Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Soul of Atlanta: The Night Shadows, Little Phil, The Soul-jers …

The Soul of Atlanta: The Night Shadows, Little Phil, The Soul-jers …


Hi Greg,

Love your site and blog. Ricky Bear emailed me about the blog. Brought back lots of memories. I was never a musician, other than bass clarinet in high school & college, but I lived with John Ivey and met Ricky and Wayne Logiudice in the 60's. Most of my stories are probably better left untold... I didn't see any mention of The Night Shadows and/or Little Phil, course I'm sure I just scratched the surface of your web site. If you need info on the Night Shadows try this: http://www.hottrax.com/nightshadows/linernotes1.htm Call or email, if you choose. I'm a better talker than typist.

Bill Howell AKA "Schroeder"


Hi Greg,


Just a quick note to let you know that my husband, Tony Wilcher, with an I not an E, was bass player for the soul-jers, they were featured in the Atlanta Magazine, I believe, in 1967, we have a copy of the magazine, my husband will be contacting you shortly with more info and pictures. Ray Brannon is now in Brazil involved in missionary work and comes home to GA every year or so, we get emails from him. Chuck is still in GA. and still plays.
Keep on the lookout for more from my husband soon.


--
live, love, laugh, dream, life's
too short for anything less!

Denise (wife of an old soul-jer)


If you read this and you have memories of the Night Shadows, Little Phil or the Soul-Jers, leave us a comment by clicking on the comment tab below. If there are other 60s soulful bands and groups based in the Atlanta area that you want to discuss or remember, please do so. In the words of the late great Major Lance, “If you want to dance, this is your chance.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

The New Tams' Medley

The New Tams Medley


Virtually every Southern Beach band of the 60s paid tribute to the Tams by playing one of these songs: “What Kind of Fool ( Do You Think I Am) ”, “ I’ve Been Hurt” , “Laugh It Off” , “Untie Me” “Hey, Girl , Don’t Bother Me”, “Silly Little Girl”, “You Lied To Your Daddy” and of course “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” Many of the bands from the Hey Baby Days even did a medley featuring the songs above… But what if the band happened to be a 60s/70s band from Jamaica ? Their medley of Tams’ hits might surprise you because their medley would most likely include “Dancing Mood”, “ Concrete Jungle”, “Riding For A Fall” along with the better known “Hey, Girl, Don’t Bother Me.”

Check out these covers of Tams’ originals. ( you will need to copy the link and paste it into your browser)

Delroy Wilson’s cover of “Dancing Mood” ( Ray Whitley)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYi2xl-7brQ


Delroy Wilson's “Riding For A Fall” (Mac Davis)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRx1e5uYLeU


Then there’s “Hey Girl, Don’t Bother Me” by Johnny Clark (Ray Whitley)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8nWlCKkSEs

but if you like the frat party sound of the Tams, try this horn version of “Dancing Mood” by Police Woman

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXD24qvOh0A


If you are still in the "Dancing Mood", then here are a couple more from Police Woman… many other versions from other artists on the net


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5xY_ST5ZaA&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjUG0jcQkpk&feature=related

UGA frat boys ham it up with their version of "Dancing Mood"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsvgUgCq3vI&feature=related


But we are just scratching the surface, covers of the Tams abound. We’ll post others soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Conversation and Interview with Wayne Logiudice Part One

Our First Conversation with Wayne Logiudice

Our first conversation with Wayne Logiudice took place on Tuesday December 23. It was briefer that I would have liked but I had company and although I sensed that there was genuine interest from those in the room, I kept it brief. But I got a promise from Wayne that we would pick up after he got the book at looked over the contents. It was easy to like Wayne. He immediately declared that all those that said he was the real White James Brown, and better than Wayne Cochran knew what they were talking about. Does he have some great stories from the greatest days of R&B? Yes he does. ! His voice reminded me a lot of Wilbur Walton’s, a southern sultry soulful tone that could control an audience. Wayne said he had a good ten-year run as a performer and did not seem to have any regrets after it ended in the early 70s. I had been confused somewhat about his connection with the Winstons but it came a lot clearer after understanding a bit more about the Otis Redding connection. Three members of the band that backed Otis prior to the Bar – Keys formed the nucleus of the Wayne’s new backing band after the Kommotions had disbanded primarily as a result of members being drafted. Among those band members was saxophonist Richard Spencer who wrote “Color Him Father.’ Prior to the song, which put the Winstons in the national spotlight, they were the backing band for the Impressions and Wayne Logiudice Wayne traveled with the Impressions show for a period of time. Four gigs at the Apollo were among his favorite memories. Over the next few weeks, we hope to share stories from Wayne Logiudice about his memories from The Hey Baby Days.

Here’s one:

One night in 1966 at the fame Apollo Theatre, Wayne was singing the Chuck Jackson classic “Any Day Now” to a packed 100% black audience. When he got to the line… “Then the blue shadows will fall”… a blue light appeared from the lighting area in the upper balcony and it came and rested squarely on Wayne's face… then came a shout from the man shining the light, “Go Home Honkie.” With this, the place became silent… the music stopped as well as Wayne’s vocals…

Wayne recalled how he was incensed more by the intrusion, than he was by the words. He was a professional and this was totally uncalled for… Great anxiety seemed to reign over the stilled and silent crowd as they waited to see what would happen next. Eyes and ears were glued on Wayne. After a short pause, which seemed perhaps like an eternity, he calmly and clearly spoke the following words into his microphone, “I am home… sucker.” With this, the crowd erupted with admiring approval and an ovation for Wayne, a white R&B singer from Georgia. The blue light shone no mo and the sho that must go on, did.

Wayne Logiudice made his final appearance at the Apollo in 1969. By that time, he had appeared at virtually all the major black nightclubs and venues in the country with the exception of the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia. Many times, the billing on the club’s marquee read like it did at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta, Wayne Logiudice “The Blue-eyed Soul Brother.”

Wayne Logiudice & The Kommotions may have been the first white band to appear at the famed Royal Peacock in Atlanta.

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

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wilbur Walton Jr. Mr. Redbud CD

In the words of the 60s poet laureate Arthur Conley, "Do You Like Good Music ?", then click on the link or copy and paste in the browser and get yourself a copy of the first recordings by Wilbur Walton Jr. in thirty five years:

http://playgroundrecordingstudio.com/_wsn/page2.html

Many of Wilbur Walton & the James Gang's hits from the era are included on one of the disks that comprise the compilation series to the Heeey Baby Days. (available from Ripete Records www.ripete.com) The new recording, Mr. Redbud, which is getting great reviews also features David Atkins, brother of the late, John Rainey Atkins, a revered musician and a member of the Webs, Candymen and Beaverteeth.David played with many of these bands as well.

The heroes of the Hey Baby Days ride again.
Many of the bands and artists from the era have new CDs. The Swingin' Medallions are about to release a new CD as well as the In-Men Ltd. and Don Rolader emailed and says the Jesters may as well . You can also go to the Beach Music top forty and see the names of half the bands in the book as they are still playing and recording. Buying their music keeps alive the spirit and spirits of the HBDBM.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wayne Logiudice and the Kommotions






Thanks to Jeff Lemlich for sending the images above. Of particular interest is the notes made by Jere Real on the record sleeve. Our research on Wayne Logiudice continues. A former band member with Wayne, Rick Bear, has furnished a great deal of information as noted below. For the latest posting , scroll to the bottom of this posting. Rick provided us the lineup of the musicians backing Wayne Logiudice at Atlantic City in 1966. It would be one of the last times the Kommotions would play together as a band. Those on stage that night sounds like an all star band, read more below:



Note: We have been very interested in finding out about an Atlanta based band of the 60s called Wayne Logiudice and Kommotion . Initially our interest started when someone in South Carolina suggested that we seek out a Georgia band called Wayne Lacadece and Commotion. That led nowhere mostly because of the spelling. If we had used the spelling that we found in conjunction with a Emory Gordy bio (Wayne Lochadisi and the Kommotions ) we would not have gotten any closer. It was only after the glowing comments we got from musicians of that era did we see the need to keep trying. We did at least find the correct spelling (WAYNE LOGIUDICE and Kommotions ) but the only thing we could find was information about the recording session that produced (Ow Bugaloo)

But just recently we hit pay dirt, we found a blog that included the name of not only a member of his band, Kommotions, but one of the band founders..

