Saturday, March 31, 2012

Original Villagers, Master Sound was located on Fernwood Circle, K-Otics Classics IV, New Hey Baby Days CD coming soon

Need to post more as we continually get interesting emails even though the book was published over five years ago . Sorry that the books are all gone... BUT we are considering making the book available as an E Book ... let us know what you think.

For a look at the Entire Original Villagers From Union, SC, Click on the following link

The 'Original' Villagers - Union S.C.

L-R (Back): Larry Carver, Tommy Henderson,
Wayne Reed, Larry Williams, Melvin Sinclair,
Curt Bradford, Jimmy Kirby & Jim Woods.
(On Ground): Ken Sparks & Kenny Royster

The Original Villagers group is already listed on your internet site, but I wanted to send some updated information about the group. In 2010 we got back together for only the 2nd time in 40 yrs and performed at the Party in the Pines Festival in Whitmire, SC and then again in Oct 2010 at the Oktober Fest in Newberry, SC. Now we are looking at the possibilites of going into a studio.

I have attached some photos of the events plus a couple old pics I came across in case you are interested. The 1st photo is a group shot at the Party in Pines, 2nd shot a stage shot there. The 3rd shot is Newberry in Oct and the last two are 1967 shots. Appreciate the site and the book and the history with it. Still look at it quite regularly. Will you ever release another cd? If so, would like to add some music. If you have time you can visit our site at:

and listen to "It's Alright" and other songs recorded live and in studio back in the 60's. Have a good day, and again,

Thank You,

Ken Sparks, Agent

Cel. 864.981.3559


From: Rarereads

To: Ken Sparks

Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 6:05 PM

Subject: Re: Pictures

I finally figured it out and hope to post tomorrow by the way there were at least two Villager bands from SC Charleston, Sumter, ?


Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 29, 2012, at 7:05 PM, Ken Sparks <> wrote:

We were aware of other Villager groups around and that's why we changed our names to Original Villagers way back in the sixties. We had already built ourselves to much of a following to change the entire name. We played mostly in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, more than we did in South Carolina. Thanks for posting.



There is not question in my mind that the Original Villagers as listed in the Hey Baby Days directory was a great band back in the day and the fact that they are back together and looking to record is great. Visit their site below by clicking on the link and enjoy. Of course we need to mention that there were other great bands back in the day that were called the Villagers including at least two other Villager bands from South Carolina. (Sumter and Charleston) and from what I’ve heard , they were all great bands. You have to figure from looking at the photos above that the Villagers had a great horn section .

And don’t forget Cliff Ellis’s band of Villagers from Marianna, Florida which had a regional hit with their cover of the Tams’ “Laugh It Off” How many other bands used the name Villagers back in the Hey Baby Days ?

But you need to click on the YouTube above for the Union South Carolina Villagers. They are truly a band from the Hey Baby Days

MASTER SOUND Atlanta, Georgia

On Mar 30, 2012, at 11:17 AM, Larry Watts wrote:

Hello, Greg.

I've lived in Atlanta for over 20 years but just recently stumbled upon the old address of Master Sound, home of all those Classics IV tracks and some of the Tommy Roe that, as a child, I grew to love from the 8-Track tapes my parents constantly played. I go back that area every day and stopped by yesterday. I realize that street addresses change as neighborhoods grow so I started searching on the net for any pictures of the old location but didn't find one. With that in mind, I turn to you to ask if the studio was situated across the street from the parking lot entrance of Brookhaven Marta, on the corner of Apple Valley Road and Fernwood Circle, in the spot that is now condos or apartments.

Thank you for your time and for your interesting blog.


Larry Watts


The studio was located in what had been an elementary school that had been closed and purchased by Bob Richardson and or Bill Lowery. I am not sure about the actual ownership but it was acquired for the Marta station not sure exactly it's location on the Marta property but the address was Fernwood Circle. I visited Ric Cartey and Cotton Carrier a couple of times and my most vivid or possibly blurred memories include seeing a white haired man leaning over the boards in the studio ( Bill Lowery) , a door that had had a glass panel upon which Buie-Cochran was written, a former classroom with a single desk (Ric Cartey's) behind which a gold record was mounted on the wall (Young Love) and Ric's secretary Millie. I only visited a couple of times so I could be mistaken so I will forward to Butch Lowery and Buddy Buie and perhaps get some additional facts.

What would be really interesting is to get a list of all the great music created in that building... Just think of the artists and performers that hung out Master Sound: The Tams, Swingin Medallions, Classics IV, James Gang, Candymen, Billy Joe Royal, Tommy Roe, Roemans, Ray Stevens, Joe South, Ray Whitley, Emory Gordy Jr to mention a few.



