Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cliffhanging at the Ember's Club during the Hey Baby Days

Live from Jim Thornton's Dance Club "The Swinging Embers"

It was almost 50 years ago when the ad below ran ...nothing has changed much except for the price of admission ... The Embers are still swinging as well as "churning and burning"

Click on images to enlarge

We still continue to get great emails along with photos and band fliers etc. from The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music. Today's items are very special and are courtesy of Tim Williams. Can you imagine seeing an advertisement for the Swinging Embers at Jim Thornton's Dance Club ? and if you want another treat, order Disk 3 of the HBDBM compilation and listen to the "one take" sound of the Cliffhangers, the house band at the Embers Club.

From: Tim Williams
To: greg@heybabydays.com
Cc: tim.williams4@yahoo.com
Sent: Mon, November 22, 2010 12:11:29 AM
Subject: The Cliffhangers
Hello Greg, I just found a copy of your book and I love it. I'm e-mailin' you so I can send a couple pictures you might like to see.Keith Clark is a good friend of mine and he was the drummer of "The Cliffhangers".They were the house band @ the Embers Club-Atlantic Beach.You have their record on Vol.3 of your CD's. Once again just love the book!! Thanks Tim Williams.

The Cliffhangers

from left to right-Johnny Yarboro-Keith on drums & Joey Pittman other Pittman brother not pictured



These are vintage clippings...I would like to put them on the HBDBM blog; Is that o.k. with you ? For some reason, I can not download the schedule card at the Ember's Club for 1971. Could you resend it ? That was quite an awesome lineup of entertainment.

The other images are fine. I do like the Cliffhangers's cut on Volume 3 of the compilation series. Did they have any other recordings ?

I think that the Jim Thornton ad featuring the Embers' must have been in 1962 but I'm not positive. That seems to be about the right time period they would have been the featured act at that club plus it was in the period of time that they released a single on on ACE records as the Swinging Embers featuring “Jackie Hamilton” Gore. I like Bobby Tomlinson's story in the book about their transition from Jim Thornton’s Dance Club to their own, Ember's Beach Club. There's a moral to that story.

Thanks again.


Greg Haynes

Sure,You can use them(Pics).How do I view the Blog?As far as The Cliffhangers-only one record b-side "Showtime" an instrumental. It's a funny story about the making of the record-Keith told me UNC-Chapel Hill Studios was having a special price recording time(Half off).They didn't give them much time to record and they did it in one take! Then the studio tech asked what label they recorded for and they all laugh at him,so he said "what are we goin' to put on your 45 label?"Keith spoke up and said -K-CEE Records!(Keith Clark).Only 300 to 400 pressed According to Keith,he’s not sure of the exact number, but it brings a nice price if you have one -UK more so...Tim Williams

Check out the Cliffhanger's

The Ember's Club had an incredible array of R&B artists even after the Hey Baby Days made its exit.. those were the days

Monday, September 13, 2010

Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music raises $500.00 + for ALS at Dothan Songwriter's Roundtable

The Book may be sold out but we can sometimes find one for a worthwhile cause


L to Right on stage: Bobby Emmons, Chips Moman, Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb and Wayne Carson

The reason the book sold for so much for the worthy cause is that the title page of the book included the signatures of the great songwriters shown above. It may have even sold for more but $500.00 is the last number we saw on the bid sheet at the silent auction at “A Songwriter’s Round table” It was a nusical festival featuring the music of five exceptional Southern Songwriters and Producers. I was fortunate to have a backstage pass . Emcee Gil Anthony even brought me on stage following the writer’s round table discussion so I could extol the virtues of the Heeey Baby Days to the thousands assembled at Dothan Alabama’s Civic Center. It must have paid off for the book sold for more at this event than any of the other charity event at which it has been auctioned. Of course, Robert Register, said to me afterwards that if I had not have gotten on stage , it would have sold for more. It seems that some people took offense to my comment that the reason the book was made large was for use as a weapon against the Crimson Tide and War Eagles… It was a joke… I was kiddin’ besides I had not even thought about that possibility.

The signatures on the title page included that of hometown Dothan’s favorite son: Buddy Buie. Other signatures included Buie collaborator, J.R. Cobb, co-writer of one of Beach Music’s all time classics: “Be Young, Be Foolish , Be Happy.” And there was a lot of “Happiness” and “Foolishness” at this spectacular event. As to “Young” well… the crowd had very few whippersnappers. In this particular case, the crowd was “young in heart.” As musician and producer, Paul Hornsby put it: “ It’s rare when I play in a band when I’m not the oldest member.” Of course, Hornsby’s signature is on the title page of the auctioned book along with writers, Wayne Carson ( “ The Letter”, “You Were Always on My Mind” and 8500 others… at least that’s what I thought I heard… the man must have woke up writing and never went to bed). Other writers signing the front page included Bobby Emmons and Chips Moman who collaborated on “ Luckenbach Texas.”

Moman was a crowd favorite… and really got the crowd into one of his co-written songs, “Hey, Won’t You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song ? ” made famous by B.J. Thomas. We are proud to say that Chips in now living back in Georgia.
For a partial list of songwriting credits for all the songwriters , read the biographies below.

Thanks to Jimmy Dean for inviting me to come to Dothan for this most incredible event. Jimmy was the bass player with Dothan’s James Gang featuring lead singer Wilbur Walton. Of course Wilbur sang “ Georgia Pines” and “You’ve Got The Right String Baby But The Wrong Yo-Yo” Wilbur received at least three standing ovations, reflecting his icon status.

Wilbur Walton (Center Stage in white slacks)

And if that was not enough… you had great performances by vocalists, Jimmy Watford (“ Panama City Nights” ) Mitch Goodson ( “That’s Alright Mama” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” ) and Rodney Justo yes Rodney Justo !!!!!

I must have been living in Miller’s Cave because I did not know the great Rodney Justo had returned to the stage. How great to see Rodney, the legendary lead singer for the Candymen singing again… and to add to that, there in the backing band was David Adkins , brother of the Candymen’s lead guitarist, John Rainey Adkins.
Rodney has a new gig: check it out at http://www.coocoocachooband.com/

Rodney sang "Traces" ( Classics IV 1968) and "So Into You" Atlanta Rhythm Section (1977)

Coincidentally, "So Into You" was written by Buddy Buie and original Candymen Robert Nix and Dean Daughtry ( who were also founding members of ARS)

In addition to Buie and Cobb, "Traces" was co-written by Emory Gordy Jr. who at one time played bass guitar for one of Atlanta's hottest acts of the mid 60s, Wayne Logiudice and The Kommotion

note: copy and paste the following link in your browser for a performance of "Spooky" and "Stormy" by Buddy Buie and J.R. Cobb at the Dothan Songwriter's Round Table Event


The musicians on stage were veterans of the day most of whom also signed the auctioned book: They included members of The Strangers and The Bopcats. Collectively these musicians have played in over 30 bands.

“Oh, What A Night”… they didn’t play that song but certainly a fitting description of “ A Songwriter’s Roundtable” in Dothan, Alabama, September 10, 2010.

Click on images to enlarge

Emcee Gil Anthony requests that I Not Throw The Book At Him

Now, the serious part: I start extolling The virtues Of The Hey Baby Days

After being give the backstage pass, I pulled out my camera and took a few shots of the songwriters in their dressing room just prior to their round table conversation with the audience

Producer, Songwriter Buddy Buie gives last minute instructions before the curtain comes up

Paul Cochran (of Buie -Cochran) back in the good ole days listens to J.R. Cobb as he readies for the performance. In case you didn't know, J.R. Cobb has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame three times as a member of the Classics IV, the Atlanta Rhythm Section and as a songwriter. Cobb recalled giving up his $47.50 a week job at Florida Steel ( and dirty shirt) for a six nights a week gig with The Classics that paid him $80.00 plus he wore a clean shirt every night. How Spooky is that ?

J.R. Cobb, Jimmy Dean, Chips Moman and wife

A little pre-round table conversation between Wayne Carson (seated) composer of "The Letter", "You Were Always On My Mind" and many many more and Chips Moman, legendary producer, songwriter, and GEORGIAN !

Luckenbach Texas Co-Write Team (Bobby Emmons and Chips Moman)

PLUS, I added the signatures of Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb, Paul Cochran and Bobby Emmons to my two books.

On stage sharing great memories of the Heeey Baby Days was the one of the most revered deejays of the era... Mr. Bill J. Moody

Saluting the night's honoree, Terry Collins, is Rodney Justo (outstretched arm), Jimmy Dean, Terry (in Wheelchair) and Buddy Buie.

This event back in the day was a production of Buddy Buie, promoter extraordinaire, admits that he didn't think the Kingsmen, were the real Kingsmen as in "Louie, Louie." Welcome to wonderful world of band promoting in the 60s. And as for the James Gang being the South's Number One Show Band, All I can say is that it's a good thing he didn't call them the South's Number One Soul Band , because he would have had a argument from more than a few other bands. ( see "Will The Number One Soul Band please Report To The National Guard Armory" in the book. However, Wilbur Walton still has a great soulful voice.

