Thursday, August 9, 2012


Next Meeting - Sunday, September 9th - 2nd Sunday


We will use our meeting this month to finalize plans for our record show which is days away.  We still need volunteers to work the door, work at the refreshment counter, work on Friday setting up, and work at the door Friday checking in the dealers and club members.  Be sure to sign up for one of these areas.  Don't forget that Friday is for BRC members and the 2012 dealers only.

Also, Sunday we will watch the 2nd part of the PBS History of Rock and Roll video.  Some good interviews are a part of this video along with some interesting facts about the beginnings of the rock era.


Our annual record & CD show is HERE.  Next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 18th-19th, buyers and dealers from all across the U. S. will descend upon Birmingham to buy and sell records, CD's, and memorabilia.  This year we will have 100 tables, a full house of dealers with these items for customers to come and browse through.  We are all looking forward to it.

Be sure to sign up to volunteer for one or more of the many opportunities there will be to help.  This will be the largest show BRC has ever had and we will be needing all the help we can get.

Our Hall Of Fame this year will be inducting singer, songwriter, musician, and promoter  Bunky Anderson and a band that has been performing since the 60's, The Ramblers.  Read their bios in this newsletter.

One change in this year's show is that BRC members will have to pay for the hotdogs, chips, drinks, etc they get at the refreshment counter.  In the past we didn't charge but with all the increased cost of things the officers decided this was a needed change.  Thanks for your understanding of the situation.



Born in 1947, Bunky Anderson was like so many of the other boys growing up during this era. He attended church, went to school, and enjoyed playing baseball. It was in the mid-sixties that Bunky discovered a whole new piece of the puzzle for his life – a love for music. It was at this time that he heard artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and James Brown.

Birmingham had many venues that provided music including school dances, dances at local armories, band concerts, movies, night clubs, and bands playing anywhere that a proprietor would have them. And Bunky was right there. About this time he became best friends with Bobby Marlin, the drummer for a local band called The Counts. Together the two would go wherever the music was - mostly going to local night spots such as the Five O’clock Club, Charlie Brown's Lounge, the Boom Boom Room, the Gaslight Lounge, the In-Club, and the Cain Break. Bunky also spent time chasing the latest record releases at Rumore’s Record Rack, the Psychedelic Shack, and even Sears where he bought his first Beatles record.

It was not until after finishing high school at Ensley that Bucky became serious about the drums and would soon begin his career as a drummer in bands. Touring for a year with the Malibu’s opened up the world of the music industry for Bunky. This began a career that has lasted for over 40 years in the business. During that time he has been a part of many bands - some for a few shows, others for many shows. The list includes such local bands as the Daze of the Weak, the Distortions, Freda Wallace, and the American Cyrkus. Nationally Bunky has performed with Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Oliver, the Swingin' Medallions, the Drifters, the Tams, the Box Tops, the Classics Four, and the Allman Brothers.

Bunky's next stop was in 1970 when he made his best deal ever – his wife, Vicki. In 1971 his first son, Wolfe, was born and so was his next career move. He founded Southeastern Attractions - SEA. Over the next 20 years, he and his business partner, Barbara Hallerman, ran what Bunky called the best minor-league booking agency ever formed. Southeastern Attractions provided bands for fraternity/sorority shows, high school proms, bars, country clubs, and anywhere else that would hire bands to play for their parties. Bunky was there in the beginning to book such acts as Poo Nanny, the Commodores, ZZ Top, the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Oak Arkansas, Wet Willie, the Grass Roots, Bob Seger, the Amboy Dukes, and Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds. SEA also booked hundreds of part-time cover bands.
In 1990 he sold SEA and began playing again with the Big Chill, Topper Price and the Upsetters, and pick-up jobs and sessions. He also enjoyed an every-other-year deal with Johnny Sandlin to produce records for artists that included Gregg Allman, Pinetop Perkins, and Jimmy Hall, for which he won a Nammy Award.

Over the years a lot has changed but probably more has remained the same. Bunky is still enjoying his best deal - being married to Vicki and, along with their 2 sons, Wolfe and Saylor, still lives in Birmingham. He is still in the music business although in a different way. He owns a backline company that provides gear for everyone from Aretha Franklin and the Blind Boys of Alabama to rockers like Everclear and the Flaming Lips. So even though he may not be playing music himself, he enables others to make music, and that interest has never and will never change.


In 1961 the guitar playing Terrell brothers were in high school and found an 8th grade drummer, Johnny Robinson to play rock and roll music. It was decided that the eldest brother, Eddie would play bass and Tommy would play rhythm guitar. They practiced in Johnny’s garage. Johnny’s father had a Rambler automobile. Since a lot of bands in the 60’s used automobile names, the Terrell brothers and Robinson became  The Ramblers.

The threesome played a few performances and soon realized they needed to add a lead guitarist. A classmate of the Terrell’s, Van Veenschoten took that roll. The group played for local high school sororities, fraternities and dances.  When Eddie Terrell received a tennis scholarship from the University of Alabama, the band was in need of a new bass player. Chris Convey, another high school classmate of the Terrell’s, joined The Ramblers as the new bass player.

