Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heeey Baby Days book signing at Barnes & Noble with Chuck Leavell…sort of

Click on image to enlarge

We have sold out of the book but we're still having fun !

In spite of the fact that B&N sold more copies of the book than anyone , we have never had a book signing at one of their stores until today (December 19) and then only by happenstance.(We never had a book signing at an actual book store but sure enjoyed all the other signing events along the way from Albany, Georgia to Myrtle Beach to Manchester in the U.K.) Graciously, Chuck Leavell, a contributor to the book as well as to the world of music agreed to meet me and sign a couple of books at the BN store at the Shoppes at River Crossing in Macon not far from his pine tree farm. (The man has a lot of interests !)

B&N happens to be on the prominent corner as you ride into the high end Macon, Georgia shopping complex so it was convenient to meet at the Starbucks there for Chuck to sign two copies of the books. The store probably didn't have a clue that such a monumental event was taking place in Starbucks area of the store. We are calling this a "reverse book signing" where the author seeks the authographs of the subjects of a book. Thanks to Judy, a store customer, for snapping the photo of Chuck and me. My son, the percussionist, will be proud. I have two books I have been lugging around since the book was published in 2006. We have quite a few autographs in the two books already but to add Chuck's is special. After all, a story of his early band, the Misfitz is included in the book. I meant to ask Chuck if he could give me the titles of some of the tunes the band might have played back in the day. How many might have been on the Top 100 of the Hey Baby Days of Beach Music. Did he cover fellow Alabamians, Wilson Pickett or Percy Sledge ? Could there have been any bands back in the Hey Baby Days that didn't cover, "Mustang Sally"? There’s a great story about the making of “Mustang Sally in Peter Guralnick’s book

Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom. ISBN 0-316-33273-9.

When Chuck’s not on tour, he’s growing pines trees, Georgia pines, i.e., the type that Alabamians Buddy Buie and John Rainey Atkins wrote their song about which was recorded by Wilbur Walton and the James Gang as well as the Candymen.

Chuck’s music career beginning with the Misfitz of Tuscaloosa has evolved through legendary musical aggregations including Sea-Level, the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and now he's collaborating on a new album with John Mayer. You can read about the Chuck’s first band, the Misfitz in the book. Early influences included another Georgian, Ray Charles

According to Wikepedia , Leavell said his three favorite contributions to songs in his career were "Jessica" with The Allman Brothers Band, "Old Love" on Eric Clapton's Unplugged, and "Already Over Me" from the Rolling Stones' Bridges to Babylon record

Is “Jessica” not one of the greatest instrumentals of all-time ? The following piano instructional piece on YouTube leaves you wanting more:


One of the books signed by Chuck and 200 plus performers from the Hey Baby Days will be auctioned off for a charitable cause later this year. Details will follow soon. A couple of years back, one of the two books was sold for $1,000 at a silent auction in Atlanta at the SIOR Leadership breakfast for the benefit of the Atlanta Study Hall and others. We expect that with many added signatures including Chuck’s, the book will go much higher and to a cause based upon reccommendations we receive from musicians in the book. I pledge not to buy this one ! (I was high bidder at silent auction mentioned above)

In the next few days,we’ll share the names of the signatures we have to date and will keep you informed of others added up until the time the book is auctioned.

My thanks to Chuck for his contributions and for going out of his way to sign the books.

Check out some of the worlds of Chuck Leavell:


Director of Environmental Affairs
The Mother Nature Network
191 Peachtree St., NE
Suite 4075
Atlanta, Ga. 30303


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It’s been so long since we have posted anything to the Hey Baby Days blog that we forgot the pass word. Hope we get this posted

The Soulful Seven of Saluda , South Carolina

From: "Cain, Brent"

To: "greg@heybabydays.com"
Sent: Fri, December 16, 2011 10:49:33 AM
Subject: Blog on HeyBabyDays - Soulful Seven

I happened to be doing a search on a band I was a member of back in the late 60’s (The Soulful Seven from Saluda, SC). I came across a blog on your website from a gentleman named Jeff Simpson that was submitted back in 2009. He mentions one ofour gigs as the Soulful Seven being the opening band for Arthur Conley in Columbia, SC. I was only 13 at the time and played keyboards but I remember the gig well. We were invited by Arthur’s band to use their equipment. At the time, all I had was an ACE Tone combo organ. Authur’s keyboardist had a Hammond B3 with twin Leslie speaker cabinets.

I was in keyboard heaven! I had only dreamed of playing a B3/Leslie setup and there I was doing it in front of 1000s of people! Will never forget it!

I saw where Jeff was looking for some pictures. I did have one of Arthur and me but it is now lost or destroyed. Anyway, I can’t place Jeff and he claims he helped work the gig that night. Not sure if he was from Saluda or maybe a friend of one of the other band members. If you are in touch with him, let him know I’m curious to find out more. I’ve lost touch with the other band
members and would like to find out more about them as well. We did a reunion gig back in Saluda, I would guess in the early 90s and was able to see most.

If you’re interested, here's a list of t e original band members that created the initial Soulful Seven:

Jimmy Bedenbaugh –Drummer
Brent Cain – Keyboards
Billy Corley – Singer
Jim Floyd – Lead Guitarist
Wayne Horn – Singer
Gerald Cromer – Bass
Gene Padgett – Rhythm Guitar

As time we one, we added a horn section and shifted some responsibilities around but still kept the Soulful Seven name. We did try changing the name (can’t recall to what) but it never caught on like the Soulful Seven.

Feel free to put this
on your blog if you choose.

Take Care,


We are always interested in hearing about "soul" bands of the 60s; especially those that had "soul" in their band names as well as in their music. The "soul" sort of disappeared from band names as The Heeey Baby Days made its exit at the end of the 60s.

Arthur Conley lived in the same apartment complex I lived in when I first moved to Atlanta in the early 70s, Nob Hill was also home to Billy Joe Royal at one time. I'll post this and maybe we'll get some feedback from Jeff et. al. Thanks for your email.


Greg Haynes

Suggestion for a great read:

“Dirtdobber’s Blues” by Cyril Vetter, another contributor to the book and a chief LSU Tiger supporter.


Nora and I both read the book give it our strongest recommendation…

If you would like the Hey Baby Days blog to come out of hibernation, let us hear from you.