Saturday, February 28, 2015

Do yourself a favor RIGHT NOW and find a few precious moments in your busy weekend schedule to get yourself a copy of Scott Bomar's SOUTHBOUND. This man has exposed THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH AS WE KNOW IT ABOUT OUR MUSIC. His focus is upon the formative years ('65-'72) of the Allmans, Cowboy, Wet Willie, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels, Elvin Bishop, the Outlaws, ARS, 38 Special, Skynyrd, ZZ Top and Hank Jr. Here's a sample quote from page 83: "Ricky Hirsch had a college buddy," Jack(Hall) continued, "a fraternity brother in the Jewish fraternity named Frank Friedman. Frank was the person who was responsible for us coming up from Mobile to check out the scene in Macon. He had gone over to Macon himself, to see what was going on once the Allman Brothers were just starting to get off the ground, and musicians were starting to get wind that something was happening there."

Friedman had a group known as the Willie Band, and later the Wet Willie Band, that included, at varous times,Court Pickett, Joe Rudd, Bill Stewart, Chuck Leavell, Lou Mullenx[sic] and Ronnie Brown. When the band dwindled to just Frank and Lou, he recruited Fox and arranged an audition with Capricorn's Frank Fenter.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bobby Emmons died. He performed at the 2010 ALS fundraiser Buddy Buie worked on for Coach Terry Collins.
  Bobby Emmons,_Texas_%28Back_to_the_Basics_of_Love%29

Bobby Emmons - Another Southern Gentlemen whose musical touch will change almost anything to gold! He initially taught himself to play music. A professional musician/songwriter since 1959, Bobby played with the Bill Black Combo; and, later, with the Memphis Boys(behind Elvis Presley). Top songs written include "Help Me Make It To My Rockin' Chair" (B.J. Thomas), "Luckenbach, Texas," "Women Do Know How to Carry On" and "Wurlitzer Prize" (Waylon Jennings, (1978 and Nora Jones 2004), "Love Me Like You Used Too" (Tanya Tucker) and "So Much Like My Dad" (George Strait). Received 2 nominations for "Song of the Year," nominated for 3 Grammies, received 6 Citations of Achievement and 3 Millionaire Awards from Broadcast Music Inc.(BMI) for radio airplay, and was honored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International for "creative genius in words and music."

Here's an Eagle article about Bobby's appearance in Dothan.

courtesy of the 9-11-10 issue of the Dothan Eagle

by Lance Griffin

......"People always ask me, 'How do you write all those songs? Where do they come from?' "
(J.R.) Cobb shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't know. Take a drink of whiskey..."

Lance Griffin

Some songwriters get their material from traumatic experiences. Others write from the rapture of love and still others are inspired by the seemingly insurmountable.

But legendary songwriter J.R. Cobb let slip a less than well-kept secret Friday night during THE SONGWRITERS ROUNDTABLE about how most songwriters come up with their stuff.

"People always ask me,'How do you write all those songs? Where do they come from?'"

Cobb shrugged his shoulders.

"I don't know. Take a drink of whiskey. ..."

Cobb and fellow songwriters Buddy Buie, Wayne Carson, Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons wrote enough gold records to balance the treasury. They wrote country hits such as "ALWAYS ON MY MIND" by Willie Nelson; Southern Rock hits including "SO INTO YOU" by the Atlanta Rhythm Section and old time rock 'n' roll hits such as "BE YOUNG, BE FOOLISH, BE HAPPY" by the Tams.

They came together at the Dothan Civic Center on Friday night to talk about the stories behind the songs, sing a little and laugh a lot.

You could have called it THE BLUE COLLAR SONGWRITERS TOUR.

But the real reason behind the gathering was to raise money for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disese) research. By the end of the night, organizers were hoping to have raised around $50,000.

"I can't think of a better reason to get together," said Buie, who helped organize the event.

They did a little rocking, reminiscing, reflecting and remembering the times when just about every time they put pen to paper, a hit was produced.

