Nepomuceno Burriel, Governor of Santiago. A high top negotiation took place whilst CERVERA stood as a POW in the United States ..............
bst rgs
doubt very much EB will insert ours.
Remember .........
the Americans and Spaniards aren't bad people
their military-merchants; yes.

I won't disregard your point of view, because there's a lot of immigrating people involved that
arrived Cuba from NW Spain, also, those visiting CASTILLO DEL MORRO accompanied by
Cervera's relatives, remarkably headed by Manuel Fraga Iribarne a Franco's man. Franco was
paramount for Fidel's "success" anyway.

In the list of the crew you were kind to attach I see someone named CASTRO who apparently
reached and agreement with Mr. Cushing (William Barker Cushing ????)

2 questions:
1. can you show/guide me to read somewhere the terms of the agreement Cushing-Castro
2. what''s the role of this CASTRO upon time ? military ? civilian ?

and, naturally, any connection with Fidel

bst rgds

have inquired in my books and those Cushing-Castro meetings/agreements
actually refere tom Caleb Cushing ambassador to spain (former attorney gral)
and the Spanish minister of State Alejandro Castro. the agreement presumedly
contemplated the four points earlier mentioned.

don't know too much about Fidel's father Angel Castro Argiz. Seems that the Belen
Jesuits awarded him huge cultivable lands in Cuba where he brutally handled
the slaves etc.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Train roll on, on down the line,
Won't you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,
Means I'm leaving my woman behind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
My woman's gone with the wind.

And I don't know where I'm going.
I just want to be left alone.
Well, when this train ends I'll try again,
But I'm leaving my woman at home.

Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
Tuesday's gone with the wind.
My woman's gone with the wind.

Train roll on many miles from my home,
See, I'm riding my blues away.
Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
But somehow I've got to carry on.

The Toler -Townsend Band:
Dan Toler To Be Interviewed on Kix Country
by Sonny Edwards
If you love great music, you will want to tune in to
"Down Home Cookin"
Clear Channel Port Charlotte -
Kix Country PM Drive/Americana PD - today, Friday, August 28th at 7:00 PM (Eastern Time), for his in depth interview with "Dangerous"
Dan Toler, and get a preview of the brand new
Toler-Townsend Band
I've heard it, and believe me, you don't want to miss it. Toler's inventive and intricate guitar riffs weave a magical, musical web around Johnny Townsend's soulfully electrifying and inimitable vocals. The songs are mature, sophisticated at times, raucous and rocking at others, always engaging and masterfully crafted. They will move you in a variety of ways, but they will move you.
You can also listen in online at:

the Southland, Peace
Sonny Edwards

I've wondered over the years how many National Guardsmen under my father's command went to the middle of the Mojave desert, to Fort Irwin, California, in the Fall of 1961, due to the Berlin Crisis, and how many of them are left.
Dad was Battalion Commander of the 1/131 Tank Battalion, based in Ozark, with four other Company's in Opp, Andalusia, Troy, and one other that escapes me. I was 12, and recall most of it well, accompanying him to bi-monthly drills, each at a different Company, playing around in tanks, and being treated with great respect by hundreds of Guardsmen in each place. Well over 900 men took that journey, lasting 10 months, most of them quite young. A few brought their young families, if they wanted, as well as all the Officers, and their families, but most were left in the Southern Alabama area, waiting for their return.
Many would have children later, and hear of the "journey to the desert", a story not unlike all the war tales my father told me, about Korea, and World War Two, both of which he was involved in.
Lt. Col. Louis S Davis died in 1990, age 74, and was buried in Quitman Georgia, with full military honors.
Louis S Davis Jr.


Kinda got off on a Google search and ended up at your blog. Found some interesting and nostalgic stuff there. Amongst all the stuff about really good Alabama bands, I saw several missing...along with some very good musicians. The Phatons out of Pensacola always blew me away! They had the nearly blind guitar player named Ford...incredible. Nonetheless, I enjoyed your blog and reading the posts of others.

You seem pretty knowledgeable about deep South rock of the 60s and 70s and have quite a few friends that should know a lot ... they were there. Then, I thought to's a stupid and self-serving game but....

Does anyone know who I am?

