Saturday, October 24, 2009

courtesy of

In February 1999, the often elusive Alex Chilton was in New York City for a couple of gigs at the late, great East Village dive Coney Island High, with bassist Ron Easley and drummer Richard Dworkin. The trio had enough of a groove on playing mostly vintage soul tunes that they went into a Manhattan recording studio, Sear Sound, and kept the music rolling. In a single night, they cut nineteen cover tunes, and Alex produced the session himself. That sort of approach was common in the studios of Memphis, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the classic era of sixties soul, though this think-on-your-feet, overdub-free style is an anomaly today. For the Memphis born-and-bred Alex, that's the way he always liked it.

Alex and his cohorts had a list of songs for Set, based on what they’d been cooking up on stage, but, as Alex put it, "we thought of a few more once we got there."

As he recently explained to a British reporter, "I had probably ten or twelve in mind when we went into the studio. As the evening wore on, band members would suggest tunes to do, and we’d do them. I think we only did more than one take of two or three of the songs we did, and I don’t think we used any second takes on the album. There are all different approaches to doing things. Over the years, I’ve come to think spontaneity and doing things live as much as possible is worth something. Somehow, when you layer things by overdubbing them, that seems to lose an element of spontaneity and life that’s very important."

The material on Set ranges from the modern to the classic, the playful to the sexy. It, stays in an R&B groove, save for a trio of jazzy numbers ("April In Paris, " "There Will Never Be Another You ," "Shiny Stockings") and a country tune from the even more elusive Gary Stewart ("Single Again"). What links the lineup is that all these tunes are part of Alex’s personal hit parade. "I know a few scholars of old R&B," he explains, "they play things for me that get me going. Plus I remember things from my teenage years, stuff that was even obscure then."

Even in this era of multi-tasking, few, if any, pop artists can lay claim to the disparate, multi-generational audience Alex maintains with his various, ongoing combos. The Box Tops reform annually to play on the summertime oldies circuit. In August 2000, for example, they played for an after-work crowd in front of Manhattan’s World Trade Center at a radio station-sponsored gig. Big Star still play gigs occasionally too. But Set is perhaps the closest to the "real" Alex -- melding memories of the music that inspired him as a teenager with the sweet soul sounds you can still find today if, like Alex, you know where to look.

" I’m in love with that song," was how Paul Westerberg of the Replacements put it in his heartfelt homage to Big Star, "Alex Chilton." Alex himself offers the same sentiment on Set, his off-the-cuff tribute to the timeless southern soul music he deeply admires.

*Photos by Aimee Toledano.

1. Never Found A Girl (Booker Jones/Eddie Floyd/Al Isbell)
2. Lipstick Traces (Naomi Neville)
3. Hook Me Up (Johnny Watson)
4. Oogum Boogum (Alfred J. Smith)
5. You's A Viper (Leroy Smith)
6. I Remember Mama (Caesar-Mathis-Sterling-Sterling-Price and Newton)
7. April In Paris E.Y. (E.Y. Harburg/Vernon Duke)
8. Therer Will Never Be Another You (Gordon-Warren)
9. Single Again (Gary Stewart)
10. You've Got A Booger Bear Under There (Ollie Hoskins/Quinn Golden)
11. Shiny Stockings (Frank Foster)

According to Reverend Bruce, this image is "The Secret To Life".

One of Jeff Miami & Mal Thursday's BEST!
Check it out!!!! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN NOW!

12. Geneva County was not established until December 26, 1868. The town of Geneva was located in Coffee County during the war and it had a population of 126-22 Negroes and 104 whites. See W. Brewer, Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record and Public Men from 1540-1872 (Montgomery, 1872), 258.

Friday, October 23, 2009

found an article tonight containing images of letters mailed with Confederate postage to Mail Route 1538 which was between Marianna and Campbellton. According to documents in the National Archives, my G-Great Grandfather, John Young Register of Geneva, had the contract to deliver the mail along this route in 1861. This was the road that the Yankees took before the Battle of Marianna.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I very much enjoy your Zero blog. Great pictures of Duane--I have some stories to tell about him, too. I taught at UA from 1977 to 1995 and now live in the Shoals. Still great music up here.

I ran across your site in a google search for one of my former UA students--Stella Gray Bryant. Would you happen to know how I might contact her?

All the best. I've bookmarked your site and will check it out everyday. Keep up the good work. You bring back some great memories (e.g. Ft. Brandon Armory and the Allman Joys).

Michael Hill

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hey y'all~

Got back last night. Peak experiences every day. Mural dedication on Wed.; hearing GA. Pines inside Playground Recording Studio in ValP plus driving from Navarre to Pensacola Beach then on to Ft. Pickens on Thurs.; Hanging out @ Rod Knockers & Watching the Shrimp Get Iced & Loaded on Friday; Hiked all the way to Land's End on Pelican Island on Sat.; Sunday wuz a peak experience too.

I had eight different emails from Dothan Tigers informing me of Bat John Bedsole's passing. My condolences go out to John III & Sally. Tonight I came in from work to find out Sonny Gellerstedt passed away this weekend. Sam, Scott, Shea & Steve - y'all have my sympathy. Words cannot express what you have lost.
"The Faults of Our Members We Write Upon the Sands of Time. Their Virtues Upon the Tablets of Love and Memory."


image courtesy of Kerry Ferrell

image courtesy of Kerry Ferrell

image courtesy of Frank Tanton

image courtesy of Frank Tanton

image courtesy of Kerry Ferrell

image courtesy of Kerry Ferrell
Midland City's Roland Thompson, rr, David A. Smith, Frank Tanton

image courtesy of Kerry Ferrell

According to Reverend Bruce, this image is "The Secret To Life".

One of Jeff Miami & Mal Thursday's BEST!
Check it out!!!! CLICK HERE TO LISTEN NOW!

image by Kerry Farrell
David A. Smith in the straw hat & Hot Chili Peppers Shirt, robertoreg in the middle & the man with the tie is WBAM's Great Bill J. Moody, the MAN Who Made The Rockin' Gibraltars!

image by Kerry Farrell


I don't know if you and I have met before, but I was at UA from 68-72 and I knew Jesse Pribbenow very well. I appreciate you letting everyone on the Chukker list know about his death. I am sending you a photo for your blog. It was scanned from the Corolla (I think 1971).

His friends are sponsoring a web guestbook at for people to sign:

I'd appreciate it if you could post this to your blog.


Mr. John B. Bedsole, Jr.
a resident at Extendicare died Monday, October 12, 2009. He was 92.

Funeral services will be held at 2 P.M. Friday, October 16, 2009, at the Ward Wilson Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Allie Freeman officiating. Burial will follow in Travelers Rest Cemetery in Samson, AL.

The family will be receiving friends at the funeral home from 1 to 2 P.M. Friday, October 16, 2009, one hour prior to the service.

Mr. Bedsole was born June 16, 1917, in Smason, Alabama, the son of the late John B. Bedsole and Martha Jane Lowery Bedsole. He was a member of the First United Methodists Church of Dothan. He taught at Dothan High School from 1960 – 1975, and taught at Geneva High for many years. He loved painting and drawing. He was a veteran of WWII.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Julia Ann Blount Bedsole, and his step-mother, Lola Ray Miller Bedsole.

Survivors include: daughter, Sally Bedsole Zigler and her husband, Gerald Lee of Albany, GA; son, John B. Bedsole, III of Montgomery, AL; and several nieces and nephews.

Active pallbearers will be: Mark Fewell, and Richard Burke, E.B. Stafford, Malone Calvert, and Gerald Zeigler

Dothan Eagle Online: