Sunday, July 19, 2015


(Buddy is talking about living in New York City when he was a young songwriter)

I go back to the hotel.
Put the key in the door &
the door won't open!

I go downstairs very irate & said

They said,"YEAH! If you'd pay your bill, it might open!"


They had my clothes and everything back of the counter!

[more laughter]

Wally: Buddy, what's the first song on the radio that you heard that you'd written...

Buddy: That'd I'd written?

Wally: Or produced. The first written or produced. Sandy Posey?

Buddy: Before that, you know, we had The James Gang...

Ronnie: "Georgia Pines"

Buddy: "Georgia Pines". Even before that...
I think that "Georgia Pines" is the FIRST one with any notoriety to it.

Ronnie: "Georgia Pines" was big in the South.

Buddy: ONLY!

Ronnie: But never did get out nationally.

Buddy: Never did and it's never been really covered by a big artist. I always thought one of the Nashville artists would cover that song because it seems like it'd be a natural for 'em.

Ronnie: We had Johnny Townsend here not too long ago.

Buddy: Oh, yeah.

Ronnie: He did "Light Of A Distant Fire."
That thing kind of spread out nationally.

Buddy: Surely! It was a big one...

Wally: "Smoke From A Distant Fire" !

Ronnie: Oh, "Smoke From A Distant Fire".

Buddy: Yeah.



Ronnie: So how did it feel hearing that song on the radio.

Buddy: I can't, I can't relate now to that feeling. I can't remember back...
My mind is mush, anyway, when it comes to memory but I do know that it gave me a little extra edge with the girls in town. I remember that!



Dave: Always looking for that edge, baby!

Ronnie: All about the girls!

Wally: My Daddy had a country music station here in town that I grew up working in.

Buddy: Oh, did he?

Wally: And I just always loved that Sandy Posey song "I Take It Back".

Buddy: That was the first national hit we had.

Wally: Uh, huh.

Buddy: Right before that we had a song by Tommy Roe called "Party Girl" that made it it to like mid-chart. Uh, but, Sandy Posey, "I Take It Back", the way that came about... Chips Moman.I don't know whether you know him. He's a legendary producer. He produced a bunch of stuff for Elvis: "Suspicious Minds", "In The Ghetto". He did "Willie & Waylon". He did "The Highwaymen".

Ronnie Quarles: WOW!

Buddy: I mean, he's legendary. Well, this was when he was in Memphis and,uh, I had... I knew about him and had met him by phone & I said,"Listen, I got a song."So I did the demo myself. I sang the demo and I did "The Girl's Part". You know the Girl's recitation. I did it in the female gender!


Buddy: Then I did the male voice.

Wally: I'm glad I didn't hear that version!

Buddy: It was good enough to get a cut though! He called me in the middle of the night and said, "Hey man! I cut Sandy Posey on that song!"



Ronnie: So how do you write a song and get it to somebody like Sandy Posey? What,what... How did that happen?

Buddy: Well, that's what I was saying. What happened was I knew he was recording because she'd just had "Single Woman". This song called "Single Woman".

Ronnie: So you did not know Sandy Posey?

Buddy: No I did not know Sandy.

Ronnie: OK.

Buddy: I rarely ever know the artist.

Ronnie: OK.

Buddy: You know, it's usually through a publisher or what we call a "pitch" where you go in front of an artist or producer and throw them your song.

Ronnie: Is it easy today to do that?

Buddy: Well,

Ronnie[interrupting]: Is it easier today, I should say...

Buddy: I don't do it as much but when you've had a track record, you know, you can get in the door easier. It doesn't make them like it anymore though...

Ronnie: I see...

Buddy: You know, they'll still tell ya,"Naw, thank you for coming. Really appreciate you bringing it by but, naw, this is not for us."

Ronnie: See, I've always told Wally that we could get the Sunday newspaper, cut out some words out of each headline, put 'em together & line 'em up.We'd have a country song!


Buddy: I got a couple of country titles but I can't say but one of them on the air!




Buddy: That's a Waylon Jennings' line!


Ronnie[laughing] That's great!

Buddy: Can I say "masturbate" on the radio?

Dave McDaniel: Yeah, I think you just did!


Ronnie: Yeah, I think you just did!



Dave: Oh no! There goes our license!

Buddy: I cleaned it up a little bit!

Dave: Yeah you did. We're with you on it , Buddy!


Dave: OH Lord!

