Friday, December 11, 2009

This came off the Boyden Amplifiers site and was posted by their webmaster Gary Lockwood

Duane Allman- guitar
Bob Keller - bass
Gregg Allman - keyboards
Bill Connell - drums

Here's a promotional picture taken from the Sahara Club in Pensacola Florida from the early 1960's. My sister (Linda Tietjen) was a waitress there and would sometimes get pictures of the bands she liked. She became friends with the Brothers and would often hang out with them.

The Brothers were surely in their teens here and it appears that Greg had not yet switched to his signature Hammond organ.

Hope you enjoy it.

Gary Lockwood
Web Master
Boyden Amplifiers

Subject: Bob Keller of The Allman Joys
Hey If you are still around I am friends with Bob Keller who might be able to clear up some history. Do you have anymore photos of old Allman Joys or better yet .. know where some of the rest of them are....Bill Connell, Maynard Portwood? ..John West

Pretty sure Bill Connell still lives here. I don't have Bill's current email address but I'm gonna forward this to some of his friends plus others who might be interested in the gory details concerning the recording of YOU'LL LEARN SOMEDAY or YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER.

Hey Bobby Keller is here in Knoxville. Alive , well, and healthy.. Still plays music all the time.. Mainly his own stuff.. I just traded him My fender Jazz Bass. and Telecaster.. . Youll LEARN SOMEDAY and YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER-what do you mean gory details? John West

Just joking about the gory details. Any reminiscences about recording & performing with the Allman Joys will be appreciated.
Interview with Pete Carr courtesy of

So when did you see The Allman Joys for the first time?

I was about 15, and I went to see the Allman Joys play at the Club Martinique in Daytona Beach. I had my guitar case with me, and introduced myself when the band took a break and asked Gregg Allman to show me some guitar lines. Gregg replied, "That's my brother, Duane's, department." At that point I introduced myself to Duane Allman. That meeting began a friendship, which lasted until Duane's death in a motorcycle crash on October 29,1971.

Tell us about The Five Men-its.

Duane and Gregg told me about a band in Alabama that they knew who needed a guitar player. So I moved to Decatur Alabama in 1966 to play guitar for a band called The Five Minutes. Their guitar player, Eddie Hinton, was leaving the band to pursue studio work, and I was called in to be his replacement. Irony and fate have shown their faces to me many times in my life. I would later become the replacement for Eddie Hinton again when he left the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section in a twist of fate. Johnny Sandlin, Mabron McKinney and Paul Hornsby were the other members of the band. I remember Sandlin playing me songs such as "It's All Over Now" by Bobby Womack and the Valentinoes. I already knew the Rolling Stones version of that song, which I loved, but I also liked Womack's version. Sandlin had heard Womack's version first and did not like the Stones version. They were both great recordings in different ways. Sandlin also got me to sit down with the classic B.B. King album "Live at the Regal." I credit Johnny Sandlin and Paul Hornsby as both being big-brother influences and teachers that helped me in my music career.
I first met John Wyker. A long time friend of mine, who is from Decatur, at Johnny Sandlin's house. John was in a band called the Rubber Band and had a hit single out. John Wyker recalls, "I remember the first time I ever saw Pete when Duane Allman brought him to Decatur in about 1965 when Pete was about somethingteen, (1?) 13 or 15 or 16, but not much older than that and he was so thin that you could barely see anything except long wild hair and big Beatle boots with stacked Cuban heels and he talked like the great baseball player Pete Rose, attitude and lightning fast and he was playing guitar like a cocky little mad genius and he was smokin' Duane Allman and Gregg loved his playing. I mean Pete was a kid, but even back then you just knew that Pete's brain was wired to be lightning fast. Computers were invented years later and Pete was one of the first ones to learn to play hot licks on them too! A few years later, as I watched in the recording studio, Pete and whoever would go back to the studio and take their places. Pete would pick up his guitar and instantly start playing EXACTLY what the song needed, intro, feel, EVERYTHANG and that's the way it went session after session, over and over and time and again."

How did the Hour Glass come to be?