And Don't you love seeing the K-Otics name on the poster singing "Charlena," but the real question: "Was "the real" Charlena in the audience that day at the Houston County Fair Grounds ?"

note: I have been asked why I was not posting as much as I used to and I answered that I had not been getting enough relevant material... well; today I did !

WE have more photo and will post them later in this posting

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kingston Trio, Bruce Channel, Delbert McClinton, Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb

Kingston Trio Live at Sands Point, New York Saturday August 28

From The Hey Baby Days, theories regarding the disappearance of the flowers as in “Where Have All the Flowers gone” ….. Long time passing … and the fate of Charlie of the MTA.

Did he ever return?
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearn'd
He may ride forever
'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned.

The cold case of both the disappearance of the flowers as well as Charlie’s fate may now be solved thanks to new forensic technology... It appears that Maid Marion, pictured below was indeed “the flower girl,” not the junior bridesmaid at the wedding of Katherine Marbut and Leo Ullman 50 years ago. That cover-up was inadvertently revealed when a photo of the wedding was displayed at a 50th wedding anniversary party honoring Kay and Leo at Sands Point, New York.

Maid Marion poses next to the wedding party photo ( She was the flower girl in the wedding of Kay and Leo)

Incredibly the Kingston Trio may have themselves been involved in the twisted plot. As Rick Daughtery of the trio sang “Where Have all The Flowers Gone” to a festive audience of 200, he appeared to be looking directly at Marion, “the flower girl.” She pretended not to have any ideas regarding the disappearance of the flowers. She did converse (plot) with Rick prior to the Kingston Trio’s performance.

Maid Marion and Rick Daughtery of The Kingston Trio

Furthermore, it was reported that a vagabond flower merchant named Charlie had been hanging out near one of the nearby Guggenheim estates peddling roses and other flowers until he was run out of town via the Long Island railroad which miraculously connected with the MTA. (It’s easy to be creative when you’re making up a bunch of stuff)

Meanwhile back in Sands Point, Maid Marion wonders” “Where Have All My Flowers Gone?”

Did Charlie snatch the flower girl’s flowers just prior to that fabled ride starting in New York and ending beneath the streets of Boston?

The wedding too place in August of 1960. The Kingston Trion recorded Charlie & The MTA around that time. That's just too much of a coincidence.

Is Charlie's fate still unlearn’d ? Maybe not,chances are, he got off the train and started a worldwide floral service.

The Kingston Trio is still a great crowd pleaser. Nora and I were very happy to be a part of Leo and Kay’s wedding anniversary, sitting on the front row, no less! How many people can say that they had the Kingston Trio play for their wedding anniversary in their front lawn? It was great to be able to talk with Ric Daughtery of the Trio. Both Rick and Bill Zorn had great things to say about Atlanta’s Banks & Shane who have a great Kingston Trio Tribute show. Banks & Shane are also proficient in Beach Music as well.

Nora and I with our own back up back The Kingston Trio ( photo taken by an amateur photographer as I am really much thinner and our back up band is doing their pre concert sound check... no empty seats that night)

Hi Greg,

It's great to see the blog back up again. I hope you've started Vol. 2 of THE HEEEY BABY DAYS OF BEACH MUSIC and will include the wonderful info and pictures from the blog. I'm also curious to know if you plan to release any more CD's from the "hey baby days". I have all 17 and there isn't a song that I don't like. In fact I just finished listening to all 17 while I went on my morning beach jog the last two weeks. As I mentioned previously a long time ago, I grew up in Dothan, AL almost on the FL line and Panama City Beach, FL was where I hung out. I just started a FB site at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=139624026066581&ref=mf (Romances & Memories of The Hang Out, Panama City Beach, FL, 1950's & 60's) and I am plugging your book and CD's. Of course the book is out of print, but it does pop up occasionally for sale as "used". (Glad I was able to get a "new" copy.) I just want everyone to know that the book exists. Check out my site. There is a guy who has joined who has many pictures of the old Hang Out and it has been fun to see them along with reading the "memories" that people post about this "magical" place. Of course, we did the PC bop - not the shag at The Hang Out.

It would be nice to hear back from you. I enjoyed the additions to the blog.

Ann Adams

Hi Ann,,

Thanks for your note. We have been a little slack slight in posting. Thanks for all your help in promoting the Hey Baby Days. We may be out of books but we are not out of memories.

I agree with your assessment of the complete 17 volume Hey Baby Days collection. Ripete Records did a masterful job putting it together and relating it to the material in the book.



P.S. Ann, Being from Dothan you should be aware of the following:


I am hoping to attend this one of a kind event that features some of the great writers from the Hey Baby Days. Among the writers and entertainers that will share the stage include: Buddy Buie, J.R. Cobb, Chips Moman, Bobby Emmons, Wayne Carson Wilbur Walton Jr. and others.

I would list the hits songs these writers are responsible for but I don’t have ALL day.
But did ever hear any of these these songs back in the Hey Baby Days ?
"The Letter"
"Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy"
"Georgia Pines"

Hi Greg--Today, I talked with Joe Morris, original drummer for the Swingin' Medallions, about the guys in his group who might have been fraternity men in college. I played in a Fort Worth, TX band called The Gnats in '65-'66 and we were on stage with The Byrds, The Yardbirds and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels in Dallas and Fort Worth shows before I had to take my commission in the Air Force. While in training in Panama City, FL I managed to hook up with a band called The Pagans in May-June of '66 and we were a local band which played at a Swingin' Medallions show. I actually talked to several of the Medallions backstage before the show started. Joe told some good stories and asked me if I had ever seen your book. He gave me the website but apparently there are no copies for sale. I do freelance sports and entertainment articles for national fraternity magazines and have a huge library of music publications. I saw that your book index on the website listed some Texas-based bands and have met some of the musicians such as Delbert McClinton. I have my own website www.jaylanghammer.com and hope there is a way to find a copy of your book sometime. Many thanks.

Jay Langhammer
Fort Worth, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: rarereads
To: Jay Langhammer
Sent: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 2:59 pm
Subject: Re: Your Book

We presented a book last year to Delbert's buddy Bruce Channel. It was a lot of fun being up there near Nashville and seeing Bruce perform for the first time. All we have are store damaged copies , if you'd like to have one of those. Unfortunantly, we ran out of time and money before we could chronicle R&B/Beach Music in Texas. B.J. Thomas told a mutual friend that he wished we had included Texas. We did get a call one morning back a couple of years ago from someone who said that Delbert told 'em that he should get the book. The book is a "well kept secret" of which we are sort of proud.
By the way as it relates to members of the Swingin’ Medallions that were fraternity men, I am not sure about all the 80 plus members of the band over almost 50 years but one of the original members of the band, Brent Fortson, was a fellow brother in the bond of mine ( GAA Phi Delta Theta) at the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!



From: Jay Langhammer
To: rarereads@bellsouth.net
Sent: Wed, September 1, 2010 6:46:03 PM
Subject: Re: Your Book
Hi Greg--Thanks for your reply. Interesting you mentioned Bruce. He played at my fraternity's formal in the spring of either 1962 or 1963. I saw a concert with Delbert, Bruce and Ray Sharpe (Linda Lou) six or seven years ago and finally met Delbert at the funeral viewing for Stephen Bruton last year. I was in a TCU band for about a year with Stephen's older brother, Sumter.

Greg, I would be interested in a copy of the book with the least amount of damage, if that's possible. If you'll send me a mailing address and who to make the check to (and for how much, including postage), I'll send a check or can give you a credit card.
Probably 15 years ago, I found a softcover book on rock bands of the Southwest and found my group, The Gnats, listed along with band member names and info on our one record. Just went looking for the book but couldn't put my hands on it. I bought it at a used book store for $5 of $10. I've never seen another copy. It was not nearly as nice as your book, just text no pictures. Today, I went to three bookstores, hoping to spot a copy of your book but no such luck.
Thanks again, Greg, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Note: If you enjoy the blog, let's us hear from you either by commenting to one of the postings or by emailing us. The more we hear from you, the more motivated we get to post.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Jesters band’s new CD is a Sure Thing, featuring the sounds of the Heeey Baby Days.

Click on image to enlarge

CD case with image of the poster advertising the appearance of Marvin Gaye and Jesters at the Beach Club in Myrtle Beach back in the day

Our pal, Don Rolader, sent us a copy of The Jester’s new CD, aptly titled “It’s A Sure Thing.” After listening several times to this great CD, all I figured was needed was a party room and a keg of beer. Not convinced? Click on the link below, buy one and see for yourself:


With at least eight members of the band that evolved from the hey baby days, the Jesters may be one of the most experienced bands in North America. I am just proud that their photo and story leads off the Georgia chapter in “The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music.”

