Friday, July 28, 2017

Of course, GOING DOWN is today considered a ROCK STANDARD. It is truly amazing how many musicians who gave birth to THE SOUTHERN ROCK MOVEMENT came out of the Tuscaloosa scene. Tippy Armstrong played with Don Nix's ALABAMA STATE TROUPERS and Scott Bomar in his book SOUTHBOUND emphasizes the TREMENDOUS IMPACT the Tuscaloosa scene had upon the formation of CAPRICORN RECORDS in Macon. The last paragraph in Chapter 12~ SUNSHINE TO SUNDOWN: SEARCHING FOR A SOUND reads, "By that time[1973], the Tuscaloosa crowd had become a key part of Macon's musical landscape, 'We were hanging out together, playing on each other's records, and going to the H&H Restaurant, and Grant's Lounge, and Le Carousel, with the famous hot chicken,' Chuck Leavell reminisced. 'It became this huge social scene...Everybody was just as happy to be playing music. It was a true community.' " In Chapter 10 - Chapter 13 ( the 22 pages that describe the creation of Capricorn) of Bomar's book,  a DOZEN MUSICIANS with strong TUSCALOOSA connections are mentioned: Johnny Sandlin and Paul Hornsby (who both played earlier with Eddie Hinton in the 5 MEN-ITS), Charlie Hayward (brother of CHUKKER NATION's Dart Hayward), Bill Stewart, Chuck Leavell, Lou Mullinex, Rick Hirsch, Joe Rudd, Frank Friedman, Ronnie Brown, Court Pickett and Mike Duke.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dothan's role in "the sound of THE BIRTH OF ROCK AND ROLL": "Seeing his big chance, Little Richard didn't hesitate to walk away from a previous engagement. 'We were supposed to pick him up in DOTHAN for a show,' Hamp Swain remembered, "but he'd flown off to New Orleans and recorded TUTTI FRUTTI. After that, his career just took off, and the rest is history.' " (from Scott Bomar's SOUTHBOUND: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The story of CAPTAIN KIDD CLEANERS in Coach Bryant's own words:

"By that time Mary Harmon and I were married and I was anxious to make my fortune. Hutson was in town in the off-season, helping Coach Thomas during spring training and getting himself in shape. We decided to pool our resources and become business tycoons. I borrowed $1000 for my share, and we bought us a cleaning-and-pressing place called Captain Kidd Cleaners. Hutson's wife, Kathleen- everybody called her 'Temp' but don't ask me why- helped out at the desk, and we had two scrawny old guys who did the cleaning. It was a sorry-looking shop but we captured most of the business.

We had a girl in every sorority touting for us, and Hank Crisp put me in charge of equipment. Naturally he gave me the business of cleaning the team's uniforms.

If we could have collected for all the business we did, we'd have made a lot of money. But if we had to pay for everything we ruined, we'd have gone to jail.

I'll never forget Coach Hank. We had new uniforms in 1938, and after the first game at USC, which we won easily (I say that for John McKay's benefit), I sent them over to our place for cleaning. The boys must have used hot water or something, because when the jerseys came back they had shrunk- the sleeves didn't even reach to the elbows. They looked like doll clothes.

I was sich. Coach Hank threw a fit, and it was a good thing I was his pet. He covered for me and ordered new jerseys.

I remember so well, they were having this ROTC day, when the governor was coming, and Hutson and I had all the uniforms to clean. The ceremony was scheduled at 1:00. At about 12:00 we came into our place, and there were stacks of dirty uniforms in the back room, I guarantee you half way to the ceiling, and outside a line of ROTC cadets three blocks long.

We served 'em one at a time like short-order cooks. As fast as a uniform was pressed we gave it out-and if it wasn't pressed, we gave it out anyway, "Here son, try this on. Oh, yes, it fits perfect. Perfect fit. You look good. Next."

We ran Captain Kidd cleaners for two years before we bailed out. We did a ton of business,  we just didn't collect much money. Temp Hutson was about five months pregnant when we started and she'd stand around on that hardwood floor guarding the cash register. I don't know how she took it. Mary Harmon found an old yellow bill just the other day that had Temp's handwriting on it, and old Captain Kidd receipt we hadn't collected on. I sent it to Hutson."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

PAGE 458 With the exception of New Orleans and Havana, there was no commercial mart on the Gulf of Mexico as thriving as Mobile, when I first visited the place, and I doubt if there could have been found on the face of the globe, a place with even five times its population, where crime, debauchery, and lawlessness of every description, reigned rampant to such a fearful extent.