Ronnie: Let's move it on!

Dave: Naw! Let it stay right where it's at!


Ronnie: So how did you hook up with the Classics IV?

Buddy: I was in Atlanta. Bill Lowery had... I told you I had a song by Tommy Roe who was a Bill Lowery artist. I met Bill and Bill; later on, introduced me, you know, to different people around town, and what was the question?

Ronnie: The Classics IV.

Buddy: Oh yeah, I was not a producer at that time. I was a songwriter pitching songs. Joe South, the legendary writer...

Wally: "Don't It Make You Want To Go Home"

Buddy: "Rose Garden" , many, many, many songs.
Joe was producing the band and I knew of 'em because I'd been to Florida to see them down at Cocoa Beach and they were an incredible band. They were probably the best copy band I'd heard at that time and the lead singer, Dennis Yost played drums.

Ronnie: Standing up! Yeah! I remember that!

Buddy: &, anyway, they were cutting one of my songs...NO THEY WASN'T!
At that point, they were cutting a bunch of songs that Lowery had given them and Joe South became ill and I became their producer by default.

Wally: Really!

Ronnie: Wow!

Buddy: & during that week we cut "Spooky".

Dave: How 'bout that!

Buddy: I kept hounding Bill Lowery,"Man, if I could just get in the studio and have some real time!"
So they named that NATIONAL BUIE WEEK so I was the only one who could get in the studio!


Buddy: & during that week, the musicians, some of them later on became the Atlanta Rhythm Section, we cut "Spooky".
I think an interesting thing about that session is that Emory Gordy was the bass player and Emory is Patty Loveless' husband.

Ronnie: Is that right?!

Buddy: & he's a very big producer in Nashville. He also played bass for Elvis and Emory was the bass player and J.R. Cobb, who was one of the Classics IV, later on became one of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, J.R. Cobb, they all played on that session, and we cut "Spooky" with just those three pieces. We recorded it on a three track. I don't know how many people in the audience are familiar with a little bit of the technical stuff but we had a 3-track tape machine- a Scully 3-track.

Ronnie: Wow!

Buddy: & we had two of them and what we would do, we'd put the bass and drums on one track, the singer on another track and guitar on the other track and then we'd do what's called "Ping Pong". We take those tracks and record them down to two, then we did overdubs.
By the time we got through recording this song, the tape was so thin you could see through it!


Dave: I believe that, yeah!

Ronnie: & now days, they've got what?

Dave: 64 tracks.

Buddy: Unlimited tracks! Digital! Yeah! Unlimited tracks!
I remember when the first 8 track, I'm telling my age but I remember the first 8 track!


Buddy: I remember the first 16 track!

Wally: We do too!


Wally: We're all old radio folks so we know.

Dave: Yeah, we do too!

Ronnie: So ya'll hooked up with Roy Orbison?

Buddy: Well, the way we hooked up with Roy Orbison...
We recorded "Spooky" and we recorded another song. It was called "Poor People" and I don't even remember the melody of that song now it's been so long but "Poor People" was the A-side and "Spooky" was the B-side.


Buddy: Spooky had originally been a jazz instrumental. Did you know that?

Ronnie: No, I didn't know that!

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: A guy named Mike Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks in Atlanta. Mike was probably one of the greatest jazz players, sax tenor players, that you'll...
He played the break on "Spooky". He played it on "Stormy". He's just a great player and that song, I was riding down the road, J.R. Cobb and I and I said,
"I love that instrumental."
J.R. said," I do too. Did you know Bill Lowery publishes it?"
I said,"Naw, I didn't."
So I called Bill Lowery. I said,"Man, that song of yours, you know, is just sensational!
Do you mind if I take it and rework it and try to make it into a pop song and write lyrics to it?"
So we took it. Restructured it. Changed the melody to make it, you know, more appropriate for a pop song and , you know, that's how that song came about. It was a B-side as I said. A disc jockey in Louisville, KY played it and the phones rang off the hook and I had a promotion man named Mike Martin who called me saying,"Buddy, you won't believe this but that song 'Spooky', the B-side of the record, it's tearing it up!"
So then it started happening in different towns and, you know, then it became the big song that it was. Now it's been recorded by The Atlanta Rhythm Section, of course, had a hit with "Spooky" and David Sandbourne had a # 1 jazz hit so it's been a great song for us.
Now, what's your next question you asked me?

Buddy: Now what's your next question you asked me?