In 1962, The Ramblers were working regularly on weekends around Birmingham and recorded their first record, ‘Stop That Twisting’ and ‘Hundred Miles Away’. The recording was done at Ed Boutwell’s Recording Studio in English Village, up the street from Johnny’s house. Duke Rumore played ‘Hundred Miles Away’ regularly and added The Ramblers to the “Top 50” play list on WYDE from December 19, 1962 through January 8 1963. The band also performed at “Duke’s of Dixieland” sox hops at the Ensley National Guard Amory. This was Duke Rumore’s weekend dance party for high school students. The admission was fifty cents and the band was paid sixty dollars for three hours.    

Later that year, Chip Sanders joined the band as the piano player. This group, Tommy, Johnny, Van, Chris and Chip became the nucleus for the group that would become know
as “the party band” to hire for your dance.  Rehearsing in Johnny’s garage, learning new songs off the radio, gave The Ramblers the real feel of being a true garage band.

By 1965 the band was working primarily at fraternity and sorority parties around the southeast. Tommy, Chip and Chris were at the University of Alabama and members of Pi Kappa Alpha. Van was at Samford and Johnny at The University of Montevallo. In 1967, the group recorded their second record, ‘Come Back, Come Back’ and ‘Whole Lot of Woman’, also recorded at Boutwell Studios. Both songs were written by Chip Sanders. ‘Come Back, Come Back’ received moderate air play in the south. Also during this time, Ed Boutwell used the Ramblers as back up musicians for singers recording at his studios.

The Ramblers were the first band to play at Dave Roddy’s (WSGN) Airport Armory sock hop and made many more appearances over the years including backing up Bobby Goldsboro and Billy Joe Royal.

In 1968, a 16 year old Vicki Hallman joined the Ramblers. Playing covers of Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt and other popular female vocalist added to the popularity of the band. Working 35 out of 50 weekends a year was common. Vicki later became a back up singer for The Buck Owens Band and was a regular on Hee Haw for 9 years in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

As the sixties came to a close, the pressures of being married, raising children, and “real careers” began to take the place of the weekend performances. Johnny said “I don’t remember the band really breaking up. We played our last band job in the summer of 1971. Then we just did not get any more calls. The band members just drifted apart.”

Van Veenschoten was killed in motorcycle accidence in 1972.  He left a wife and a four year old son. The rest of The Ramblers spent the seventies raising families, working and reminiscing about the glory days of the sixties.

In the summer of 1979, Johnny’s mother died and the Terrell brothers came to the funeral. Johnny had not seen the Terrell’s in years, but as they talked, the idea of getting the band back together developed. Jim Buford was brought in to take Van’s place as the lead guitarist and John Livingston was added to play keyboards when Chip was not available. Chip had moved to Jackson, Mississippi and travel became an issue. Eddie Terrell was brought back because Chris had moved to Florida. The band rehearsed for a few months and played their first job with the new members in October 1979. The music was good, the people danced and the band was back.

For the next 33 years, The Ramblers performed around the Southeast for hundreds of dance parties and events. Today in 2012 the group is still together playing music for the teenagers of the sixties.  

"Stop That Twisting"
 "Hundred Miles Away"
"Come Back, Come Back"
                 "Whole Lot Of Woman"              

Howard Baer

Well, the temperature is consistently at 100 degrees so that can only mean one thing:  football season is here again.  How ironic is it that the ideal cool weather outdoor sport is now played 90% of the time in ear unbearable heat??

As promised, here is a brief history of our state’s 2 major universities fight songs.  I’m going to try to be as objective as possible and what I say about the fight songs has nothing to do with how I feel about the university or the football team in particular.

Let me start by saying as an aficionado of college marches and fight songs that I think both ‘Yea Alabama’ and ‘War Eagle’ are well above average.  Not in the top five but maybe tied for about tenth.  It’s complicated by the fact that many of the great old fight songs and marches are from schools that either don’t play football at all anymore or play it at a level much lower than Division 1.

First, 'Yea Alabama'.  It was written by a student named Ethelred Sykes (a male) in 1926.  Like so many of the great fight songs it was written after an historic victory – the Tide’s stunning Rose Bowl victory in 1926 over heavily favored Washington that put Alabama and southern football on the national map.

There are 2 basic recordings of the song.  One is all instrumental with no vocal and begins with the chiming of the bells at Denny Chimes.  A nice touch.  The one with the vocal dates from the 1930’s and was done in the Big Band swing-jazz style of the time with a mixed female-male chorus.  Most avid Bama fans today will be shocked to learn that they actually get the very first line wrong when they sing it today.  The first line is not “Yea Alabama, Crimson Tide” as everyone sings it today but “Yea Alabama, DROWN ‘em Tide” in keeping with the water aspect of Tide and entire song.  There is one line near the end that’s ingenious, but very difficult to decipher.  It starts out easily enough:  “If a man starts to weaken, that’s his shame!”  Then the difficult line reads like this:  “For Bama’s pluck and grit have writ her name in Crimson flame.”  Difficult to understand, but very clever.  I like the way the song moves briskly along.