I started playing rock in a small south Alabama before the Beatles came to America. The Misfits was the name of the band and Tommy Wyatt was the bassist. Tommy later went on to play with the James Gang, did quite a bit of work with John Rainey Adkins, and I was told (though do not know for sure) he was a bassist for Beaverteeth at aone time.

My first post-high school gig was with Tommy and a much under-rated guitarist/singer named Jerry Stinson. We played a little club outside Dothan, AL called the Oasis.

Later, I again joined Tommy Wyatt with Wilbur Walton Jr and Marvin Taylor in the James Gang. I also played with Wilbur in Blackhawk....Lamar, Tommy, Carl, Wilbur, Kenneth, Krushev, me....David Adkins came and went...who wasn't in that band at some point...and it only lasted part of the summer at PC?!

Tommy Wyatt and I were also in a band called Green Cheese, a band John Rainey Adkins took a liking to and arranged for us to cut several tracks at the old Master Sound Studios in Atlanta. Members of the band besides Tommy and me were Hugh Cline and Paul Jones. We cut several tracks, needing only to add vocals and a few riffs, when legal problems derailed the entire project and it was never finished. During this time, I also cut a couple of tracks with some of the Candymen. During this time, Green Cheese fronted the Candymen on a few occasions. Say "hey" to Robert Nix and Dean Daughtery for me if you see them. By the way, Dean and Jerry Stinson go way back.

I worked briefly as a session musician in a smaller studio in Muscle Shoals studio called Widget. The job was dependent upon my being able to assemble an entire session band....joining me were Paul Jones and Hugh Cline from Green Cheese and a young bassist I met in Dothan named Ken Griffith. Hugh didn't stay long but a local guitarist took his place.

Probably the best band I ever played in was Whitewater, the house band at the Flamingo Club for a while. Whitewater was Jerry Stinson on guitar/slide guitar/vocals, Jimmy Miller on guitar/vocals, Paul Jones on keyboards/vocals, a young but really good bassist out of Enterprise, AL named Ed Cain and me. The repetoire was incredible...the chemistry was great. Wonder what ever happened to old Ed...he was really good.

Whitewater morphed into the Mason-Dixon Band. Hard rock wasn't Jimmy Millers preference in music and Jerry Stinson had problems of a personal nature that side-lined him. Replacing these guys were James Brown on guitar/flute/vocals, Lewis Crawford on harmonica/percussion/vocals and Bruce Dailey on lead guitar. I left the group in 1974.

I knew Norman Andrews and Bubble well....Howard Martin, longtime guitarist for Norman was a good friend. He is missed as is David Teddar, a great drummer. Only recently learned that Norman had passed. Lots of those folks have passed....Tommy Wyatt committed suicide in Atlanta while living with Wilbur Walton. Charlie Silva. Bruce Dailey.

Donnie Gums ("Gummy") was a pal, too. I knew all the Candymen...some better than others...and worked with a few of them. I knew quite a few of the more notorious musicians from those days.
So....who am I?

dear Robert,
Remember the Virginius; forget the Maine
(remember the Maine viz. forget the Virginus)
I have started in forum La N. C. above theme since I'm
prety well sure that there's a lot of shit inside those fantastic (full-up
of contradictions ) web sites chiefly that one SPANAMERWAR
sponsored with PUBLIC tax-payer money and incredibly shared
with that of the family of admiral CERVERA, slaughterer of the
VIRGINIUS crew according to the testimony of the Cuban reputed
historian Emilio Bacardi Moreau.
Basic mathematics would be enough to send them all to jail.
Should had there been only one willful non committed navigator in the
world reading those fables the matter would have already exploded.
Right there lies the problem.

Since it looks like you happen to be the only one in the United States
recording questions like that would you mind telling me if any inheritor
of the crew may have approached you requesting clarifications,
demanding investigation etc.
please allow me to stand anonimous for the time being.
bst rgds
This pdf file has images of the pages of the book, Life of Captain Joseph Fry, The Cuban Martyr

Here is the portion of the book that describes Captain Fry's actions during the Battle of Blakely on the Tensas River:
"And now commenced a scene of unsurpassed
coolness and bravery. The Morgan was a wood-
en vessel with flush deck; every man was visible
from his ankles up. Her position was about one
thousand yards from the enemy's battery, which
was mounted with Parrott guns, and counter-
sunk under a hill. The men all appeared self-
possessed, and worked like true soldiers.The
officers appeared as cool and collected as if as-
sembled for inspection, while Captain Fry walked
leisurely fore and aft, seeing everything for him-
self, and encouraging his men by an appearance
sang froid
which I for one could scarcely
appreciate at the time but which, as I now look
back at it, was truly magnificent.

