Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 31st, Club La Vela in Panama City Beach will host the largest New Year's Eve party in the southeast! Club La Vela located in Panama City Beach, FL is ground zero and will be unveiling the newly renovated and re-engineered Thunderdome with $150,000.00 Dynacord Alpha Sound System!!!. There will be 7 djs mixing everything from hip hop/dance to old skool. Don't miss live rock with Jury in the rock arena!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Steve Clayton
Michael Steven Clayton
Mr. Michael Steven Clayton of the Lovetown community died on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at UAB. He was 53. Arrangements are incomplete & will be announced later. Southern Heritage Funeral Home and Crematory, (334) 702-1712, is in charge of arrangements. Sign the guest book at

Dear everyone,
Thank you so much for your interest in Eddie Kirkland! I attached the press release we sent out recently for his recent Tuscaloosa visit. I memory is a blur right now about who it was that got in touch with me about the mural. I know that I spoke about it with Joey Brackner at the State Arts Council - and then someone researching for the mural got in touch with me and I recommended Eddie then and send some materials on and bio etc.
It would be a wonderful dream come true to bring Eddie back to Dothan and honor him there some how. Like Robert explained it would be great to take him around and record his visit together with his memories. He has an amazing story and memories that are an important window into the blues culture of the Dothan area at that time. Here is a story Tuscaloosa News did with a video interview. There is a little section where he talks about his Dothan memories.
He is perfect for a performance and educational workshop. We also have gone into schools to do educational performances - wouldn't it be cool to take Eddie to the schools he went to? Do any of you write grants?
I have been working with Eddie for the past ten years or so. I was lucky to get to do an apprenticeship with him (I play guitar and sing) in 2001 sponsored by ASCA. We have been performing with him with my own band and on and off through that time. ASCA are very aware of Eddie and how important he is - and would be a great funding source. I would love to talk to you by phone if possible. Please phone when you have a chance!
Thank you so much for being interested in Eddie.
>Best wishes,

Debbie Bond


Came across your blog, got your e-mail address and wanted to tell you how much I remember and value your intelligence, VERVE, joie de vivre, truth telling, and
general air of making human life seem a valuable sort of thing to be living.

Let me buy a cup of Xmas cheer for you, old friend, and catch up with your various projects.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Joe Willie Gittin' Ready For The Rose Bowl!

Red John in '75!


From: rodney
Sent: Friday, November 6, 2009 10:12 PM
To: Paul Cochran
Subject: Orbison production

Since our conversation last night, I thought that I'd do my best to recall the circumstances surrounding the Miss Brown recording session.
How,or why, it all started I couldn't tell you. But I do know that through your efforts Roy Orbison was going to produce a record with me as the artist.
I don't know that he had ever produced a record before,(I do have some recollection of him having something to do with a singer from Texas) but I was of course flattered to be thought of as someone that Roy thought so highly of.
>Originally he sent me some demo acetates of a couple of songs by Boudleaux Bryant. Their names escape me but I'll think of them and get back to you.
Let me remind you that Roy could be very loyal to people,and we (The Candymen) would play a tour across Canada every year (in the dead of winter of course) for a promoter named Marlon Payne who had booked Roy back when not many people would give him work.We also did some shows in Texas once for a promoter who had once befriended shows of all things.some of the other artists were Webb Pierce,Stonewall Jackson,Little Jimmy Dickens, and Jeannie Seely.
Now, before Roy decided to start carrying his own band (The Webs,later to become The Candymen) he would sometimes take Fred Carter a guitariat and songwriter from Nashvile on the road with him.
That's how the songs I was going to record had come into being.
The songs were
>1-Miss Brown
>2-Tomorrow I'll Be Blue,
>and possibly another song
But,let's go back to February 8th 1964.......(I remember the date because it was my 19th birthday)
>We left early in the morning and met at the Howard Johnson motel in Clearwater for Dothan, Alabama where Buddy Buie was promoting a show with Orbison as the headliner, Ray Stevens, Bobby Goldsboro who had just left Roy's band because he had his first hit record, I also sang on the show as a single artist for the first time and was backed up by a band called The Ramrods.Also by this time Wilbur Walton had somehow comandeered the name The Webs.
After the show we all went to Buies Cafe to have a dinner,and after dinner we (or I should say "I" ) drove Roy, Ray,and you to Nashville.
The Capitol Park Inn,was the top of the line then,and that's where we stayed.
The Beatles had already released some records, but we had no idea what was going to happen that night.....February 9th was the night The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan show. Everything was gonna' change.
I knew that the stuff I was going to record was not the most current sounding stuff, but I said to myself "Shut up and be grateful" and decided to do the best job possible.
>The next night (The 10th) Ray Stevens, always the nice guy, took me to a recording session where Jerry Lee Lewis was recording a song called "I'm on Fire". Man, he tore it up.
Finally we get to my date which was February 11th.......I wasn't nervous because I knew the songs (Oh, Ray Stevens suggested that we do a song that he had publishing on called, Tell Her That You Care, which he had rearranged to make it more Orbisonish,and Roy gave it the O.K.and he sang along with me on the record)
The arranger was Bill Justis of RAUNCHY fame. He was quite a character. He noticed a Star of David around my neck, which was given to me by my then girlfriend,later to be my first wife,and asked me if I was a "Jewban"...I also remember him telling me "Now, just stand here and sing, if you sing any notes on pitch,a hat will come down and land on your head. We had Brenda Lee in here last week, and the hat was nowhere to be found.
>The other musicians were
Drums-Buddy Harmon
Guitars-Billy Sanford,Wayne Moss
Bass-Henry Strzlecki (sorry about the spelling Henry but I'm close)
Sax-Boots Randolph
Piano-"Pig" I don't remember his real name but he was a blind piano player who played on a lot of Nashville sessions
The Anita Kerr Singers
And, I believe Charley McCoy played trumpet
I forgot to mention another Bill Justis story. After a couple of run downs of Miss Brown he tells me...."Hey Jewban, you sound a little too black, I need you to sing more like Bobby Rydell.......Well, Bobby Rydell it is.
Three hours and three songs (maybe four) you don't see that anymore. And this was live, no overdubbing, not even any headphones.
Of course, my favorite comment/memory of the session.....Billy Sanford played a little lick somewhere in the song,maybe in the intro, and while we're listening to the playback Orbison looks at you and me and says........SMASH
It's been a long time Paul,and a lot of people involved are no longer with us........I wish I would have had hit records,but if you change one thing,you change everything, and I don't know how I could have had a better life.
Thanks for always being my friend........Much love,