And not every song came from a shrug of the shoulders and a drink of whiskey.

Well, not just a shrug of the shoulders and a drink of whiskey.

Moman's hit "LUCKENBACH, TEXAS" (recorded by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson) came after an all-night studio session mixed with a conversation with a couple in the studio kitchen.

"They asked me if I had ever been to Luckenbach, Texas," Moman said. "When Bobby (Emmons) came in the next morning, I told him we needed to go to Luckenbach, Texas."

"He said, 'with Waylon and Willie?'"


The stories and the laughter flowed into the night.

After the roundtable, fans were treated to musical performances from THE STRANGERS and the BopCats, Wilbur Walton,Jr., David Adkins, Rodney Justo, Mitch Goodson, Jimmy Watford and Paul Hornsby.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Here's an idea for a Bear Bryant movie script.

Fictional meeting with Bear Bryant and Howard Cosell at Bashinsky's Islamarado house. Bear tells Howard he's tired of coaching and doesn't want to ever go back to his office again but he's too tied to the job and he's concerning about all his employees who will be displaced by his retirement.The discussion between Bryant & Cosell in Islamarado will be highlighted by flashback reinactments of the key dramas that shaped Bear's life and produced his will to win.

All of this will be based upon John Underwood's book which is a COMPLETELY SANITIZED version of his interviews with Bear taped at Bashinsky's beach house. Underwood has the original recordings and as far as I know the public has never heard them and hearing them gives you some idea what a conversation would be like with a relaxed and trusting Bear Bryant.

Here's the part of my 2013 Crimson Magazine article that deals with the Underwood interviews.

Various authors have focused upon the forces which shaped Coach Bryant’s formative years and led him from his birthplace in Smith Chapel, Arkansas on the Cleveland County side of Morro Creek to the University of Alabama on the south bank of the Black Warrior River but no writer has ever discovered the secret to Coach Bryant’s winning formula and his charismatic mystique.
Of all the authors of Bear Bryant books, John Underwood has come the closest to giving us a blueprint of the man who would do so much to put Bama back on top of the college football world. By turning on his tape recorder and asking the right questions, Underwood preserved for us to this day the impressions Coach Bryant wanted to leave with those who would study him in the future. As he described growing up in Southeast Arkansas, Bryant measured the milestones in his early life by recalling major media events like the 1925 Floyd Collins’ Sand Cave disaster or Professor Snook’s Ohio State coed murder in the summer of 1929 or the radio broadcast of Alabama’ 24-0 shutout of Washington State in the 1931 Rose Bowl. How ironic that many of the conversations Underwood had with Bryant would be recorded while they were sitting beside the swimming pool of Golden Flake founder Sloan Bashinsky’s estate on Lower Matecumbe Key. As a sponsor of the Bear Bryant Show, Bashinsky was partly responsible at the time for producing Bryant’s “Sundays at 4” broadcast replay of each Bama game. The program became one of the most highly rated syndicated television shows in America where Coach Bryant established the powerful bond between himself and all those proud mamas and papas and hometowns across Alabama where most of his players and fans would be recruited. That big old Arkansas plowboy certainly left the mules and the piney woods behind for good and he sure did learn some city ways right quick and by the time he took over the Alabama program, Golden Flake and Coca-Cola allowed him to become a master at utilizing the most powerful mass media tool of his day: the television.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

200 YEARS AGO TODAY, on Tuesday, February 21, 1815, about 1500 U.S. troops stationed at Mobile along with most of the town's citizens gathered near the bay shore south of town to witness the execution by firing squad of six Tennessee militiamen who had been convicted the past December by a court martial of inciting a mutiny. From his New Orleans headquarters, General Andrew Jackson ordered that they be shot. The troops lined up to form a three sided open square around the six condemned men with the open side toward the water. The six prisoners stood by their caskets which had been placed six feet apart and they were then shot by 36 riflemen commanded by Col. Gilbert Russell(for whom present-day Russell County, Alabama is named). General Jackson ordered this severe punishment to uphold military discipline but it would come back to haunt him years later in the form of the so-called "COFFIN BROADSIDES" which were handed out by incumbent John Quincy Adams' supporters during the 1828 Presidential Election. This campaign literature accused Presidential candidate Jackson of being a murderer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thought you might enjoy browsing some information concerning the awarding of tax credits for HUD mixed-finance redevelopment projects since I can possibly set you up with a meeting when you come down with Doug Hollyhand whose company HOLLYHAND DEVELOPMENT is doing that 330 acre redevelopment project in central city Mobile.

