Sunday, March 1, 2009
It was K-OTIC in Bama in the 60s
The K-otics from Tallasee, Alabama was a popular band at the beach and at the frat houses. Read more about the band in the book and check out their band directory at www.heybabydays.com Did the K-Otics know more about "Charlena" than they're telling?
Aloha Ann finally meets Barabara Lewis
Records recorded by the K-Otics
Plus another remembrance of Misty Waters by a Soul-Jer
I started reading your book this week and am about to finish
Chapter 12. Boy, that Charlena really "got around". Is she still
around? I looked her up in the Index, but you didn't put her in
there. lol. Did that band, the K-Otics write the song, "Charlena"
Did you get my last email with the Barbara Lewis picture
attachment? When I first sent it, I typed your name wrong so I'm
hoping you got it when I sent it the second time, forwarding my original
email. Just wondering. Let me know.
I'm enjoying reading about the various bands. Your little
inclusions about Charlena make it "spicy". Or should I say "steamy"?.
Read chapter 13 and then reply. But to answer your question about
Charlena still being around …
OMG. Little did I know that the next chapter would be so "juicy". I
stopped everything I was doing to finish Chapter 12 and read
Chapter 13. Do you think Charlena was at the Old Hickory when I was
there for the Jam Session with the Swingin' Medallions in 1964 or 1965 -
most likely 1965 but I can't remember for sure? Have you seen her since
the time in Chapter 13?
There are a few other references to her in the book but beginning
with Chapter 14, the remainder of the book is more or less an anthology.
The Party To End All Parties' chapter includes Charlena but perhaps her
finest hours are yet to come. Nora Marion , my dear wife, has written a
play based on the book. Charlena is the main star of the play.
A couple of excerpts can be found at the web site: www.heybabydays.com
Charlena may have actually been in P.C. at the time you were there.
I tried to find out from several musicians but for some reason, they are
very tight lipped. If we get the play off the ground, Charlena will
certainly become more visible.
"Oh, Charlena" was originally recorded by the Sevilles . It became a
very popular song in the gulf area particularly P.C. during that time
period. Most every band playing the strip covered the song and several
including the K-OTICS, Rubber Band, and the Rockin' Gibraltars and just
a few years ago, Cliff Ellis recorded a version as well. You'll probably
remember Cliff Ellis whose band The Villagers was a popular band in
that area in the 60s. The had a regional hit with the Tams' "Laugh It Off."
That's the vesrsion of that song I heard most as WAPE in JAX played it
constantly. It's Cliff's version of "Charlena" that appears on Disk One of
"The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music." It's very doubtful that there's an
actual connection between the book's Charlena and the one presented by the
Sevilles. Coach Ellis said he didn't know any Charlena. I learned early in
life never to doubt a coach. Charlena was not that uncommonof a name in the
South back 50 years ago although I heard "Charlene used more often.
But you have to conclude that if Charlena were the real name of the
personality in the book, it would not have remained a mystery.
Very interesting. I did read the excerpts from your wife's play a
while back and wondered how you were coming in getting it produced.
I remember that Charlena was a very popular song in the 60's. So I
assume what you're saying is that the Charlena character really has
a different name in real life and you and the band members (and your
wife) are the ones who really know who she is. I was wondering if she
is aware that you have written the book and included your "escapades"
with her. I guess every high school had their "loose" women, mine
included (Dothan High). The year after I graduated, Dothan became
a little "Peyton Place" when it got out that my fresh out of college
English teacher was having an affair with one of the football players.
Gossip has it that it all began on spring break in P. C.
Off to the movie so I'll try to be brief. I would never ask a lady her
age but I was wondering if you were in school with John Rainey Atkins or
any of the other musicians from Dothan. My sister in law went to elementary
school there, Miriam Jones. Regarding Charlena, I just hope she's happy.
I think she is. Before the end of the weekend, there will be a certain amount
of chaos on the blog.
My husband and I just returned from the movie (Slumdog Millionaire).
I didn't go to high school with any of the musicians, but my husband,
Larry, who graduated from DHS a year ahead of me in 1964 graduated
with Jimmy Dean of the James Gang. The James Gang with Wilbur Walton,
Jr.(who graduated several years before Larry and me) used to play at
our high school sorority dances. As a matter of fact, the Webs also
played at our dances; but Bobby Goldsboro was already on his way to
becoming famous by that time and wasn't with them any more. And of
course this was a few years before the Webs backed Roy Orbison when he
came to Dothan after firing his band and needed a backup band. And as
your book says, they practiced and practiced and practiced (but Buddy
Buie told Roy they went over the music a time or two). And of course they
became the famous Candymen. I can't remember if I told you or not, but
my parents owned the local diner/drive in restaurant; and Bobby used to
sit in the back booth playing his guitar all the time (according to my
mother). (I wasn't in high school when Bobby was.) I always wondered if
he composed any of his famous songs while sitting in that booth. I
graduated with Buddy Buie's brother, Jerry. That's about all the bits
and pieces I knew about the local Dothan bands. I do have one more
little bit of music trivia though. Do you remember the song, "I
Wouldn't Trade You For The World ?"It was written by a classmate, Danny
Kennedy, who graduated with my husband. He wrote it to his girlfriend, Patti,
and was devastated when she broke up with him. My husband can remember him
coming to our duplex apartment after we were married and singing it for him.
