Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Soul-Jers, Sweet Young 'ens, Kommotion, Billy Joe Royal, Allman Brothers, Jackie Wilson etc. etc.





Images above courtesy of Rick Bear

The poster advertises the 1969 Piedmont Music Festivale with Billy joe Royal receiving the top billing. What an incredible and diversified lineup. Also on the bill were : The recently formed Allman Brothers Band, Jackie Wilson who could take any crowd "higher and higher", Joe South who wrote so much great music including "Untie Me" which another group on the bill, Sweet Young 'Uns covered two years before for the umpteeth time, Radar and the the Hampton Grease band both emerging rock and roll bands. Boz Scaggs was there and In case of rain, they had you covered with Dee Clarke. No matter what kind of music you liked this event had something for you.

The photo captioned Grady High School 1960 The Cruisers was the genesis of Kommotion which featured an all star cast.

Hey Greg,

I received your book yesterday. Thanks very much for the copy. I have not reached Wayne yet, but I'm still trying. The book is very well done and very professional. If possible, I am sure that Wayne would like one.

I have no pics from that time, but I think that I have a business card if I can find it. I'll let you know.

You asked about the Souljers. It took me a while and I asked John Ivey, but now I remember. It was comprised of Ray and Chuck Brannon (vocals and drums) Will Boulware (keyboards) and maybe Ted Trombetta(guitar). It was a really good band but short lived. Will and Ted later formed a 3 piece group called The Booger Band. It was very innovative and played all original music. The last that I heard, Will was playing in NYC. He did a couple of albums under his name with the band members of Stuff. That was the original Saturday Night Live Band with R Tee The Brecker Bro and Steve Gadd. The last recording was released only a year or two ago.
Will and I and John Ivey played a lot together.
Now that I think of it, he played some with BJ Royal. I know for sure that he played Tahoe with BJ and maybe Las Vegas too.
Merry Christmas, Rick Bear


Rick,

Thanks… and hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with Wayne soon. I really appreciate the information about the Soul-Jers. They apparently had a good following because their name comes up when we try to relocate the Atlanta based soul bands of the 60s. About a year ago, a plumber was over at the house trying to unclog something and saw the book sitting on a table and ask me what it was all about. When I told him , he said, “Well
I hope you have the Soul-jers in there.” I was proud to say that they were listed and we had them in a band directory but had little other than that. Talk about someone who liked a band, he ended up making a few calls while he was there and ended up talking with a former Soul-Jers band member before he left. Fortunately, he got the pipe unclogged. Unfortunately, I did not get the number of the band member he was talking to. However, we do know they were written up in an Atlanta publication so maybe we’ll find it and will be able to publish it on the blog.

Regards,


Greg

Rick,

If you don’t mind, add yourself as a follower to the blog and feel free to make comments on subjects of interest. We have a good number of musicians who follow the blog and it’s especially good to get ones from the period of time that we are covering. There are many many who cover the Southern Rock scene and there is an explosion of information in that area but the mid 60s is a little more challenging… because as my friend Marvin Taylor put it, “If you remember the 60s, you weren’t there.” Hopefully Marvin is partially incorrect. As you go through the book, you’ll get a better feeling of exactly what we were trying to capture: The notes on the end flaps sums it up fairly succinctly. My wife wrote in a few paragraphs what it took me 13 pounds to accomplish. I would love to send Wayne a book . If I could call him get his address and just talk with him briefly about what is said in the book about him, that would be great. I could even email him . I do respect anyone’s right to privacy; of the many many personalities that are covered in the book, he seems to one that is shrouded in a greater cloak of mystery .

Regards,

Greg

Thanks again. I will talk to Wayne and then get back to you.
Tell Marvin T that I said hello. He and I were in the James Gang together. I haven't seen him in a long time.
Rick


Rick,

Are you serious about being in the James Gang ? When ? I need to add you to their band directory. Were you before or after Greg Creech? James Gang played a job for me that I write about in the book. Marvin still plays with a great band called Java Monkey that consists of former members of Mose Jones and Wilbur Walton has recently come out with a new CD. The world keeps getting smaller.

Regards,


Greg

Greg

Yes, I played with them prior to joining BJ's band. I suppose it would have been very late '68 or early '69. I remember playing in Ft Wayne, Ind and the snow was ass deep. From there we drove nonstop to Jacksonville, NC for our next gig. I think that Marvin was living in a Winebago bus. I played with them for about 3 tours. I don't remember Greg Creech. I do remember Johnny playing keyboards. We played all over south GA and Ala, the real chitterlin' circuit as well as the NC and SC beach clubs. At that time Wilbur shared an apartment with the drummer for the Classics IV (I can't remember his name, maybe Lanny) and I think Bobby Langford (a recording engineer friend of mine who engneered a number of great sides).
I just spoke to Wayne and he said he would like to have a copy of the book and it was OK for you to call him.

Rick,


Rick,


This is great stuff. Could the drummer have been Kim Venable ? He had played with Marvin in the K-Otics and came in as drummer with the Classics IV when Dennis decided to just do the vocals. The only Lanny that jumps out is Lanny Langford who was with the Roemans ( from Tampa who was Tommy Roeman’s backing band that at one time included Bertie Higgins and Barry Oakley) I know the name Bobby Langford as well. I’ll call Wayne this afternoon when I get home from the office.