The glowing description which was given me, of the gambling facilities of Mobile, and the immense amount of money in circu lation in that city, induced me to take a lake-boaf and' visit that place. With the exception of New Orleans and Havana, there was no commercial mart on the Gulf of Mexico as thriving as Mobile, when I first visited the place, .and I doubt if there could have been found on the face of the globe, a place with even five times its population, where crime, debauchery, and lawlessness of

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

by Ted Bryant 
(Willie Bryant died in 1965 and is buried in El Bethel Cemetery in Coffee Springs, Alabama. This essay was first published in OLD TUSCALOOSA MAGAZINE in June of 1999 just before the author, Ted Bryant, passed away. This work was copied and pasted from Willie Bryant's Find-A-Grave page

Will Bryant was a sharecropper most of his life, a one-eyed, half-
breed Indian who had a third-grade education.

A couple of days before Christmas 1965, he was buried in the sandy
clay soil of Geneva County (Alabama), the dirt from which he had
scratched a living for himself, a wife and seven kids. Most of the time, his wife, sons and two
mules were his only allies against the seemingly unyielding soil and broiling sun.

While I knew him, he never owned a car or any other property except a few household goods. Even the
mules were owned by the landlord. He always managed to keep a dairy cow or two and a few pigs.

The family story is that his father, riding a mule, led a wagon train
backward from west to east, from Arkansas to Southeast Alabama
sometime in the late 19th Century. His mother--I’ve only seen pictures of her--was a Cherokee

Will Bryant was my daddy. I never called him anything else. He was born in 1894 and was 45 years
old when I, the sixth boy in a row, came into the world in an unpainted sharecropper’s house in
Geneva County. I had to be a disappointment, although there was never any hint of that. Witness the
fact that only one other child was born into the household, a girl who was named Joy.

Will Bryant couldn’t write except to barely scratch out his name, but he could read. With that one
eye--the other had been destroyed at about age 14 when a weed struck him in the face while he was
plowing--what he read mostly was The Dothan Eagle, and he read every word in it. That was
my early training as a news junkie.

Lola Boyd Brewer Bryant made it to the 10th grade. She was the proverbial five-by-five, not much
more than five feet tall, but obese from my earliest memories. She not only did all the writing for
the two of them, but also she read, not just newspapers, but books.

Lola was my mother and from her I learned to love books, learned that they could carry me, as they
did her, far from the poverty of a tenant farm in Southeast Alabama. The library in Dothan operated
a bookmobile that traveled around Houston County. We moved a lot in those days, and sometimes it
would take me two or three months to find the nearest
bookmobile stop. When I found them, though, the two women who ran it
would have saved me a half-dozen books they knew I would want to read.

On various farms in Houston and Geneva Counties, we grew cotton
and peanuts to sell and corn to feed the family and the livestock. Some of the corn went to a grist
mill where the miller ground it into cornmeal and took out a share as payment for his work. From
the meal, Mother would make hoecake to bake in the oven or small cakes that were fried. My brother,
Bob, still fries cornbread, especially when I’m around.

Among my favorite memories are the times we would pile peanut hay
and sacks of corn on the wagon and head for the feed mill. The hay and
corn would be ground into feed for the cows, with molasses added. Going to the mill would be a
precarious ride atop hay and corn stacked maybe 15 feet high. Coming home, though, the
sweet-smelling feed would be confined in sacks within the wagon body, and I would lie on it
breathing in the odor of the feed and looking at the beautiful, unpolluted blue sky as
the iron-rimmed wagon wheels rolled along the dirt road.

The harvest of cotton and peanut crops was our hardest work. Instead of putting a diaper on me when
I was born, I think they hung a cotton sack
over my shoulder. To handpick 200 pounds of cotton in a day was an accomplishment. At one time,
about age 14, I could pick 300 pounds in good cotton, meaning the time when the bolls were fully
opened and the field looked like snow had fallen in the 100-degree heat.

Probably the dirtiest work on a farm is harvesting peanuts the old- fashioned way. First came the
mule-drawn plow with a long sweep, a device that was attached to the plow and ran about six inches
under the ground to cut the deep roots and loosen the soil. Then we came along with pitchforks,
shaking the dirt off the peanut plants and placing them in
stacks to dry. Finally, about three weeks later, someone with a tractor and
a mechanical picker would move into the field and the stacks would be hauled to the picker, which
separated the nuts from the vines.

The leaves were blown away by a huge fan inside the peanut picker, but the heavier stems were made
into hay in a motor-driven compress. There were quite a few one-armed men in Southeast Alabama in
those days. A few had been injured in World War II. Most had been a little slow in feeding peanut
stems into a hay baler with their hands instead of the cut- off pitchfork many used.

Strangely enough, one of my earliest memories is of German
prisoners of war. I don’t know who paid them the 50 cents a day--I think it was--that the
government charged, but they came to work on our farm
at harvest time at least once. This must have been 1944 when I was a tow- headed kid and must have
reminded the prisoners of their own children or brothers back home. They couldn’t resist picking me
up and roughing up my hair with their fingers. They brought me gum and candy. I didn’t fully
understand what was happening, but I liked the attention of these big, young men who always seemed
happy, not at all like those pictures we’ve seen of war prisoners.

This was sharecropping in the truest sense. The landlord furnished the house--such as it
was--mules, equipment, seed and fertilizer. He also loaned Daddy $10 a week from planting time to
the harvest. Daddy and his boys furnished the labor.

The $10 went to buy staples--flour, salt, sugar, and the like, and in the
summer, the occasional loaf of “light bread,” sliced loaf bread as we know it today. Clothes were
bought only when the first bales of cotton were sold in the fall. They had to last until the next
fall. The same went for shoes, but that was not a big problem because we didn’t wear any between early April and late October.

Practically all our vegetables were grown in a garden and eaten fresh or canned. I’ll never
understand how my mother managed to weigh close to 200 pounds when she cooked the daily meals and
canned for the winter on a wood or kerosene stove on June, July, and August days in South Alabama.
When she died in 1967, she had never lived in an air- conditioned house.

Maybe it was the pork. Much of the family’s meat came from killing hogs we raised on the farm. When
I was following George Wallace through Massachusetts during his last presidential campaign in January
1976, he was speaking to a big crowd on an icy night--I think it was in Worcester--and said, “I
appreciate you coming out in this hog-killing weather.” I’m sure Wallace and I were the only ones
in the hall who appreciated the remark. People in Massachusetts apparently don’t know
that you kill hogs on the coldest day of the year to keep the meat from spoiling before you get it
to the smokehouse.

With no climatological training whatsoever, Will Bryant could pick out the coldest day of the late
fall and declare, “In the morning, boys, we’re going to kill the hogs.” We would be up by 4 a.m. and build a fire in a hole in the ground. The hole would be slanted. As the fire died down to coals, a barrel would be
inserted in the hole and filled with water. Then came the killing of the hogs with the broad side of an ax or, later, a .22 rifle. Their carcasses were placed in the barrel of hot water and thoroughly
scalded to soften the skin and facilitate the removal of the hair. Then they would be hung up on
the limb of a chinaberry tree and butchered.

Even sharecropper shacks had smokehouses nearby. The hams and shoulders were rolled in salt and
hung in the smokehouse. Most of the other cuts were ground into sausage, spices were added, and the
mixture was stuffed into the thoroughly cleaned chittlins’, the pork intestines that had been
hand-slung. The sausage then went to the smokehouse.

The pork skin, with a layer of fat attached, went into the black washpot with a fire underneath. From this came lard and cracklins’, the homemade version of pork skins that are sold as snacks today. Mother
used the cracklins’ to spice up cornbread and biscuits throughout the year.

Our reward for this day that began and ended in the dark usually came the next morning. It was the only time of the year that we feasted on fresh pork tenderloin for breakfast, as only Lola Bryant could cook it.

Pork was not our only meat. We always had chickens and a rooster, which resulted in one of the
meanest farm animals alive, a settin’ hen. A hen would sit on a dozen or so eggs to hatch them.
Nature didn’t bestow upon a hen much in the way of weapons, but a farm boy and a rooster
soon learned to stay away when she’s sitting on the eggs and right after they had hatched. The
ultimate result, though, was fried chicken, Sunday fare even when the preacher didn’t stop by.

Another meat was catfish. We always lived within walking distance of a creek, and the Bryant boys
were pretty good at catching a mess of catfish. We would head for the creek in the later afternoon and cut up to 50 green sticks about four feet long, always with a fork at one end. At the fork, we would attach a
piece of cord that held a hook and a lead weight. The other end of the stick was sharpened and
stuck into the creek bank right over a likely looking pool.