Pretty soon the Federal battery 'got range'
on the ship, and then their hits were frequent.
After one hour and a quarter's fight, the forward
division was reported out of ammunition. Then
in a few moments more a report that a plank
had been ripped out of the ship's side just at the
water line and that it was impossible to plug
the hole. Quick as thought, away went guns
(rendered useless for want of ammunition) and
chain-boxes to the port side, to lift the unpluggable
hole out of the water.(ed.note:now there's a place in Alabama
to do some underwater archeology) Ten minutes
more, and the after broadside guns reported out
of munitions, and only two more shells for the
seven-inch after gun left on hand.

These reports came thick and fast, and this
last one convinced Captain Fry that it was time
to quit the fight, and try to save his ship, crip-
pled as she was, and his men. He ordered the
last two shots fired, and that we should then
quit the action.

Here I must be permitted to relate two
incidents/one of which shows how invariably Cap-
tain Fry thought of others before himself, the
other brings forward his great coolness in mo-
ments of extreme peril.

When the forward division was reported out
of ammunition, the men had nothing to do but
to lie around decks taking the enemy's fire.
One of the men was carelessly leaning against
the foremast. Captain Fry, noticing his position,
touched him gently on the shoulder, saying,
"Don't stand near that mast; you run a double
danger, for you may be splintered"— risking
the danger himself while warning the man, who
quickly and thankfully took his advice, and
stood away from the mast.

When — after one hour and fifty minutes'
fight with this battery, a crippled ship under his
command, and nothing left for offense or defense
— Captain Fry had determined to back her out
and had given orders accordingly, his executive
officer (a brave and efficient soldier, whose tal-
ents and bravery, if the occasion offers, will add
luster to the achievements of the khedive's
, seeing the almost desperate condition of
things, approached him, and touching his hat
said, " Captain, I suppose we shall slip the cable,
sir?" The men were all standing looking
toward the group of officers, when the captain
answered, "No, sir; weigh the anchor, as usual!"
Hearing the captain's cool reply, his crew gave
him three rousing cheers, which could be clear-
ly heard by the enemy, and must have been
strangely incomprehensible to them, coming, as
it did, from what they could plainly see was a
disabled and sinking ship.

The Morgan hauled off, and was so badly
crippled that she could not be repaired and got
ready to return to duty until the evening of the
evacuation of Mobile, when she went over to the
eastern shore to watch the movements of the
enemy, and cover the retreat of our river trans-
ports. We then ascended the Tombigbee River
to Demopolis, and there awaited in mournful in-
activity the news of the sad ending of our long

A week passed, and we were ordered to re-
turn to Nana Hubba Bluff to surrender our ship,

Only one incident of this too sad part of our
history will I relate. I would not mention even
this were it not that it speaks of him whom we
have loved and lost in terms more emphatic
than any words that might be used by his eulo-
gists. I have always spoken of Captain Fry as
the only man I ever knew of whom I thought
that danger could never present itself to him in
such a shape or so unexpectedly, as to startle or
unnerve him. The following incident will, I
think, tend to prove the correctness of this
opinion :

On the morning of our surrender, at about
six o'clock, I was seated in the captain's room in
his cabin. He was still in bed, and the men
were washing down decks in order that the ves-
sel might be in presentable trim for 'Messieurs
Les Yankees! All at once a most terrible noise
was heard overhead, as of big guns upsetting,
and trees and branches crashing through the
ship. It was evident, that through the fault of
the pilot, we had taken the wrong side in pass-
ing an island in the river, and that we were
taking the woods for it.