Our email/blog interview with Rick Bear



Rick,

Found your name and email address in a blog and you reference being in a band with WAYNE LOGIUDICE. I have been trying to locate him or at least find a little more about his 60s band , same band in which Barry Bailey was the guitar player. Can you help me with this ?

Thanks,


Greg Haynes

www.heybabydays.com


Yes, I can. Wayne is living in Tenn near Nashville. He is remarried and has 2 boys.

I started the band "The Kommotions" in 1962 with Emory Gordy Jr and Jimmy Calloway. Wayne joined us in about 1963 when we were playing at a place called "Ray Lee's White Dot" on Ponce De Leon Ave.

Jimmy left the band and John Ivey (who is still playing in Atlanta) began playing with us. In mid to late 1964, Barry Bailey started with the band. Emory and Barry swapped back and forth between guitar and bass. Tenor saxophonist Ray Jarrell played with us and was later replaced by Al Shepperd. Harry Hagan played trombone (one of the best 'bone players that I have ever heard) in the band.
I could go on and on, but I suppose what you wanted to know was how to reach Wayne.

I will call him and see if it is OK with him to give his number out.
If you are interested in more about the Kommotions, let me know.

Rick Bear


Rick,

We published a book in 2006 called “The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music” and we tried to make contact with Wayne at that time. We came up empty on all our tries. Until I saw something that you wrote in a blog that gave me your email address, I would be no closer than I was four years ago. You’ll get more insight into the book’s theme by going to www.heybabydays.com. Wayne is mentioned by several people in the book as being as much “the White James Brown” as Wayne Cochran. We quoted three different people who saw Wayne Logiudice perform back in the day and they said he was quite a show and that he was as good or better than Wayne C. They include: Benny Deer, drummer for the Billy Stewart band and later the Johnnie Taylor band, Johnny Bee, promoter and producer, and Rufus Cromer who played trumpet with the Tams’ band, the Metros and later Liberation. Those are solid opinions. Since we recently started a blog, we thought that we might be able to obtain more information about Wayne and perhaps obtain some photos from the era. We are sold out of the book except for musician copies. If you’ll respond with your address as well as Wayne’s , I ll be pleased to send you a copy.

Regards,


Greg Haynes

Greg

I remember Johnny Bee (I am pretty sure). We played often with the Tams and I knew Joseph "Bit" Pope well. We did a lot of shows at the Royal Peacock on Auburn Ave. in Atlanta. I had many friends in the black entertainment community.
Wayne was a much better performer that W Cochran, but he never made it as big. Wayne L was the first one that I ever heard referred to as "The Blue Eyed Soul Brother". James Brown came to the Apollo Theatre to see us perform. Wayne had the whole theatre on its feet. A lot to say for a little white boy from GA in 1965. We did a vidoe at the Apollo in 1965. I have no idea what happened to it.
Technically, we probably predated the Beach Music scene. We played a lot of black clubs and theatres. Although we did appear with The Beach Boys, Lovin Spoonful, Young Rascals, Paul Revere, Gentrys and many other white groups. We were on the tour with the Yardbirds on their first American tour where we recorded with them at American Studios (Chips Moman) in Memphis.
In early 1966, Al Shepperd and me were both drafted, Barry and Emory started touring with Roy Orbison and Billy Joe Royal. Emory began producing and writing and moved to LA by the end of the 60's.

Wayne toured with Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions until around 1970. He had a band called the Winston's. They had a hit named "Color Him Father". Emory produced this record at Bill Lowery's Studio (where the Tams recorded).
my address is: R G Bear
PO Box 81
Sinks Grove, WV 24976
I have many stories that I could tell of music in the south through the 60's. Let me know if you are interested. I have thought of documenting much of it, but I did not know how to proceed. Rick,

Rick,

I am very much interested in continuing this discussion because it is very apparent you have excellent insight for the time period I am most interested (1962-1969). I think the reason that Johnny Bee pops into your head is that he actually was the producer of “Color Him Father” which he did about the time he was with the Hugh Rogers agency. He talks about the time Richard Spencer came into the office looking for someone to record his song, “Color Him Father.” Was Wayne L. in a bill with Curtis Mayfield ? Benny Deer , drummer for the Billy Stewart band talks about the time he first saw Wayne at the Winter Garden in Atlantic City, New Jersey, “He was the blued eyed James Brown. He came closer to James Brown than anybody… black or white… he was dangerous on his feet…he could hold an audience…he wasn’t no joke. UPDATE: You were absolutely right about Emory Gordy Jr. producing "Color Him Father," It was engineered by Rodney Mills who was in a band that we have in the book, the Bushmen, a very popular South Georgia band in the 60s that Johnny Bee managed. Looking back at Bee's quotes in the book, he apparently had publishing rights to "Color Him Father" while Gordy did the production work which is outstanding. Mills went on to do incredible work with ARS and others. I may have misunderstood your comment about Wayne L. and the Winstons; was he involved with them ? It looks like the core of the Kommotions got drafted or otherwise left in 1966. There is reference on the internet regarding Wayne's recording of "Ow, Bugaloo" but not much more. I ordered the 45 from some place in the U.K. The Brits came over here in the late 60s and early 70s and cleaned out all the old 45 soul records. Now we have to buy them back at huge prices.

Do you have any photos of the Kommotions ?

Regards,


Greg






Greg,

I just read this, I was giving a long winded reply to your last letter and my computer crashed. Emory and I went to high school and college together. He is an old friend. I played with a band in the 80's with Sonny Pekrol who was the co leader of the Winstons and I remember him specifically saying that Emory produced Color Him Father. There were a number of hits (minor, I suppose) that came from Lowery's (and Studio One) that the real producer/composer did not get credit for. I am pretty sure that Emory wrote and produced Stormy that the Classics Four recorded. I believe Buddy Buie got credit for that.

I played on the show in Atlantic City. I had forgotten that Billy Stewart was on the bill. Another great band that was there was the Jimmy Castor Bunch out of NYC. They were very popular at the time. That was about the last job that the Kommotions played together. Emory, Barry, Charlie Dechant (who has been with Hall & Oates for about 25 years now), Fielder Floyd and Marcus Belgrave (from the old Ray Charles band) and me.

The Winstons became Wayne's band after the Atlantic City gig. He toured with them and Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions for about the next 2 years.

As far as I know, the Kommotions was one of the first white bands to play in the Peacock. This was in 1963, before I had met Wayne. The band was Emory, Jimmy Calloway, and a tenor player named Nylas Foster. Nylas was a local black sax player, so I suppose we were technically not a "white band".We played there opposite a group from Ashvellie, NC whom I had never heard of, it was Ronnie Milsap. At that time he was singing R&B and sounded just like Ray Charles. I think that that was his first gig in Atlanta. He and I became friends and Emory and I did a few shows with him over the years.

I remember The Bushmen, I played with a group called the James Gang with Wilbur Walton Jr in the late 60's. They had a local hit called Georgia Pines. It was a good band. We played A LOT in South GA.

I worked with a lot of the Lowery entertainers, Joe South Billy Joe Royal, The Tams etc. That was the only game in town outside of the black community then.

Rick

Rick,

You were right on about "Color Him Father." It is clearly listed as produced by Emory Gordy Jr. One of the many great photos that we have in the book includes one made in the Master Sound studio of the Classics IV ( minus Dennis Yost) with Mike Clark, Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb and Emory Gordy Jr. I knew that Emory Gordy was very involved with the Classics IV playing on most sessions and according to Buddy Buie co wrote “Traces.” It may be “Traces” that you mean instead of “Stormy.” One of the most unusual stories in the book is the one about my single one off promotion with the Classics IV. Rather than recant it here, read it and you’ll understand why.

The Winstons is certainly a new twist in the evolving story of Wayne Logiudice. Half of the spellings we see has the i before the u and vice versa.

Do you remember the date of the show in Atlantic City. Sounds like around 1965-66 ?

Regarding Nylas Foster, he is still around playing with the Tams’ band. At least I am pretty sure it’s Nylas Foster. I only call him Nylas; never heard his last name. There have been some good musicians that have played in the bands that have backed the Tams’ over the years including Archie Jordan who wrote some songs for them but hit it big writing for Ronnie Milsap. Milsap is legendary for his R&B roots.