The hooks might be baited with pork liver or worms, whatever we could scrounge up. Our favorite
bait was salamanders we would catch under dead logs. For some reason I still don’t understand, we
called them “puppy dogs.”

Beginning soon after dark, using a kerosene lantern or flashlight, we would prowl the creek bank working the lines, usually returning to the campfire with a dozen or so catfish. Sometimes, we would go home about midnight, returning the next morning to get the last batch of fish and collect our lines. On pretty nights, we would just take an old quilt or two and sleep by the fire. We only dreamed of tents.

Until I was about nine years old, these fishing expeditions were led by my brother, Bob, while Don, Jim, and I cut sticks and caught “puppy dogs.” Then Bob joined the army and was among the first GIs to land in Korea, a place we had never heard of. He was wounded twice, severely the second time. The oldest brother, Max, had left home and sold insurance a while before joining the State Troopers. I never knew the second oldest, Rex, who died--I suspect from the lack of medical attention--during the Depression.

Bob, Don, and I still enjoy getting together for a weekend of fishing trot lines on the Alabama River north of Montgomery where Bob has a cabin. We still catch catfish, too, a lot of ‘em.

In the woods and fields around our various houses, there was always an abundance of squirrels and rabbits. Daddy had an old 12-gauge shotgun and as we grew older, we bought a single-shot .22 rifle with money made from helping other farmers in our spare time. With the exceptions of pork tenderloin, smother-fried squirrel or rabbit makes about as good a breakfast as anything, especially when you add tomato gravy, cracklin’ biscuits, and syrup we made from our cane patch.

When I was about 13 years old, a friend about the same age brought along a black kid on a
catfishing trip and opened my eyes to a problem I didn’t know existed. As we sat around the
campfire, I was describing some place that I don’t remember now. I remarked that it was close to a
certain “nigger house.” The other kids snickered. I honestly didn’t know I had said anything wrong.
But from that night on, I didn’t use the “n” word.

By modern standards or the standards of middle class Birmingham or Montgomery in the 1940s and
‘50s, we were poor and life was rough. I wore hand-me-downs, sometimes passed through two or three
older brothers. I was 15 when Bob and Jim, both on the Montgomery police force at the time, bought
a house for the family in Webb, about five miles east of Dothan. It was the first time we lived in
a house that had been painted, that had an indoor bath, a shower even. It was the first house with
anything other than a fireplace and a wood stove for heat.

We were poor, but no more so than most of our friends. Sure, some students in the various schools we attended were from well-to-do families, but they were the exception and we didn’t pay them much attention, nor they us. All in all, I think that one-eyed, half-breed sharecropper sleeps peacefully in a harsh land that
took so much out of him.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

I know you ALWAYS have too much on your plate but whenever you have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of HERITAGE TOURISM, please consider this suggestion. As you approach the publicity campaign for the opening of your new welcome center, please consider these ideas. Please find the time to visit the new LA POINTE-KREBS HOUSE museum in Pascagoula. It is an AWARD WINNER AND EVERY EXHIBIT COULD BE ADAPTED FOR D.I. Mobile is your target audience. Mobile might be the BIRTHPLACE OF LOUISIANA but D.I. was THE CRADLE! Also consider targeting the citizens of ORIGINAL DEEP SOUTH COMMUNITIES: Pensacola (three months older than D.I.), N.O. (founded in 1718 by about 60 D.I. men), Natchez, Biloxi,  St. Marks, FL, St. Augustine, FL, St. Marys, GA, Fernandina, FL and Brunswick/St. Simons Island, GA. REMEMBER, the first chapter in St. Louis history along with the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota history BEGIN ON D.I. and don't forget our French Canadian friends, especially Montreal and Quebec City along with the portions of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan which were originally a part of the old province of Louisiana, a country that is defined by A SINGLE GEOGRAPHICAL PLACE NAME: L'Isle Dauphine.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Questions as well as topics for discussion:

1) Does anyone you know have other Old Dutch photographs or memorabilia?

2) Do you remember any controversies like Sunday liquor sales?

3) Do you remember the midget-municipalities in 1953 like Dutchville?

4) What are your memories of your Dad's relationship with Holiday Inn?

5) Do you have any recollections of famous visitors(politicians, entertainers, sports figures, writers) to the nightclub or motel?

6) Are there any memorable employees who come to mind?

7) What's the craziest stuff that ever happened at the Old Dutch?