I guess he must have sold it. I always wondered what happened because the song
became famous for the Bachelors. I don't remember how high it went on
Oh, I don't mind telling you my age. I'm 62. I was 19 and my husband
had just turned 20 when we got married right after his sophomore year
in college. I got my PHT degree (putting hubby through). We lived in
Dothan, and he commuted to Troy State University while I worked. He
worked at the Rec. Center on the weekends and during the summers, he
was a lifeguard. I was pregnant with our daughter when he graduated
from Troy. I was a stay at home mom and after our daughter got married,
I became a wedding planner. I retired four years ago when my husband
got a job offer in Hawaii. We used to laugh because our friends who
went to college and had careers and then started their families, had
kids in grammar school when our daughter was graduating from college.
We were pretty young when we became empty nesters. My husband recently
told some friends that living in Hawaii is being on a long date. I've 0D
told friends it's almost like we're teenagers, dating again. It is
incredibly beautiful and very romantic here.
Did you get my email with the Barbara Lewis picture?
We also went to see Slumdog Millionaie. I am just hoping the movie version of 'The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music" will have the same type of emotional impact. Thanks for the detail about the Webs and James Gang. Not sure if Robert Register has anything about Bobby Goldsboro practicing guitar in the booth at the restaurant you reference. If you have never been to Robert's blog, you should because he covers bands from Alabama and in particular Dothan with a great deal of passion. ( If you do, then I'll correspond with you in a month or so because his blog has been going on for some time and is long and interesting.
The story in the book about how the Webs got ready to back Orbison was courtesy of Buddy Buie. I just hope it reads as well as Buddy related it me because I thought it was funny and a great perspective on those times.
"I wouldn't trade you for the world" was a major hit. I asked Nora if she had ever heard it and she said, "No." Then I found it on Youtube and started playing it and she, "oh , I know that" and the started singing the words.
I don't think I have a Barbara Lewis photo from you because if I did, it would have already been posted.
Here's the email that I don't think you got for some reason with the
attached picture of my husband and me with Barbara Lewis. I sent it to
you at your other email address.
Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music would make a great film. My husband was
telling me he read that the film subsidiary that made Slumdog
Millionaire was a low budget film maker. I noticed when they were
giving the credits at the beginning, it was a division of Warner
Brothers. I don't know how all that works, but maybe eventually your
book could be made into a film like that. Do you have any "Hollywood"
connections? The only one I have, I haven't even met yet - Tom Moffatt.
(A friend of ours is good friends with him. Tom put me in contact
with Barbara Lewis' manager to make arrangements to meet her.)
Yes, I subscribe to Robert Register's blog. His brother and my brother
were good friends. I sent an email to lots of friends about our trip to
LA to see Barbara Lewis in concert and included him (to his blog). And
he posted it.
I'm still curious about Charlena. Did you guys stay in touch? You
mentioned that you think she's happy. I figure she must be close to my
age and a grandmother by now - just like me. Boy, if she's a
grandmother, I hope her grandchildren don't find those "skeletons in
her closet" and also that her children didn't.
A note from a high school classmate
I thought you would enjoy this.
One of our sons was in town this weekend with his girlfriend so we had family over to dinner. Your book is in our den and I told everyone the history behind it. Needless to say it was a big hit and generated a lot of trips down memory lane. You can be proud that you and Nora have not only preserved memories and history but reminded people of fun times in their lives.
You certainly made my day; nothing gives me any more pleasure than hearing that the book brings a few smiles and a few laughs. I am indeed was very lucky to have a wife who didn't just support my passion but lent her perspective and humor to the book. To have the musicians give so much of their time, memories and memorabilia was more that I had hoped for; it was a journey which continues through the blog.
More About Misty Waters From a Soul-Jer
I remember Misty Waters well and when I saw that old building last
night I thought NO NO until I read on. I went to dances there when I
was in high school and was thrilled to get to play there a few years later
with the SOUL-JERS. It was a skating rink and I believe they had a big pool
too.I was trying to recall other venues WQXI held dances at and these are
ones I remember. FUN TOWN was one as Rick recalled and another on the south
side was Jefferson Park community center. This was where we auditioned for WQXI.
They would let you play during the band's break to see if they could use you
for their circuit WQXI held dances at pretty much all the high schools around Atlanta The gyms were huge with big stages but the acoustics were terrible.
Most of the times we played Pat Hughes or Tony( the Tiger) Taylor would
introduce the band. Pat Hughes opened his own teen club about the time he became
our manager. It was called THE STINGRAY CLUB( he drove a red stingray )
I remember being over at his apt. going thru old albums trying to find
something we would want to record (none of us were writers). He was trying to
get us a recording contract . It doesn't seem like very long after that he
passed away. He had diabetes.Going back before this period we played a lot at
the COMIC BOOK CLUB on Peachtree @ Peachtree Battle shopping center. That's
where we were when the ATL mag came out. Wayne Logiudice would come in sometimes
and sing a couple of songs with us .I remember Emory Gordy and Barry Baily were known to be the best guitarists in town I was in awe of them. OH! I just recalled the Sunday dances at LAKE SPIVEY outside Jonesboro and seeing a band called
ST. JOHN and the CARDINALS with a bass player named PAUL GODDARD around 1965.
Also I have an article about Paul Drew wnen he left WQXI I will scan and get to you when I can.
Your note will cause a few to want to get in their cars this morning amd dial in Quixie in Dixie and 1966. Thanks for adding the places. We had Fun Town, Jefferson Park and the Comic Book Club listed. By the time I got to Atlanta, the Comic Book Club was no more . I think that location became Jimmy Orr's End Zone. I remember seeing the Medallions play there in 72 or 3. We did not list Lake Spivey or the Stingray Club. We'll get them on the next time around. I am still hoping someone will see the postings and come up with venue photos from back in the 60s.