Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hey y'all~
Due to technical difficulties, I have no images available of the memorable events of the past weekend. The Wheels of Progress do continue to turn so stay tuned because some incredible shots will be posted here soon.

I plan to start working with the stuff I captured this afternoon @ Great Day In Tuscaloosa so get those digital devices out and start posting & shooting me your images so I can share them with all the citizens of Zero, Northwest Florida.

Have a great holiday week!


Robert Register,25,teaching @ Druid High.

back cover of the Spring,1970 issue of COMMENT- The University of Alabama Review

DRESSED TO KILL by Jeff Baker (circa 1983)

L to R: Charles McCall, Pat Hughes, Mike Hartzog

Charlie's gone.

I saw Coach at John Bedsole's funeral. During the last few years every time I saw him around town I always asked him about his cattle farm. He always played along.
>When he was run out of his head coaching job at DHS in, what 72, 73?, he was interviewed and asked what his immediate plans were. He told Woof or whoever he had somewhat less than 500 head of cattle that needed attention and that he would remain with the Drivers Ed. program at DHS.

The media ran with the story, he had two cows out on his place on Middleton Rd. Gotta love him, gotta miss him. No body could reel him in except Maxine.

Sharman Burson Ramsey Coach McCall, our wonderful friend, passed away today. The funeral will probably be on Friday. He never left the hospital after having a stroke. He took a turn for the worse this weekend and we lost a fine, fine man, World War II Aviator, and my favorite flatterer. I would have parachuted in for a man like that. (He loved to joke that he had to fight the women off. They just parachuted in he was so irresistible.)

I promised Ms. Windham I'd post this stuff. I like it. I wish Ben would go out there today and start digging up bullets so he could get busted by his sacred left wing kook Alabama Histerical Commission.What I glory in about these pictures is poor old Ben wrote about a zillion editorials against the flying of the Confederate Flag. He might have hated the flag but sho' nuff loved tearing up the battlefield!

Subject: Stonecross

You know there was a group named Stonecross (all Dothan locals) that have yet to make on your blogs. A unique feature about the band was that this was the first band for all five members. Circa 69 to 72. I've got pics.

Stonecross was Brian Smith (bass), Mark Barrett (guitar), Mike Pace (guitar), Billy McCue (vocals), and Lamar Miller (drums)

I got email from Sonya's sister Sharon and she says her birthday is coming up in February so we have time to get those tapes. Ive not heard from Jason at all yet. I wonder if he doesn't read email or just is so busy. Ive not written him just was waiting to hear from you if you hear from him.
Sharon filled me in on Sonya and said she lives in Florida. She moved to Panama City during her Jr yr of high school to live with her mother since her parents divorce and got married young. She didn't pursue the music career because of the marriage but she has continued to sing and they moved to Jacksonville Florida. not sure if that is where they are now but Sharon said that Sonya used to perform somewhere there singing with the Big Band style of music and that her voice was rich and full and still beautiful. Sharon is going to see if she can get me a Cd of Sonya's voice now at some point.
I dug out my reel to reel tapes and recorder and tried to listen to them. I have Sonya singing 11 times but she did one song twice so there are 10 total songs however the quality of these tapes are terrible and the one we have her doing most of the songs on looks like the tape was recorded backwards (not on the shiny side). I had a hard time making out words plus it drags or goes too fast. its going to take a miracle worker recording studio to make them sound good. Only 2 or 3 sound decent to me. And a few she starts off and you hear it and then it goes low and you can hardly hear it or starts off like that and then suddenly the sound goes up.
Anyway I went thru and tried to figure out what the titles were and looked them up online to find out who the original artist was.

There is only one song I have been unable to figure out because it goes too fast or too slow and I can't make out any lyrics. Even Mr Taylor says the name of the song and I cant make out what he is saying. At first I thought the song was called "Thank God I'm A Woman" and it sounds like he says the title like "Sometimes It feels like a man, then it feels like a woman" but that isn't it either. Sounds like Sonya does say "you're a woman" in the title but I cannot figure that one out. Any clues?. It sounds like a catchy tune but none of the lyrics that I came out with above I can find on the internet.
here are the other songs
You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man - Loretta Lynn
Marty Gray - Jean Shepherd
Joy to The World - Three Dog Night
You and Your Sweet Love - Connie Smith (She does this two dif times)
Where Is My Castle - Connie Smith
I'm Sorry if My Love Got In Your Way - Connie Smith also done by Norma Jean
For The Good Times - Ray Price
It Coulda Been Me - Billie Jo Spears (this took me forever to find on the internet)
Snowbird - Anne Murray
Hopefully Mr Taylor's Grandson will contact me and have the original tapes that sound good. Id love to have copies of them myself.