8) Are there any menus or do you have any recollections of the food served?

9) Do you remember any of the entertainers or how Mr. Stiles recruited talent?

10) The Old Dutch took out ads in the University of Alabama yearbook back in the mid-Sixties. Do you remember any other colleges that had a special relationship with the Old Dutch?

11) Do you remember any competition for the Old Dutch or how your Father responded to changes in his business?

12) Do you remember whether customers were allowed to have tabs or special considerations?

13) Do you recall any major changes in customs(music, fashion, dances, drugs, sexual revolution, etc) which you witnessed?

14) Do you remember any major repairs, remodeling or construction peculiarities related to the nightclub?


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

 A 2008 email to me from Al Kooper:
Thanks for your attempts with the Alabama curator BUT
his slight was not as glaring as Skynyrd's complete non-mention at
the R&R Hall of Fame.
My favorite slap-in-the-face was when Van Zant's widow got up
and thanked TOM DOWD for all the help he gave Ronnie before they
were famous. Dowd did not inherit producing Skynyrd til after the third
album - WAY AFTER Sweet Home & Freebird. I would venture to say that
in 1972, when I financed the band after their van got robbed
that Tom Dowd probably would have mispronounced their name if he
even read it BACK THEN....
Widow's Peak ?????

Unlike Rodney Dangerfield, I can live with this

Al Kooper

A few years ago, CMT aired a documentary on Southern Rock. Below you will find a list of the scenes devoted to Lynyrd Skynyrd. The difference between CMT's documentary & SOUTHERN ROCK PILGRIMAGE will be the focus will be upon the cities instead of the groups.

11] Funochio's

Al Kooper
Gary Rossington

12]elementary school baseball field
5300 Park St.

Van Zant Brothers

13] Robert E. Lee H.S.
1200 S. Mc Duff Ave.

[ed. note: I believe this should be the old address of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: 3614 Jackson Highway ]

Billy Powell
Ed King

somewhere outside of Jacksonville {need to get the address}

16] 3864 Oak Cliff Industrial Blvd.
Doraville, Ga.

17] 2600 Geneva Avenue
San Francisco, Ca.

Judy Van Zant

18] Lasalle Square
Providence, R.I.

some Carter guy

19] Lakeside Amusement Park
Lakeside Road

20] Amite County, MS


Actually from Doraville in Georgia (which is near Atlanta). ARS were another fine southern band who rarely troubled the UK. LARGE TIME, the opening track from seventh album CHAMPAGNE JAM, shied away from their radio friendly sheen to pack a serious Confederate punch, referencing their southern credentials in its lyrics
'We played Macon, Georgia with Lynyrd Skynyrd, it was a rock 'n roll hoedown/ Van Zant let that Free Bird fly, don't you know he wasn't foolin' around'.


From: "Al Kooper"
Subject: Re: Hey, AL Kooper: After Reading Dean & Nix , Check Out The Stuff On Randy Lewis of MOSE JONES
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 02:45:18 -0400
To: "robert register"

The Mose Jones story took a totally bizarre turn in 2001.
When Randy
was dying in Florida, Bryan Cole and Jimmy O Neil who lived in Atlanta,
went down to pay their last respects to Randy in FL. Upon their return,
they BOTH were admitted to the hospital in serious condition with two
different ailments.
Jimmy O Neil (guitar-MOSE JONES) passed away after
a week in the hospital. Bryan Cole (drums-MOSE JONES) lost a leg but
pulled through and lives today. You couldn't find two sweeter guys in
the world. Steve McRay (keys-MOSE JONES) is the only one who hasn't
been sidelined by this weird Mose Jones "curse", but he was NOT
actually an original member. He replaced Clay Watkins, who decided drug
dealing was more important at the time. He died shortly after making
that decision.
If you couple this with Skynyrd's life losses (Ronnie
Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Allen Collins, Cassie Gaines,
Leon Wilkerson) and the tough fight I myself had in 2001 (lost 2/3 of
my sight and had unrelated brain surgery) you must surely give some
creedence to a SOUNDS OF THE SOUTH curse of some sort.......
Cole, McRay
and Kooper live on nonetheless ( far)
- Al Kooper






RENEGADE ROBERT NIX!!!!......... om

Monday, July 03, 2017

Barbara Ennis Connolly
Dad/Ed Ennis
57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher,319th & 321st BG Historian,
Men of the 57th Gallery/Albums,  

Earl's page