Regards,

Greg

Greg

The Atlantic City date was probably May, 1966 (maybe early June)
Wayne spelled his name Logiudice. The first time that we went to NYC, he looked in the phone book and there was about a page of them. He had never met any in the south. He's originally from the Chattonooga area.

You're correct, I do believe that I was thinking of Traces.
The last time that I was in Atlanta, I heard that Nylas was still around.

I remember Mike Clark well, I replaced him as the drummer in B J Royal's band. He wanted to be an agent and quit the road.
When Mike was playing with BJ, Emory also played in the band. When I started, the band was Wayne Sudderth (bass), Ricky Littlefield (guitar), Ray Jarrell (reeds), Ted Stovall (trombone), John Watson (trumpet),Wayne McNatt (aka Wayne Famous, B3 organ), and me. That was one of the best bands that I ever worked with. The band was called The Royal Blues and recorded one instrumental album.

Richard G Bear

Rick,

The band you metioned above must have really been something.I would love to hear that album you reference. Regarding the band members you reference as backing Wayne L. at Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1966, it appears to have also been a band of all-stars. All appear to have had great careers. Information about each is readily available on the internet. I had a little more trouble finding information related to Fielder Floyd except for his session work in Memphis.

Otherwise, the members of the band that night other than you, Wayne and Fielder Floyd:

Saxophone: Charlie DeChants ( has been with Hall & Oates for a long time ... still performing and has a great web site)

Trumpet: Marcus Belgrave ( Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder etc...also still performing... great reviews from S. Wonder)

Bass: Emory Gordy Jr. ( long distinguished career as performer, writer, producer )

Guitar: Barry Bailey ( long time and highly touted guitarist for the Atlanta Rhythmn Section)

Sounds like the draft had a major effect on the Kommotions as it did with many great bands of the era.














To be continued …….

Willie Hobbs, Pic & Bill, Clifford Curry, Sleepless Knights

Re: Willie Hobbs

Greg,

Yep…….same guy and I think the summary page did a good job on depicting his success……excellent singer, just didn’t get the recognition that he deserved.

In reading thru this, I saw the name “Dave Smith” and I am pretty sure he was the guy that brought Willie to East Tennessee….and met w/C Vaughn in probably 68-69. Dave Smith is on the record label of the song that I played w/the Sleepless Knights…..”Till the end of Time” that we cut in Muscle Shoals (at least I think that’s where we were) on Charay Records.

I just looked at some of my old 45’s and Dave Smith did produce the record for the Knights…and also for a group called Pic and Bill.

Thanks for the info…..

Pat



Pat,

This is great stuff; thanks again I am going to float Dave Smith out there and see what I can find out. Pic and Bill have a cut on Volume 14 titled “All I Want Is You.” They are another one of the groups that should have had more coverage in the book.

Also, sorry about continuing to spell Sleepless Knights with an “n” instead of a “K.” I do the very same thing in reverse for Augusta’s Oxford Nights which I sometimes spell with a “K.” (They are featured on two cuts in the book one of which sells as a collectible in the U.K. for enough to have hired the band for a job back in the day)

It seems that one of the band members told me that the Sleepless Knights got their name because the parents of one of the band endured a lot of “Sleepless Nights” as they practiced. I bet that’s a common story.

P.S.

Check out the link below. It’s obviously the same Dave Smith. I’ll email them and confirm. It has really gotten me interested in Willie Hobbs enough to buy the CD.

http://www.japres.com/artists.asp

P.S. Dave Smith obviously had a large hand in Beach Music as you can see from the listing of artists and cuts at the site. Also available is music from Clifford Curry and well as Pic and Bill. The site allows you to listen to some of the cuts including the Pic & Bill’s selection that is included on the HBDBM compilation series “All I Want Is You.” That one is what I call very serious “drive-in music.”

http://www.japres.com/artists.asp?ID=5

Thanks for bringing all this up, maybe it will help sell a few CDs for those great artists.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jokers Wild, Metros, Liberation, Willie Hobbs, Weejuns





Greg,

I just found out about your interesting web site and book. GREAT JOB!!!! I would love to get a copy. I played for years in several bands in Richmond, starting out with Eddie Martin’s, King Edward and the BDs. Your list brings back many memories, but you have left out one of the best beach/R&B bands EVER formed in Richmond. It was called The Jokers Wild. I attached a photo of some of the original members at a reunion benefit last year in Richmond for injured Buzz Montsinger. I was also in a group called Prince James and the Royal Knights (same time as Eddie’s Band-photo attached) I will be happy to give you some details about the groups. I was one of the founding horn members in the Jokers Wild, along with Buzz Montsinger, Randy Moss, Greg Duncan (Gregory D and the Mainmen), Herbie Atkinson and later Steve Bassett and Howard Awad.

If you have an interest, please give me a call. I now live in Tampa, FL. My contact info is listed below. Happy Holidays!

Paul Thomasson



Paul,

Thank you for the input. We will post today. I wished that the great band, The Jokers Wild, was the only great band that was left out of the book. There were others. Fortunately we able to get one of their recordings in the HBDBM compilation series and if we get to a second printing or a revised edition, we will get more band info. In the meantime, please have any fans, band members etc. make comments on the blog. Never too late.

Regards,

Greg Haynes


P.S.S. The title of the cut on the HBDBM compilation series is: “Gotta Be A Reason”
By Bernard Smith and Jokers Wild



Greg

It’s funny, got Bobby’s autograph on a Tam’s photo, as well as all 5 of the Tam’s. Guess that is the back of the sound man’s head in your picture. (page 71 of HBD) The microphones always seemed to squelch. Thanks again!

Sterling

Sterling:

You're talking about Bobby McCrary who played sax and occasionally had a red streak in his hair? You ever heard any of the music that Bobby, Frank, Drop Shot, Chocolate, etc did while they were called Liberation?

Regards,


Greg

Greg

No, but just like your book says, I had friends that thought they were the Tams, when they were the Metros. How can I get their music? Also for a while the Tam’s orchestra had a girl singer. Am sure that was tough for her with all those guys on the bus. Merry Christmas

Sterling:

Sterling:

The Metros started playing jobs independent of the Tams in 1970. I was lucky enough to book for a couple of parties as social chairman for Phi Delta Theta at UGA. Anyone that saw the Tams' Revue in 1968 or 1969 no doubt knows that “The Revue” was as good as any on the road at that time. Before Ike & Tina came on, the audience had already been thoroughly entertained and that was that same with the Tams' Revue. The Metros band led off with its own great lead singer, Frank Bray. Then before the Tams came on , they would bring on two additional great vocalists, L.C. Junior ( he an I are in a photo together in the book) and Brenda Bee who I know less about but I think she was from the Augusta area. She sang with some of those outstanding Augusta based bands. I really would like to know more about her. I refer to the Metros in the book as the "moonlighting Tams' band" In retrospect, I think that they were slowly but surely going on their own and the cord was finally severed when they changed their name to Liberation ( as in liberated from the Tams) That is purely guesswork.

When I first moved to Atlanta in 1972, I arranged a couple of parties at area apartment complexes with Liberation. I was amazed at how they had really come out of the shadow of the Tams and thought surely they would find a much bigger stage. The quality of the recordings that are included in the HBDBM series on disks No. 3, 6 & 10 would give you reason to think that they were on line to be a national group. By the mid 70s, I hardly ever heard of them again but a couple of former members turned up in a group called Celebrity Ball. The listing of the cuts on the CDs can be found at http://www.heybabydays.com/HBD_CD_3-14.htm


Regards,


Greg


Greg,

I am probably a couple of years late but are you going to print any more books. I played keyboards with the Weejuns out of Burlington, NC in 1965-1966 and just found out about your great compilation of beach music info. The good old US Army got me in late 1966 and now here I am. Please keep up the good work. It was a good time back then especially backing up the Tams at one venue or the other. Getting to meet Major Lance, Barbara Lewis, Junior Walker and others was a trip too. I tell my daughters that playing music and seeing folks enjoy it is one of the most fun things you can do with your clothes on. Take care and God bless.
LTC(R) Paul L. Steele

Paul,

We kept a small supply for musicians like yourself who had not heard about the book until it after it was SOLD OUT. We can sell you the book for $49.95 which includes postage. (Era Musicians Only) Otherwise,
There are still copies in stores especially Barnes and Noble and Books A Million.