Captain Fry called
out,"Tell them to back her!" I rushed to the
hatch, but the ladders were up on deck, as it was
washing down decks. No resource was left me
but to call with might and main to the men on
deck, which I did, but in vain. These same men
whom I had seen, a short week since, face death
in battle with such bravery and coolness, now
that danger came upon them so unexpectedly,
and in such a novel shape, were livid and spell-
bound with fear ; they paid me no heed. Sud-
denly I felt, first a hand and then a foot upon
my shoulder. Then I saw the captain go up
through the hatch, all undressed as he was, seize
the deserted wheel, ring the engineer's bells, to
stop her,and disengage the ship from her peril-
ous predicament.

But the old Morgan was sadly worsted in
this, her last encounter, her wheel-house torn
away, etc.; and when, a few hours later, we
passed her into the hands of her new masters,
they did not appear to think that they were re-
ceiving the surrender of a ' first-class frigate.'

The officers and men under the command of
Captain Fry, on the Morgan, almost adored him
during his short stay with us; and their respect
for his gallantry, and reverence for his strict in-
tegrity in all things, were such that those little
short-comings in the commissary line which hun-
gry soldiers are sometimes guilty of, and which
were often winked at by commanding officers,
were carefully hidden from him, as all well knew
that no amount of privation could induce Cap-
tain Fry to look with a lenient eye upon either
the wrong done or the doer thereof.

One little incident of the surrender of the
Morgan, not mentioned by the foregoing narra-
tor, illustrates the characteristic trait last men-
tioned. Previous to leaving the vessel Captain
Fry made a personal inspection of every article
belonging to the ship. Finding one spy-glass
missing, all work was stopped, and search for the
missing glass instituted. This proving fruitless
for some time, the captain informed both officers
and crew that not one man would be allowed to
leave the ship until the spy-glass was accounted
for. After holding out for some time, one of the
men brought it to the captain, saying that he
had found it secreted in the bore of a cannon.

The surrender of the Morgan was reported to
the Federal government as the only vessel re-
ceived with "all her property intact."

Captain Fry himself said of the surrender of
the Morgan,
" If I had not been obliged to obey
the orders of my superiors, I would have fought
my vessel until she sunk, and would have pre-
ferred going down with her to surrendering her ;
but as I was forced to deliver her, I would not
disgrace myself and my flag by performing my
duty in any way unworthy of an officer and a

The following testimonial from the Command-
ing General of the Department of the Gulf con-
firms the opinion of his character expressed in
the preceding pages: —

'' Captain Joseph Fry, late Confederate Navy.

"My dear Captain: In April, 1865, while Can-
by's army was attacking Mobile, I did what I
could to have you placed in command of the
Confederate gunboat Morgan, because I es-
pecially desired that that boat should be com-
manded by, a bold and enterprising captain;,
and because my observation of you during
your service at Mobile, and also the concur-
rent testimony of your brother officers of the
navy, satisfied me you were the proper man to
meet that desire.

" Your conduct while in command of the Mor-
gan fully sustained your reputation, and satisfied
me that you were justly entitled to the high
character you bear.

" I am, with great respect,

"Most cordially yours,

"Dabney H. Maury"

A similar testimonial from Admiral Raphael
Semmes was also found among his papers.

After the surrender of the Morgan, Captain
Fry returned to Mobile on parole, on board the
steamer Southern Republic, and a few days
afterward went to meet his family in Georgia.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I guess when we give false information it's no longer a lie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Robert, you mentioned your ‘6…2 Chevy Impala.

My Mom’s last car was a ’62 Chevy Biscayne. She still was driving it the year she died, 2003. She was diagnosed with cancer of the membrane surrounding the lung – a tumor located between the lung and the heart (mesothelioma), seven years before. Because of her age and the location of the tumor, the doctors said it was inoperable. She went through three years of periods of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the tumor stopped growing. For four years, she considered herself “back to normal.” She had to wear an oxygen tank when she went out, and when she was in, she had to breathe with the aid of oxygen tanks. Yet she kept driving. It was her declaration of independence. That old ’62 Chevy just kept running.

In May of 2003 we received word from Mother’s doctor that she was terminal, that the cancer suddenly was growing rapidly. She had taken a taxi to the hospital because the car wouldn’t run. Within a month, she died.