We should be thankful that we still have bands like the Jesters, the Swingin’ Medallions, the Pieces of Eight, the Sensational Epics, Tyn Tymes and others that keep the tradition alive with their strong horn sections. All of these bands employ four or more horns and all of them started during the hey baby days. They are also nearing the half century mark as well but it’s more about the music than the longevity.
If you are really looking for a sure thing, a great representation of the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music, the Jesters lineup of cuts is the real thing

. I Got A Sure Thing
2. I'm Losing You
3. I'll Be Doggone
4. Ain't That Peculiar ( featuring a sax solo by Harold Williams)
5. Stubborn Kind of Fellow
6. When Something is Wrong With My Baby
7. Unchain My Heart
8. I Never Found a Girl
9. Georgia On My Mind ( featuring a sax solo by Donny Whitehead)
10. Higher and Higher
11. Open the Door to Your Heart - Cowboys to Girls
12. With This Ring
13. Does Your Mama Know About Me ?
14. Shotgun (featuring a horn solo by Bill McDonald)

Not many bands out there have a truly great sax man. The Jesters have at least three.

The “Open The Door To Your Heart/Cowboys to Girls” medley is one that may be destined for the Top Forty Beach Music survey. Speaking of Beach Music and in particular the upcoming Carolina Music Awards that is held annually in North Myrtle Beach , isn’t it about time that the Jesters were honored with a life time achievement award ? They have done so much to preserve the music and the style that makes genre important.

Whether on display by choice or necessity, we’re happy

Since the publication of The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music, we continue to hear that it’s on display in homes and offices throughout the South… and probably other regions of the country as well.

It never was our intention for the book to be so large that it wouldn’t fit in a traditional bookcase… that was just dumb luck. We get comments quite often like: , “Hey I saw the book in my Doctor’s office ,” or “ When you walk in _____ ____’s home, the first you see is the display of the book.” That certainly makes us proud. In the big picture, this is what the owner of the book whose book is on display is saying: “this was an era that I lived in and loved … this was the music that I partied to in those days and the bands in the books were bands I knew , some of them personally.”

So if you have a book that is hidden in the closet and it’s of so-so interest to you , you might think about selling it as it has entered in the collectability category ( selling for more than the original retail price.) Check out the current pricing of “The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music” on the after market by going to www.abebooks.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music Mail Box: In-Men Ltd. Peace Core Pieces of Eight, Escorts, The Fabulous Generals, Cortez Greer

We have not posted in quite awhile and I thought I would use this posting as a catch up and present some of the emails we have received… Feel free to jump in and add your comments.

Eugene Baker on the In_Men Ltd. & Peace Core

From: "Eugene Baker"
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 18:36:18 -0500
Subject: HEY BABY DAYS - Contact Via Website

Hi Greg,

I'm Eugene Baker (keyboards). I was really surprised when I stumbled across this site. (www.heybabydays.com) It really brings back memories.

I was the keyboardist that took Moose Smith's place after he got married and moved away. The In_Men were using the name "Peace Core" at that time. Freddy was singing, playing some bass, sax and fronting the group. Tommy was sill on drums with his brother singing. (What was his first name?) along with Howard, Freddy and Garth. Jerry Clapp was on guitar. I played Piano Bass and the Hammond. We practiced in an old church turned community center near Elon. I remember the night we hit a deer coming back from a gig and stopped at a country store about to see if there was a phone. It was about 3 Am

Before the Peace Core I worked with the Monzas till they retired. Also played Keyboard for them. What led me to the site was the fact that I was checking up on my old friend Eddie Middleton and was shocked the he also worked with Peace Core (In_Men) . We both ended up in Gospel music during the eightes & ninties each not knowing the other was in the same industry. I was in southern Gospel with Jake Hess & JD Sumner and he in Contempory.

I'll be checking out the books and music.
Yall have a great site.

Eugene Baker
Panama City Fl.


What great info I have not posted to the blog in a month of Sundays but this info is too good not to share. it was Wilson Rogers singing lead and was Harold Williams playing sax then. He and Eddie were there toward the last ( of the In-Men/Peace Core) as they had been when King David and the Slaves thought they were a Third World Band. lol Here's another shocker for you... Most of the Original In-Men Ltd. came back together a few years back and recorded some fantastic cuts... I hope I am being objective; the band was a personal favorite of mine.


Greg Haynes
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Thanks for the fast reply.

