Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Artist: Leon Russell and the Shelter People
Song: Stranger In A Strange Land

How many days has it been
Since I was born
How many days until I die
Do I know any ways
That I can make you laugh
Or do I only know how to make you cry

When the baby looks around him
It's such a sight to see
He shares a simple secret
With the wise man

He's a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land
Tell me why
He's a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land

How many miles will it take
To see the sun
And how many years until it's done
Kiss my confusion away in the night
Lay by side when the morning comes

And the baby looks around him
And shares his bed of hay
With the burrow in the palace of the king

He's a stranger in a strange land
Tell me why
He's a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land

Well, I don't exactly know
What's going on in the world today
Don't know what there is to say
About the way the people are treating
Each other, not like brothers

Leaders take us far away from ecology
With mythology and astrology
Has got some words to say
About the way we live today
Why can't we learn to love each other
It's time to turn a new face
To the whole world wide human race

Stop the money chase
Lay back, relax
Get back on the human track
Stop racing toward oblivion
Oh, such a sad, sad state we're in
And that's a thing

Do you recognize the bells of truth
When you hear them ring
Won't you stop and listen
To the children sing
Won't you come on and sing it children

He's a stranger in a strange land
Just a stranger in a strange land

The Mermaid of The Jetties

TUSK Entertainment supplement to the Friday, November 20 issue of the Tuscaloosa News

Ronnie Brown & Chuck Leavell

the last four images are courtesy Friday, November 20 issue of the Tuscaloosa News

left to right: Carroline Shines, Debbie Bond, Rachel Bernice Edwards, unidentified Alabama Blues Camper, Bruce Hopper's son, Bruce Hopper, March McCrory,Lamar Miller

image courtesy of

Carroline Shines, Debbie Bond, Rachel Bernice Edwards, unidentified Alabama Blues Camper

Kenny Smitherman & Lamar Miller

Reed Watson (in Sun Records T shirt) founder of Hackberry Records

Monday, November 23, 2009


One last thought about Lou Boyleston.
I bought my first guitar from him.
It was a 1953 Gibson Les Paul, and I paid him $55.00 for it.We were playing the Municipal Auditorium in Pensacola, and he came up to talk to me.
Now, looking back, it's kinda' funny that he needed money because he kind of came from money.His father was I believe a developer and helped develop Gulf Breeze.I mentioned that I used to stay at his house (really his parents house) and I used to kid him by calling it Graceland. His parents were VERY hospitable,and his mother was a true Southern genteel lady, who would smile at Lou at the same time she was telling him what she expected of him.
Back to that guitar, I went out for my anniversary,only to come back and find that my house had been robbed. They took my color TV (which was a big deal back then) some cash, and a couple of diamond watches that I had bought for my wife, and cleared out. What they left was the guitar.Probably the most valuable thing of all. Certainly by todays syandards
I always imagined them thinking "Good God,who'd want that old thing"
I ended up selling the Les Paul for $150.00 and a '56 or '59 Fender Stratocaster.
I sold the Stratocaster to J.R.Cobb for $200 which was airfare to get my wife and family to Atlanta from Puerto Rico.
That Les Paul is probably worth as much as some pretty nice houses.
Oh, back to Lou....I think the name of his clothing store was OZ, and when The Candymen would play in NYC he would schedule his buying trips to co-incide with our dates up there.
His nephew (his brother steve's son) is a pretty successful bassist, having played with HEART and Paul Rogers. Hell, I wish he'd play around here, I'd like to meet Paul Rogers.
It sure would be cool to drop his uncles name.............he would have liked that.

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 J. Tucker out of the blue this evening and started to looking around the Internet and found your blog.

However I have notices that many (most (all)) of the early band pictures in T-Town are all white bands. True of the WTBS 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 interested.
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 (ed. note: now demolished but located on 26th Ave. just south of 21st Skreet near the foot of Peanut Hill) the Citizens Club I think???

Doug McConatha

Salt & Pepper

Hi Robert….thanks for all the effort. Did you know Danny Oscar Watts when you were at DHS, I think you taught there? Maybe before your time…he was the band director until about 1973 or so….I played for three years with him in Salt and Pepper and have talked to him over the years.

I found you via the bottom e-mail. Do you know Joe?

Can’t wait for yesterday’s pix. Thanks again for the labor of love……..




FROM: Al Kooper

nice upload.... i love you more than you'll ever know was written by Al Kooper, and performed by Blood S & Tears and Donny Hathaway... the ghetto was written by Hathaway, i believe...


Eban A Mule Don't Work ALL THE DAMN TIME!!!!

Rite now I sick of posting images so "NO COMMENT" ON THESE!
Y'all shoot some IDs & eventually I'll identify people & attribute the images. Showl do 'preciate y'all shooting this stuff to me but I'm pooped right now...

They good though...

P.S. I showl do 'preciate the images & once we all get a handle on this, we'll identify the perpetrators.


I entered DHS in the fall of 1969. I had Coach McCall for Drivers Ed....along with the lovely and talented Susan Murphree. Coach had his hands full with the football team. Six weeks prior to the beginning of the school year Judge Frank M. Johnson ordered Carver High School closed and all high school students in Dothan were shoe horned into DHS. This created chaos with some aspects of school (although we never had any kind of incident between black and white students much to the disappointment of the WTVY newsman who would wait in the Senior parking lot every afternoon with this camera).

The Tigers won only one game that year....3 to 0 against Vigor. It was dismal. The 1970 season was better and I think we had a winning season in 1971. I am sure this contributed to Coach McCalls eventual predicament.

I am sorry to hear the news about him. His Drivers Ed class was fun...we watched a lot of movies and sometimes we went out driving in that light brown Plymouth Duster the school had. Coach would take those students who had reached 16 for their driving test down at the Trooper office in the Court House. One day, a bunch of us piled in and went downtown. One girl, I do not remember her name, was to take her road test. We all gathered on the corner opposite the Dothan Eagle office. The girl came round the corner and, as expected, the trooper had her parallel park on the side street next to the Eagle.

This did not go so well for her as she choose too sharp an angle when she backed up and sideswiped the innocent parked car in front of the space she intended to park in. She even got the two cars hung up for a moment and that is when the screeching of metal on metal was at its peak! Us guys just about wet our pants laughing and I think some even fell on the sidewalk. I don't think she got her license that day.

I knew Brian Smith and Mike Pace referenced in the note about Stonecross. I believe Brian's father owned Dothan Nursing home where my grandmother was the bookkeeper. I don't know about Brian but I believe Mike Pace was a rather good musician. He was in the band with me.

I did not know about the Tuscaloosa thing on Sunday. However, yesterday I did introduce one of my 18 year old daughters friends to the glorious sound of vinyl down in the music room. The seventeen minute and five second version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida! We also listened to some Beatles (from the original British Parlophone pressings). My youngest daughter has been listening to vinyl with me for most of her life. She once rushed upstairs and exclaimed to her mother that daddy had some really big CDs!

I went flying in one of these bad boys a few weeks ago. This is an Army AT-6...I was in the SNJ5 Navy version just a few feet away taking the photos.

Here is more of the flight to glory in that warbird!


From H.P. ~

Good one on Coach McCall’s cattle ranch…he was a special guy…never met anyone who did not like him and remember him.