Regards,

Greg Haynes

Greg,

Thanks for getting back to me. I could not wait so I found a copy at Barnes and Noble and was blessed to have received a 20% off coupon from them in the mail so the cost was about the same as what you saved for us.

Great job by the way and was I surprised when saw how big it was and then I found the two music CD's in the back? IOutstanding! Also,I could not believe how big it wasand it weighed 12 lbs.

Thanks again for doing something us old timers can appreciate along with our kids and grandchildren. You have made this Christmas very special for an old keyboard player with the Weejuns. I went from the Weejuns to the US Army and ended up retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel so now I have even more special memories to think about. From an old keyboard player and old soldier who really appreciates what you have done, take care and God bless.


Greg,



Thanks…..enjoyed reading some of the blog notes. I haven’t done this before, so congrats on the forum. There was a good singer we worked w/some….Willie Hobbs out of south Florida. Know what happened to him?



Pat


Pat,



Click on this link. Is this the Willie Hobbs you are referring to ?



http://www.sirshambling.com/artists/W/willie_hobbs.htm



Sounds like another performer who didn’t get the recognition he deserved. Any great remembrances from backing him ? Every time I think of South Florida R&B of the 60s, I think of Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders who played at that club they called the House of Soul on the 79th Street Causeway.


Regards,

Greg

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

C. Leslie Vaughn & The Sleepless Nights; The Southernaire Club of Atlanta

C. Leslie Vaughn & The Sleepless Nights

Pat,

I am putting a copy of “The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music” in the mail to you. I hope it lives up to the review that Sam Holmes has given it. As the lead guitarist for C. Leslie Vaughn & The Sleepless Nights, I know you saw a lot of great moments during the Hey Baby Days like the one in the following photo.

http://www.heybabydays.com/photos_129.htm

I assume that you are the lead guitarist in the photo. That photo was scheduled to be in the book but it was among a group that got cut in the last few days before publication because of placement issues. Many members of the band were on hand when we debuted the book at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in October of 2006. Rusty Crowe got special recognition for the book with a proclamation by state legislature of Tennessee which we have proudly displayed in the office.

Let me know what you think after you have had a chance to look it over.

Regards,


Greg Haynes



Greg,

Thanks for the note….

No reason to send me a book…..I have several. I ordered 7 a year ago and gave away the copies to some pretty big “Beach Music” fans here in SF. One was Chairman of AT&T, another a major deal maker and LBO king…..and some others that enjoy your work.

If you are going to send me one…..send one w/your autograph, as I thoroughly enjoyed spending time remembering.

The guitar player in the picture is actually Rusty Crowe…..I played w/C Vaughn both before and after Rusty…my time w/that band was 67-69….or close to that. I also played w/a couple of groups that did a lot of back up work…..The Sultan Seven, The Divots, The Full House. Not sure what happened to those guys…..the Full House was the last group (3 SAE’s and 2 SigEps) and we played many of the girl’s colleges for concerts (Sullins, Virginia Intermont, Sweetbriar, Hollins, Queens, etc…….now that was fun!

After leaving college in 71 and the Full House going its separate ways, I was on my way to Florida to work in hotels and play music. I did both in Daytona Beach in the mid-late 60’s, playing at the Safari Beach Hotel for Bud Asher. I stopped in Atlanta….got a job at Hyatt for what I thought was a temporary stop…..stayed 24 years in many locations. My last gig was President of Williams-Sonoma the retail company…..and now play golf w/guys like Sam Holmes and occasionally sit in w/groups. The problem is they don’t understand “Beach Music” out here……they think it’s Dick Dale and the Deltones or Surf City, etc…….they have a lot to learn!

Thanks again for putting all this effort into your book…..what a wonderful job.

All my best for the holidays.

Pat


Pat,

One signed copy coming your way along with a reproduction of the water color” The Party To End All Parties.” Do you have Volume 11 of the HBDBM series that includes “Ain’t It Like I Told You” ? If not, I’ll put one in the box for you. Anybody that buys that many copies of the books deserves more than just a thanks. I have heard of Full House and the Sultan Seven ; wished we had more info, photos etc We are continually amazed by the number of outstanding bands that were out there in that time period playing what we refer to as the music of the Heeey Baby Days.


As for the Divots, we have a story about the Roanoke Divots and were lucky to get input from Dick Hodges before he passed away. We tried to get more about another Roanoke band, The Royal Kings, but came up short. We started the blog so we could keep the information channels open. Check the blog out when you have a chance. Love to chat or talk about those days anytime.



We may never completely educate the world as to the difference between Southern Beach Music and West Coast surf music but we won’t stop trying.


Regards,


Greg Haynes









The Southernaire Club in Atlanta

Hi, Greg.

This may be a little out of your range, but do you know anything about the Southernaire in or near Atlanta? Jerry Lee and Rick Nelson (separately) played there during the '70s. Can't find anything on the 'Net.

Thanks

TE

Todd,

There is a reference in the book about Big Ben Atkins and the Nomads being the house band at the Southernaire Club in Columbus, Mississippi. It would not surprise me if there wasn't a club named Southaire in the Atlanta area. I will post it on the blog and see if anyone responds. Who knows how many bands in the 60s from the South had the name, Nomads. I know of at least five.

Regards,


Greg


Greg
Thanks. This one was definitely in greater Atlanta, though the name may have been popular or it might even have been some sort of chain/franchise.
I'll keep checking the blog.
TE

Todd,

We'll definitely post and see what comes back. My all time favorite Atlanta club was Scarlet O'Hara's... all the great R&B people played that club in Underground Atlanta.

Regards,


Greg

Master Sound Studio One We are looking for old photos from the Hey Baby Days

Master Sound to Studio One Atlanta, Georgia

Following printed courtesy of Robert Register blog

Subject: STUDIO ONE STORY

RR....This is the studio one story.

From 1966 till 1970 I spent every waking hour either writing songs or producing records. I had but one goal and that was to write and produce top forty hits. JR Cobb and I were hot as a firecracker during that period. We wrote, I TAKE IT BACK [Sandy Posey],
SPOOKY, STORMY, TRACES, and EVERY DAY WITH YOU GIRL. [Dennis Yost and the Classics IV] . Other than I TAKE IT BACK, produced by the legendary Chips Moman in Memphis, I produced all these records, plus CHERRY HILL PARK [Billy Joe Royal] , written by Robert Nix and Bill Gilmore. Robert Nix had been with me thru the Orbison and the Candymen years. He was a great drummer and became my constant
Companion and supporter. I was proud to see him develop into a successful song writer. He later became one of my my co-writers.

From 66 thru 69, I recorded exclusively at Master Sound Studio in the old Brookhaven school building, owned by my mentor Bill Lowery. One day I called Bob Richardson, the studio co-owner- manager and asked could I come in to cut a demo. He said "no, an ad agency has It booked" and I said "that's fine, I'll cut at another studio but I need to come by and pick up the bass". Master Sound had an old Fender bass that Emory Gordy played on all my sessions. Richardson said, “that bass doesn't leave this studio". I asked him if he was using it on the ad-agency session and he said "no, but the bass doesn't leave the studio'. I couldn't believe that after helping put his studio on the map, he'd refuse me the use of that old bass. I begged him to reconsider and he repeated, "that bass doesn't leave this studio". I never recorded another note in that studio.

Mylon Le Fevre's brother, Maurice, and I made a deal for me to record at Le Fevre Sound. It was here that I got to know Rodney Mills. Rodney's engineering skills and his willingness to experiment made me an instant fan. Every night, Robert Nix, JR Cobb, Barry Bailey, Dean Daughtry, and Paul Goddard would meet at Le Fevre Sound. They'd jam and we'd record what they jammed. We experimented with different sounds and recording techniques. My agent sent a recording of these jam sessions to MCA and they liked what they heard. Later, I called Rodney Justo in Tampa, and asked him if he would be interested in being the singer and he said yes. I talked it over with the guys and they loved the idea. ARS was born.