The Five Men-its band couldn't find a lead singer and we were about to disband. At the same time Duane and Gregg Allman needed new band members and called upon Sandlin, Hornsby and McKinney to join their band. I was just a kid and they really had no need for three guitar players in the band so I left and traveled around Alabama meeting some great musicians. I would also go back to Daytona Beach and play at the Pier over the ocean. This new Allman Joys band would later be seen in St. Louis by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Bands' manager who persuaded them to move to California and changed their name to Hour Glass. I lived just across the river from Gregg and Duane, about a ten minute drive, and they had just flown back home from California with a recording of the first Hour Glass Album.
They seemed very excited with the new album and it sounded good to me. Gregg was really singing! Gregg was also home for a draft notification which would have ruined everything for the whole band if he, the lead singer, left for the army. I mean a lot of peoples' careers were on the line. He had to do something, so he drank a few belts of whiskey, went into the front yard, and shot himself in the foot. The next day he got on the bus for Jacksonville. The army people turned him down and the band was saved. Gregg and Duane asked if I would like to fly back to California with them and I accepted the offer. In a twist of fate I again joined forces with the Allmans, Sandlin and Hornsby when Bob Keller, who was playing bass for them at the time, just got up and left one day before a show at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd. They asked if I would play bass for them and I accepted. I figured if Paul McCartney played guitar first and picked up the bass out of necessity I would give it a try also. It all worked out fine at the show that night and I became a permanent part of the band.
Duane and I shared an apartment and we would play guitars together a lot. I remember Gregg, Duane and I playing and singing 'Long Black Veil' a few times, which is a country standard. It started "Ten years ago, on a cold dark night, there was someone killed, in the town that night".
I remember us harmonizing on it and it really was a moment separated from everything else we were doing. It was like a close family thing. I remember my mother talking about that song and how my Aunt Gertie would play and sing songs like that. She also sang a lot of country blues because my mother said she used to use a kitchen butter knife to play slide guitar. I wish I could have played music with her but she died before I was old enough to really remember her. She had epilepsy and I think I recall Mom saying that had something to do with her death. I don't really know. It seems like a dream since I don't remember her except vaguely. I seem to remember her falling from the doorway into the yard one time and people gathering around. Maybe she was having an epileptic seizure. It is like a dream to me now, very vague and shadowy images. I was probably two or three years old.
In 1967 Gregg, Duane, Paul Hornsby, Johnny Sandlin and I, as Hour Glass, played together on the "The Power Of Love" album. The Hour Glass had recorded songs in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, at Rick Hall's Fame Studios, which was known for innovative productions and great sound.One song recorded at Fame, "Sweet Little Angel", was later released in a —Duane Allman Anthology‚ set. This recording is now considered a classic piece of raw electric southern rock blues. When we got back to California we played the tape we made in Muscle Shoals for our producer and he didn't like it. He was looking for a hit single and the Muscle Shoals cuts had no radio top ten type of hit singles. We went ahead and finished the "Power of Love" album and it turned out fairly well for the time but we never got that radio hit record. We finally disbanded and everybody went their separate ways.

Meeting Gegg and Duane Allman from the Allman Joys when I was about 15 or 16 was exciting to me also but in a much different way. They were not yet famous like Paul Simon but they were Daytona's only real band that had traveled and played in other cities like Nashville, New York's Greenwich Village, etc. I had heard so much about them and how great they were. They were older than me but still just kids, also. I think they played the usual stuff that was popular at that time. Songs playing on the radio, etc. The first time I actually met them (I had seen them play a couple of years earlier as the House Rockers) was when they returned from playing at Trudy Heller's in New York's Greenwich Village. They were really hyped up about a band called The Blues MaGoos. Duane had a Vox distortion box clamped to his cream colored Telecaster which I believe he got from them or got the idea from them. Anyway, I had been playing at a club in Daytona called the Martinique. They were now called the Allman Joys and I really anticipated seeing them play since I had heard how great they were. The first time I heard them was when they came into the club and sat in on a few songs. They had had a few too many beers or whatever and I was not very impressed. Of course it wasn't like they had their own band and doing a real gig. It was just a spur of the moment, get up on stage and play something type of situation. There were other people up on stage singing along. Not a showcase episode for talent. They were probably talked into it by someone and they weren't prepared or in any state of mind to do a very good job. Anyway, I told my friends who had been building them up so much that I was not that impressed. Later Duane told me he heard I was disappointed in seeing them play that night and I could tell he planned on being more impressive the next time I heard them play. And I was very impressed later. They had a very good band called the Allman Joys, which seemed to be changing members very frequently. You know it is a hard thing to keep a band together. It always has been which is one reason I preferred recording studio work. Anyway the next time they played for real, I was very impressed with Duane's playing but I was more impressed with Gregg Allman’s singing. He was the best I had ever heard at that time to be a kid. I mean he could sing anything from a pretty R&B /Pop song to a gutsy Ray Charles style, and he was a teenager! He was and still is one of my favorite singers. He was just fantastic. Everyone I knew wished that they could sing like Gregg. Duane was great too, and I loved his playing but I could play a lot of what he was playing at the time also. He did have some cool gadgets like that Vox distortion box and that was impressive at the time. I was impressed enough that I got one and clamped it on my guitar also. Don't get me wrong though, I thought Duane was great and he was. This was teenage years for all of us! Duane and I played together many times over the years and I learned a lot from him. We were best of friends.

A Great Day In Tuscaloosa courtesy of

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hey y'all~

Hope to see a bunch of y'all tonight @ Little Willie's.

If we pack the house, it'll make it mo' likely we start getting mo' good Blues shows EVERY weekend in old Tuskeeloosee!