I mulled over Wilson Rogers's name all evening. I remember one gig we played at the Atlantic Beach Pavilion backing B.J Thomas. I think Harold was on sax & flute and Bobby Thomas was on bass,, Garth on Horn. I think Howard had gone with Rhondels and Harold might have come with us. (It seems we were always trading players with the Rhondels) You probably know the details better than I. Of course Tommy on drums; Jerry on guitar; (man! he is still probably the best slide player I ever worked with) . B.J.'s brother was there... drunk out of his mind. leaning on the side of the stage, beating it with his hand and cussing that the music was wrong! (Heck it probably was!) But what an obnoxious guy. Anyway, we rocked!!... Doing some Allman Brothers "Black Hearted Woman" & others. There isn't anything better than Allman Brothers with Horns.

Nice to hear from you. I'll spend some more time looking at the site later. I wanna get the book & CD's

Eugene Baker


Great stuff but just beyond the hey baby days when the highs were still provided by PBR etc. Like I say in the book, we went from "Baby, I need your lovin'" to "War, what is it good for ?" in but a blink of the eye. Interestingly, when many of the bands of the transition era get together for reunions, they tend to use their play list from 1966 rather than 1972. As for the Allmans and horns etc. They had some pretty soulful stuff as Hour Glass. When traveling with the Gregg Allman band, Harold Williams recalled how Gregg would sing ( not as in a performance but offstage) some of the R 'n B classics with such authenticity.

That's not surprising.


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Escorts from Richmond, Virginia.

The Escorts were founded in 1961 by Nick Cooleran. The band
lasted through 1969. We hope to add photos, member history and discography, soon..
Nick also recorded in the 1970's with Ron Moody , Bill Deal and the Rhondels, Ida Sands and many more groups. Visit his site at http://www.alphaaudioarchives.com

Hi Greg,

I sent you some Soulmasters and Fabulous Generals photos a while back which you were kind enough to post on your site.

I've just run across an old (and tattered) autographed picture of the original line-up that I thought you'd be interested in. ( See above)
The black and white photo of The Fabulous Generals is circa 1967. They were fronted by a great female vocalist, Debra Carol Crowder and did a killer version of the Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love." I was 10 when I saw them win a battle of the Bands at Ballou Park Shopping Center here in Danville, VA. There were so many groups that they had them alternating on 3 flatbed trucks in the parking lot, one after another. The Generals took the top prize, $100! The band signed 8x10s after the performance and sold their 45s for $1.00. They had two releases on independent labels. I have one of them somewhere.

The color shots (sent earlier) are from a later performance (also 1967) at the 360 Drive-In in Danville, after Debra left the band. They were then billing themselves as The Generals. The Generals and The Soulmasters (of Danville, VA) played as warm-up band for The Tams of Atlanta, GA, who were then riding high on the strength of their regional hit, "I've Been Hurt." They had earlier scored a national Top 10 hit with "I've Been Hurt." The Tams had their own band, featuring two drummers. Group member Charles Pope later told me they were brothers. The place was packed and the groups played on a small stage in front of the movie screen.
Those were the days.

Jack Garrett
Danville, VA

Hello Greg –

I can’t believe you’ve assembled so much material on Beach Music, but I’m damn glad you did!

I played tenor sax in Chester Mayfield and the Casuals in 1967-68, then played in Calvin Lindsay and the Hysterics in 1969-1970. I now run a website for a non-profit (http://uniconexed.org) after 25+ years in marketing and sales, following my wife around in her job from Allentown, Pennsylvania to Andover, Massachusetts to Morristown, New Jersey and now back to Andover, Massachusetts again for the past 14 years.

I wrote this up a couple of years ago, and added a few updates today, just trying to remember it all; it’s an on-going project –

In the late sixties, I worked my way through UNC Chapel Hill and continued playing full time for about four years after that playing Carolina Beach Music 3-4 nights a week on average. I played in 7- and 8-piece bands that usually had a 2 to 4 piece horn section and a black male singer “out front”; the horn guys sang backup a lot. We played stuff by Tower of Power, Sly Stone (Everybody is a Star in 5-4 time), Otis Redding (“Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”; “They call Me Mr. Pitiful”), James Brown (Try Me), and songs by people like Willie Tee (“Walkin’ up a one way street and “Thank You John”), The Radiant’s (“Voice your Choice”), Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Spinners, Curtis Mayfield, Major Lance, Wilson Pickett and Ben E King. Play an hour or two of Beach Music and you could play just about anything else you wanted.