JR Cobb, Paul Cochran, Bill Lowery, and I pooled resources to build a studio, after it became obvious I wasn't returning to Master Sound. Rodney Mills left his head engineer position at Le Fevre Sound and became our head engineer. Rodney consulted with us on the studio site and I put him in charge of all things technical. 3864 Oakcliff Industrial court in Doraville became our new address. A house painter and part time carpenter by the name of Shack Jones ,who just happened to be a struggling song writer, signed on to do the construction. The guys in the band pitched in. You should have seen Robert Nix and Rodney Justo with hammer in hand. We crowned it STUDIO ONE. Rodney Mills and I decided on a custom built console by Spectrasonics. Hardy Martin designed and installed the board. Rodney went to Louisville a couple of times to make sure Hardy was building the board we needed. JR, Rodney, and I went to Memphis to check out Chips Moman's great sounding echo chambers. We applied what we learned and built three chambers, which later became an important element in Studio One's sound. The 16 track Scully recorder was state of the art at the time and we were all like kids at Christmas when Hardy Martin and Rodney finally installed all the equipment. The studio became like an artist colony, attracting local musicians and songwriters. The early followers of The Atlanta Rhythm Section found where we were and would drop by, in hopes of seeing them record. This happened before ARS had a record on the radio. Their reputations as the cream of the crop of session musicians in Atlanta attracted up and coming players and groupies. Sometimes it was a zoo!!

Over the next fifteen years, 1970 thru 1985, some historic music was made within the walls of STUDIO ONE. Atlanta Rhythm Section, Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, B.J. Thomas, Billy Joe Royal, Stillwater, Johnny Van Zant, 38 Special, Alicia Bridges, Rossington-Collins, and countless others called it home. I sold the studio to Georgia State University in 1986.



Buddy Buie


Seeking Old Photos from the Hey Baby Days

Greg,

HAVE REALLY ENJOYED YOUR BOOK. I AM 56, AND GREW UP NEAR RALEIGH, N.C. SUMMERS OF 68, AND 69 WERE FANTASTIC. GOT TO SEE LOTS OF THE GROUPS IN YOUR BOOK. REALLY BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. WE WERE TAMS GROUPIES. EMBERS CLUBS IN RALEIGH, AND ATLANTIC BEACH, BEACH CLUB IN MYRTLE BEACH, MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, DORTON ARENA, ETC. WISH THERE WERE MORE PICTURES TAKEN OF THE GROUPS PERFORMING IN THE CLUBS. PIECES OPF EIGHT BACKING UP THE GENERAL AND THE SHOWMEN. KALABASH A CUPLE OF YEARS LATER. GENE BARBOUR. IT WAS AMAZING SOME NIGHTS AT THE BEACH TO SEE THESE GUYS PLAYING FOR NO-ONE ON A SUNDAY OR MONDAY NIGHT, THEN A PACKED HOUSE ON THE WEEKENDS. I AM NOT VERY TECHNICAL, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE DISK THAT SAYS BAND DIRECTORIES? WELL THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

Floors By Sterling Hight
890 William Hilton Parkway Suite 25
The Fresh Market Shoppes
O:843-842-8886
C:843-301-3423
F:843-842-8887
Sterling,

You sound like a man after my own heart. If I had thought back in the 60s that I would one day write a book about my experiences as a band promoter, I would have had an instamatic or a Polaroid camera at least on hand at some of the shows. We have been fortunate we were about to get many "real time" ( Hey Baby Days photos) but only one good crowd scene from one of my actual promotions but it is a great one and should be somewhat reminiscent of The Tams shows in 1968 and 1969 when they contracted as the Tams' Revue. (Page 71 of the book.) It was one of those crowded shows where it would have been impossible to fall down much less dance. Hopefully the blog will inspire people to send us photos from the old days so we can share.

Very happy that you are enjoying the book. The Band Directories CD is not an audio CD buy rather a state by state listing of bands. Within each state folder are band PDFs listing the various members of a particular band. It basically the same listing as the ones we have on line under bands at www.heybabydays.com;

Regards,


Greg Haynes

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Medallions Swing On



We still have an eleven dozen photos of the Swingin' Medallions from the 60s to the 2000s that were not used in the book many of which will find a home at this posting. Check back as we will add them from time to time. Back in the 80s, we had the honor of organizing concerts and parties that featured the Original Swingin' Medallions ( the Eight that recorded Double Shot ) plus others that made great contributions to the band's party legacy prior to and following Double Shot.

The photos above were taken at a party at the Chattahoochee Plantation in Marietta, Georgia in 1984.

Top Photo: Steve Caldwell & Charlie Webber hold Brent ( Junior Walker ) Fortson upside down while Hack Bartley provides vocals..."git'em fo they run" Joe Morris drums on.

Bottom Photo: Steve Caldwell provides vocals. Horn Section L-R: Hack Bartley and Brent Fortson on Sax; Carroll Bledsoe and Charlie Webber on trumpet; John McElrath on keyboards. ( Jimbo Doares on guitar was purposefully left out of these photos... as ususal)

Looking For The Hey Baby Days in time for Christmas

Thanks to all who are emailing wanting to know where they can get a copy of the book. We are out of the book as received from the printer, i.e. "new" in shrink wrap. We have a dozen or so copies that had been returned from stores because of slight damage or some other reason. We will sell the ones that are in "almost" new condition at half price ($29.95) plus shipping of $10.00. If you are looking for one in store condition, check Barnes & Noble on line. They also have a store locator by zip code that can tell you if the book is in their stock in a particular store. Books A Million also has the book in many of their stores but you should call the store to verify before making the trip.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Covering The Mighty Tams





The bands of the Hey Baby days of Beach Music had many things in common:


Band members dressed alike.

The were basically clean cut. ( no long hair until the latter part of the 60s)

They played to and for the audiences rather to and for themselves.

… And they covered the music of the TAMS.

How many bands released a 45 RPM version of a song previously recorded by the Tams ?
In you are into SWAGs, here’s mine:

Forty Two (42 ) individual bands released one or more 45 RPM singles during the 60s and at least half that many in the 70s and 100 plus overall. (60s – 2008)

a minimum of 300 different cover versions of various Tams records have appeared on at least 200 albums, Eight Tracks, CDs, etc by various bands and vocal groups through the years. (60s through 2008)

I think my SWAGs are conservative. Let me know what you think. We will begin listing them soon but go ahead and send us the ones you know of and we will add them to the list. The information we need includes: Title, Band or Group or part of compilation, Year, format, i.e. Record. ( single or album ) CD etc. In a few days, check back to this posting for initial results.

Covering The Mighty Tams
initial information Souce: All Music Guide

Covering The Mighty Tams: initial information Souce: All Music Guide

Title/Artist yr. label formats Comments


Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy


Booker T. & The MG's
Coastline Band
Dirk Howell
Giuliano Palma & The Blue Beaters
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Jerry Wilson
Jill Morris
Johnny Clark
Sammy O'Banion
Scooter Lee
Sensational Epics Their recording preceeded The Tams'
Shaun Rogerson
Sonia
Terri Ann Linn
The Ballroom Band
The Mixed Emotions
Ad Lib not included in All Music Guide
Jimmy Castor Bunch not included in All Music Guide
Finger Tips not included in All Music Guide
Me & The Other Guys not included in All Music Guide
Walton Dutch & Me not included in All Music Guide

Breaking Up

Tyn Tymes not included in All Music Guide

Concrete Jungle ( We think many of ones listed below are of another song titled "Concrete Jungle." We will correct as soon as we confirm )

Alexander Monty
Aqua Jones
Bob Marley
Marley/peter Tosh/gregory Isaacs
Troy Brown
Cheeba
Concete Jungle
Dati
David Fathead Newman
Dive
Dj Vision
Duo Infernale / One Soul
Fatback
Intensive Care Unit
Jackson / Parrott
Jimmy Nall
Joe South
Judie Mowatt
Kubou, ruriko
Lil Way & Fire From Heaven
Marely, bob & The Wailers
Mr. King George
Project One Feat Mikey Don
Ron Jackson
Shere Khan
Skat
South Central Cartel
Specials & Friends
Sway & King Tech
Troy Brown
Uk Apache
Wylde, zack/black Label Society
Jackie Gore