Hi Robert,

I just found out about your plan for the "Great Day In Tuscaloosa" yesterday. Did it transpire? I hope so and I am sorry I missed it. I got an e-mail from an old musician buddy named Jor Tucker out of the blue this evening and started to looking around the Internet and found your blog. Its GREAT! However I have notices that many (most (all)) of the early band pictures in T-Town are all white bands. True of the WTBC site and yours as well. I played in a few bands in Tuscaloosa from 1966-1972....most of the time in black bands like George Byrd and the Doves, The Session, Soul Survivors (mostly from Columbus MS), and once or twice with the Dominoes as well as with white groups like Gary Griffin, The Top Ten, The Soul Searchers (out of Northport), and a few others. How about some pictures from the West End of T-Town? I'll send you one or two tomorrow if you're intereted.

Keep up the good work and I really like your blog. BTW I'll be the trumpet player on top of the car ;-)..circa 1969 outside the 61 Club or the Citizens Club I think???

Doug M.

Great meeting you, too!

Mama won't be able to make it. I would be surprised if she did. It
takes a lot to get her out these days as she has pulled in a bit. Her
husband, my wonderful stepfather, Dude Hennessey, has Alzheimer's and
that keeps her in more, but even besides that, she does not get out
and socialized like she did before. Anyway, she said that she would
love for these photos to represent her music back in the day because
she preferred to be remembered that way. Keep me up to date with your
music and art history ventures for Tuscaloosa and the state. It's
great you are doing this. Take care.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The following is courtesy of Bobby Dupree &

Subject: Alive at Ft. Hood

Yesterday, my brother had a TV on in his office when the news of the military base shootings came on.

The husband of one of his employees was stationed there. He called her into his office and the minute he told her what was going on, she got a text message from her husband saying, "I am okay." The cell phone started ringing right after that. It was an ER nurse. She said , "I'm the one who just sent you a text, not your husband." She thought the message would be comforting, but she immediately knew she had to let the wife know what was going on She said, "I am sorry but your husband has been shot 4 times and he is in surgery." The wife left Southern Clinic in Dothan and drove all night.

Miraculously, here is the photo I just received from my brother that was taken today in the hospital room. He is awake and will recover. His wife, who lives in Dothan , made it to Ft. Hood about the time he was waking up.

Thought I'd share this great outcome.

Don't worry, this is not a fake. Confirmation is here:
Alabama Army National Guard Maj. Randy Royer is recovering from the wounds he sustained during last week's mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and the well wishers who have visited his hospital room include former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


image courtesy of

I have vivid memories of your brother because I met him the first time I ever met a rock star. For many years I remembered his name as being Felix Flaco. Only with the advent of the Internet did I discover that his name was Felix "Flaco" Falcon.

In the spring of '72, I had a work-study job at the Student Union Building at the University of Alabama. I was 22 years old and was about to graduate with my B.S. degree. I was the maintenance man for the Union so,in my opinion, I had the best job on campus(plus every master key). All the student organizations were located in the Union so I got to know just about everybody. I got to know all the cats in the University Program Council,the organization that promoted concerts,so I got to work security at all the concerts which meant I got in free and was given a free T-shirt. The night before I met your brother, I had worked security for the Joe Cocker concert & had witnessed the whole show from the side of the stage.

Cocker wasn't as animated as he usually was because he had fallen off stage the night before in Jacksonville,Florida. He'd cracked a rib and was wrapped in this huge Ace bandage.

The next day at work somebody in UCP told me to drive my '62 Chevy Impala over to the Stafford Hotel to help shuttle Cocker's band out to the airport which is located across the river from Tuscaloosa in Northport. Right when I got there I saw evidence of the "Rock and Roll Lifestyle". While standing on the sidewalk in front of the hotel I witnessed Chris Stainton walk full speed right into a plate glass window. It almost knocked him down. He wasn't paying attention because he was reading a copy of Winnie the Pooh as he walked.

There was a huge entourage but everybody got rides until finally everyone had left for the airport except for Joe and your brother. By the time they got downstairs,I was the only car left so they piled Joe's crutches and your brother's conga drum into the trunk of my car & off we went.

Your brother and Joe sat in the back seat and Joe did most of the talking. The only time Joe had been to Alabama before was to record in Muscle Shoals. He was really curious about Alabama liquor laws so that's all we talked about. Stuff like dry counties, no dancing laws, not being able to walk around with a beverage in your hand laws, no open windows in bars laws,no draft beer laws,no Sunday sales laws,no words on your sign like "beer,wine,liquor"laws,etc. Felix was very quiet.I remember he looked exotic with his bell bottom pants and billowing black silk shirt.Seems like I remember him having a little facial hair. Seems like a moustache or a goatee. Cocker had his hair plaited in corn rows. I'd never seen that before.