Ronnie: How'd you hook up with Roy Orbison?

Buddy: In Dothan, Alabama. This was before any of this had happened.In Dothan, there was the Houston County Farm Center there and I started promoting shows. I used to have dances at the local recreation center and things of that kind.

Wally: He was the Tiger Jack of Dothan!

Buddy: Yeah, I've heard a lot about Tiger Jack!


Ronnie: He used to do that here at Ft. Brandon Armory.

Buddy: We probably played for him!

Ronnie: We've got pictures of y'all on our website.

Buddy: Oh great! Yeah! I remember that armory very well. I had a show... my first big show was Roy Orbison. I loved Roy Orbison. I told you I loved radio and I loved songs. I was just mesmerized with "Only The Lonely" and even a couple of things before that. I thought he was sensational so I called. I found out who he was with. It was Acuff-Rose Agency in Nashville and I called them & they said,"Sure, he'd love to come down there!" and I said,"How much is it gonna be?" and it was $600!


Dave:WOO! That was big money!

Wally: That was a world of money!

Buddy: $600. Even then I thought it was a bargain. He came down. In those days, big artists traveled with like a guitar player & a music director and they did. Fred Carter was his guitar player and they told me,"Does your band read?"

"Well, of course!"

They didn't read music!


Wally: I read in that article about you that they DID read music!They said that they DID read!

Buddy: They full of crap!


Buddy: They might have learned over years of osmosis...


Buddy: They were just country boys, played by ear as most session players at that time were...The guys in Muscle Shoals, I betcha none of those guys, maybe some of 'em did, the horn players and stuff but most guitar players don't read.So I said,"Sure! They READ!"So they said,"We're gonna bring down some arrangements."Well, immediately we go to the Dothan Recreation Center and start rehearsing and John Rainey Adkins, one of my guitar heroes, & one of the guys that, he passed on, God bless him, we practiced and practiced and John Rainey, he would play a record backwards or slow it down to the slowest spead and learn parts and to make a long story short, by the time Orbison came to town, these guys sounded like his records!

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: They had it down! So he came, got on stage for rehearsal. So he said,"Y'all boys read?""SURE!"So he handed them all this music, you know...


Buddy: And so they counted off,"One,two, three, four

[Buddy imitating Orbison]"I was all right for a while!"
RIGHT! So at the end of the song, Orbison said,"God O' Mighty!"


Buddy: "God O' Mighty! That sounds great!"


Buddy: He's a country boy from Wink, Texas, a small town, like we were small town guys from Dothan, Alabama.

Ronnie: Wink, Texas.

Buddy: Yeah, close to Odessa.

Ronnie: Yeah. I used to live out there.

Buddy: Yeah, did you really? I played a lot of joints out there.

Ronnie: I lived in San Angelo.

Buddy: Did ya?

Ronnie: Yeah.

Buddy: & Orbison, by the end of the night, by the time he left Dothan, we'd become friends and it led from there. He came back, played another show, finally he said,"Man, I'd love to take this band on the road!"I said,"You're not taking that band on the road unless you take me!!!!"


Dave: Oh, that's right!


Buddy: I had a '55 Chevrolet and we piled into it. Bobby Goldsboro was the rhythm guitar player!

Ronnie: Oh, man!

Buddy: We all piled into my '55 Chevrolet and went on the road with Roy Orbison!

Ronnie: Wow!

Wally: You were his road manager, right?

Buddy: I was his road manager and he is...I gotta say; I've said it in other interviews and things; there's no telling how many times I saw him perform.There was never a time when I saw him perform that the hair didn't stand up on my arm!


Buddy: & he was one of the sweetest human beings you would ever meet. He had a song one time called "If You Can't Say Something Nice, Don't Say Anything At All".That's pretty much the motto he lived by. I never heard him say anything bad about anybody else.He was just one of those guys that did not deserve all...First of all, the lack of attention he got!Everybody thinks of Roy Orbison as being a huge artist during that period. He was huge in England but in America, he had hit records but concert-wise, he was just another Joe & nobody like him deserves what happened. He lost his children in fire. He lost his wife when he was riding down the road on motorcycles.They went out motorcycle riding together & he was in the lead and he looked back and she wasn't there and the reason she wasn't there was because a guy ran a stop sign and killed her instantly.

Ronnie: That's horrible! Didn't know that...

Buddy: So that's his life. You know about his children burning up, didn't you?