You couldn’t go into a club without hearing Billy Stewart, Smokey Robinson or Willie Tee.

I played every frat house from Virginia to Georgia (I am exaggerating only a little here). Also, many cotillions and country clubs and not a few military bases, not to mention the night clubs. We always played OD clubs in the summer – Ocean Drive near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In Greensboro, we used to have a standard Sunday afternoon gig at The Castaways (“The home church of rock and roll”). For a couple of years, we had a standard Wednesday night gig at The Cellar in Charlotte. We played The Embers Club in Raleigh all the freakin’ time. The club owner’s sons were also the leaders of a band called, naturally enough – The Embers. I remember playing the Kentucky Derby party scene once.

We played on the same circuit as Bob Collins and the Fabulous Five (no relation), The Embers, Calabash Corporation, The Catalinas and four or five other groups I can’t remember now. Shadowing us on the circuit was the bawdy group Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts from Carrboro, North Carolina (“My ding-a-ling”). The name groups booked through Hit Attractions in Charlotte (Tommy Hand, I think his name was and a partner); Doug Clark got his own bookings, which were numerous.

We opened for Wilson Pickett, the Tams, the Drifters, the Shirelles, even Chuck Berry once, and backed up Barbara Lewis (“She-bop she-bop – seems like a might long time”) and regional sensation from Knoxville, Clifford Curry (“I’m going to hate myself in the morning, but right now, it’s alright” and “She shot a hole in my soul”). Chester Mayfield and the Casuals backed up Patty LaBelle once – in front of an all-black audience in Elizabeth City. She was with The Blue Bells at the time. Not a good gig.

There were three regionally successful groups I played with. I was with Chester Mayfield and the Casuals (I found this morbid link on my site – http://bigtuner.com/Chester-Mayfield-high-point-enterprise.htm). Chester was a cousin of Curtis Mayfield – sort of like the Neville clan in New Orleans. Another band that did well was called Calvin Lindsay and the Hysterics. We were booked virtually every weekend, booking as many as 5 gigs a weekend occasionally and 12 nights in a row around Christmas. I got in on the tail end of Cannonball; I’ve never carried so much equipment in my life. The drummer had his own roadie.

In the late sixties–early seventies, with two blacks in the band and my hair looking like a dandelion, we were frequently stopped by cops or harassed at restaurants. The Hysterics travelled with a well hidden 45 “just in case”.

The big thing was a dance called The Shag. This was a more or less polite dance requiring you to hold onto usually one hand of your partner and move lightly back and forth with lots of footsteps; if you were a guy, it helped if you wore Lacoste polo shirts in a sherbet color and I think Pappagallo shoes were the thing for women. The Shag was mostly adopted by the rich white local kids and their parents. But, it allowed the white kids to hear and feel the R&B that was all over the black communities.

Yes, I played the black clubs too in a band called Plenty D. Good; Plenty Dingle from Thomasville, North Carolina was the singer’s real name. Sounded e x a c t l y like Percy Sledge. I played both the black clubs paying liquor taxes and those back in the woods that served “un-bonded” home cooked stuff, but we played R&B, not Beach Music, although there were many crossover songs. Plenty started in gospel and I believe returned to gospel after the band broke up.

Regarding band members, when I joined The Casuals, some of the players I remember include Randy Flynt, owner and bass player, Mike Stephenson a soft-spoken, level headed accomplished guitar player, Curtis Fields, a well-trained jazz saxophone player that left for New York and another saxophone player, Johnny Lashley, who pissed on an elevator full of debutantes in Raleigh, thus launching my career. I’m sure that Johnny, if he is still alive, would not care in the least that I relate this. He really helped me in a number of ways, giving me a decent mouthpiece and encouraging me to “Just blow” – the best advice I ever received for playing extemporaneously. In a weird way, he was my mentor. According to Doug Reid, a guitar player that also played in both The Casuals and The Hysterics, “Randy Flynt, owner of the group, does operate a small music store, Big John's Music.....(336) 841-7309 in High Point, NC. He would be your best source for any pics of the Casuals.” (and Hysterics). Randy booked and played in a band called “Cut Glass” for a number of years after The Casuals.

Some of the Hysterics players in 1969-1970 included owner and drummer Lee Bowman, Jerry Hutchins, bass, Doug Reid, guitar (n1068d@aol.com) and Jerome Smith (AKA Juke), organ; Jerome also played in the Casuals for a time. According to Doug Reid, after a stint in Clearwater, Florida, “Jerome made his way to Atlanta and formed a group, "The Backstabbers ". His group was the backup band for "The Tams" for a number of years. Jerome returned to Thomasville about twenty years ago, and lives in the same neighborhood. He was the keyboard player at his church last time I checked.”