Eddie Kirkland ,
born in Jamaica in 1923, was brought up in Dothan but left in 1935 when he stowed away in The Sugar Girls Medicine Show tent truck.

I hope they put Eddie
up on that next mural.


(ed. note: I had a shirt just like the one Eddie's wearing here back in '73. One of my aides @ Partlow had one & he told me the store downtown where I could buy one. The same cat turned me on to Dreamland. Back then, Dreamland in Jerusalem Heights was strickly A Dark Skinned Thing.
Got to know Mr. John & every time Nixon gave a speech during Watergate, I did my best to get my ass to Dreamland. Generally, it was just me & Mr. John.)

image of ARCHIBALD'S courtesy of
Pretty sho' I been coming to Archibald's since I came here as a freshman in '68.

image courtesy of Volume 1 of Auburn's '97 Glomerata

Auburn's Professor Bell

At the earliest date, as Professor Bell stirred the "toddy" for his old master, the divine aroma of mint and liquor bewitched poor Joe, and a most willing captive he yet remains. Together, with "Jess" Jackson, the guardian of the Chemical Laboratory, he stores away most of the college alcohol. Their affinity for it is INFINITY---
bottomless is their capacity as Mammoth Cave. This stimulating drug is now kept safely secured behind a "combination" lock, and Joe and Jess, the Professor of Chemistry suggests, are taking the "Keyless" cure. Pretty good?

Professor Bell is an expert performer, not only on the bottle, but also on the fiddle. Remenyi he rated very slightly. "Practice wid 'im, Fessur, and play good ez he."

"THE DEVIL'S DREAM" is Professor Bell's favorite number.

Professor Bell is a living argument against the mortal effect of strong drink;
a menace, indeed, to the cause of temperance. The more he drinks the longer he lives. Who knows but that somewhere in the deep recesses of our great scientific laboratories, in some mysterious retort, Joe has discovered a magical "mixed drink" that makes him impregnable to these horrid germs that feed upon us; impregnable even to that great Boss-germ that dieth not; and so is, in fact, an immortal member of the Academy. Here is the formula:

Rx: Alcohol (much) + water (little) + (?),

by J. Bell Africanus, F.R.S."

Ah that (?).
Who would not give worlds to know.
That Professor Bell knows, let us fondly hope, and that the unborn generation who shall come to AUBURN may ever be greeted with the sight of the tall, black postman bearing on his shoulders the college mailbag full of good news from the old folks at home, and good, fat checks for the one hundred-year-old GLOMERATA.

NO HOPE for The Fairhope on November 22, 1905!!!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

NEW HOPE- Ronnie Ross, a Great Auburn Tiger, lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday, December 8 of 2009. Ronnie was the captain of the 1970 Auburn Tigers and was the receiver of the first touchdown pass that Heisman trophy winner Pat Sullivan threw in college. This man touched so many people during his sixty years on this earth. A congenial, passionate person that was willing to help anyone, anytime.

He is survived by a brother, Edgar Ross, and a sister, Martha Ross, and an extended family in Dothan, AL.

His parents preceded him in death.

He was an independent businessperson in Pensacola, FL. Ronnie was raised in Tuscaloosa, AL, where he attended Tuscaloosa High School.

Funeral services will be held at Sunset Memorial Park outside of Dothan, AL at 2 o'clock on Saturday, December 12, 2009. The receiving of guests will begin at 1 o'clock.

Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Auburn Football Lettermen Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Auburn Football Lettermen Club in honor of the Ronnie Ross Scholarship Fund: Auburn Football Lettermen Club, P.O. Box 828, Auburn, AL 36831-0828.

Former Tuscaloosa, Auburn athlete dies of cancer

By Andrew Carroll Sports Writer
Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:21 p.m.

TUSCALOOSA | Ronnie Ross, a Tuscaloosa High School athlete who went on to become a captain for the 1970 Auburn University football team, diedTuesday.

Ross, who had been battling cancer, was 60 when he died at Thomas Hospital in Fairhope. He lived in Pensacola, Fla., where he was in the construction business.

“He was inspiring in the way he played football,” said David Housel, a Gordo native who retired as Auburn’s director of athletics. “He was tough enough to be able to come to Auburn from Tuscaloosa. The easy thing would have been for him to stay in Tuscaloosa. I always had a lot of fun with Ronnie with both of us being from West Alabama. We took the road less traveled you might say.

“He wasn’t the most talented player on the field, but boy would he give an effort. He was a great leader by example, and if need be by tongue as in a tongue-lashing. He never ever, ever, ever, ever gave up. Winston Churchill would have liked Ronnie Ross.”

Ross played tight end during an era when Terry Beasley was the featured receiver for the Auburn offense. Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1971.

Auburn went 9-2 in 1970, capping the season with a 35-28 victory over Archie Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels in the Gator Bowl.