Buddy: He had a house out by Johnny Cash on Hendersonville Lake in Nashville and they were playing with matches or something and I think their nanny was with them and the house burned to the ground.

Dave: Oh, goodness!

Buddy: With the children in it.

Ronnie: Oh, my God!

Buddy: So he lived a tragic, tragic life.

Wally: Why'd he wear those sunglasses?

Buddy: Well, Roy was... you know there are stories that say he started wearing them in Dothan. Is that what you're referring to?

Wally: I just noticed he always had dark sunglasses on.

Buddy: Yeah, dark sunglasses, I always heard he never wore them until, somebody else told me this, he never wore them before and I don't remember it but somebody told me this that when he was in Dothan, he lost his clip-on sunglasses and he had to buy a pair and he liked himself in sunglasses.He was virtually blind. His glasses were thick like plate glass.Roy was white. His hair was just white as snow when he was a kid. He dyed that hair. It'd get white. I've seen him.Oh, I could gush about him for hours!

Ronnie: Well, there was the special, "Black & White". What a great show!

Buddy: Wasn't that great!

Ronnie: Unbelievable!

Buddy: I wrote with him right after that and that's another tragic thing about his death.All of his life, he'd not really had all the adulation the he deserved. He didn't know that Bruce Springsteen thought he was "GOD"!


Buddy: He didn't know this. All these people...How they felt about him.

Ronnie: So that was a big moment for him.

Buddy: It was HUGE for him! & finally, his idol was Elvis, and finally he got a little of that Elvis type attention...


Buddy: & then right after that he came to Atlanta and wrote with Ronnie Hammond and I. We had a song called "Awesome Love". Roy called me and said,"Man, I love your song "Awesome Love". I wanna come down and put my touch to it."I said, "Come on!"So he came to Atlanta, stayed there at my house for three or four days and that's the last time I saw him. He died not long after that.

Dave: My Goodness!

Buddy: It was heartbreaking.

Ronnie: Yeah.

Dave: Along with the travels with Roy Orbison, you also had a brush with the Beatles, didn't you?

Buddy: No, I didn't.

Dave: O.K.

Buddy: You know a lot of people get that wrong. I didn't!
The Band Did! The band went with Orbison to England and Robert Nix and one of the other guys, they were at a club there and they met McCartney & Lennon in the bathroom.


Dave: Great place to meet 'em!

Buddy: & John Rainey said, " I didn't know what to say! There was John Lennon!"


Wally: & then they wrote "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"!


Buddy: That's pretty good there!

Dave: You gotta watch him, Buddy!

Buddy: I wasn't there. Lot of times people interpret it that I was there but I wasn't. The band was there and they came back with all kind of stories!

Wally: Buddy Buie's our guest this morning! We're gonna take a short break and we'll be right back!

The Second Track of Buddy Buie's Interview on WTBC on March 15, 2006

Buddy: Well, I thank you, I'm here not only to talk about the songs I've written in the past but I've got a new song. Actually, it's not a new song. It's a lost song. It's a song that we wrote when Bear Bryant died. The name of the song is "The Day Bear Bryant Died". We wrote the song. Then we forgot about it and then some friends of mine encouraged me to try to get something done with it in Tuscaloosa and ,hopefully, you'll be hearing it because...

Who's that?

[a caller to the radio show claims to have so much influence overPaul Finebaum that Buddy is guaranteed a spot on the show by the caller]

Buddy: Oh man! I'd love to be on Finebaum!

Wally: Well Buddy, there goes your career!

Dave: Git 'er done! Git 'er done! Git 'er done! YEAH! We already got Finebaum, man!

Ronnie: You want to tell us a little about it and let us play that song right now?

Buddy: What happened was Ronnie Hammond with the AtlantaRhythm Section, a guy I write with quite often, and I were at Lake Lanier and it was in January of '83. Bear Bryant had died a couple or three days before.

We came into Lake Lanier and we rented one of those cabins and were sitting there and the funeral procession that was strung with so many people on the side of the road and Keith Jackson talking about it...
Just a wave of emotion came over us and it was one of the most profound things I've ever seen. I was an Alabama fan. Ronnie wasn't a football fan but it even got him and so that day we wrote the song about Bear Bryant.
You know most people think about songwriters awaking in the middle of the night saying, "OH! Boy! I got THIS IDEA!" or they see a sunset and it comes over them and they write this song.
Well, that's not what happens!
Usually it's pretty much, you have an idea and you try to develop that idea.

