Saturday, December 5, 2009
More from Donna
I was thinking today about Misty Waters and how many dances I used to go to there. Chubby Checker even appeared there one time as I recall. Mack Davis and the Zots were regulars, as was Wayne Logiudice and the Kommotion. I remember seeing Ronnie Millsap there also. They had dances every weekend, and when I wasn't at the black clubs seeing folks like Jackie Wilson (what a performer!), then I was either at Misty Waters or Knotty Pines. I didn't care who the band was. I was there to DANCE. I used to keep myself in free passes to Knotty Pines by winning the dance contest often enough that I never had to pay to get in.
Misty Waters had a swimming pool and a lake with a sand beach in addition to the skating rink. The skating rink had a wonderful wooden floor, which was perfect for dancing. People danced either the P.C. Bop (Panama City Bop) or the Carolina Shag. I was a bop person myself, as was Wayne. I have memories of Spring Breaks in Panama City with Wayne and other guys I knew all being there. We were some dancing fools! We were young, foolish, and happy...and I don't know how some of us survived some of the crazy-assed things we used to do.
I'm putting together some stuff to send to Wayne. I hope he follows through on sending me his cassette of Christian music. I can't even imagine Wayne doing Christian music. He was born to boogie!
Thanks Donna for your continued input about the going on’s in Atlanta of the mid to late 60s certainly a great time for music, dancing and partying. Hopefully others will read and weigh in on their experiences during this period of time that I refer to as the Hey Baby Days.
A note about the bop and the shag: Only the real experts know the differences in the shag and the P.C. bop and having seen both, I’d be pressed to look at a couple and tell you whether they were boppin’ or shaggin’. However, the best demonstration of the P.C. bop is one I saw by lawyer and fellow brother in the bond Spencer Lee of Albany, Georgia who know doubt honed his skills on the P.C. strip back in the glory days. Maybe someone will weigh in about the U.T., which was yet another derivation of the shag and/or the P.C. bop
Hello David! Tony here.
It is good to here that at least one of the Morticians is still alive! (Sorry) Larry Sivley has a CD for you. I'm out. Sent my last one to a guy in named Rune in Finland! He is Eddie Hinton fan. Amazing!
Anyway, please refresh our memories on the members and instruments, and how was Phillip Johnson involved with Morts? And where are you? And did you guys ever carry a Hammond B3 up the stairs at Plaidland?? Bitch, huh? Tell us more!!
Pretty sure I still have one or two copies of our (Blues) CD’s we had made during our re-union thing if anyone is interested in obtaining a copy.
I can give them to Tony for delivery.
Thanks for sharing, as it is an honor to know people are still interested in the history and times of us little “Local Mop Heads” from Gadsden Al.
Monday, November 30, 2009
More From Donna about Wayne Logiudice, Hampton Grease band Plus Gadsden’s Morticians never played on the same stage with The Pallbearers
Gadsden’s Mortitians never played on the same stage with The Pallbearers
but according to a member of the band, David Stringfellow, “We murdered a few songs.” Morbid as it might sound, we could resist posing the question when we were informed that there was yet another great R&B oriented band from an area that seemed to have a lot of soul.
I saw your website and thought I would let you know about another Gadsden, Al band, the Morticians. We were not that good but we were entertaining and if I am not mistaken we were the first integrated band in Alabama. At least the only one I knew of and it did create some interesting moments. We formed in Dec. of 67 and went thru late 69 or 70. We were tight with the Bleus and played with them several times. I guess our highlight would have been when we opened for the Buckingham's in Florence the winter of 69. Dana from the Bleus had produced a few shows with them and hired us to be one of the openers.
p.s I have lost my 45's of the Bleus recordings. Any way you could find out if I could get a CD of there recordings? Thanks. Enjoy you site.
Did your band ever "open" for Dan Penn and the Pallbearers or the Augusta Georgia Pallbearers? Sorry I couldn't resist. There is a CD that includes most all the Bleus recordings that is very good including those produced by Eddie Hinton. Do you have any band photos? We will be happy to include in our bands and if you want to a band directory we can do that. Tony Lumpkin sent me the CD I reference above.
Sorry never opened for the Pallbearers but we did murder a few songs. I have some old posters that I will forward. I would really like to see if I can get one of Tony's CD's. Could you forward my email to him? By the way I did attach our old photo business card, did you receive it?
More from Donna about Wayne Logiudice, the Hampton Gease Band etc.
Could you please correct "Georgia Terrace" to "Georgian Terrace" in one
of my emails that you posted on your blog? I didn't proofread my email
very well I guess. I was so excited to find Wayne.
Wayne and I talked for over two hours last night. I don't remember what
all we talked about but he did mention that one reason Ray Whitley was
so messed up was that he had been involved in a DUI vehicular homicide
in which he struck and killed a 12-year-old girl, for which he did 4
years in prison, and that he was never the same once he got out. We
mostly talked about various people we knew back then that were in the
crowd we ran around with.
I also learned that Wayne's father was Giorgio Sebastian Logiudice, who
was a concert pianist who graduated from Julliard. Wayne didn't see him
from the time he was 3 years old until he was 21, when he visited him in
Wayne has promised to send me a CD of pictures of himself and his family
and their 4 cats. Also he's got a CD someone made for him of Ow!
Boogaloo, but he doesn't have the flip side. I sure wish I could afford
that $200 mint condition 45 on eBay!
Wayne was definitely a show stopper. He sure knew how to work a stage,
even when he first started performing and was playing venues like Misty
Waters. He was too young to get into Knotty Pines when we were hanging
out, or he would have been there too I'm sure.
I need to ask him how much I can share of what we talked about, but it
was mostly about how we met and different folks we hung out with over
the years. We exchanged addresses and phone numbers and have vowed to
stay in touch.
So the story continues...
I went and saw Glenn Phillips of the old Hampton Grease Band last night
at the Red Light Cafe. He's sort of legendary in the world of guitar
virtuosos. He remembered me from the 60's and 70's because we hung out
in the same venues, like the old Grecian Village in Brookhaven, where
his drummer, Jerry Fields (guy in turban), used to also play drums in a
bouzouki band! I also frequented the clubs they played like the
Catacombs, the 12th Gate, the Bottom of the Barrel, etc.
Glenn knew Wayne well and was just thrilled that I had talked to him.
I'm going to give him Wayne's contact info. Here is a picture of me with
Glenn, who had just finished a set and was dripping with sweat. I'm 67
now and certainly not the hot babe I was back in the 60's, LOL. Wayne
will turn 65 on January 28, 2010. Well, as Wayne used to say back when
he was just a kid, "Pee hockey damn!" I had to take a nap beforehand in
order to go, and it will probably take me three days to recover from it!
Don't know how I used to stay up so late and still function, but I'm
sure the addition of nearly 50 years of age and 40+ pounds of fat has
something to do with it.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wayne Logiudice and Kommotion , Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders, Ronnie Milsap & The G’s and other stars of the Heeey Baby Days play the Apollo Theatre
From Jet Magazine February 3,1966 New York Beat page 63
“A blond, 20 year old singer from Atlanta, Wayne Logiudice was described as winning away some of singer James Brown’s followers during a recent appearance at the Apollo Theatre. He was discovered by C.B. Atkins at Atlanta’s Royal Peacock Club.”
note: we understand that there exists a photo of Wayne on stage at the Apollo but have yet to locate it in the Jet Magazine archives. The caption for the photo is “Who Is Wayne Logiudice?” (This may have been in form of an ad produced by C.B. Atkins or New York booking agent, Joe Glazer) Help us if you can by viewing the archives that are free to view through Google. There is another photo somewhere of Kommotion backstage at the Apollo that includes band members Rick Bear and Emory Gordy Jr. We would love to have the links available here:
The Jet Magazine archives are loaded with information about the great R&B stars of the Heeey Baby Days, At the end of the entertainment section is New York Beat, which generally list the various R&B, acts playing in New York that week. The Jet Magazine is one of the foremost magazines covering the R & B scene and in the 60s; the royalty of Beach Music graced its pages.
From Jet Magazine March 3, 1966 New York Beat page 64
“At the Apollo Theatre for the week is WWKL deejay Rocky G, producer of the show which includes the Marvelettes, Wayne Cochran and the fabulous C.C. Riders, Dee Dee Sharp, the Superiors, the Exciters, Jackie Lee, Deon Jackson, Darrow Fletcher, Ronnie Milsap and the G’s.”
Note: Georgia blue-eyed soul brothers Wayne Cochran & C.C. Riders and Ronnie Milsap & The G’s (What does the G stand for?)
From Jet Magazine May 12, 1966 New York Beat page
“The Apollo Theatre is kicking off a new show with deejay Rocky G. in charge featuring the Marvelettes and Billy Stewart, The Spinners, Percy Sledge, Wayne Logiudice, James Carr, The Van Dykes, The Devons, Lou Lawton, Robert Parker also Rueben Phillips and his band will be on hand.
As we locate more interesting tid bits from Jet Magazine, we will post here:
Also, I have discovered that comments made to the blog do not come directly to me and the only way I know that a comment has been made to a particular posting is to review each posting. I am sure that there is a way to change this but my blogging skills still have a lot to be desired therefore for those out there that are just now getting a reply to a comment made some time ago, my apology.
Recent interesting emails from others:
Regarding Wayne Logiudice:
I've signed up to follow your blog after stumbling across it while googling my ol' buddy Wayne Logiudice, who I have known since he was 14 or 15 years old. I was the "older woman" in his life. I spoke with Wayne today after emailing his sister-in-law who's email address I found on your blog.
Wayne and I go back to 1960 when I met him in Piedmont Park.
I posted a couple of comments on your blog. I was very involved in
the whole music scene in Atlanta in the late 50's and throughout the 60's. I wrote song lyrics, and actually had several of my songs recorded.
I was involved both in the R&B scene and the folk music scene in
sort of an overlapping period of such incredible music that it's still
the all time favorite period of my life. Such stories I could tell you!
Between the R&B scene in the black clubs like the Royal Peacock and the Wallhaji Ballroom, and the whole folk scene on the Strip in
the mid to late 60's I've met more musicians than most people I know. I want a copy of your book so bad I can almost taste it! Is it still possible to get one?
I can come up with a book for you. I am very interested in your input regarding the Atlanta scene since it was not covered as complete as it should have been in the book. I wish we had known as much about Wayne as I do now . We were lucky to have some last minute input that indicated that Wayne was indeed among the elite of the blue-eyed soul brothers...it is really sad that he never got a break out record that could have made him a household name... but the book does not necessarily focus on household names but rather stars of the stage... those who could get the crowd into the show which Wayne and the Kommotion obviously did well so please share what you can about the band. I need your address to mail book. (it will be slightly used; the only new books in the original shrink wrap if any can be found in random Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million stores)
P.S. Please promise me that you will not eat the book; It is a good book and won an award for books in popular culture in 2007 but as part of a diet, I do not recommend !
Wayne's going to call me about 10 pm EST tonight and we're going to catch up on about 40 years. I've seen Wayne perform any number of times, but I also got involved in the whole Atlanta folk music scene about the same time, which sort of took over my life. I do remember seeing Ike and Tina Turner playing Knotty Pines when she was about 19 or 20 years old. I used to go to all the shows at the old Georgia Terrace Hotel in the Biltmore Ballroom. Saw Jimmie Reed, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts, etc. What a time for music! Saw Sam Cook, Ruth Brown, LaVerne Baker, Ray Charles, the Midnighters, The Five Royals, Little Richard, Hack Ballard and the Midnighters, etc. at the Royal Peacock and the Wallahaji Ballroom. Sometimes my date and I would be the only white people in the whole place.
I have never in my life seen anybody perform like Wayne. He was just totally amazing. The first time I ever saw him do the splits in his tight pants, I thought I would die! Most of my interaction with Wayne was actually before he made it fairly big on the music scene.
I'm going to pick his brains when we reminisce tonight. I actually found a couple of mp3 clips of Ow! Boogaloo and whatever the flip side was. There's a copy of the Phillips recording in mint condition selling for $200 on eBay right now, but I can't put out that kind of money.
Wayne did indicate that he, Rick Bear, and some of the others were talking about getting together in Athens and doing some recording at some point. I'm going to see Glenn Philips tomorrow night. He was the guitarist for the Hampton Grease Band. I haven't seen him since the 60's. Got a nice note from him telling me how to contact Jerry Fields, who was the Grease Band's original drummer and a buddy of mine in the 70's.
I will send you a PDF file of my memories of the late 50's through the 60's if I can find it. I need to put Wayne in it first. I had forgotten about him. I fell down the steps and cracked my head open recently and since then I've been having flashbacks to the 60's! That's when I started searching for Wayne. I didn't know how to spell his name, but when I found the reference on your site, I knew it was him. I'm attaching the mp3 excerpts from Wayne's record that I found today. I'm gonna find out from him if he's got any copies of his own record. I hope so because I'd love to have it.
My neighbor Lisa Coston wrote to you also. She's in her 40's and a real fan of that whole era and just about flipped when she found out that I knew some of these people and that I once played kissyface with Mac Davis in the back seat of a 57 Chevy. We will not speak of what a wild chile I was back then. But hey, I survived the 60's and 70's!
Maybe you can do an updated version of the book at some point.
What do I owe you for the book?
You have already paid for it with your emails which I plan to post. I really want to do a story about Wayne who I consider the lost blue-eyed soul brother. He and the Kommotion deserve a legacy. Hey Baby Days is strictly a 60s project.
Lisa said she hasn't written to you yet, but plans to. She loves music history and wants to start her own music blog. She's a writer and keeps wanting to interview me for an article on the 60's. She said she would kill to have been around during that period of time. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get everything in sequence. Some of it all runs together because like most of us back then, ( note: I know what you mean). My mother would have died if she knew where I was spending my time.
Regarding the Candymen:
Shawn Nagy of SuperOldies.com here in Duluth, MN, a friend of the surviving Candymen members. I had unearthed some video footage and sent it to them a few years back and now have been contacted to do liner notes for a legit Candymen CD release due out in February from the Darby Pop label.
If for some unknown reason you should EVER want to part with your Candymen photo, please write me...it would be an absolutely cherished possession in my collection as well. A true rarity!
Keep rockin' - thanks for your time,
About 50 percent of my memorabilia from those glory days got away including the IOU ( A free show ) from Wilbur Walton. Thankfully I was able to hold on to signed albums by the Tams and Swingin' Medallions. The promo photo signed by ALL
The Candymen is as cherished as the above. I am very happy to get your email about the CD release as it makes me happy to see a great band like the Candymen get its due. If you read my book you know what I think about them. Stay in touch and when I kick the bucket, contact my estate and you can probably get it for a song, one by the Candymen no doubt.
Thanks to Robert Nix I have gone through my life thinking I was a "Good Egg" whether that is the case or not.
Happy thanksgiving to you
P.S. Very sorry to hear about Robert Nix’s illness; we’ll pray for him.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Bruce signs photo in "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"
"When he saw you walking down the street ..."
Bruce Channel and Greg backstage in Springfield Tennessee
The Rock Roll & Read concert to raise funds for the reading program at the Springfield (Tenn) Middle School this past Saturday night was a great success as some rock 'n roll greats came together for a benefit concert. To say the performances by Bruce Channel, Bonnie Bramlett, Pat Upton, Buzz Cason, Leroy Presnell, Dickey Lee, Billy Swan, The Beachettes and all backed by Steve Jarrell and the SONS OF THE BEACH were GREAT would be an understatement of incalculable proportions. Thanks to Steve Jarrell for inviting me and especially for letting me hang backstage with these legends.This time around I was indeed smart enough to have extra cards for the camera and was not only able to get photos made with the entertainers but to get a photo of Bruce Channel signing "the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music." I also used my camera to video Bruce singing the signature song of the Hey Baby Days. I hope to post a small clip of this soon.
Get well Clifford Curry: Clifford has been sick and in the hospital. He was scheduled to perform Saturday but of course could not. Clifford is everyone's friend and he was missed by all !
Greg with the Queen of blue-eyed soul, Bonnie Bramlett. She was joined on stage by her daughter, Bekka, ... another sensation in the making
Bonnie and Bekka
Bonnie signed "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"
Billy Swan ( "I Can Help", "Lover, please" ) and Greg
Buzz Cason led off the show in his spectators; Buzz has a great book out "Living the Rock 'n Roll Dream" with a forward by Georgian Brenda Lee.
"This book makes me want to quit my day job gig and run off and join a rock 'n roll band."
"He (Buzz Cason) is living proof that nice guys do just fine, and they have the most fun."
Buzz wowed the audience with "Everlasting Love" a song that he wrote that has been covered by many including Robert Knight, Carl Carlton, Gloria Estephan, U2 and others
Buzz Cason and Greg
Stve Jarrell and Pat Upton
Kelli Workman, one of the Beachettes, sings a little Beach Music
"I Saw Linda Yesterday"
One of the show's highlights was Dickie Lee's duo with Bonnie Bramlett on
"Never Ending Love For You"
I could go on and on about the show Saurday and I think I will:
Pat Upton received a standing ovation for the song he wrote:
"More Today Than Yesterday"
Talk about sounding like the record... Pat was that...& Thanks to Pat for taking so many of the photos of me with others.
Thanks to Steve Jarrell for his kind words on stage about the book. Steve and the Sons of the Beach performed their hit, "Sand in my shoes" and received a huge round of applause. We're gonna try and talk Steve into letting us post that video from Saturday night.
Heard and seen backstage::
Accoladaes for Kris Kristofferson:
" All Kris's work in Nashville have turned into standards",said someone.
One of the performers came up to Bruce Channel with a cell phone and pleaded with him to please sing a verse of "Hey, Baby" to the performer's wife who was on the phone. He did it with apparent pleasure and with a smile on his face.
Big Birthday cake for Buzz Cason, his 39th ?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Lisa Love, reads proclamation from the City of Macon honoring the musicians of this very important genre and era
"No, I really can't sing, nor play an instrument, but what does talent have to do with it."
Nora and I with two great Caravelles: Tommie James and Cliff Meyers
Nora and I welcome musicians and others to the Beach club in Macon at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame
bottom: l-r Ben Bernard (Oxford Nights), Gene Lee ( Sensational Epics) top Johnny Cox (Swingin' Medallions), Don Baker ( Monzas) Ron Moody ( Centaurs ) and members of the Sleepless Nights (see photo below C. Leslie Vaughn and His Sleepless Nights )
Seated with white pants( Wilbur Walton,Jr.) Standing with cup (Paul Hornsby of the Five Men-its, Hourglass ) and in Crimson Tide colored polo, Jimmy Dean ( James Gang)
Wayne Scarbourgh ( King David & The Slaves) Greg And the late Russell Martin (KDS)
Kim Venable ( K-Otics) Joe Morris ( Swingin' Medallions) and Greg
A great line up of musicians from The Heeey Baby Days set to receive their complimentary copy of book
Stacy Sirmans ( New Bushmen) Tabby Crabb ( Strange Bedfellows) Denny Green ( Rubberband) John Bradley ( Dynamic Consouls) Tommie James( Second Nature, Caravelles, Duprees, et.)
South Georgia Connection: Larry Brown ( Tip Tops) the New Bushmen: John Bennett, Charles Whitley Sparky Smith , Stacy Sirmans, and the Strange Bedfellow's Tabby Crabb
Biggest turnout by one band were the Sleepless Nights of Knoxville, Tennessee Seven members of the band present including Senator Rusty Crow seated l-r standing Doug Cruey, Larry Cole,Jack ____; C. Leslie Vaughn (lead singer); ______ _____ and _____ ____.
Seated: Wayne Scarbourgh, standing _____ _____ _____ )______ Russell Martin (King David & The Slaves) Jack Bernard( The Oxford Nights) George Croft (Pallbearers) Richard Peterson (Mod VI)
Tommie James, Cliff Meyers ( Caravelles), Johnny Seabolt ( Pieces of Eight) Nora Marion, Dick Hilliard and Bill Pratt (Soul Set)
Drop Shot (Rufus Cromer of Liberation) Greg and Rodney Justo of the Candymen at Georgia Music Hall of Fame
The World's most loaded Beach Music Jukebox was available for those that visited to Museum
Rusty Cromer of the Rockin' Gibraltars appears incognito (Others Previously identified)
Writer publisher Andrea Powell joins Hack Bartley on stage. Read Andrea's recent article about the Medallions in the Greenville SC magazine
Meanwhile at the keyboards, King Edward Martin and John McElrath discuss how the Medallions' M.Y.L. T.T. becomes a big hit in the U.K. for King Edward & The BD's
At the top: Fred Pugh looks on while K-Otic drummer , Kim Venable and Medallion Drummer Joe Morris discuss the important the opening drum roll to Double Shot of My Baby's Love.
Ron Moody of The Centaurs and Marion Carter of Ripete Records make their appearance on stage at the Beach Club
Monday, November 16, 2009
CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
It was honor to write the notes for the Sensational Epics anthology CD; but more importantly, buy it ! it's great and full of party styled Beach Music with the great horn sound !
This Saturday night, I finally get to meet and present a book to Bruce Channel, the man whose song inspired a very long party !
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Twilight Zone in the Hey Baby Days of Beach Music Starring the Twilights of Salisbury and Charlotte, NC, Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders
Bottom photo are the Twilights from Salisbury, North Carolina which is not too far up I 85 from Charlotte. Lead singer Gary Lowder wrote and recorded "You're The One" that appears on Disk 3 of the Hey Baby Days of Beach Music compilation series.
Both bands were managed by Ralph Farmer and apparently these were two different bands managed by the same agency but perhaps at different points in time. Can you tell by their uniforms which band might have been the earliest bands ? If this is confusing, try unraveling the various bands called the Villagers, Nomads and Caravelles in just the Carolinas.
Caution! You are about to enter the Twilight Zone of “The Hey Baby Days of Beach Music.”
I certainly might not have the presence of Rod Serling but here goes my best attempt.
It was the day after the rains finally ended in Hotlanta Georgia when an email came fluttering down the cyber highway. It was a short and to the point letter of interest. The information caught me a bit flatfooted .
Ref: The Twilights
Recorded: You're The One
Lyrics and Music by: Gary Lowder
Lead vocals : Gary Lowder
The group was managed by Ralph Farmer, but all of the members you have listed in connection with this recording is incorrect. For the correct and accurate information about this recording and song contact Gary Lowder.
Gary’s email took me by surprise. “You’re The One” a song that had been licensed by Ripete Records which appears on Disk 3 of the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music series had recently caught the fancy of Rollye James, who has taken up the Beach Music cause in a significant way. In fact when Rollye had me on her show, she asked about the song and I quickly responded that it was one that Earl Dawkins supplied the vocals for when he was a member of the Twilights. Apparently I was wrong and thanks to the fluttering email, I can correct this matter with revelations contained in Gary’s email.
The Twilights of Charlotte, NC as posted at www.heybabydays.com
Enlarge the image by clicking on it
As author and publisher of the book, it is my fault if there is any incorrect information contained in the book or at the web site. We are always anxious to correct any mistakes. As it relates to the book, all we have in the book about the Twilights is a photo that was furnished by Bud McNeely of the Twilights when he was a member. The additional information that is included in the band's directory came from the liner notes that were written by others. Those liner notes are contained in Disk 3 . We certainly would like to correct anything that is not correct. "You're The One" is a good one and caught the ear of Rollye James who has been playing it regularly on her show.
Can you give me more background on the song, when it was recorded , who played on the recording and a little more about the Twilights. A friend of mine played briefly in the band and he is in the photo. Buck Burwell. I thought he was kiddin' me when he told me he played in a band but sure enough, he played in the version of the band that included Bud McNeely Don Neal and others. . I met him through business. Like to know more about Ralph Farmer's Agency and some of the bands he booked. If you will respond with your phone number, I'll call you later.
Note: Gary did respond with a phone number and we had a nice 20 minute conversation that could have easily been an hour or more as I could tell that Gary had been a dues paying member of the “Never Gonna Give It Up Club for as long as I have.