Monday, December 14, 2009

left to right Larry Coe , Jerry Wise, Richard Burke, Steve Clayton, Donnie Clayton

Legend with David Morris, Richard "Buddy" Burke , Steve Clayton and Jim Folmer, round 80'.
Hearts are heavy in Dixie with the passing of Steve Clayton.

God speed Stevie, see ya' on the other side.

Sincerest condolences to Becky, Matt, Jon, Tanner, Don, Melanie and Pat and Joyce.

"If you believe in forever then life is just a one night stand"

One of the really "Good Guys" got away from us this morning.


Hey Roberto----to the guy who inquired about Bill Akridge----
When I was in the ninth or tenth grade, Larry Coe, Sidney White and I put together a band we called The Strangers. I guess Larry had heard about Bill, because suddenly he was in the band. He couldn't have been more than thirteen or fourteen years old. He had a Hammond in his living room so that is where we practiced, up on North Street about a half mile from where I lived. He was already good, and made us a real group. For the first year or so we didn't even have a singer, playing whatever jobs came up, even playing frats up at Auburn after Larry graduated from DHS and went up there. That Hammond went with us every time we played somewhere. The Akridges had a vicious parrot that lived in their living room, where we practiced, that would eat your face off if you got too close to it. After a while, I heard Danny Kennedy sitting on the back of a Chevy at Creel's Drive-In's parking lot singing and strumming a guitar. He actually had a vibrato in his voice, which I had never heard except on records and from church ladies in the choir, I asked him if he wanted to be in a band, and he said he did, so that became our band, and we played around town quite a bit. When Buddy Buie started doing the Peanut Festival shows at the Farm Center, he got us to play and even back up some of the acts that didn't have a band. We backed up Gene Kennedy (I think he had a song about a haunted house), Ray Stevens, and some others. We were supposed to back up Fabian, but couldn't cut it since he couldn't sing a note and we couldn't provide enough noise to cover up that fact.
Before my senior year started, John Rainey Adkins got into some kind of difficulty with Roy Orbison, with whom he was playing, and came back to Dothan and restarted the Webs with new members. He got Larry Coe and Bill to join up with him, so that ended the Strangers. At the end of my senior year, John Rainey had patched up whatever problem he had with Orbison (he told me it was because he didn't want to fly on airplanes, but I don't think that was it) and this new version of the Webs he had formed needed a bass player. John Rainey had been playing bass since Amos Tyndall had dropped out, which he had also done in the first version of the Webs. I got nominated, and the night of our graduation party I spent the first half of the evening as a grad with a date and the second half picking the bass.
We spent that summer playing the Old Dutch Inn in PC. In the fall, Buddy wanted to put another group together he could book, write and produce songs for, so he took Wilbur Walton, Jr., and me, from that version of the Webs, and Johnny Mulkey, Fred Guarino, and James (Bubba) Lathem from another group he managed, The Ramrods, from Birmingham, and put a new group together he called The James Gang.
I lost touch with Bill after that. I heard things about him, mainly about how great he was at his craft, but we didn't cross paths again. When he passed away, quite a few of the Dothan musicians gathered together for his graveside service. Buddy was there, and me, and Larry Coe, and Frank Tanton, and a good number of others. It was a simple and beautiful celebration of his life as a musician.
We called him "Little Bill", and that is who he will always be to me. It's nice to know that others are keeping his memory alive.
Jimmy Dean