Terry Henley, a former Auburn running back, said Ross made a play on defense to help the Tigers win the Iron Bowl against Alabama. The Auburn coaches moved Ross to linebacker because of injuries. With Alabama leading 17-0 and driving into Auburn territory, Ross intercepted a pass that shifted the momentum. Auburn marched for its first touchdown and went on to win 33-28.

“I thought it was the biggest play in the game,” Henley said.

“Ronnie might have been a little rough around the edges, but he had a great heart,” Housel said. “When the ball was snapped, he really didn’t know what to do. He just happened to get in the pass pattern. If it had been planned, it never would have worked as it did.”

Henley, who was from Oxford, recalled meeting Ross for the first time on a recruiting trip.

“I knew the minute I saw him I’d have to get bigger,” Henley said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen, pound-for-pound, a tougher, meaner person in athletics than Ronnie Ross.”

Henley said Ross had the assignment of blocking Jack Youngblood, an All-American defensive end for Florida.

“Ronnie would come back to the huddle with dried blood on his nose and his jersey,” Henley said. “Sullivan used to tease him all the time. He’d say, ‘We’ve got a great play, Ross, if you can block Youngblood.’ Ronnie would say, ‘Oh gee, thanks.’ Ronnie kept going at him every play, and Florida never beat us.”

Henley said former Auburn players Danny and Jimmy Speigner from Montgomery had to play against Ross in basketball and football during their junior high and high school years. When they renewed acquaintances at the annual high school all-star game, the Speigners found out that Ross didn’t have a scholarship.

“They couldn’t believe it,” Henley said. “They talked the Auburn coaches into giving him a scholarship. The Speigners said Ronnie was something to behold on a football field.

“He loved every second of his time at Auburn and never looked back on what happened in Tuscaloosa.”

A number of former Alabama players paid tribute to Ross through e-mails and contacts with former Auburn players. Henley said Bob Baumhower, a former Alabama defensive lineman, recently visited Ross in the hospital.

“One of the biggest things to come out of this is how one person touched so many people,” Henley said. “There’s been an outpouring of e-mails and well-wishes and prayers that you would not believe. That tells you Ronnie was a person who moved people. He was a person people loved and never forgot.

“Everybody remembered his tenacity and his love for the game and the love he had for his fellow players, no matter if they were teammates or played on another team. They were his friends.”

Henley said former Alabama defensive end Robin Parkhouse sent and e-mail that said “how he used to dread working against Ronnie.”

“People don’t understand that the greatest game in the world is the Alabama-Auburn game,” Henley said. “You’re a privileged person to be able to play in that game. Fans make more out of it, but the players have a passion for each other, even later in life. The last few weeks and the last few months, this has been able to bring a lot of those people a lot closer together.”

“It has been inspiring and heartwarming see how the Alabama football letetermen come to the aid and encouragement of Ronnie,” Housel said. “Their membership responded in a most kind and caring way. It’s a tribute to who they are and what they stand for. In spite of the intensity of the rivalry, it’s a truly inspring thing to see old competitors come together to honor one another.”

Ross was a nephew of Sharon Price, who lives in Ozark.

“We were all thrilled with Ronnie,” she said. “When we had our family reunions, I don’t think anybody cared who came as long as Ronnie came. He was the family hero.

“He loved football, and he loved Auburn football. That was his life. The bond these players have has blown all of us away. It’s the most supportive group of men I’ve ever seen, even after 40 years. They were there every minute for him. They meant a lot to Ronnie, and he meant a lot to them. That makes the family so proud.”

Reach Andrew Carroll at or at 205-722-0223.

JD Wyker
Leon and Joe Cocker and part of Mad Dogs and Englishmen stayed at my house on Shoals Creek in 1969.

Eddie Hinton lived in the house next door to mine and half of the crew including DENNY CORDELL

...Leon's English partner in SHELTER RECORDS stayed at Hinton's house...

Cocker asked if he could stay at my house...he said in his British accent "Hey John do you mind if I stay here and look through your drawers and eat what you eat and do what you do ?"

I said "Sure"....I taught Cocker how to Water-ski and he moved just like he does on stage when he was on Water-ski's...He was funny as Hell !

Most of The Mad Dogs Crew would stay up all night fishin' and when the sun came up they would be standin' on the side of Shoals Creek fishin' dressed in all kinds of crazy costumes.....and the local fisherman would come down the creek early in the mornin' and see these wild lookin' people and they would flip out !

I had just written BABY RUTH and I sat up in the livin' room and I had 2 of Hinton's A7 speakers...and I had one of my bare feet mic-ed...and a friend was playin' bass and I was playin' an open E tuned guitar....Leon and Cocker,and Cordell and Don Nix and a couple of other cats were there and they all went ape over BABY RUTH...

Some great memories !

John D. Wyker aka SAILCAT

The most UNIQUE Radio Station on The Planet !
Please Pass this link on to all of your friends !