Dancing Mood



Al Campbell
Anthony B
Carribean Steel
Delroy Wilson
Dennis Brown
Desmond Dekker
Fab Five
Flo & Eddie
Jay & The Techniques
Jools Holland and His Rythmn & Blues
King Sporty
Rufus
Slightly Stoopid
Slipstream
The Chosen Few
The Pulsators
Kwone not included in All Music Guide
Maxi Priest not included in All Music Guide

Deep Inside Me

Cannonball Band not included in All Music Guide
Joe South
linda brannon not included in All Music Guide

Hey Girl, Don't Bother Me

Gentrys
Frankie Paul
Showaddywaddy
Delltones not included in All Music Guide
Lloyd Charmers not included in All Music Guide
Mightier Than Kong not included in All Music Guide
Ray Whitley not included in All Music Guide
T Birds not included in All Music Guide
Linda Talley not included in All Music Guide
Delroy wilson not included in All Music Guide



It's Alright ( You're Just In Love)

The Bleus not included in All Music Guide
Leroy Brown


I've Been Hurt

Big Lucky Carter
Bill Deal & The Rhondels Top 40 1969
Checkmates
December's Children not included in All Music Guide
Generation Combo
Original Dedications not included in All Music Guide
Pietasters
Sebsational Epics
Stowaways
Nitecreepers not included in All Music Guide
Solid Soul not included in All Music Guide
Chris Teller not included in All Music Guide
C. Vaughn Leslie not included in All Music Guide
Geno Washington/ram jam band not included in All Music Guide
Guy Darnell not included in All Music Guide

It's Better To Have Loved A Little

Tyn Tymes not included in All Music Guide
Coastline Band


Laugh It Off

Classics IV
Checkmates
Fleshtones
Villagers Regional hit
Aces Combo
Tammy Lee not included in All Music Guide
Clifford T. Ward not included in All Music Guide
Phil Francis not included in All Music Guide

Riding For a Fall

Delroy Wilson
Horace Andy
John Holt
Johnny Clark
Marv Johnson
Keith West
Moonrider
Errol Dunkley not included in All Music Guide

Silly Little Girl

Joe South
Cannonball not included in All Music Guide


Standing In

Cannonball Band not included in All Music Guide
Slim Smith & The Uniques
Derrick Harriott
Eddie Hinton
Toronto


Tams Medley

Men of Distinction not included in All Music Guide
Tams with Bertie Higgins not included in All Music Guide

Untie Me

Paul Cebar
Billy Harner
Dirk Howell
Manfred Mann
James & Bobby Purify
Jeanie C. Riley
Joe South
Sophie & Ivey
Soul Incision
Commodores not included in All Music Guide
Results not included in All Music Guide



What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I am)


Bill Deal & The Rhondels Top 40 1969
Swingin' Medallions "Double Shot" album 1967
Bel Airs
Harptons
Del Shannon
Dirk Howell
General Johnson
Eddie Middleton not included in All Music Guide
Lee Roy Parnell not included in All Music Guide

Who Little Girl Are You

The Tip Tops

You Lied To Your Daddy

Stowaways
Commodores not included in All Music Guide

They Got The Bleus in Gadsden Alabama




Hey Greg,

Got Your Book Last Year!!! I Love It!!!

What About Some Info On Another Great Group, The Bleus!

I Loved Their Version Of "I Just Don't Know What To Do
With Myself.” Any Of Their Stuff Available? Anybody Have
Any Info At All?
60s4ever


Dear 60s4ever:

Are you referring to a group of Bleus other than the Bleus of Gadsden, Alabama. There is a great story about the band in chapter 14 of the book about the Gadsden Bleus. I never had the pleasure of seeing them back in the day but a lot of folks who did like Tiger Jack Garret rave on about them. It appears they had several national releases and like so many of the bands from the Hey Baby Days did not get the break they probably deserved. Another band from the Gadsden area. Tyn Tymes, are still performing, with mostly original members and they are one heck of a horn band.

Regards,

Greg

P.S. We'll post and invite others to comment about the Bleus and Tyn Tymes of Gadsden.

P.S.S. I found the CD that Tony Lumpkin sent me and listened to it again on the way in office.

I am one of the lucky ones who has only a 15 minute commute to the office in Atlanta so I had to skip around.. I remembered that I had heard it and had enjoyed it at the time. It does contain “I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself “ and many other good ones including an obligatory Tams’ cover, “It’s Allright ( You’re Just In Love)” That is one of my favorite Tams’ songs and one that gets covered often. It seems like all of the bands of the Hey Baby Days had to cover at least one of the hits of Mighty Tams.

I did not realize that the Bleus had so many single releases. They certainly had one heck of a supporting cast including their producer, Eddie Hinton.

As to how to get a copy of “The Bleus and Friends” The Complete Collection 1966-1971, you can not have mine. I will however send a copy of our email to Tony Lumpkin and maybe he can assist. This prompts me to initiate a new post that will tell blog visitors where to go to get CDs by the great bands of the Hey Baby Days. Most of them have web sites which we list on the bands page at http://www.heybabydays.com/bands.htm;

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Live From Park Center & The Hey Baby Days $1.50 Advance, $2.00 at door starring The Drifters, The Rivieras, The Caravelles, The Excels, and

The Impressions, The Dynamics, The Reggie Saddler Combo, The Five Royals, The Van Dales, The Galaxies,The Nat Speir Combo, The Olympics, Guitar Kimber & The Untouchables, & The Twighters






Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Montgomery Gentry meets the Hey Baby Days


The band Alabama scored big with the salute to Beach Music... maybe Montgomery Gentry will soon cover "Hey, Baby"

In the photo of the group/duo MONTGOMERY GENTRY, it is (from left to right): Eddie Montgomery, "Captain Craig" and his wife, and Troy Gentry.

The photo was taken at Montgomery Gentry's recent Atlanta concert appearance.

Note that Eddie Montgomery is pointing to the beautiful Hey Baby Days of Beach Music shirt being worn by “Captain Craig” special advisor to the Hey Baby Days.

A call for business cards of bands from the Hey Baby Days

We have a collection of business cards and event tickets from the Heeey Baby Days that we will be posting here. We will start with those we have already scanned but there are many more. If you still have a business card of your band from the 60s and will scan it and email it, we will place it here. Who knows, if your agent has the same phone number, you may get a booking. If your band hasn't performed together in 40 years, that doesn't matter. The new wave electronics can make your band sound better than you were in your prime. We will not accept any business cards or event tickets with web sites or email addresses listed because if you were into the internet back in the Hey Baby Days, you were too far advanced for us.
















Dennis Yost: A real classic passes away in Ohio

The following is reprinted courtesy of Robert Register's blog. Dennis Yost was one of the classic Southern voices. Although our one single lone promoting experience was not exactly a classic as recapped in the book ... he was ! and so was the music of the Classics IV which will forever be embedded in the minds of those who loved the great music of the hey baby days.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I hate to put this up.It is my understanding that Dennis Yost has passed away.
Details or explanations for this post will follow.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hey y'all~

Nix called me last night to tell me that Dennis Yost had passed away.
Nix had talked to Buie yesterday about Dennis and for the first time Nix told Buie that he'd dropped one of his drumsticks during the recording of EVERY DAY WITH YOU GIRL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mwKF6o6fK8
I couldn't hear it on these two youtube videos.
Maybe we'll get Nixo to explain how we can hear his mistake.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Znx_0y4FA10&feature=related

We'll keep everybody in ZERO, NORTHWEST FLORIDA updated on the arrangements for Dennis.

Best,
rr


Former The Classics IV singer Dennis Yost dies
12/8/2008, 4:42 p.m. CST
By LISA CORNWELL
The Associated Press



CINCINNATI (AP) — Dennis Yost, lead singer of the 1960s soft rock group The Classics IV, has died in an Ohio hospital. He was 65.

Yost died Sunday at Fort Hamilton Hospital in Hamilton, about 30 miles northwest of Cincinnati. He died of respiratory failure at 2:25 a.m., said hospital spokeswoman Marielou Vierling.

The Classics IV's hits included "Spooky," "Stormy" and "Traces of Love."