From: ""
To: greg heybabydays
Sent: Wed, March 28, 2012 10:37:55 PM
Subject: Kim Venable - drummer for
K-otics and Classics IV

Hi Greg,

Hope things are going well with you. I enjoy having your great book on my coffee table every day.

I am putting together a portfolio for my daughter and granddaughter. I noticed some pictures of myself on your web site of when I attended the HBD book debut and signing at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Macon. I would greatly appreciate copies of the photos that I am in. I saw 3 on the web site but, if you have additional ones, I would be interested in them also. I have grey hair and I'm wearing a black leather vest. I stand out well in the photos.

Please let me know how I can get copies them. If they can be sent by email, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Kim Venable

Drummer for the K-otics and the Classics IV

Sent from my iPhone


Be happy to help, I remember chatting with you and reminising about the good old days. Glad that your sharing all this with your children, otherwise, they may never know how truly great those days were ... when virtually every national guard armory and teen club had a group of future rock 'n roll stars playing every Saturday night.



On Mar 24, 2012, at 3:48 PM, wrote:

Hi Gregg,

I've been catching up on the posts on your blog. Looks like you had a great time in my hometown, Dothan at the Music Fest in 2010. I have wonderful memories of dancing to those Dothan bands, the Webs and the James Gang at our high school dances.

Recently, while watching a special on Pop, Rock, and Soul on PBS, I got an idea. I wondered if the guy responsible for the wonderful specials on PBS would be interested in doing a show on Beach Music. I did some research and found that this guy is T. J. Lubinsky, the executive producer for many wonderful specials on music from the 1950's and '60's on PBS, which I am sure you have seen. He is a Pittsburgh radio host. I am going to write him a letter. If I can get him interested, do you have an extra book that you could send him? I know it's a long shot, but I know it would be a very interesting show.

Are you working on a follow up book to "Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music" and are there any additional CD's in the works? I am enjoying my 17 CD's very much!

Ann Adams

-----Original Message-----
From: Rarereads
To: alohabyana
Cc: greg
Sent: Sat, Mar 24, 2012 12:02 pm
Subject: Re:



I had a great time in Dothan. It was truly one of the highlights of all the events I have been fortunate to have participated in since the book was published. To be backstage and talk with those great songwriters was a thrill. Hearing co-composer J.R. Cobb do his version of "Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy" reminded me of that night back in 1970 when Ray Whitley sat in the living room of the Phi Delt house at UGA and did his rendition of that same song he cowrote with Cobb.

I actually working on a couple of projects one of which I will announce on the blog with the posting of this email.

Within the next couple of months we plan to release the cuts made by the In-Men ltd. during a reunion in 2006. These cuts are extraordinary and should have wide body appeal. The CD will include the 1968 medley that was edited from a body of music the band recorded for Curtis Mayfield in 1968 with the vocals of Mickey Combs and Freddy Owens. If you have not heard it go to YouTube and search for In-Men Ltd Medley

In addition to the medley are the cuts made in 2006 in Charlotte which features the vocals of Geoff Smith, son of keyboardist Moose Smith. In addition there is a wonderful cover of "At Last" by Geoff's sister Suzanne . Etta would be proud. Other lead vocals include Skip Hinshaw a former lead singer of both the In-Men and the Monzas with a riveting version of "I'm losing You" There are two cuts featuring the great Eddie Middleton whose resume includes King David & the Slaves (With Randall Bramblett) R.C. & the Moonpies (with Mickey Thomas) and the award winning Christian group
NewSong. Moose Smith's "High Heel Sneakers" winds up the CD. A full listing of the tracks is forthcoming

I don't think you anticipated such a lengthy reply but it was an opportunity
to post some news



Sent from my iPhone


WOW! Thanks for such a quick response.

I'm really excited about your new projects. I saw that post about the music that was discovered that the band recorded for Curtis Mayfield and made a note to check it out on YouTube but haven't yet. Can't wait for the CD you're working on.

We were so lucky to grow up in such a special era because they just don't make music like that any more!

Hopefully, I can get the executive producer of those PBS shows, T. J. Lubinsky interested in doing a show on Beach Music. Do you have an extra book to send him if I can get him interested? Please let me know

Please keep me posted. I listen to Beach Music every day. When I jog, I listen to the Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music CD's and when I am home I listen to If you haven't checked this Myrtle Beach station out, you should. You are probably already familiar with it.

Again, I'm so excited about your projects with Beach Music, my favorite!


1 comment:

jerry said...

I am Gerald Cranford and I worked with "the Villagers" at Myrtle Beach I am from Union, SC and live in Irmo now. Retired from AT&T in 2003. Any friends that read this please contact me at 803-960-7940. I would love to talk to some of you'