Almost like writing a book. You have an idea and you try to develop it ...


Like this song.
Written strictly with emotion at that moment
I'm really proud of it. I played it for a gentleman from Dothan, Alabama by the name of Harrison Parrish, one of the owners of Movie Gallery.
He's big Alabama alumni and I played it for him and got really excited about it and then he played it for Johnny Williams, the assistant athletic director here and he got excited about it and he played it for Tom Stipe and he did.[got excited about it]
We want this to be,
now I'm prejudiced, Ronnie and I wrote that thing!

When you hear the front of the record you're gonna hear Bear but you can barely hear it. The only thing I had was Bear's voice on an old media piece which I don't even have anymore, where you could hear Bear talking but it has so many scratches. It's almost inaudible but still I put it on the front intro of this record and one of the things I want to achieve while I'm here is to possibly get the university to give us a nice clean copy so we can put it on this intro.
So let's listen to it and see...

Dave: So here it is.

Voice over of Coach Bryant:
"I've said this before, of course,
I've said anytime I've had the opportunity that I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world because of the privilege of being here at The University & passing my time here.

I WILL never put anything against your education. We want that to come first.


To be second!

We want football to be second!

Because we feel a very strong obligation to you and we feel like you should to The Universitybecause it works both ways.

First of all,
we want you to write home!


lyrics of "The Day Bear Bryant Died" by Buddy Buie & Ronnie Hammond

I'll never forget the day
That I heard the news
Bear Bryant has died!!!!
Funny, I thought he'd refuse
I watched as they laid him to rest
In Old Alabama
OH how I cried
The day Bear Bryant died



The Nation Cried
Friend and Foe Alike
The Legend Lives On
Oh how I cried
The Day Bear Bryant died.

The day he was born
GOD gave us one of a kind
& I'm glad he did
'Cause heroes are so hard to find
Many a fine young man
He led into battle
He taught them to win
He turned boys into men



The Nation cried!
Friend & foe alike
The Legend lives on!
The HERO is gone!
OH! How I cried
The Day Bear Bryant Died.

The Nation cried
Friend & Foe alike
The Legend Lives On!
The Day Bear Bryant Died.

Wally: Wow! Buddy, that's good!

Dave: That's strong, Buddy!

Ronnie: You got some tears, I guarantee you, out there in radioland!

Buddy: It makes me very emotional.

Wally: Me too.

Ronnie: That was pure emotion from the actual day!

Wally: Do you know if Paul Jr.'s heard it?

Buddy: I don't know whether he has or not.

Wally: Yeah.

Buddy: I sure hope that I get a chance to , first of all, just to meet him and play it for him.
I've been an Alabama fan since I was a child.

Wally:Um hum.

Buddy: And all my family's Auburn fans.

Wally: Really?

Dave: I bet that goes over real well at dinner.

Buddy: And we just don't watch the Alabama-Auburn game anywhere near each other!

Wally: I bet! I bet!

Buddy: But my brother's got four kids that graduated from Auburn.
He said,"Buddy, I love that song even though I'm an Auburn fan!"

So, I don't know, my dream is for that song to become an anthem for the university. I'd love to hear that stadium sing "ROLL TIDE!"

Wally: I have got a good friend of mine that I've known for many years named Coach Clem Gryska.

Buddy: Uh huh.

Wally: He used to be on Coach Bryant's staff and he's now over at the Bryant Museum.

Buddy: Oh really!

Wally: You need to hook up with him and see what kind of...

Buddy: Any help I could get to exploit this! Money is not the motive here.

Wally and Dave: No.

Buddy: Because you know, like I told Ronnie[Hammond] when we wrote that song, I said,"Well, that'll never be a commercial record because of the fact that half of the people in Alabama are gonna hate it and half are gonna love it!"


Wally: Well, I loved it!

Buddy: Thank you!

Dave: Yeah, great stuff!

Buddy: Thank you, yeah, I'm proud of that song. I'm as proud of that song as any hit I ever wrote.

Dave: And I think if there's one person who can help you find the audience you're looking for it is Tom Stipe.

Buddy: You know Tom, I was telling off the air, Tom is a great songwriter himself.

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: I just hooked him up with a boy, Jeff Cook, a guitar player with ALABAMA.
ALABAMA is retired now but he's going on with his own career and they're recording Tom's song called "Twenty Toes In The Sand".