Hey y'all~

This beeze a miniblast out to the Inner Sanctum & their associates.

We've had two sons,directly & indirectly, of departed men from the music business contact us in the past 24 hours so that gets your attention.

The first son's dad played with bands associated with Willie Akridge & he contacted me after discovering this post on the Zero, NW FLA. blog from the winter of 2007.

Subject: Willie
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Willie.
After Southern Steel broke up in Nashville (1973) three SS members formed the Gunnar-Cahill Band.
Willie was a friend of our bass player Steve Clark and joined the band on piano.
What a great guy and a talented musician he was.
I still have a tape of us live at a club in Nashville.
It even features Willie singing one of his originals.
I lost touch with him through the years and wondered what became of him.
Thanks for posting this.

Ed O

Here's Josh Clark's inquiry:

i am the son f the departed steven clark of the gunnar cahill band or southern steel. shortly after my father passed some one broke into my car and stole my book of cds which had my fathers cd in it as you can imagine i was very upset. on the post it was said that someone has the tape of them playing live in nashville. i would imagine that that person is jim godman. if there is anything you can do to help me get a copy of that tape it would be greatly appreciated like you have no idea. any help would be awesome here is the post. thank you again and i hope to hear from you soon.


I've got no idea who Ed O was but I'll put out some inquiries to some of Bill "Willie" Akridge's friends in Dothan. Somebody probably has some Gunnar-Cahill or Southern Steel stuff so I'll start working. Probably won't have any results until near the end of the week.

Sorry to hear about your theft. Sad story.


thank you very much . your awesome. i really appreciate you taking the time to help me out. it means alot to me
i hope your search finds something. again thanks alot

Robert Register likes to give credit where credit is due. Tommy Stevenson did a superb job interviewing Eddie Kirkland & Debbie Bond for his Town Hall clip & Ric Asherson did a great job accompanying Eddie on harmonica.


Who did Debbie
submit the nomination to?

Robin Rainer is on that committee and he said that Eddie's name
has never come across their committee as far as he knows. He admits he has missed a meeting or two in the past couple of years, but he's curious who she submitted the name to.

How much would it cost to get him here?

Do you have contact with him?

I might be able to get him to headline the Tri_State BBQ festival
(BBQ and Blues go hand in hand!)

but not sure how much money it would take, etc.

image courtesy of


Here's the inquiry into the life of Frank Fenter initiated by his step-son, Robin Duner-Fenter:

Phil Walden, Dr. John, Frank Fenter image courtesy of

Frank Fenter’s legacy in the music industry is undeniable.

As a booking agent in London in the early ’60s — the roots of the “British Invasion” — he worked with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and the Animals.
Later, as the top executive for Atlantic Records in London, he discovered such groups as Led Zeppelin and Yes.

When he came to Macon in 1969, it was to partner with Phil Walden in the newly launched Capricorn Records label, which would end up being the home of the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, the Marshall Tucker Band and many others in the Southern rock genre.

Though not as well known to the public as Walden, Fenter’s stepson Robin Duner-Fenter would like to see Fenter join Walden as a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Duner-Fenter has started a campaign to get Fenter on the ballot next month for induction in 2010 and is enlisting the support of many of Fenter’s music industry associates for that campaign.

“He absolutely should be in there, in my opinion,” said Chuck Leavell, who played keyboards with the Allman Brothers and the Rolling Stones and is a 2004 inductee. “He was a huge part of Capricorn Records. He made a huge impact.”

Fenter died in 1983 at age 47 while trying to revive the Capricorn label in a deal with Warner Brothers Records after Capricorn went bankrupt a few years earlier. Duner-Fenter said he believes his stepfather’s short life may have caused his contributions to be overlooked.

“Basically, I’ve always had the sense that Frank passed away very young,” Duner-Fenter said. “Because of that, he never got the recognition with Southern rock and his participation with Capricorn Records. I see his recognition as long overdue.”