Wouldn’t you know it? I Googled it and these two say it all about The Shag –



Both the Casuals and the Hysterics played a lot. We might play Thursday night in Atlanta, Friday in Charlottesville, Saturday at a frat in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, maybe Sunday at the Castaways in Greensboro. I used to hitchhike from Chapel Hill to High Point for practice, about 70 miles, then catch a bus back to Chapel Hill. We’d know in advance what songs we wanted to learn; usually it was some song or two coming up the Billboard R&B charts. You were expected to know your part and the form of the song on arrival. Whatever songs we learned at practice were the first to be played the next time we had a gig. Then, later in the night, we’d play them again. By the time the songs had made it up the charts and were on the radio, they were in our repertoire and pretty well polished, contributing to our success.

The gas crisis of 1974 changed the whole picture. After one moonlit night where we were literally the only vehicle on the highway and carrying 20 gallons of gasoline in the trailer so we could make it back from Charlottesville to High Point, the band I was in at the time reformed as “Payday” to play weekend gigs within a couple hours drive of High Point; these gigs were mostly at the apartment complexes catering to singles that grew like weeds in every city in North Carolina around that time. It was the same folks listening and much of the same music, but it wasn’t the same.

Anyway, I see that your book is out of print; I ordered it from athensdmusic.com, though.

Best regards and thanks for the memories….

Dan “Danny” Collins


If you are still compiling places, I have one I did not see on the internet posting:

The exact location is fuzzy, since it was c. 1965-66, but I believe it was somewhere around Winston-Salem, NC, or the area between Winston and G'boro.

The name of the club was The Cerise Lounge.

Vickie Koontz Smith
UNC-G '66

P.S. Love the walk down memory lane.

Cortez Greer

hey my name is dawn...my dad played with cortez greer....i have a 45 record of them with 2 songs on it...one called IVE BEEN WATING & the other is THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. I have their picture on a little magazine put out in augusta ga...i dont have any memories of that time cuz i wasent born till 1970....my dad played music all the time...most times i had a live band in my livingroom when i was a child...he played till he died...he was 38 when he passed...i was 17.... His name was charles pope but most people called him chuck......just thought u might want to know that & if u can give me any info it would be great...you can email any time and thank you for your time


More missin’ Pieces


I emailed you once before and now add this to the previous info on the Pieces of Eight.

I hope I can fill in a little info on the downfall and regrouping of the POE. I joined the POE in the summer of 68 replacing Jim Bumgardner on Bass. That was an interesting job because I spent the previous summer backing up the POE in PC in a band called the Disciples of Blues where I orignally played guitar. When we switched from blues to soul music, I moved to sax and flute and occasionally played bass so our lead singer, Don Hilburn, could get down. When Earl C called me to come to Opp to meet with Steve he didn't say what he wanted. I packed my King super 20 Tenor sax and an extra pair of socks and headed to Opp. After a little muddling around, Steve told me Jim B. was leaving in 2 weeks and they needed a bass player. I of course took the job. I remember when Michael Abdullah came in. He played sax. After a couple of months, since there was another frontline spot open (I can't remember who left), I was moved to sax and flute. WHEN Frank Rountree left THINGS REALLY STARTED FALLING APART. We were constantly changing personnel and Earl C. just hired warm bodies so we could keep the gigs. Earl called me one day and asked me to come to his house. By this time I was ready to quit myself. When I came in Earl said We've got a problem. I countered YOU sure do.
We (earl & I) wound up in the bus driving to Athens Georgia . Earl managed another band in Athens called the Elans. They had hit some bumpy roads also due to, among other things, the draft. We pulled up to a trailer where some of them were living and Earl kept me (not because of my talent but because I had worked with both the music (bass) and the show (sax and flute)). He combined me and the remaining 7 of the Elans to reform the POE. I only lasted a few more months before I came to my senses during a few days I spent in Muscle Shoals babysitting a broken down bus. I left early in 1969, March I think. The Elans included Ron Hicks, Bobby Dollar (guitar), Charlie Hughes (Trumpet), Johnny Seabolt (Sax), David Bernard (Keyboards), Roger Wright (Bass) and ??? (drums).

I am still looking for pictures of the Disciples of Blues. If I ever find them I will send copies.

Dennis Hodges (Sax, flute and occasional trumpet)1968-1969