That’s great. The guy that produced the tour was an Englishman by the name of Harry Marks. Years later I worked with Harry on a variety of design projects. He did the logo for WFAA-TV here in Dallas, amazingly enough (He worked his way into broadcast design when he got out of the music side of things, and was legendary). I don’t know how we figured ot the Joe Cocker connection — but we did. That show at UA, he’d fallen off the stage the night before and was 3 hours late getting on, and I am telling you people were so pissed. Roy Harper came out and played before Joe finally came out, and was good — solo guitar player all bare bones, sort of English Fairport Convention kind of political stuff

Leon Russell played the other night at the Granada theater just down the street from my place in Dallas. I have seen him around town over the years — man, he’s old, gray and has the longest beard this side of Billy Gibbons, who also lives here.

Don Nix -- that’s the guy who played in the Alabama State Troopers, right? With Tippy Armstrong, a great and underrated guitar player.

See, this is all such good stuff — thanks for keeping the flow happening. Really enjoy it

MM: Alot of memories as I was there but couldn't beat Bethy or Sims!!!!
and obviously not Lessie either!

SMH: Thank you for the picture! And it's Bethy's birthday today! How do we get her to join facebook???


your newsletter a week or so ago had this thing about the Joe Cocker concert at UA. I was at that show -- the account was dead on. Thanks for keeping up with all that stuff. Really enjoy it

from Thomas Wheatley:

My brother Bill knows the history better than I do, but one of our ancestors (great grandfather?) owned a stagecoach line in Texas that carried mail, and it was taken away from him for fighting with the Confederacy.

from William Wheatley

He was George H. Giddings, our great-grandfather (the father of our father’s mother). Actually, it wasn’t taken away from him. He lost it as a result of the Civil War, but he lost it because he went basically bankrupt. He had the stagecoach line before the war, running from Galveston to San Diego. He carried mail, a few passengers, and transported gold back to the US from California for the Federal Government. He received a set amount per year from the Federal Government for running the stage, plus expenses, and was allowed to charge customers for private cargo and passengers.

He had many losses in the last few years of operation, as the Apaches and other Indians along the route often attacked and destroyed the stage, stole the mules, killed the passengers, etc. He filed regular reports of the losses, for which he was supposed to be reimbursed. The government paid a few of the claims but was always very slow in processing them.

When war broke out and Texas joined the Confederacy, the Federal shipments and US mail shipments ended and his contract was cancelled. There was over $1 million in claims still outstanding. George Giddings had fought in the war commanding the Texas Brigade, which he had raised first for the Mexican-American War and then raised it again for the Civil war. He paid them out of his own pocket, as the Confederacy didn’t have enough money to pay the soldiers. He hoped to be reimbursed after the Confederacy won the war. Of course, that never happened.

After the war, George was basically broke. Because of his friendship with Abraham Lincoln, he received a Presidential Pardon almost immediately, and didn’t have to spend much time quarantined as a prisoner of war. The US started building railroads to replace the stage line and never reinstated his contract, so he went out of business as a stage operator. His wife’s father’s bank took the equipment and sold it off to try to pay off his debts to the bank, but it wasn’t enough. In desperation, he filed a claim in the Federal Court of Claims for the money the US owed him. His brother, DeWitt Clinton Giddings, who was a Congressman from Texas at the time, tried to help push it along, but the Court of Claims kept putting it on the back burner. It was finally heard in about 1891. The Court denied his claim on the basis that he had not personally witnessed his losses and therefore could not reliably testify as to the losses.

Here is the story of George H. Giddings as recorded in the Texas Handbook Online, the historical archives of the University of Texas:

GIDDINGS, GEORGE HENRY (1823-1902). George Henry Giddings, pioneer mail-line operator and stage driver, was born on July 4, 1823, in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, the son of James and Lucy (Demming) Giddings. In 1846 he traveled with his brother J. J. to Texas, where they joined an older brother, Jabez Demming Giddings, who was practicing law in Brenham. Soon after his arrival, George became a member of Capt. Thomas Smith's twenty-eight-man volunteer party to combat marauding Indians in the area. He was named surgeon of the unit, although he had no medical training and, in fact, had been studying law with his brother and serving as deputy district and county clerk of Washington County. Later in 1846 the volunteer group was enlarged to 100 men and mustered into United States military service as a part of the battalion of Texas Volunteers. Giddings was hired in the fall of 1847 by the San Antonio firm of C. J. Cook and Company as a clerk. Two years later he purchased that store and one operated by Cook in Franklin (El Paso). He operated both establishments until 1861.

During this time he took over operation of the San Antonio-Santa Fe Mail Line, which he assumed from its original owner, David Wasson. Congressional action confirmed the transfer of the route from Wasson to Giddings in August 1854, but it is generally thought that Giddings began operating the route as early as July of that year. The service operated the dangerous San Antonio-to-El Paso leg of the 1,100-mile route with one six-mule team, thirty-six additional mules, and a guard of seven men. From El Paso the number of guards was dropped to three, as the line covered the safer route on to Santa Fe. In 1855 Giddings lost 270 mules and sixty horses as a result of Indian raids. A small increase in government payments authorized in March was not sufficient to make the line a profitable enterprise. Though he constantly had to be replacing stations, livestock, and supplies, Giddings kept the line operating into 1857.