Wally: Till you told me that I'd never thought Tom Stipe had ever thought about writing a song.

Buddy: He's really talented.

Dave: Heck of a trombone player.

Buddy: That's what I heard.

Dave: Very good trombone player.

Buddy: That's what I heard, yeah.

Wally: I know people listening know your not here selling records. Is there any way we're gonna get copies of that?

Buddy: Yes, we are...we're gonna.
I don't know the release date but
The Last Song
"The Day Bear Bryant Died",
it's been around since then...

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: And nothing has... I've never tried to exploit it. Now I want to exploit it because, I don't know, it seems like the time is right and I hope the message is right. I'd love to see the people of this town and the students of this town and the school embrace it because Bear Bryant was not only a hero of mine but he taught me lessons. Reading books about him; I just read THE LAST COACH.

Wally: Um huh.

Dave: Great book!

Buddy: God,what a book!

Dave: Great book!

Buddy: And he was right...Like we were talking about singers before, you know I said,"Most of 'em are born. They're not made. They're born. When they open their mouth they sound that way when they start singing", & I believe that Bear was just a human being that could have been a general. I mean people would follow him!

Wally: Sure.

Buddy: You know people hated him but they loved him.
His players.
Then later on they'd get out of school...I've read so much, what they said, You know,"God I cussed him. God I hated him but, God, what a man he made out of me!"

Dave: He molded people.

Buddy: "... and how proud I am to played for him."

Wally: One of my best friends in the world is Bob Baumhower.

Buddy: Oh really, yeah!

Wally: Bob and I went to high school and college together.

Buddy: Oh really!

Wally: And if it wasn't for Coach Bryant, Bob would have left the Crimson Tide. He wanted to quit. Was gonna quit.

Buddy: Couldn't take it!

Wally: Coach Bryant, just like a father, took care of him, got him back on the team and, of course, Bob went on to play nine years for the Miami Dolphins.

Buddy: Yeah, he did!

Wally: Well, that never would have happened if it hadn't been for Coach Bryant!

Buddy: You know I don't know too many people that... I've never been in the military but you never hear people talk about their drill sargents that way. They hated them!
But he could treat people the same way and put 'em through their paces and they ended up loving him.

Wally: Yeah.

Buddy: So what a leader he was!

Wally: Now you gonna let us know how we can get a record?

Buddy: You bet I'll let you know!
As a matter of fact, my "Boswell" in town is a man named Robert Register. He's sitting over there smiling.


Wally: Robert!

Buddy: Robert lives here in Tuscaloosa and he's going to head up the sales of this.

Dave: There's "Two Cents Worth" coming in here!

Everybody: All right! Thank you! Thank you!

Wally: Appreciate that, Robert!
And I know we have listeners who'd love to have a copy of that!

Buddy: Well, we will definitely make it available. Does anybody know who sang that song?

Wally and Dave: Uh uh.

Buddy: Ronnie Hammond, the lead singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section!

Wally: Is that who it was?

Buddy: And so we're hoping that in the fall we can work one of the fraternities or something of that kind, get the band to come to town & Ronnie is retired now but I called him the other day.
He said,"Man, if you could get that going at the university, I'll come up and I'll sing that song!"
So we'd love...

Wally: Great!

Buddy: We'd love to have an ARS concert here and bring Hammond back to sing that song!

Dave: WHOO! BOY!

Wally: We're gonna get you on Catfish Country here in a minute over there on the FM side, if you'll stick around.

Buddy: I'll stick around.

Wally: I wanted to bring this up to you. I see where "Spooky" sold over 4 million & "Stormy" sold over 3 million...

Buddy: You mean not "Sold" but "Played".

Wally: Played! O.K., played..."Traces" - over 6 million times played. Performance awards.

Buddy: Yeah.

Dave: And those are all BMI awards.

Wally: So in all your library of stuff, how many times they've been played or how many copies sold, do you ever keep up with that?

Buddy: I don't keep up with copies sold because after the initial sale of a record, the first year, you'll sell 95 per cent of that record. Now then it goes on and gets recorded by other people and sells...
"Traces" has been cut 70 or 80 different times, everybody from Montovani to, you know, a lot of the big classic artists have recorded it.

Dave: "Mighty Clouds of Joy" is another one, B.J. Thomas and Al Green both had a hit with it.

Buddy: Yep. Yeap.