After we crossed the river, I asked Joe and Felix if they wanted a beer. They were ready so I stopped in a little store and bought a six pack. We all popped a beer and rode around the airport grounds until each of us finished our two beers. When we got to the plane which was parked at Dixie Air, everyone was already on board the plane and they were waiting on us. I'll never forget this gorgeous dark skinned girl with long black hair running off the plane to hug Joe's neck as we got Joe's crutches and your brother's drum out of my trunk.

I've always felt that Joe and your brother had their stash inside Felix's conga drum.

The next time I heard about your brother was in October of the same year when he got busted with Joe in Australia for weed.

The cat you need to talk to is Joe Cocker. Joe & your brother appeared to be best friends and they were working in about the biggest rock & roll show to ever tour the world up to that time.


Thanks for the info.

Your guess on the stash was probably right.
Thanks again. I'll try to reach out to Joe.

from Sonny Edwards:
An old friend and bassist I played music with in 1970 had these pictures of himself (Steve Wasserman,darkhaired guy), our drummer (David Morton, shorter light haired guy), and me. We got together at the Atlanta Pop Festival. He found me on facebook, and sent me these. Thought you might get a kick out of what I looked like back in the lean and mean days. Who knew what lay ahead?

From the Southland, Peace
Sonny Edwards

by Tom Petty & Mike Campbell

You better watch what you say
You better watch what you do to me
Don't get carried away
Girl, if you can do better than me, go
Yeah go but remember

Good love is hard to find
Good love is hard to find
You got lucky babe
Yeah, you got lucky, babe
When I found you --

You put a hand on my cheek
And then you turn your eyes away
If you don't feel complete
If I don't take you all of the way go
Yeah go, but remember good love
Is hard to find
You got lucky babe
Yeah you got lucky
When I found you --

Monday, November 16, 2009

If you are a musician that used to play in a band in Tuscaloosa, still plays in Tuscaloosa, or know someone who fits that description... please read this message:

I'm sure you all have seen the photo "A Great Day in Harlem", which captured 57 prominent jazz musicians in front of an apartment building in Harlem, New York.

image courtesy of
It's a photo that presents an iconic image of a music community.

Well Tuscaloosa...

It's time to have our own "Great Day" on the steps of Reese Phifer Hall.

Along with Ham Bagby, Thomas Wescott, and Mikey Oswalt, I want to invite you to the photo shoot for "A Great Day in Tuscaloosa" - a photo shoot that will try to capture the essence of Tuscaloosa's music community past and present.

If you play in a band based in Tuscaloosa, played in one at one time, know someone who did, etc. - TELL THEM ABOUT THIS EVENT. To make the impact we are looking for, we need as many musicians in the photograph as possible. We want the entire spectrum represented.

The event will take place on Sunday, November 22nd. We are going to start organizing around Reese Phifer at 2:00 P.M. Because hopefully so many people will be involved, we will have some leeway after that in terms of when the photo will be taken. Please make an effort to be there between 2:00 and 2:30 so we can get everyone situated on the steps. Since it will be taking place in late November, we won't have a lot of daylight available so we want to give ourselves ample time to get the perfect shot.

Remember - this is a COMMUNITY event. We are relying on each and everyone of you to spread the word to people who might not get the initial invitation. Repost the link to the event, tell your friends, etc.

It is our ultimate goal to have this photo hanging in every establishment that supports live music in Tuscaloosa.

image courtesy of
L-R: Chuck Leavell, Jonathon McAllister, Bill Johnson, and Rodney Etheridge

Some of y'all might remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'd seen the great Tuscaloosa musician Ronnie Brown & his son at Publix.

Ronnie's sister is computer savvy & has been communicating for Ronnie and she wanted to know whether we'd ever posted anything about the Misfitz.
Well we ain't published much but Greg Haynes sure has in THE HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC

Here's Chuck Leavell's web site:

The Misfitz, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

In my early days of playing guitar and keyboard, growing up and living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I found myself in my first band we called The Misfitz.

The first lineup was Jonathan McAlister on bass and vocals, Rodney Etheridge on guitar, Bill Johnson on drums, and me on guitar, keys and vocals. There was another band in town called The Gents that was a couple of years older than us. They had Jim Coleman on guitar, Court Pickett on bass and lead vocals, Jimmy Romaine on rhythm guitar, and Lou Mullenix on drums.
They were a really good band I admired. I sort of looked up to the Gents and wanted The Misfitz to be as good or better, so there was a friendly competition going on.

The Gents played the YMCA every Saturday night for the high school kids, and the Misfitz played every Friday for a slightly younger crowd, the junior high kids. We also would get other little gigs here and there. As time went on we even played some fraternity parties at the University of Alabama.