The San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line contract was secured by James E. Birch on June 22, 1857. Birch named George Giddings and M. B. Bramhall his agents on the "Jackass Mail," with Giddings operating the part of the route from San Antonio to El Paso. Upon Birch's death at sea in late 1857, Giddings continued to operate the mail line with help from Robert E. Doyle and Isaiah Woods. On March 5, 1858, Giddings purchased from Birch's widow the controlling interest in the SA-SD line. However, heavy losses continued to plague the line. The government again pledged to reimburse losses incurred, but the financial burden was much greater than anyone involved could have anticipated. By 1861 Indian raids and competition from the Butterfield Overland Mail Routeqv combined to destroy the business.

With his mail contracts canceled and most stations and supplies lost, Giddings began a trip to Washington to plead for reparations. There he encountered an old friend, James Longstreet, who influenced him to join the Confederate Army, first as a procurer of needed materials and then as head of a volunteer militia along the United States and Mexican border. There Giddings commanded troops that fought the battle of Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War, a few miles outside Brownsville.

After the war he lived at Brownsville, where he was involved in colonization and mining projects in Mexico. Later he returned to San Antonio to practice law and deal in real estate. Giddings spent his last years in attempts to gain reimbursement from the government for his stage-line losses. When the United States Court of Claims finally heard his case in 1891, they disallowed his claims because he had not personally witnessed his many losses.

Giddings was married twice and fathered eight children. He married his first wife, Emma (Lockwood), on November 27, 1855. She died in an accident in Galveston on February 14, 1868. Six years later he married Julia Thompson of Washington, D.C. Giddings died at the Mexico City home of his daughter, Mary Wheatley, on December 12, 1902, and is buried in a public cemetery in that city.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Wayne R. Austerman, "Giddings' Station, A Forgotten Landmark on the Pecos," Permian Historical Annual 21 (1981). Roscoe P. and Margaret B. Conkling, The Butterfield Overland Mail, 1857-1869 (3 vols., Glendale, California: Clark, 1947). LeRoy R. Hafen, Overland Mail, 1849-1869 (Cleveland: Clark, 1926). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Robert N. Mullin, Stagecoach Pioneers of the Southwest (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1983). San Antonio Daily Express, May 4-27, June 1, 1902.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Here's a link to the history of the Confederate unit in which my G-Great Uncle John Forsyth Register served

This document shows that my G-Great Grandfather John Y. Register received a mail contract in 1868 which means that he continued to carry the mail after the war even though he had served as a Confederate Justice of the Peace during the war.

Subject: A Prayer For Steve Clayton

Just got news that one of Dothan's finest musicians, Steve Clayton, is very ill. Please put him in your prayers.


I spoke with Steve's wife Becky this morning and she said Steve had stabalized and they were anticipating leaving the ICU and going back on the Pulmonary floor today. She said the treatment team had increased Steve's transplant need scale as much as they could without moving him out of consideration. I know he was #1 in Alabama and #3 in the nation for a transplant. I believe this most recent episode may get him into the #1 spot nationally. He really needs a lung.
>Let's keep praying for the Clayton family.
ps: You can run with this or paraphrase as you wish. And many thanks for your blog. You know I like to rag ya' from time to time, but also know I'd be there for ya'. Thanks for all you do, from the heart.

Legend with David Morris, Richard "Buddy" Burke , Steve Clayton and Jim Folmer, round 80'.

from the Zero, NW FL archives:

From :
Richard Burke
Sent :
Thursday, March 2, 2006 7:07 PM
To :
"Robert Register"
Subject :
Just Talked to Steve.

Hey Reg,
I was at SAMC and as usual I bumped into Calibration, Med Equip. Tech, Piano
Professor, Audio Engineer, Song Writer, Performer and Security Expert
Extraordinaire Steve (Boonie) Clayton.