Wally: Not to get too personal with your finances or anything, but how residual checks work, do they come in once a year or every month? How does that work?

Buddy: You get paid twice a year from...
There are two streams of income for a songwriter.
One, I think this is interesting that songwriters are guaranteed their...
how can I put this?
Songwriters were included in the Constitution of the United States. It covered patents and copyrights.

Wally: I didn't know that!

Dave: Wow!

Buddy: It's in the Constitution. The patents and copyrights. Intellectual property at the time was protected because, you know, they had the U.S. Patent Office & the U.S. Copyright Office.

Wally: Right.

Buddy: So they set what we call a "statuatory rate" for every copy sold. On an album now a song earns about ten cents. If there's twelve songs on a album, somebody's paying,for every album sold, ten cents for those albums.

Wally: Per cent?

Buddy: Per cent.

Wally: Um huh.

Buddy: The other way is performance by getting played on the radio and that's two sources there:
Broadcast Music Incorporated and ASCAP and SEESAC.
In the past, they kept up with how much every record was played because you guys know this:
You had the log.

Dave: That's right! I filled out a bunch of BMI logs in my time!

Buddy: Exactly! & when you log, you only log like once a year. Right?

Wally & Dave: Uh huh.

Buddy: & what happened was they did like a political poll. They would take samples from different areas of the country every day and through that they could compute.
Basically, all those political polls are pretty accurate.

Wally & Dave: Uh huh.

Buddy: & it was that way. Now each song, now when it's played, I don't know what it's called, has an ID of some kind. The satellite....

Dave: Yeah.

Wally: They can track it.

Buddy: Yeah, tracks it! So we know exactly...

Wally: How many times!

Buddy: & now its sales are all computerized the minute it's sold so it's good one way but you can't tell any fibs anymore!


Buddy: They've got scientific data.

Dave: There you go!

Wally: Buddy, but if you're ever back this way come over. I've got some more questions for you. We just got it started this morning.

Buddy : I'd love to come back & I'd love for you people in Tuscaloosa to help me make "The Day Bear Bryant Died" an Alabama anthem!

Wally: This morning show is going to get behind that!

Dave: We'll do it, Buddy!

Buddy: Thank you so much!

Dave: Thank you for coming by!




Paul: We welcome you back. Couple of weeks ago I got a note from my good friend, Ronnie Quarles, who runs our affiliate WTBC in Tuscaloosa. He said he'd done a show with a fellow named Buddy Buie. He said it was one the great shows they'd ever done over there and he said,"You need to get Buddy Buie on."
I said,"We'll see if we can track him down," and now I'm looking across the table at Buddy Buie, who has had an extraordinary career and I must confess Buddy, I know the music but I didn't know the story and it's a great pleasure to talk to you.

Buddy: It's a pleasure to talk to you.

Paul: For those who...
& we're going to play some songs in a few minutes which are going to do more than ring a bell! They're going to resonate because they did with me. Pat Smith and I were going over some of your music today. You grew up in Dothan, Alabama and you got into music. You became one of the most accomplished songwriters of your era, putting together some incredible songs that were played by many groups and before we get into some of those incredible songs which will include "Spooky", "Traces of Love" and many others that are almost as well known, I'm curious. How did it begin?

Buddy: First of all let me say, thank you for inviting me and I'm mighty proud to be here. I was born in Dothan, Alabama [note: Buddy was actually born in Marianna, Florida but his family returned to Dothan while he was still an infant] and I always loved listening to the radio. I knew most of the songs...before....I knew them by their intros, you know.
So when I was in high school, I had some buddies. They had a little band and I'd hang out with them and they were real...kinda bashful and I was kinda outspoken so I helped them get jobs & stuff and one of the boy's names was Bobby Goldsboro.


& so anyway, I started writing the songs in high school because I would keep them to myself because I was a little ashamed to tell everybody. I was embarrassed.
"You don't write songs!"
"YES! I DO!"

But I'd write them in my head because I don't really play an instrument but I found a friend of mine in Dothan, Alabama, John Rainey Adkins. I finally got the nerve to tell him about my songs and he was the first one that didn't laugh. So he said,"Let's work out something."
So we'd sit in front of his house in a '56 Chevrolet and write songs. Well, to make a ...I'll try to speed this up.

From there I promoted shows too in the Dothan area and Roy Orbison came to Dothan and Roy and I became friends and he became friends with the boys in the band called The Webs.
One day he said, " I want to take this band on the road." and I said,"I'm not going to let you take that band on the road unless you take me with you!"
& so off we went to see the world!