Best salesman in the world

Fenter, a native of South Africa, met Walden in Europe during the “Hit the Road Stax” tour in 1967. Fenter was still with Atlantic Records while Walden was managing some of the acts that nade up the tour, including Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. The two became fast friends.

Fenter had an opportunity to move to New York to become an executive with the main part of Atlantic Records, but he instead chose to join with Walden, who had just formed Capricorn with his brother Alan.

Alan Walden, a 2003 inductee, soon moved on to form his own management and music publishing company, but maintained a good relationship with Fenter. Fenter was the only Capricorn executive who was a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd, which Alan Walden managed.

“He was just as eager as I was to listen to new songs,” Alan Walden said. “He was the only person who shared my belief in Lynyrd Skynyrd. ... He brought a whole new image to Capricorn. He could make you believe it was sunshine when there was buckets of rain. He was the best salesman in the world. He was the perfect partner for my brother Phil.”

Willie Perkins, the former road manager for The Allman Brothers, said the two men were the perfect complement to each other in running the company.

“Frank was more of the administrator, more of the nuts-and-bolts type,” Perkins said. “Phil was more of the creative type. They worked together hand-in-glove with each other.”

Fenter’s knowledge of the music industry was critical for Capricorn’s growth.

“He brought a knowledge of the record business that none of us had,” Alan Walden said.

Fenter’s congeniality helped attract a lot of artists to the label, said Rick Hirsch, former guitarist for Wet Willie.

“He was just very eloquent,” Hirsch said. “He had a lot of grace. You were drawn to him because of his demeanor. He was not intimidating. It could be very daunting to meet a record executive when you’re a young musician, but Frank was a kind person with a lot of humility. He had a lot of great ideas.”

Respect for musicians

Leavell said Fenter often acted as a go-between among the artists and Phil Walden.

“On a personal level, I got on a lot better with Frank,” Leavell said. “He was more approachable on matters. ... I was a young musician, just 17 or 18, but Frank always treated me with respect.”

Fenter wasn’t just a matchmaker in the music business either, Leavell said. When Leavell was first dating the woman who would become his wife, Rose Lane Leavell, Fenter encouraged him to become serious.

“He told me she is ‘one of the finest ladies I have ever met,’ ” Leavell said. “ ‘If you are serious and grab hold of her, there’s no better woman in this area.’ ”

Fenter also contributed to the culinary scene in Macon, opening the European-style restaurants Le Bistro and Le Brasserie here in the 1970s.

Capricorn went bankrupt in 1979, leading to some lean years. But Phil Walden and Fenter tried to keep the label alive, and Fenter had worked out a distribution deal with Warner Brothers, Duner-Fenter said. But the day before he was to fly to Los Angeles to sign the contract, Fenter died of a heart attack and the deal fell apart.

Duner-Fenter said some of his best times growing up were listening to new albums with his stepfather, who liked to gauge the reaction of teen listeners to new songs.

Duner-Fenter has created a Facebook page to help the hall of fame campaign for Fenter.

He also has been gathering biographical materials and testimonials from dozens of music industry veterans in hopes that his stepfather will be inducted into the hall of fame.

“It’s long overdue,” Alan Walden said. “He should have been recognized long before now.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kerry , Sharman & Debbie ,

I'm writing to all three of you girls because I know y'all could make a great team who could work together to bring a great blues man back to Dothan.

Debbie Bond told me she nominated Eddie Kirkland
for the new mural but she felt he didn't make the final cut.

It'd be nice to know if that is so.


Debbie is ready to apply for a grant so she can bring Eddie Kirkland
& The Alabama Blues Project to the schools of Houston County.


She also wants money to pay for a documentary of Eddie's return to Dothan. He told me he went to North Highlands & East Highlands Elementary Schools when "I was able to go."

We have three different Dothan City Directories from '35 here in the University of Alabama library plus one from '39 which we can use to jog Eddie's memory.

We also need an appropriate venue for Eddie's performance. This 86 year old cat can ROCK THE HOUSE!!!!

Any response will be appreciated.


image courtesy of John Earl

Robert Register likes the idea of Mark Ingram winning a trophy named after a man who lived in Alabama for five years while he coached Auburn.

image courtesy of Auburn's vol.1 1897 GLOMERATA

Found this photo of Sims Moody in the '32 edition of The Black Warrior, the THS yearbook.

Pretty sure this was drawn by one of Dr. J.T. Searcy's sons in the 1900 Corolla

The Crimson Tide's 1900 Varsity

Now the Mellow Mushroom~ notice the horse drawn trolley

We got over 30,000 views @ Tommy Wilcox's Youtube video

Check out our myspace page

You can purchase the CD @ our website

by Tom Wolfe is about the best thing you can read now about what's happening between the banks and BIG MULES right here in BAMA.