Needless to say we told Sherman to
set the way back machine to round circa 1976 or so.
Steve enjoyed and still
enjoys a special relationship to Farley Taylor, his wife Mary and son.
Steve was one of Farley's pall bearers at his funeral in Elba, Al. at a
very rural church with a grave site that actually had to be accessed on foot
at some distance as there was no access for vehicles. Steve told me there
were only eleven cars in the cortège and that was consistent with the
families wishes, as was the somewhat secretiveness of the location.
wife Mary passed away a year or so ago and son survives. Steve told me that
he wanted to get up with Farley's son, I think his name is Jimmy, but I'm
sure, to return several of the vests Farley used to wear on stage and during
the live show. I remember the red vest with the "Taylor Made" Logo on the
[I am forwarding this to Jason Taylor, Farley's grandson, who works for Clear Channel in Mobile-ed.]
In his early years Farley went to work with Dorsey Trailers in Elba sweeping
a broom in bare feet. While employed there he became one of the leading
fabrication engineers. During the Second World War Farley came up with a
fabrication redesign for their 40 foot trailers where the I beam frames,
which would not flex under stress but fracture at stress points, were
replaced with a channel steel chassis that would flex under a load. The
payday from the patent made Farley a very wealthy individual and he retired
after the war. He built his Momma a new house and started his business
ventures. Farley ran his business from the trunk of his car, on a cash
basis and always "close to the vest". When his business ventures, mobile
homes to my recall, failed and the note was called in, he lost everything,
even his Mother's house.
There is probably no way to express how well Farley was connected with
traditional Country Music and it's movers and shakers, performers and
songwriters but I'll give it a go, according to Steve.
From my conversation with Steve Clayton:
When Farley was broadcasting live from WTVY in Dothan with the Saturday
night show he uplinked a satellite feed off of North Carolina by phone line
and was actually global from that point forward. He received Saturday night
call ins from aircraft carriers in the Berring Sea, not to mention service
men in Germany and all over the world. If you had a Dish you could get the
Because of his large audience most of the old time Big Names would keep
contact with Farley cause at the time only "Pretty Country" was getting air
time and royalties from the Taylor Made Opry, for the old writers and
performers, warranted a call to Farley. Steve told me a story bout' Hank
Jr. who was an avid fan callin' in to Farley to tell him what a good show he
had and how his program was the only show where he could hear his Dad's
songs and Hank Sr.'s contemporaries. He commented that his management knew
to book lodging on Saturday night with establishments that by disk or
syndicate could get Farley's show.
Stevie told me of a call Farley got at the studio one day from country music
singer Lois Johnson. Seems that Merle Haggard had commandeered her yacht
and was wrecking havoc. She was hoping Farley could talk him off the boat
before he tore it completely up. Steve wasn't sure of the outcome.
Steve also served a stretch with the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and remains
good friends with Jimmy Johnson from the Shoals. Steve said he tried very
hard to get Farley inducted but could never quite pull it off.
He said Jimmy had been known to check in with a call starting "Hey Stevie,
I'm callin' from the house that Skynyrd built". I guess if "Sweet Home" was
written bout' you and yours you'd be proud too.

I want to give special thanks to Michael Steve Clayton for his friendship
and inspiration for low these thirty two years. He and His brother Donnie
are a very big part of my life. And for those of you who are fortunate
enough to know Steve and Becky, Steve has just passed the longevity date His
Dr.'s gave him and is steaming ahead with his wife sons and gran-youngun.
Here's to many more years for my very good friend.

left to right Larry Coe , Jerry Wise, Richard Burke, Steve Clayton, Donnie Clayton
From :
Richard Burke
Sent :
Monday, September 19, 2005 11:36 PM
To :
"Robert Register"
Subject :
Bill and Jim's post.

>George Cheshire was later in a band I liked with Doug
on bass (one of the best!), David Morris on
drums, and Lamar Alley on guitar. Lamar and David were
also lead singers. Maybe their name was Straw Dawgs -<>Straw Dogs, we still use the name. George played with Steve Clayton and David Morris in one of our Legend Morfs. I believe George is still in Tallahassee. He's still way over the top.

>Last I heard of Lamar, he was a boat captain who
shuttled oil workers from Destin/Ft Walton to the Gulf
platforms.< Lamar is surviving a particularly difficult bout with liver cancer. He came up to Dothan with George Cheshire last year for a big reunion that a bunch of old silver backs from the Porter's Fairy Land days put on in Taylor at some old Wild West Town, I coludn't attend but David and Doug Morris said it was a great event. I think it was headed up by Ray Hutto who was a bouncer at Porter's and a Team mate of mine during DHS football days.

>Anyone remember David and Danny Tedder's older
brother(cannot remember his name), a drummer in a band names the Offbeats? <> Ronnie Tedder. Danny played with Larry Coe and I in a three piece thingy.

>Does anyone remember a guitar player in one of
Wilbur's bands in the early 70s called Khrushchev?<>Wolvin James too. We probably need to develop a Wolvin James, Satyr and damn, that band my
buddy James Brown played with, I talked to James a couple of weeks ago and
he's gonna be at the river, he lives in Huntsville, Al. shit! Mason Dixon
"The waste of a mind is a thing of terribleness" Dan Quail

Please take the time & check out Greg Haynes blog

The following is some stuff I pilfered from ole Greg...(here's our long lost history of PCB's Summer of '68)


You’re correct that it’s difficult to remember things so long ago. Michael Abdallah may have switched to trumpet after I left….. dunno….. but he definitely didn’t join the group until late ’68. I left shortly after Steve Caldwell – partly because I thought the group wasn’t the same – too many new faces (including mine) and the sound was beginning to decline along with the level of talent….. plus, the marijuana smoking was starting (names withheld to protect the guilty) and I wanted no part of it. Shortly after I left, the band sorta fell apart in late ’68 – not so much because the loss of myself was so great – they had just run out of up-front showmen with talent and music preferences were changing rapidly. Brent Fortson was an extremely talented saxophonist (never played with him) as was Mark Wrenn. Mark played a few times after I joined, but left soon after in early ’68.

