Monday, December 8, 2008

Dick Holler and the Holidays


Hello Greg,

Hope all is well with you. I saw your name when they were rolling the credits at the end of the PBS television show, Myrtle Beach Memories. I talked with Dick Holler about your book. He said he knew about it and would love to talk to you. This is an interesting link with some of his songs. Thanks, Jackie http://louisianamusichalloffame.org/content/view/45/81/


Jackie

I would love to visit with Dick; I tried the Atlanta phone number but it did not work. Our blog is doing well and would love to talk with Dick about his days playing the Army Navy Club in Columbia. I stay in touch with Dick's friend, Cyril Vetter and have his Deacon John documentary on the blog. What a fabulous job Cyril and daughter Gabrielle did on that production.

Regards,

Greg

P.S. Have that early Charms photo in the cue to place on the blog

Greg,


The only telephone number I have for Dick Holler is the one sent previously. His wife is Rannie Holler, who is also a great piano player. Her email address is rannieholler@earthlink.net As far as the Army Navy club that they played at in Columbia, SC. Merlin Jones is the guy you need to talk with. Merlin was the drummer in the band and even took over the club later on. Merlin had the first night club in the Vista in Columbia. He really made a fortune in the night club business. Merlin can also give you Dick Holler`s cell phone number. I was the guitar player in Merlin`s band in the early 1970`s so this is the story they told me. In 1962 Woody Windham was the #1 disc jockey in Columbia on WCOS am. Dick Holler & The Holidays had recorded a Monster Mash type song called, Mooba-Grooba. I’m not making this up. Merlin Jones is the one that wrote the song. It was the #1 song in Columbia. That’s why Woody Windham and music promoter Phil Gernhard asked them to come to play a sock hop at the Township Auditorium in Columbia. Pete Hall that owned the Army Navy Club heard them and asked them to play the Army Navy Club. I watched the video interview on the Louisiana Music Hall of fame website that they did with Dick. He talked about the all night bowling alley in Baton Rouge that you could bowl all night for $1.00. He said that’s where they wrote a lot of songs. This is the link to the Mooba-Grooba song. http://www.recordsbymail.com/static/artistSearch.php/artistFirst/DICK/artistLast/HOLLER;


Thanks, Jackie

LOST & FOUND DEPARTMENT:

Found in a multitude of emails, one from David Holler, son of Dick Holler


Hi Greg,

Attached is a photo of Dick Holler and the Holidays. My dad's in the middle. Don Smith at the bottom (bass player) wrote 'Double Shot.' They released it and it became a local hit, but the label went out of business. Later the Swinging Medallions cut and went top 20 with it.

My dad at first felt like he was snake bitten, but in late 66' he got a call from Phil Gernhard in Florida saying the song he wrote about the Red Baron had entered the charts at #38 with a bullet. Phil had added Snoopy and re-recorded it with a group called 'The Royal Guardsmen.' It peaked at #2 for 4 weeks behind 'I'm A Believer.' As you know he then went on to write 'Abraham, Martin and John' the day after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. That song has gone on to sell over 20 million records and has had over 4 million air plays.

As for Dick's address, he uses my address here in Switzerland (he plays a lot at clubs over here doing solo gigs. Still goin' strong at 72).

Thank you so much. If there's any other info you need, feel free to contact me anytime. I've got all the records, memorabilia and photos.

David Holler
Birchstrasse 414
8052 Zurich
011-411-302-3643

2 comments:

Cindy said...

This blog is awesome. I think you should keep it going. Pete Hall is my uncle and my daddy,Dana Merritt was one of the bartenders at the Army Navy club. I love hearing about the days when my mom and dad grew up. Who would have ever thought, that I, myself, would be at the Odyssey partying and dancing with my friends with Merlin Jones still there.

Turtle Blues said...

Can't remember when I first got to know Merlin Jones, but when I was around 16, the band I was in would practice in the Wade Hampton Hotel, across the street from the Army-Navy Club on Gervais Street in Columbia, SC. After practice I would always head across the street to hear Dick Holler and Holidays and my favorite drummer. Merlin was always glad to see me walk in, he'd hand me the drum sticks and go get a drink and talk to some ladies. What great memories.