Friday, February 13, 2015

200 YEARS AGO TODAY, on Monday, February 13, 1815, THE GREATEST MILITARY ALLIANCE THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN BEGAN IN THE WATER OFF DAUPHIN ISLAND when the HMS Brazen arrived that morning at the Royal Navy's lower British anchorage three miles south of Dauphin Island with news that peace had been signed at Ghent between Great Britain and America on December 24, 1814. THE WAR OF 1812 WAS OVER.
 from page 301-302 of Samuel Carter III's BLAZE OF GLORY:

While the Americans were detained aboard the TONNANT and the British staff debated the next move that would consolidate its gain, a swift frigate approached the anchorage. A lowered gig was rowed toward the flagship, Shepherd was standing on deck beside Admiral Malcolm when the officer approached with a message from the gig. Malcolm read it, threw his hat in the air with an un-British shout, and turning to Shepherd wrung his hand with uninhibited warmth.

"Good news, my friend," he said, "The treaty has been signed in Ghent. We are enemies no longer." then, votto voce, the Admiral added: "To tell you the truth I have hated this war from the beginning."
from page 301-302 of Samuel Carter III's BLAZE OF GLORY:

While the Americans were detained aboard the TONNANT and the British staff debated the next move that would consolidate its gain, a swift frigate approached the anchorage. A lowered gig was rowed toward the flagship, Shepherd was standing on deck beside Admiral Malcolm when the officer approached with a message from the gig. Malcolm read it, threw his hat in the air with an un-British shout, and turning to Shepherd wrung his hand with uninhibited warmth.

"Good news, my friend," he said, "The treaty has been signed in Ghent. We are enemies no longer." then, votto voce, the Admiral added: "To tell you the truth I have hated this war from the beginning."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

From page 301 of Samuel Carter III's BLAZE OF GLORY:

Replying to Lambert's ultimatum, Lawrence agreed to capitulate if the terms were honorable.

The negotiations were conducted with the utmost propriety and courtesy. The written terms provided that the surrender would be handled with dignity and respect for the Americans,"the troops marching out with colors flying and drums beating...officers retaining their swords,.. all private property to be respected." The reason for these niceties, readily agreed to by the British and in fact promoted by them, became apparant later. No surrender in history has been so elaborately staged for the sake of its effect upon a truly captive audience.

It was as extravaganza timed, produced and directed with a fine flair for showmanship. While Cochrane and Lambert joined the cast on shore, Admiral Codrington, to lend dignity to the performance, arranged an elaborate dinner at sundown for the Americans in the cabin of the TONNANT (ed note: The same ship on which Frances Scott Key had composed THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER the previous September). Codrington was at the head of the table, the Americans on his right. After the dessert and vintage wines, a bugle sounded and the curtains of the main saloon were drawn.

Framed in the proscenium like an animated backdrop was Fort Bowyer in the last glow of the setting sun. At that moment the Stars and Stripes slid down the flagstaff while the Union Jack was raised to take its place. Guns thundered. The American troops marched out in full dress uniform while the British stood at attention. The band played "Yankee Doodle" and "God Save the King" as a finale.

Codrington regarded his guests with smug satisfaction. This would be something for them to report to Jackson! This was how the British did things! He turned to Livingston on his right.

"Well, colonel, you perceive now that our day has just commenced."

Livingston, deeply troubled by this spectacle, was never at a loss for words. He raised his glass to the exultant victor.