Yes, the horn sections made both bands somewhat unique, but the idea was hardly original as they were patterned after James Brown, Otis Redding, Wayne Cochran’s “C.C Riders”, Impressions, Temptations and on and on. It was the horns that really made Motown and R&B in general in my opinion – but then, that’s coming from a horn fellow….. J

The recording session with Papa Don in Pensacola was a joke so far as I was concerned…. and an eye-opener for me. Earl Caldwell (Steve’s father and owner of the Red Rooster) had cut a deal with Don Shroeder and Bell Records to enter a management contract. Don Shroeder got Earl to sign a contract where Don got 10% of everything we earned for suggesting we would get a lot of studio time, multiple opportunities for recording material he supposedly had in line. When we arrived at the Pensacola studio, all of the sound track was already done by studio musicians and the only member of the POE on “I’d Pay The Price” was Steve Caldwell as lead vocalist. The rest of us sat and watched through the glass wall. Don pushed the song to the local charts, but dropped it quickly when it didn’t explode. That sort of stuff was at the heart of why the band broke up. If you remember, Earl had previously had his fingers in the Swingin’ Medallions and there was a fight over who owned the name – which led to Steve and Brent forming the POE with the Tassels. That suited Earl’s purposes just fine, because he wanted total control (and most of the money). Heck, he kept us booked at the Red Rooster nearly all summer so he could sell beer in Panama City and the only times we left were when we had an engagement that paid Earl more than he could make with us in PC. That whole summer, I saw nobody earn more than a weekly paycheck – no matter how much we were paid as a group – the whole band was Earl’s corporation and we were nothing more than salaried employees.

The best musician in the POE? Carlie Barbour – hands down. That guy could flat play a guitar, but more importantly, he knew music and could make a Gretsch sound better than anyone I’d ever heard. I can say that because with a mother that taught piano, a father who was a singer, a sister who played classical piano, my own 10 years of classical piano study and having played professionally in many bands since the age of 12 – to me, Carlie was a quiet fellow, but sneaky good – not particularly a showman, just damned talented. I remember he was accepted at Julliard School of Music, but I don’t know if he ever took advantage of it.

IIRC, when Mark left, that’s when Jack came into the band – on trumpet. If my memory is correct, we had Steve and myself on tenor and we used 2 trumpets, but I can’t remember the other trumpet player. Neither Colton Coile or Steve Sutton were there during my time and I don’t think I ever met either of them.

A.L. Zachry, eh? That’s too much – I began my legitimate career with the Arthur Winer Co. and sold mens trousers to Zachry’s, Muses, Rich’s and a few others around Atlanta and the Southeast before joining the Joseph & Feiss Co (Cricketeer) and eventually wound up in NYC as a partner in the manufacturing business as well as the old PVH retail stores (Juster Bros, Harris & Frank, Hamberger’s, Kennedy’s) before we sold the company to Hugo Boss in 1989. Small world.

As for photos, no – I have none…… and long ago threw out the old 45s as well. So, the only things I have from those days are the memories…. Thanks for bringing some back.

Kind regards,

Frank Rountree

Here's some pics Greg took at a recent Rock & Roll Reunion up in Tennessee:

Bruce Channel & Greg Haynes

Bonnie Bramlett & Greg

Billy Swan & Greg

Greg's images of the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music Exhibit in the GA Music Hall of Fame.

The Alabama Corner

Tuscaloosa's Five Men-its & The Pacers

Drop Shot (Rufus Cromer of Liberation) Greg and Rodney Justo of the Candymen at Georgia Music Hall of Fame

Paul Hornsby, Jimmy Dean & Wilbur Walton,Jr.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Queen Sela & George C.

Subject: Fort, Thomas Morton | Georgia Public Broadcasting Wildman, This is a 54 min. interview
with Dell Fort's G-Daddy who just passed away last month.(ed. note: click on this & start the video then reduce the site & go along with your business on the Internet as you listen to Mr. Fort's story)

been trying over many moons to track down Bob Glover. Went to junior hi with him (Tyrone) & hi school (Boca Ciega) but do not remember him at JC 61-62. Tried to catch his act (Bo Jicada) at a Holiday Inn on S US19 but posted schedule was off a week (this was middle 70s). He briefly stayed at my parents motel & I paid him to borrow his Mercury (which he used to pay my parents).

Could use any help you can provide in getting a correspondence address(s) for him.

Randy S Mitchell