Now, ‘War Eagle’.  Until 1954 Auburn did not have a specific fight song of its own.  The band would play either the generic ‘Battle Hymn of the republic’ phrase ‘Glory, Glory to old Auburn’ (but a lot of schools used that and inserted their own name) or just ‘Dixie’.  But 1954, when it was obvious new coach Ralph (Shug) Jordan was going to lead Auburn back to national prominence (they would go undefeated and have a perfect 10-0 season in 1957) the powers that be at Auburn decided the school needed a specific fight song.  They commissioned two professional songwriters from New York (whose names I’ve lost) to come up with an original fight song and they came up with ‘War Eagle’.  There is no mention of Tigers in the song, all the emphasis is on the Eagle.  I think they did a good job.  The song was recorded by a male glee club chorus in the typical mid 50’s male glee club style of the time.  It’s interesting that a slight edit had to be made near the end of the song.  The original lines ‘Give ‘em Hell, give ‘em Hell’ (still heard on some early pressings) was considered unsuitable for radio play in the Bible belt and the now more familiar lines ‘Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em low’ was substituted.  But the original lines read ‘Give ‘em Hell’.  Another interesting aspect was that the song that is so beloved by Auburn fans originally got very lukewarm reception according to press reports when it was introduced in 1954.

In listening to a lot of the old fight songs and marches today (in research for this article); I’m convinced we are in many ways more puritanical than our grandparents and their ancestors.  Almost all of the old fight songs and marches contained very specific references to drinking and alcohol.  Perhaps this is because the antecedents of many of the old football marches are the European drinking songs of the 19th century.  But it is kind of ironic (and hypocritical) that a 20 year old player getting arrested for drinking is a major scandal today, when the old fight songs are chock full of references to drinking and alcohol.  ‘Anchors Aweigh’, the great old official song of the U. S. Naval Academy is all about drinking.  ‘I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck’, the Georgia tech fight song, contains the famous line, “like every southern fellow, I drink my whiskey clear”, and the entire verse is about how a good engineer from Georgia tech, if he had the proper ingredients in the right amount, could make his own great whiskey!!  Was this song written during prohibition??

It’s too bad Tulane has been down, football-wise, for so long because they have a great fight song – ‘The Olive and the Blue’.  And in the 1950’s and early 60’s many high schools used the old ‘Washington and Lee Swing’ as their fight song.  Anybody over 60 would remember it once they heard it – it’s outstanding.

Finally, is there a heart so cold who doesn’t get misty-eyed when they hear the Cornell alma mater – ‘Far Above Cayuga’s Waters’?  Again, many high schools and universities adapted the basic tune for their own alma mater, but if you ever get a chance to hear a good chorus recording of the original, with the lyrics pertaining to Cornell, do so.  It is superb.  Like so many of the great old rock ‘n’ roll rhythm & blues recordings of the early 50’s and early 60’s, they just don’t make them like that anymore.



********At the October BRC meeting our special guest will be Don Keith, former WVOK DJ and radio personality.  Don was in the radio business when music was changing fast and furious and will have all sorts of good info and stories to share with us.  Be there and hear what Don has to share with us.

The Ramblers and The Bassmen will be performing at Workplay on Saturday, August 18th starting at 7:00 PM.  For tickets go to or stop by Workplay - 500 23rd St South.  205-879-4773.  Join us on Sunday the 19th at the Birmingham Record Collectors Record & CD Show as The Ramblers are inducted into the BRC Music Hall of Fame.  2:00 at the Cedars Club.  301 Green Springs Ave South.


Birmingham, AL - BRC 28th Annual Record & CD Show.  Saturday & Sunday Aug 18 - 19.  Cedars Club.  301 Green Springs Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35205. 9 AM - 5 PM Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM Sunday.  $3.  Friday, the 17th, is set aside for BRC members and our 2012 dealers only.

Allentown, PA - 27th semi-annual 45 & 78 RPM only show.  Saturday Oct 6.  Merchants Square Mall.  1901 S. 12th St.  Allentown PA, 18103.  10AM - 4PM.  $3.  610-530-7606.  8AM early admission, $10.

Allentown, PA - Lehigh Valley Music Expo.  Merchants Square Mall.  1901 S. 12th St.  Allentown, PA 18103.  9AM - 4PM.  $3.  610-530-7606.

Austin, TX - Fall 2012 Austin Record Convention.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Oct 26 - 28.  North Austin Event Center.  10601 N. Lamar (formerly Crockett Center).  10 AM - 6 PM Fri & Sat. 10 AM - 5 PM Sunday.  $5 admission. Friday is early admission only for $25 .  This covers everyday.  Saturday early admission begins at 8AM.  512-288-7288.

***New record shop in town.  Club members Ray Edwards and Jack Wilson are opening a record shop in Gardendale called Birmingham Records.  The Grand Opening is Monday, July 2.  The address is 1103 Main Street - Gardendale, AL 35071.  Open Monday - Saturday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM.  205-837-0596.  Drop by and see the guys and see if they happen to have that hard to find record you have been looking for.  Good luck, guys.

The Renowns
'My Mind's Made Up'

See ya,


Message 2 of 1484

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