Eventually the Misfitz became pretty popular, and when the new television station (WCFT, I believe) opened up shop in Tuscaloosa we were approached to do a Saturday morning show that was modeled after American Bandstand, creatively called Tuscaloosa Bandstand. By then, our rhythm guitar player, Rodney Etheridge, had been replaced by a great musician, Ronnie Brown. Ronnie added a lot of spark to the Misfitz, taking the band to another level. The host of the show was a well-known local DJ named Tiger Jack Garrett. We were riding high, playing the Y every Friday night and doing the Saturday morning TV show.

We were also listening to lots of other bands that either lived in Tuscaloosa or that would float through town and play the local armory, Ft. Brandon. Gary and The Top 10, the Rubber Band, the K-Otics, the 5 Men-Its, and the Allman Joys were just a few of the many bands that played there.

There was also a Battle of the Bands that went on there at one point. We entered and won second place for our age group, I honestly can't remember who won first. It was a long time ago. In any case, there was all this musical activity going on in ole' T-town.

All of us musicians were having a blast playing and doing our thing, listening to other bands, listening to records, learning our instruments, experimenting with arrangements, and such. It was a wonderful place and a wonderful time for all of us, and was a sort of breeding ground for musicians.

Occasionaly, we would go out of town and play in other cities- mostly college towns like Oxford and Jackson, Mississippi; Auburn, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee, and such. We also played in Birmingham quite a lot, and even went to places in New Orleans,
down in Florida. It was sort of Chittlin' Circuit.

Eventually some of us began to intermingle and play with each other. When the Misfitz broke up, I wound up playing with some of these musicians. I played with Paul Hornsby of the 5 Men-Its (and who had gone to California and played with the Hour Glass, a precursor of the Allman Brothers Band) in a band called the South Camp, and later with Lou Mullenix and Court Pickett of the Gents in a band called Sundown after we had moved to Macon, Georgia. There were really some great musicians who came out of Tuscaloosa.

Some went on to make a career of it- myself, Paul Hornsby, Ronnie Brown, Eddie Hinton, Lou Mullenix, Glen Butts, Charlie Hayward and others. Those were heady days and man, did we have fun!

Chuck Leavell

SouthCamp: August '69
courtesy of Bruce Hopper
far left,with only head partially showing, Chuck Leavell
Paul Hornsby
on keyboards
Bill "Squirmy" Stewart on drums
Glenn Butts on guitar
Frank Friedman on bass

"Wow the Southcamp photo that was second is very similar to the one I took that afternoon in August of 1969. Same angle. There was a lot of jammin going on that afternoon. was Townsend the source for that picture? He is mistaken about Mullinex playing. My picture has Squirmy on drums (same shirt as in your pic, but you can see Bill's receding hairline in my pic, definitely not Lou. My pic also includes Hornsby and half of Chuck's head. Glen Butts is standing where Charlie is and Frank is playing bass. In your pic, Frank's bassman is on the ground but in by pic it is on the stage. I think that a lot of people played that day on the quad. The neat thing is that there is only a two receptacle plug that came out of the ground next to that big Oak Tree. All the power came from there. You had to be careful about how many amps were plugged in or someone would have to go and replace a fuse in the ROTC building."

Bill Connell, Gregg Allman, Bob Keller, Duane Allman
From Jerry Henry's Planet Weekly Interview w/ Bill Connell:

Many consider you to be Tuscaloosa’s top drummer. What do you think?

I have never considered myself a success. I look at being associated with a lot of people that became successful. Like I said, you just have to be at the right place. Anybody could have done what I did if they had just been there. I was there. But if you consider the list of musicians I have had the opportunity to play with, I have been so, so very fortunate. Like last year, I got to play a session in Macon with Chuck Leavell between his Rolling Stones dates. That was really fun. He talked about the Rolling Stones like they were one of the local bands around here. He told me that when we were playing together back when, we would play a song two or three times and have it. He said with the Rolling Stones it takes forever.

image courtesy of
Now here's a sample of the terrific stuff Mr. Townsend sent us:

Leavell seated on the left
Mullinex seated in the middle
Charlie Hayward on the right
The two guys against the wall are not identified. Please sent their identification along with any suggestions or unwanted comments to

The cat behind Chuck is Jimmy Nall and the other cat is James Taylor's older brother..Alex Taylor ... who was the first one to cut BABY RUTH on his first album...and I think it was also Capricorn's first 45.

Alex died at King Snake Recording Studio during a knocked the power out and Alex was one cat that could not stand any down time...

He died much too young ! And was a great Soul singer...


image courtesy of

“Poe captures the essence of Duane Allman.
He did his homework and got it right.
Skydog is a fitting tribute to one of the best and most influential musicians to ever come out of the South.”

– Chuck Leavell,
Rolling Stones keyboardist/former member of the Allman Brothers Band

image courtesy of

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hey y'all~

Chuck Leavell is on the cover of Keyboard Magazine this month.