I met Bill Lowery from Atlanta in 1965 and we had a hit with a young guy by the name of Tommy Roe and that kind of started things and I moved to Atlanta. Then in 1967, the producer of this group called THE CLASSICS IV took sick and they were doing one of my songs so I was..., by default, turned out to be their producer and they cut "Spooky".
"Spooky" later on became a very big song; was recorded by a lot of people.
Then we had "Stormy" & "Traces of Love" & "Everyday With You Girl", all those hits right in a row.

Paul: Why don't we listen and then talk about how it came together.

[they play a recording of "Spooky"]

So you did "Spooky" with THE CLASSICS IV. It was a big hit with THE CLASSICS IV.

Buddy: It was #2 in the country.

Paul: & then it became a hit with the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Buddy: The Atlanta Rhythm Section recorded it and it became a big hit again and then David Sandborne, the great saxophonist, recorded it and it was a #1 "Jazz Instrumental".
It started as a jazz instrumental.

Paul: We were looking earlier today and this song's been done by a lot of folks.

Buddy: Yeah, it has.


We've been real fortunate there because a lot of people seem to like it and it seems to have a life of its own. It's been almost...
That long since it was recorded...

Paul: Do you have a personal favorite among the productions?

Buddy: I produced two of them.


Paul: That's a loaded question!

Buddy: CLASSICS IV & THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION so those are my favorites.

Paul: I want to hear THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION in a moment because I'm curious, in doing and having a huge hit in '68, with THE CLASSICS IV, how much later?

Buddy: I think we recorded in '80 with THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION. Yeah, we recorded it in 1980.

Paul: How much different was it?

Buddy: Not really that much different except the solo is not a sax solo, it's a guitar solo played by the great Barry Bailey that I thought was sensational and it was basically the same structure as the original record.

Paul: The one song, when I was listening to it this morning, I'm not just saying this...
because it's one of the great songs I grew up with & I think so many people when they hear it think,"That guy put this one together!"
Before we listen to it...
CLASSICS IV did it. So many people have done it. How many people have done....
Who else did "Traces" other than THE CLASSICS IV?

Buddy: Well you know, it was done by a lot of instrumental artists...the most recent was Gloria Estafan. We have had so many instrumentals, like everybody from Montovani to...gosh, you know, Paul, it's been recorded about 75 times!

Paul: & this song made the charts on two consecutive years- THE CLASSICS IV & THE LETTERMEN.

Buddy: I almost forgot the LETTERMEN record. That's right! Yes! THE LETTERMEN had a big record with it!

Paul: That's got to be pretty unusual, I mean, you see it in a different generation but the next year!

Buddy: I think the reason is two different audiences, you know, CLASSICS IV , "Top 40" & THE LETTERMEN were, at the time we called "Good Music". It's now called "Adult Contemporary".

Paul: Let's listen to one of my all time favorites, "Traces"

[play a recording of "Traces"]

Buddy Buie, tell me, is terms of putting this song together, what...
Depending on how old you are, it takes you back to another time but what does this song remind you of?

Buddy: This song,this lady who's sitting to my right,
was written for...


It was written about my wife and the song to me...
One of the proudest moments & comments I can make about this song is about ten years ago, Broadcast Music Incorporated, BMI, had their 50th Anniversary. Of all the songs in the complete catalog, "Traces" was the 34th most played song- #1 was "Yesterday". #49 was "My Way".


So we're in there with a lot of nice people. It was played so much. It was played on a cross section of radio stations from "Pop" to "Adult Contemporary", even "R & B", stations like that.

Paul: What did you think of the Gloria Estafan rendition?

Buddy: Well, I was tickled pink to have it!
She was pregnant when she did that, and I don't think they spent as much time as I'd like to see her take with it, but, hey, I'm grateful she recorded it! Very good move for us. She's a great singer.

Paul: Let's see how she did it.

[play a recording of Gloria Estafan's version of "Traces"]

Paul: I may be old fashioned. I think I'll take the earlier version.

Buddy: I'm not knocking it at all.

Paul: Buddy Buie is our guest, We'll also get to your phone calls later on , 1-866-741-7285.
There are so many great songs. We'll listen to that as well.
You also did a song about a fellow who once coached at the University of Alabama.
We'll talk about that as well as your phone calls as we roll on...