Tom, Giovanna and I went down and cleared out the house. We took tons of junk out of the attic – and kept a lot of it. She never threw anything away. Many of the antique magazines we took out we kept. How could we not? They were historic! A 1959 US News and World Report for which the cover story was, “Why there will be no war in Asia.” This is what one might call, “anti-prophetic.” Another with a cover story about the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Popular Mechanics) that stated that this turnpike was so ingeniously designed that it would end traffic congestion forever. This was another anti-prophetic article. All in all, we kept a great deal of the “junk.” Even so, we hauled several truckloads of old magazines, old newspapers, broken tools, and at least a container load of old tin cans and plastic containers in which foodstuffs are sold, to the dump. She kept old tin cans and plastic containers because they should be able to be reused. We recycled them, but that was not an option when she saved them. Having lived through the Great Depression, she saved anything that “might” be useful. Having done detailed analysis of the Great Depression, the present “crisis” is but a blip on a chart in comparison.

Tom decided to give the old car to his son. I agreed. Tom and I spent a couple of days fiddling with it, replacing the battery, etc., and we finally got it started up and drove it to the Chevy dealer. They gave it an overhaul, and pronounced it “ready to roll.” So, we started out for Yankeeland – Tom driving the Biscayne and I driving the U-Haul moving van.

We got as far as Hedstrom Union and the car defaulted to the “no go” option. We had it hauled back to the Chevy dealership, and they restored it to running condition again, but time was not tight, so we returned it to the driveway of the house we grew up in, and, taking turns, drove the U-Haul north.

Soon thereafter, we received a message from the Moons (next-door neighbors) that the carport had collapsed on top of the Biscayne. There didn’t seem to be any damage to the Biscayne, the roof had just sort of “settled down” on it. By long distance, we contacted George Carroll, who took care of rebuilding the carport. Then Tom went back down to drive the ’62 Chevy to Maine. When he got there, he was faced with an empty carport.

On investigation, it seems someone towed the car away, convincing the neighbors they were authorized to do so. We never saw the car again, nor could the police get sufficient leads to go anywhere with an investigation. Someone just pulled a towtruck in and took it.

My Mom’s real car was a ’39 Oldsmobile. I drove it in High School, after Dad got her a newer car (later replaced with the ’62), and would have taken it to college, but Dad felt it wasn’t dependable enough. He and I had rebuilt the engine, the transmission, replaced all the wires, hoses, etc. so it was “good as new,” but he was worried about metal fatigue. A Southern Airways crash of an old plane due to metal fatigue had scared him. So, I drove a ’58 Chevy to college and left the Olds. Dad sold it to the yard man. He drove it around Dothan with lawn mowers hanging out the back for years, then sold it to his son. His son drove it to Los Angeles, and rented it out for several years to the movie studios, making enough money to come home, return the car to his Dad, and pay cash for a Corvette.

When I was back in Dothan for the Reunion (you know which one) I say the Olds – lawnmowers hanging out the back – driving around the neighborhood. I would love to go find the yard man, buy it back from him and restore it. That ’39 Olds was one cool car.


Check out Jerry Lee Lewis

Hey Roberto!
Glad you're still stirring it up.
I've departed Russian & Finland, took a short detour to Australia, and have found myself in the heart of the Niger Delta in Africa - Warri, Nigeria. Warri was a major slave portal to the New World. Human cargo brought to America by Dutch, Portuguese, and English slave traders. A huge percentage of slaves to the Caribbean and the Low Country of the US were from this region. The foreign slave traders have been replaced by the foreign oil companies, making just a few tribal leaders rich while most of the rest are miserable.
Send me Michael Hartzog's e-mail address. I've been trying to get in touch with him. I saw you posted a comment from him.
Thanks, Jim


I tried so hard my dear to show that you're my every dream.
Yet you're afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme
A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue
And so my heart is paying now for things I didn't do
In anger unkind words are said that make the teardrops start
Why can't I free your doubtful mind, and melt your cold cold heart?

You'll never know how much it hurts to see you sat and cry
You know you need and want my love yet you're afraid to try
Why do you run and hide from lies?
To try it just ain't smart.
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

There was a time when I believed that you belonged to me
But now I know your heart is shackled to a memory
The more I learn to care for you,the more we drift apart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?

