Friday, February 27, 2009

Mac Davis & The Zots at Misty Waters

Is the above photo that of the famous Misty Waters, the venue that gave Mac Davis and the Zots their start ?

No, the photo above is of the venue where an 11-year old named Gram Connor walked backstage to the dressing room to talk with the singer who was performing that night. It was 1957 and the singer, Elvis Presley was just beginning to make his mark. Some time later Gram Connor became Gram Parsons .

However, we would love to have a photo of Misty Waters which was located on Candler Road in Atlanta, Georgia. If you read this and know someone who might have one, forward it on.


Pat Hughes made all of the arrangements for recording "The Little Black Egg". He also made the arrangements for the Yardbird gigs and recording at American studios. He acted as our manager and producer, even though we had no formal arrangement (I don't think) with him. He chose the song, The Little Black Egg. It was way out of sync with the types of stuff that we were playing, but he thought that it would be a good idea. He booked us on shows with many popular acts during that time period. Beach Boys, Paul Revere, Bo Diddley, The Byrds, Jan and Dean, Willie Tee, Jackie Wilson and more.
You know, I have seen no mention of bands at Misty Waters on the blog or in the book. It was one of the most prominent venues for R&R in Atlanta in the 50's and early 60's. We played there often appearing with Lovin' Spoonful (their first tour), John Lee Hooker, Joe South and many more. I remember seeing Mac Davis and the Zots, Bobby "Harmonica" Jones, Felton Jarvis(of RCA A&R fame, an Atlanta boy), Tommy Roe, Ray Stephens etc. there. I am surprised that more people have not mentioned it.
An aside, our band was "The Kommotions", plural with an "s".
Another place that we played often was Fun Town on Stewart Ave.
Thanks, Rick


Thanks for your continued input. We list Misty Waters in the book on page 483 as one of the Atlanta venues that featured bands of the era that played “the Music.” Our first reference to the place came from Roxy, a band that played there on occasion.

Your email adds to the richness that we have sought from the very beginning. Prior to the book’s publication and the happenstance discovery of your email address, we did not have a go to person that could give us the detailed information that you just did above. We were aware of remotes from Misty Waters by WQXI but much of the other information that is now on the Internet was not there until well after the book was published. However I did read Zell Miller’s outstanding book, “They Heard Georgia Singing “ but missed the reference to the place in reference to Mac Davis. Most of the newer information about Misty Waters is references in blogs from people who considered it one of their favorite places for music. Most of the references are about Mac Davis, certainly one of the greats from Georgia. However, it’s the lesser known that we have been most interested in like the Swinging Apolloes who played there as well as opened for the Rolling Stones in Statesboro in 1965. We did not overlook that in the book but have never been able to find much about them until recently in conjunction with of all things, “Misty Waters” I found a site on the Internet which includes some very interesting tidbits. Also another site has a blurb about Misty Waters. The site is also a great name for a band: The Soul Purpose Band.

One of the more interesting items that we came across even before the book was published was an eBay item which included a WQXI radio ad for a concert at Misty Waters. That is an ad I would like to hear. Maybe it was an ad for the Kommotions. Would that be a hoot?

Actual Broadcast Recording (Aircheck)
Station: WQXI - Atlanta, Georgia
DJ: Tony "The Tiger" Taylor
Date: April 1,1965

24. Concert Promotion: Be at Misty Waters for the show tomorrow night--Friday night!

Other Internet Blurb;
WQXI Played country music in very early '60s. It was a great rock station in the '60s, complete with background reverb. Did live remotes from Misty Waters Roller Rink with appearances by local stars like Ray Stevens, Mac Davis, and Brenda Lee. Quixie was home to Tony "The Tiger" Taylor, Patrick Aloyisius Hughes, Tom & Paul, The Tiger Twins, Mike Shannon, Paul Drew (submarine races at Piedmont Park) and many more.

Here is an interesting factoid from a high school web site:
We did lose a cornerstone of that community where some now famous personalities, Mac Davis for one, got their start - that being Misty Waters. One member of our class does have possession of the ol' Misty Waters Juke Box though.

Finally, I was not aware that it was a skating rink or that it was on Candler Road, I knew it was in that area but did not know the specific location. We call it a country club when we list in as one of the 20 Atlanta party location of the 60s. That’s a stretch. Now, if Wayne L. would only send that photo of him teaching a young lady to dance at the Bikini-A-Go-Go club in Atlanta, we’d be set.




rickyb said...

I just remembered, Red Jones was one of the main DJ's at WQXI during this period.

heybabydays said...

I have heard his name mentioned several times. Top Forty radio was king in the 60s. Thanks for your contribution.


Eddy said...

How awesome is this sight! Man, I was feeling nostalgic this afternoon and starte googling and found it. How about Knotty Pines, Lake Spivey, Little Phil and the Night Shadows, The Kommotions were my favorite back then. And where is Wayne these days?

heybabydays said...


I have been really neglectful with the blog... sorry to take so long to respond. Wayne is well and in Tennessee .



jwomack022 said...

you know i have heard a lot of stories in my life about misty waters because my great grandfather built and owned misty waters my great uncle ran the roller rink and my granddad helped out at the golf course.My Dad uncles aunt and there cousins grew up there every summer it is pretty cool to see everyone talking about something that was in my family long time ago.

etip2000 said...

back in the early 60's i went to fun town, misty waters and the rollerdrome? on ponce de leon ave. every tuesday, friday and saturday night. saw mac, joe south, ronnie milsap(doing more ray charles than country back then)and others. great dancing and some big brawls.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ronnie Milsap, saw him at Misty every time he was there. Group was Ronnie Milsap and the Dimensions. Line up was Ronnie on the Wurlitzer electric piano, lead guitar, bass, snd two skinny white guys on Trumpet and Sax. To this day these two guys were the best horn section I've ever heard. RM and the Dimensions is the best live band I've ever heard, period. I've heard the best in my time.

Duane Blalock said...

I have some pictures of Mac Davis and The Zots if interested?

Carol Tolbert said...

post them please, I practically lived at Misty Waters during the Mac Davis and Zots days. So much fun.