Yost had been in nursing homes since suffering a brain injury in a 2005 fall, said the singer's friend and biographer Joe Glickman.
The Classics IV got their start in Jacksonville, Fla., where Yost, a native of Detroit, was raised, Glickman said. Their hit recordings were produced in Atlanta under the supervision of producer Buddy Buie and Bill Lowery, founder of Lowery Music Inc.

The group performed together for about five years.

Buie, who was a co-writer of the group's songs with the group's guitarist, J.R. Cobb, said he hadn't seen Yost for several years when he learned of his death Sunday.

"Dennis had an incredible voice — just a great voice for love songs," said Buie, 67, who is retired and lives in Eufaula, Ala. "I am deeply saddened by his passing."

Cobb, 65, said he and Yost grew up in Jacksonville and rode motorcycles together. Cobb, who later performed with the Atlanta Rhythm Section and with The Highwaymen — a country group that included Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson — is retired and lives in Monticello, Ga.

"Dennis was a friend as well as a fellow musician," said Cobb. "I always thought he had a very distinctive voice, and I think we had some of the hits we had because of him and his ability as a singer."

Yost and The Classics IV were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1993.

Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, a vocalist with the former rock and comedy group Sha Na Na, held a benefit concert last year to help with Yost's increasing medical costs, Glickman said.

"He was a tremendous talent who did an enormous amount of the work for that group," said Bauman, who works against copycat performers as chairman of Truth in Music, based at the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation in Sharon, Pa.

"Paradoxically, I came to know Dennis better in the later years, in which he was involved in a massive struggle to retain his own musical identity, which was one of the saddest and most difficult cases of someone losing the name of their own group, when he had pretty much been the group," Bauman said.

Bauman said truth in music legislation has been adopted in 26 states, and a bill was expected to make it through the legislature and to the governor's desk next week in Yost's home state of Ohio.

Yost is survived by his wife, Linda Yost, of suburban Hamilton.




www.VocalGroup.org/inmemory.htm

Hello Friends,
I wanted to let you know that
Dennis passed this morning,
Dec. 7, 2008 at 2:30 a.m.

I wanted you to hear it
from me first. Although it
was unexpected and sudden,
he is peaceful, and I know
singing in heaven, and making everyone laugh with his
silly jokes. Please try to
remember something good
and fun about him. You know Dennis, "There's no crying in music!" He would want everyone
to celebrate his life.

And an overdue, heartfelt
thank you, especially to
all who worked so hard
for the benefit.
No plans have been made,
yet, but updates will be on
The Classics IV web site.

Love,
Linda Yost and family







Welcome to the official web site of

"SPOOKY" * "STORMY" * "TRACES" * "EVERYDAY WITH YOU GIRL"


WHAT'S NEW?

Lead Singer, Dennis Yost, passes away at Age 65



JULY 20, 1943 - DECEMBER 7, 2008

Dennis Yost, lead singer of The Classics IV, the 1960's soft rock group responsible for hit records such as "Spooky," "Stormy," "Everyday With You Girl," and most notably the group's highest charting record, "Traces of Love," passed away suddenly early Sunday morning, December 7th, in a hospital on the outskirts of Cincinnati, OH with his wife Linda at his side. Dennis was 65 years of age.

Yost, who had been hospitalized in 2005 for a traumatic brain injury sustained after a fall, never fully recovered from the incident, however the cause of death is not believed to be related. A benefit concert, hosted by Jon "Bowzer" Bauman of Sha Na Na fame, was held last year to help raise money for increasing medical costs the Yosts were incurring. Several of Dennis' musical peers showed up to perform, including Mark "Flo" Volman of The Turtles, The Skyliners, Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night, and many others.

The Classics IV originally hailed from Jacksonville, Florida, where Yost was raised by his mother Marie Lupato, but recorded all of their hit recordings in Atlanta, GA under the supervision of producer Buddy Buie and Bill Lowery, founder of Lowery Music, Inc. In 1993, Dennis Yost & The Classics IV were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

In the mid 90's, Dennis received a letter of cease and desist, ordering him to stop using the name "The Classics IV" from a lawyer representing a bogus band who had acquired the trademark through other means. Yost sank into a depression as he continued to tour, hopeless that he would ever get the name he helped make famous back, while another group with no original members reaped the profits. Fortunately, in the latter part of 2000, Yost regained ownership of the trademark to "The Classics IV" as part of an out-of-court settlement. A documentary on Yost's struggles is currently in post-production. (click here for more info)

Dennis was the last touring member of the original Classics IV.

Please stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, cards and flowers may be sent to the following address:

DY Memorial c/o Linda Yost
4999 Mercedes Drive #1
Liberty Township, OH 45011

Our thoughts and prayers are with Linda and Dennis' family and friends.

Regards,

Joe Glickman
Classics IV biographer and archivist for the past 12 years

WATCH YOST'S MUSIC VIDEO for "TRACES OF LOVE"
This was filmed a few years back in Nashville, TN and Upstate, NY.
Produced & Directed by Joe Glickman
Also Starring Neil Holland, Katherine Keeble and Nicholas Barber





The April 2008 edition of "Mix" magazine, the recording industry's #1 publication, has published an in-depth article on the recording of "Traces" featuring interviews with co-writer/producer Buddy Buie, guitarist/co-writer J.R. Cobb and session engineer Lou Bradley, with contributions from www.classicsiv.com. Mix is available at all major bookstores and newsstands. You can also view the article online HERE.

Hal Leonard Music, the world's largest music print publisher, has just released "25 Great Sax Solos" featuring a very thorough inside look at the making of "Spooky," including history of the song, photos and a full transcription of the sax instrumental. We dug into our archives to help with this publication and are proud to be mentioned in the book. You can purchase "25 great Sax Solos" at HAL LEONARD ONLINE or AMAZON.COM. The book is also available at your local bookseller.

posted by roberto at 4:13 PM

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

Sunday, December 7, 2008

L.S.U. Hey, Baby , Dr. Feelgood, Wilbur Walton, Marvelettes, Mel & Tim

We are still going through a learning curve regarding blogging, posting etc. so clicking on the link below may not take you to the L.S.U.'s rendition of the party classic. Looks like L.S.U. will be playing Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl.


I am quite sure that I heard one of the bands (UGA's or Tech's) perform the classic during their slugfest which was a major disappointment for me but quite a banner day for some of my friends. I actually like Tech except when they play Georgia. After all, the great Dr. Feelgood & The Interns were a major attraction on North Avenue back in the day. Dr. Feelgood aka Piano Red recorded the original cut of "You Got The Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo Yo" although there are 1000's in BAMALAND who will tell you that Wilbur Walton Jr. originally recorded the song. Wilbur certainly did a great version which we are proud to have on the Hey Baby Days compilation series courtesy of Ripete Records.



http://tr.truveo.com/LSU-Hey-Baby-ESPN-College-Game-Day/id/3218081345


"Hey, Baby" courtesy of the L.S.U. band


Not sure how the L.S.U./Georgia Tech game will come out but it will be very difficult for the Tech band to match L.S.U.'s rendition of Hey, Baby.


We are getting some great emails and letters too. Thanks to May Ann Rogers and Woody Chastain for sending a note from Athens regarding the book. Nora and I were lucky to be invited to attend the Four Tops/Marvelettes concert recently in Athens. It's great to be around folks who love the music as much as we do. Only downer: The Marvelettes ( who were great) failed to perform my favorite Marvelette hit: "My Baby Must Be a Magician." Google it up on You Tube if you have never heard it. It's is a song that would be on the same list as "Backfield in Motion" and "Good Guys Only Win In The Movies" both by Mel & Tim.

more coming soon.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Billy Stewart at the Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina






December 1968 The Beach Club Myrtle Beach, South Carolina photos of Billy Stewart and band including Charles Stafford on guitar and Benny Deer on drums (Benny not visible in any of the photos)Benny Deer now resides in Tuscaloosa where he plays drums for an outstanding band called The Crowd Pleasers. Charles Stafford lives in Lexington, S.C. where he runs a talent agency, Atlantic Entertainment.



Throughout “The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music” we reference the great Billy Stewart. The Fat Boy owns a special place in Beach Music. Prior to the publication of the book, we had an opportunity to have a three way telephone conversation with two members of Billy Stewart’s band that was with Billy prior to Billy’s tragic death. Guitarist Charles Stafford and drummer Benny Deer provided great detail some of which is published in the book. Here follows a few additional excerpts from the interview that were not published because of space constraints




GREG: Charles, when did you hook up with Billy Stewart as his guitarist?