"Congratulations, Admiral!" he said. "Please be assured that we Americans do not begrudge you this small consolation."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

200 YEARS AGO TODAY, on Saturday, February 11, 1815, at 9 A.M., with the artillery batteries completed and the trenches dug within 40 yards of the ditch of the fort, British Major Harry Smith was sent under a flag of truce to Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point to offer the Americans the opportunity to let their women and children to come out of the fort before it was to be destroyed by British cannon fire which was to commence at 10 A.M. After considering the British proposal for two hours, the American commander, Colonel Lawrence, agreed to surrender but pleaded to be allowed not to deliver the fort until the next day, using as an excuse that some of his men had gotten drunk. A British detachment was allowed to occupy the gate of Ft. Bowyer and the Americans remained inside. This was a delaying ploy by the Americans who hoped that they would soon be supported by a force of 1000 American troops under the command of Major Uriah Blue who were enroute to Ft. Bowyer from Mobile.
[from the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith]
AFTER the Army was somewhat refreshed, an attempt on Mobile was resolved on, for which purpose the fleet went down to the mouth of Mobile Bay. Here there was a wooden fort of some strength, Fort Bowyer, which some time previously had sunk one of two small craft of our men-of-war which were attempting to silence it. It was necessary that this fort should be reduced in order to open the passage of the bay. It was erected on a narrow neck of land easily invested, and required only a part of the army to besiege it. It was regularly approached, and when our breaching batteries were prepared to burn or blow it to the devil, I was sent to summon it to surrender. The Americans have no particular respect for flags of truce, and all my Rifle education was required to protect myself from being rifled and to procure a reception of my flag. After some little time I was received, and, upon my particular request, admitted into the fort, to the presence of Major Lawrence, who commanded, with five Companies, I think, of the 2nd Regiment. I kept a sharp look-out on the defences, etc., which would not have resisted our fire an hour. The Major was as civil as a vulgar fellow can be. I gave him my version of his position and cheered him on the ability he had displayed. He said, "Well, now, I calculate you are not far out in your reckoning. What do you advise me to do? You, I suppose, are one of Wellington's men, and understand the rules in these cases." "This," I said, "belongs to the rule that the weakest goes to the wall, and if you do not surrender at discretion in one hour, we, being the stronger, will blow up the fort and burn your wooden walls about your ears. All I can say is, you have done your duty to your country, and no soldier can do more, or resist the overpowering force of circumstances." "Well, if you were in my situation, you would surrender, would you?" "Yes, to be sure." "Well, go and tell your General I will surrender to-morrow at this hour, provided I am allowed to march out with my arms and ground them outside the fort." "No," I said, "I will take no such message back. My General, in humanity, offers you terms such as he can alone accept, and the blood of your soldiers be on your own head." He said, "Well, now, don't be hasty." I could see the Major had some hidden object in view. I said, therefore, "Now, I tell you what message I will carry to my General. You open the gates, and one of our Companies will take possession of it immediately, and a body of troops shall move up close to its support; then you may remain inside the fort until to-morrow at this hour and ground your arms on the glacis." I took out pen and ink, wrote down my proposition, and said; "There, now, sign directly and I go." He was very obstinate, and I rose to go, when he said, "Well, now, you are hard upon me in distress." "The devil I am," I said. "We might have blown you into the water, as you did our craft, without a summons. Good-bye." "Well, then, give me the pen. If I must, so be it;" and he signed. His terms were accepted, and the 4th Light Company took possession of the gate, with orders to rush in in case of alarm. A supporting column of four hundred men were bivouacked close at hand with the same orders, while every precaution was taken, so that, if any descent were made from Mobile, we should be prepared, for, by the Major's manner and look under his eyebrows, I could see there was no little cunning in his composition. We afterwards learned that a force was embarked at Mobile, and was to have made a descent that very night, but the wind prevented them. We were, however, perfectly prepared, and Fort Bowyer was ours.