Regards,


Greg



Greg

Yes, It was Kim. I'm not sure if it Bobby lived there too. He was a good engineer. I think that he did the original tracks of Sweet Home Alabama, not the one that was released. I did shows with the Roeman's. I knew Berry Oakley pretty well. I used to sit in some with the Bro. before Berry and Duane died.
I'm sending a copy of a poster that was from a unique event. I sat in and played with the Allman Bro on this concert (I think!). I do remember that BJ Royal's band rehearsed for the show at my house that I shared with John Ivey, and John Fristoe. We had a little group called The River People. Wayne sang with us some and another singer named Dana Douglas from the Charleston, SC area also sang. I am also enclosing a picture of John Ivey and Jimmy Calloway (original Atlanta Kommotions guitarist) taken when they were attending Grady HS.
ciao, Rick


Richard G Bear








Greg,

It was raining here yesterday……..so I spent more time looking thru the book. Wonderful work and great interviews….man, you have spent a lot of time on this.

A couple of questions:


Early-mid 60’s I was just starting to play and a guitar player from either Nashville or Memphis would sit in for me….wonderful player, said he played in the Midnighters….and had a management company headed by a DJ named Buzz….at least that is my memory. Was this Clifford Curry’s first band?......seems I remember Clifford and the Midnighters….any memory of this?

Where would I get more of your CD’s….there are two in the book, but I’d like to have more, especially one w/Willie Tee doing Thank you John.

Thanks Greg,

Pat

Pat,


Unbelievable that you got the book already; I mailed it Media Mail Saturday night from a post office near my house. I did not figure it would even go out until Monday. . Actually, if it were up to me, I would have inducted all the guys that came to the book debut into the Hall of Fame. It was one heck of an evening… you would have loved it… I may have been the youngest there (56 at the time) One of the sad things is that the only real Beach Music Hall of Fame is in Myrtle Beach and it is oriented to the Carolina and Virginia bands… and it’s not really their fault because they simply were not as many of the Beach type bands coming out of other states. With so much more info available, I think there will be more and more bands getting into the Hall of Fame.(Sleepless Knights would be a prime candidate and Clifford Curry might be able to help in that regard) By the way, I have a posting called “Covering The Tams” It is just getting started. I maintain that at least 300 cover versions of the songs have been recorded. I just discovered the other day that the Sleepless Knights covered “I’ve Been Hurt.”

Thanks for following the blog… I finally saw your comment and answered it… I am just learning the blog phenomena.

Regards,


Greg








Pat, Following up:

The only Midnighters I know of are Hank Ballard & The Midnighters ( Work with Me Annie) . Clifford had several bands but not sure if he had a connection. I’ll call him and ask him


I’ll send you the collection.

Regards,


Greg


Greg,

Thanks for the note…..

I have played golf w/Mac Davis a number of times……haven’t seen him in several years, but he told me once that he wrote a song for the Tams also….since he was from Atlanta. You ever heard of that?

Pat



He wrote “Riding For A Fall.” It’s one of the songs that has been re recorded by Reggae performers multiple times. "Dancing Mood" is another. You have to wonder why the Tams are not included in the same breaths as the Temptations and Four Tops.

Regards,

Greg






Greg,

Lot of similarities between Tops, Temps, Impressions and Tams. As a musician, the Tams, as well as some other groups (Rascals, Major Lance, Intruders, others….) had a portion in a lot of their songs where they used minor chords during the songs that created a different mood feel than the predominantly major chord work by the Motown groups. Examples are: Monkey Time, I Dig you baby, Ain’t no Big Thing……and a host of others.

Many of the minor key ballads were great love songs…..seemed to touch the nerves….and beach music had a lot of this…as well as the robust songs like Double Shot, etc.

At least this is my view……..as to why some of the great songs like I’ve mentioned have just been timeless…..think Groovin, Cowboys to Girls, La La means I love you, The Entertainer, on and on…….

You agree?

Pat

Pat,

Since I am not a musician, I would not have picked up the different feels between the minor and major chords. However, there was a definite distinction between the “Motown” sound and the others that you mentioned. The Funk Brothers who created most of the great sound at Motown had a uniqueness that was very much identifiable. If you want to view a great documentary movie, get a copy of “Standing In The Shadows.” There was also something unique about some of the studios that gave songs a certain sound that was identifiable with the studio. Liner notes for the Stax 50th anniversary CD said that some of the uniqueness of the sound in recordings made there came from the fact that the floors were still sloped as the building has originally been a movie theatre.

Regards,

Greg

3 comments:

Duane Blalock said...

Guess you heard Chuck Brannon original drummer and fabulous singer passed away January 10th. I have info and other items of interest to this era on facebook page called Atlanta Bands. Thanks for your great blog, I use it as a reference. I was not able to get a copy of your book before it sold out, hope you do a re-print.

Duane Blalock said...

I meant to say original drummer of The Soul-Jers! Sorry!

SWBrannon said...

Glad you updated Chucks' status , I really wish he could have had some input into this book, blog and maybe the 40th anniversary of the The Project Strip and maybe benn able to play a few sets with some of you guys.
I am his nephew and really feel proud every time I think of Ray and Chuck hitting the stage !
Rest in peace Chuck