CHARLES: It was in July, 1968 and the Footnotes were finishing up a week at what we know as the Beach Club and I think we finished up on Sunday and Cecil Corbett called us in and he told us Billy Stewart was supposed to follow us, coming the night we were leaving, and he said that they had an accident in North Carolina. He said, “The band members have been killed or hurt, and Billy is going to come but he needs a back-up band. I know ya’ll know a lot of his stuff, do you think ya’ll could stay and back him up.” And of course, we jumped at the chance and said “Yes”, cause we did “Sitting In The Park”, “I Do Love You”, “Summertime” and “Fat Boy” so we stayed and arranged to be able to stay the entire week and that’s how we lined it up and how we first met them and how it ended up being the core of band. Benny was the drummer and Benny had been in the wreck. So Benny was there and a trumpeter and our band the Foot Notes. So much of Billy’s music would be keyed off his drummer, so it real easy to work with Benny because he had all the arrangements and so we backed him up that whole week and stayed. He was trying to get a band together and he would use some other pick up bands in other parts of the country and then at some point and time we backed him up in Columbia at one of these Woody (Windham Shows) with the Goodies Hop-A-Roonies, and that is when his road manager named Sims asked me to go on the road with him. I was graduating USC at the end of summer school, so I could not leave to go fulltime until then, but I would meet him at different jobs in the Southeast until I graduated, then I left for D.C.




GREG: Now what was the Woody Windham shows called?

CHARLES: It was called the Woodie with the Goodies Hop-a-roonie. He was the #1 DJ in Columbia and would bring in acts like the Platters and Billy Stewart.

GREG: How did you first hook up with Billy?

CHARLES: The Footnotes were backing Billy Stewart in Columbia and the manager said, “can you go on the road with us and be his guitar player and musical director until we can get the whole band together? ”

GREG: So you were the musical director, too?

CHARLES: Yeah, well it wasn’t too impressive but whenever we went to play dates in North and South Carolina we really wouldn’t have a band; we’d have a pick-up band and we had a few little charts but most of it we would just do head arrangements. So I’d get with the bands and we’d go to these places and I’d sit down in advance if I got there early enough and say here’s the songs we are going to do in these keys. Sometime it kind of succeeded and sometimes it was a struggle. That’s how we got started together.
,
GREG: I was trying to see if we could get Benny on?

CHARLES: He would have the lengthiest stories and I am glad we hooked up with Benny; he called me out of the blue that time. I don’t know when he started with Billy and of course he was with him until he died.

GREG: Yeah, I knew that. Hold on a second let’s see if we can grab him.


BENNY: Hello, hey what’s happening?

GREG: Hey Benny, I got Charles Stafford on the phone.

BENNY: Okay then

CHARLES: What’s happening man?

BENNY: I am just hanging in there.

CHARLES: Same here.

GREG: I want to talk to you guys about Billy Stewart so we can memorialize him in this book and Benny I want to start with you. I’ve gotten a lot of information from Charles on things but I want to go back when you first got with Billy and I wanted to stay in that 60’s period when he was putting out one hit after another through Chess. How did you hook up with him?

BENNY: I was playing with a group out of New York in Harrisburg, PA at a place called the Lawson Hotel. The night I met Billy and them, they came in and were looking for a drummer. The bass player and I had worked together previously. He was Billy’s best bass player named James Ragland.

GREG: Is James the one that was killed in the wreck?

BENNY: Yeah, he was the one that was killed; he was the one that was sitting next to me.
GREG: And the reason…you tell me something about you were lucky for some reason, you were in the right place.


BENNY: No, something just told me to get out the car. I kicked out the back window, James made sure I was alright, he said “Man you alright?” and I said, “Yeah” and I kicked out the back window and I was worried about -- --------- my front feet so I thought he was coming behind us, so when I immediately kicked out the back window I slipped down because there was dew on the ground and I slipped down an embankment and when I slipped down the car exploded and trapped them in the car.

GREG: How many people were killed?

BENNY: Three that time.

GREG: Were they all band members.

BENNY: There were all band members; there was the bass player (Ruffy), the guitar player and baritone player, boy named Penn out of Boston.

CHARLES: Who was the guitar player?

BENNY: Rufus Nance who is Calvin Hill’s uncle. Calvin Hill the football player.



BENNY: William Penn

GREG: So he was the baritone/saxophone player. That wiped out a big part of the band.

BENNY: Cuba, the trumpet player got burned really badly.

CHARLES: Who was that?

BENNY: That’s the one I had seen, he was on fire and I put him out.

CHARLES: And what was his name?

BENNY: His name was Ronrico Sanchez.

CHARLES: And they called him Cuba.

BENNY: Right, Cuba.

GREG: You put him out of fire and what did he play?

BENNY: He played trumpet.

GREG: So who was left? You and the trumpet player ?

BENNY: That’s all .

CHARLES: So you were the only one to get out of the car without any real serious injuries

BENNY: Right, but my side was kind of swollen and when they took me to the hospital in Richmond. They thought I had blood in my urine that I had punctured my kidneys but it wasn’t. After that you know they shut down the band and everything so I was lucky. We lost everything, all the equipment, clothes, everything and you know I was lucky too because some of the guys had weapons in the car, bullets were going off

GREG: What about the date? … This was about May/June 1968?

BENNY: The exact date was July 24, 1968.

CHARLES: It was that late in the summer?

BENNY: Yes, we had just left the Apollo Theater and then that Sunday we played in Newark and all the three of us in the rhythm section left something at this club so I got there shoes and things that were left. So we left and that happened on a Wednesday or Thursday but I know it was the 24th of July 1968 at 5:45 am in the morning.

CHARLES: Ya’ll were on your way to Myrtle Beach, SC.

BENNY: No, we had to go to NC. We had to do a show with Steve Wonder first before we came to Myrtle Beach. Steve Wonder had just had an accident too and was waiting on us to get there. He was doing a show for to raise money for Shaw University cause he was on the Board of Trustees.

GREG: How did ya’ll manage with the band that first night?

BENNY: I don’t know that’s when Charlie and them took over. (Charles Stafford & The Footnotes) I stayed behind to attend to all the funeral arrangements.

CHARLIE: Well, who played the Steve Wonder show?

BENNY Well, that didn’t materialize, I don’t think. Steve went on and did it by himself.

CHARLIE: Billy came down to the Beach Club the Sunday after the accident. We had played the previous week and Billy came down and another trumpet player that was not traveling with ya’ll showed up and I thought you had come in the first night but you did not come in?

BENNY: No, I came in after the funeral. I made the James Ragland and Rufus Nance’s funerals.

GREG: Where was everybody living? Where were all of you based in Washington?

BENNY: Yeah, Washington was the base but Rufus would commute from Baltimore, MD and when we had a long time off, Penn would go back to Boston.

GREG: Benny, were you on any of Billy’s recordings?

BENNY: Oh yes, my first thing was “Cross My Heart” when I came into the band.

GREG: Okay and this was Chess Studio?

BENNY: All of it was Chess and then we did “A Sweet Love” or something and then I did another tune I did one with Charlie and them in 69 – what’s the name of the song? A couple of songs we did with Earth, Wind, Fire producer, Charles Stepney. He was producing this and he fell in love with my playing. They wanted to keep me at Chess, Leonard Chess said we want to keep the drummer and Billy said no “I got to have him.”


GREG: Where you on the recording sessions of most of the big ones, like “I Do Love You and “Sitting in the Park”?

BENNY: Oh no, that was way before my time.

CHARLES: Yeah, that was before “Cross My Heart”

GREG: What did Billy do before…did he have a band early on?

BENNY: What Billy told me – how he got with Chess cause him and Marvin Gaye had a group. He taught Marvin Gaye how to sing.

GREG: That’s what I understand

BENNY: Him and Marvin started traveling with Bo Diddley. When Diddley did a recording at Chess and Billy went into a room and did his thing and they heard this cat, and they said “Wow” and forgot about Bo Diddley and that’s how Billy got found. Marvin left them and went with the Moon Glows cause they were singers and that’s how it was started.