I never could quite figure out when the Twilights of Buck Burwell fame came into the picture, but judging from the “uniforms” of the actual band that made “You’re The One” Buck’s group came first. (That’s an educated guess aka swag) I had thought, hey, maybe this is another one of those “Villagers” or “Nomad” things where there is a band named that in every town. The Buck Burwell Twilights were from Charlotte and that’s almost 50 miles from the Twilights of Salisbury . In all fairness, Buck Burwell indicated early on the Al Allison was the man behind the Twilights but since I have ridden shotgun in a King Air with Buck as the pilot, I guess a little license doesn’t hurt. BUT this also brings me to a cross roads of confusion one that could only exist in the Twilight Zone.
As I was contemplating this revelation about “You’re The One” by the Twilights, Nora Marion came in the room. I shared with her the confusion about two bands called the Twilights that seemed to have different personnel but were managed by the same Ralph Farmer agency. “Nora, don’t you remember that I went on international radio a few weeks ago and told Rollye James that Earl Dawkins sang lead on that song. Now I get this revealing email that I was wrong. I feel like I am right in the middle of the Twilight Zone… don’t you remember what Rod Serling use to say when he opened the show back in the early days of the Hey Baby Days.
"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone."
“Greg, you’re confused about one thing… It’s not the Twilight Zone… It’s the Heeey Baby Days.”
I think she might be right because there was a good amount of confusion back in the Hey Baby Days and maybe it’s not the Twilight Zone that I entered with Gary’s email but a part and parcel of those great days of music that will forever be known as the Hey Baby Days of Beach Music.
Notes on the Twilights: (Courtesy of Gary Lowder)
Olin Jones:,trumpet/vocals :
Duane Smith ,Bass/vocals :
Gary Lowder : Lead Vocals/trumpet
Rick Christy : Drums
Gerald Smith : Sax /vocals
Jimmy Lackey : Keyboards
Larry Pinkston: Guitar
Randy (Flip) Bost : Trombone /vocals
"You're The One " , Lyrics and music by Gary Lowder : Was recorded at Arthur Smith Studios, Charlotte, NC
The same group would later change it's name to "Hot Smokin Brass" and become Jackie Wilson's Back Up band for two years.
Ralph Farmer :from Kannapolis, NC managed the :Aqualads and The Twilights. He was quite an interesting man, having the interest to promote up and coming young talent.
At one time he and I flew to Memphis to Stax records to promote "You're The One", Willie Mitchell liked the song and sent us to speak with Chips Morman who was at that time producing BJ Thomas
The Twilights had street corner harmony, I always considered us the BEE GEEs of the south. We had amazing vocals and prided ourselves with the chorography of the Temptations.
I appreciate Gary’s bringing all of this to my attention, but I still remain confused about the Twilights of Charlotte North Carolina wearing their “Hey Baby Days” uniforms and Salisbury’s Twilights who as you can observe are not wearing Hey Baby Days uniforms and given the length of their hair, they might be one of those flexible bands that had “In a Gadda Da Vida” and “Hey, Baby” on the same set list.
One final note:
Gary told me a great story about the time the Twilights were booked into the Marco Polo hotel for a week in North Miami Beach in the early 70s. Upon arrival they learned that they were to be the opening act for Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders (without question, the most popular R&B band in South Florida during that time period.) According to Gary, the band was in shock and after the first night, the Twilights wanted out of their contract. Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders were so intimidating with that incredible horn section that they didn’t feel like that should be on the same stage. After telling the club manager, he laughed, “You guys are the warm up band, you’re fine, don’t worry about anything.” They didn’t and learned enough that week and after returning to North Carolina, they added horns and changed their name to “ Hot Smokin’ Brass” and spent two years on the road as Jackie Wilson’s backing back.
Now does that story ring a few bells? However, I am not sure how much more the Twilights would have been intimidated if Jaco Pastorius had been the bass player for Wayne’s CC Riders. He was, a year or so later.
Want to know more about The Twilights and Hot Smokin' Brass?
Gary Lowder is currently living at Myrtle Beach and is still involved in the Beach Music scene. His music and current info can be found at http://www.garylowdermusic.com/