>Oh boy, "My Little Blue Pill" ....I sang the demo for that song.

My recollection is that it was written as an "homage" to a TV show about some superhero that took a pill that transformed him from a nebbish into the aforementioned superhero.
Buddy and I had fun over that one.

I think he wanted The Candymen to record it at one time, and we all "Bolsheviked" on him.
Billy Joe Royal and I were talking (really laughing) once about the songs we got offered, and would say "Everybody else gets
.....See the tree how big it's grown,

and I get....

>Love ya' Buddy, you're one beautiful dude!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Hey y'all~
We got some great news this week from Chief Bigwater down at Playground concerning the European release of a version of Georgia Pines. One of the artists featured on this CD will be the late Jimmy "ORION" Ellis of Orrville. I was in Selma over the weekend and talked to some folks about producing some publicity for the release of the Georgia Pines CD.

image courtesy of

While in Dallas County I got to visit tranquil Pleasant Hill.

This is the little community on the Dallas/Lowndes County line where Philip Henry Gosse came to teach in the 1838 and where he wrote his important journal which opens a window onto early Alabama.

I discovered Gosse at Young Jr. back in '64 when I got a hold of a copy of Lucille Griffith's HISTORY OF ALABAMA 1540-1900 as recorded in DIARIES, LETTERS, AND PAPERS OF THE TIMES.
Gosse published the journal of his Alabama experiences in 1859.

Sea Anemones by Philip Henry Gosse, 1860

Closed out Sunday afternoon back in Selma with my first visit to historic Kenan's Mill. I fell in love with this old mill.

Had lunch today with Rockin' Gibraltars' drummer Bobby Dupree and his wife, Nancy. Nancy is a librarian at the Archives & History & Bobby does media for the State House. We had a terrific lunch at the Montgomery Brewing Company.

After lunch I got to visit the Hank Williams Museum.
The big thing I took away from visiting Hank's museums in Montgomery & Georgiana was the magnificent love people all over the world have for this Alabamian. He truly had a gift from God which he generously shared with the rest of us.

Took a little detour on the way back home this afternoon and stopped by downtown Prattville and hiked the Wilderness Park.
This was the first wilderness park in the history of America to be established inside city limits. The magnificent poplars and the giant bamboo create an environment that exudes serenity. Unfortunately, the park has recently been damaged by high winds.

So hopefully sunrise will find me happy, healthy and ready to help the team here at Pake Realty.


image courtesy of

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Side B, an ode to a "Little Blue Pill".

In the mid to late sixties I supported George Wallace. It was not because I was a racist. It was because I believed in states rights [still do],
small government [still do], individual rights, lower taxes, and the people of Alabama. It made my blood boil when the national
press ridiculed people like my mom and dad. My folks were honest,hard working, religious Americans who payed their taxes, tithed at church,
and kept their yard mowed. They didn't embrace Governor Wallace's strict segregationist views but they hated and resisted the forced solution to the
problem by Washington. I caught a lot of flack for being a conservative during the Woodstock era. The music of the Woodstock nation influenced and inspired me
but the politics was something I could not embrace. My motto was 'keep an open mind but don't let your brains fall out"
Bill Lowery called me one day in 1967 and asked if I wanted to make a record with George Wallace Jr. Bill knew I was a fan of his dad and that
I was from Alabama, so it was a good fit. The young man loved music and convinced his parents to let him follow his dream and go to Atlanta to make
a record. The 16 year old walked into the old Gearhart school building, which housed the studio where we cut so many hits, with his bodyguard, and we were
introduced. His mother,Lurleen, had been elected Governor, since his Daddy was forbidden, by the state constitution, to run again. George Jr. brought a
song to the session entitled "Papa was Guv'nor" [till mama moved in]. We recorded it and a song that J.R. and I wrote called "Little Blue Pill"

Over the years, George Jr. and I have stayed in touch and when I was in the hospital recently, he came to visit twice. He has enjoyed success in Alabama politics but He still loves music and records in a small studio in Florida. George is a very good guitarist with a nice voice and he enjoys playing and recording with his band. I am proud to call him my friend.