Monday, April 16, 2018

I'm so glad to report that because of the hard work of Sallie Sprayberry King, all of the 39 KNOWN deceased members of DOTHAN HIGH SENIORS '68 now have entries on my blog; most of which include their senior portrait and comments from the Gargoyle. All of these images will be used to make a slide show which will be shown Saturday night accompanied by music from the LP the DHS Band produced our senior year. Special thanks go out to Theresa Dauphin for digitizing the band's LP.  I've included a Lanier football photo of Scott Gellerstedt and I hope to either get his '66 Gargoyle picture or his senior picture from the Lanier annual before Saturday night. Other improvements we could make would be to have a new scan of Roy Nelson's Gargoyle picture, Mike Sudge's '66 or '67 Gargoyle picture and Jackie Taylor's 1968 Gargoyle comment and picture. This project has produced some tremendous emotions due to the fact that I knew almost all of the 39 plus I was lifelong friends with seven of them. I plan to raise a glass to them all Saturday night @ the country club.

Friday, April 13, 2018

This album of scans from the Gargoyle represents ALL of the Gargoyle images I can provide for both the CLASS OF '68 slide show AND the MEMORIAL slide show (right now there won't be no MEMORIAL slide show if I don't get some help) I've made a list of 37 DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE DHS CLASS OF '68. Please read over it and make any corrections. The only way I can put together a slide show from their Gargoyle pictures is for SOMEONE ELSE to scan the Gargoyle and get them ready for the Web. I can give ANYONE permission to edit my Google-slide program so putting the images into a slide show is easy as pie. Waaaaay easier than e-mail. I also don't have any of the images that were on the DVD passed out at the 40th Reunion. I need someone to share with me any of those y'all want to see. I have OVER 400 excellent images pertaining to our lives in Dothan during '67 and '68 so , with what I've got RIGHT NOW, I can produce a 70 minute slide show with each image showing for a 10 second interval. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SENT ME IMAGES! My email address is I'll probably be sharing my progress on the slide show by about Sunday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

 PIECES OF EIGHT feature from SOUTHERN GARAGE BANDS (includes a picture of the bus with a girl waving from behind the windshield. IS THAT YOU?)


personnel history of the PIECES OF EIGHT

The Villagers were the opening act for THE PIECES OF EIGHT @ THE RED ROOSTER during the summer of '69

The Early Times out of Troy State played @ THE RED ROOSTER

About half way down this HEEEY BABY DAYS blog page, a discussion about Pieces of Eight personnel changes occurs between Greg Haynes and former P.O.E. member Frank Rountree.

The original Villagers broke up in the fall of '69 after a gig at BAMA

This is Bruce Hopper's reminiscences of Omen and Their Luv. They played the Red Rooster when it was called The Cork and Bottle Club. Bruce is an old Tuscaloosa friend of mine.

A 2004 discussion between Greg Haynes and myself about the origin of THE PIECES OF EIGHT. (two members from THE MEDALLIONS, six members from THE TASSLES)


"robert register"

Re: You Right. I Wrong.

Tue, 20 Jul 2004 11:43:14 -0400


Quote from "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music": "You can't always
believe what you read or find on the Internet, but if it's in 'The Heeey
Baby Days of Beach Music'it's probably true." Thanks to many of your
fellow Alabamans, the story of the era of R&B and the "party" in the South
in the 60's is being told factually and with a little color.
Contributors to the book whose bands were prominent in Alabama and who have
written narratives for the book or have provided substantial quotes include
John Wyker, John Townsend, (Rubber Band) Cliff Ellis (Villagers) Tommy
Mann (K-Otics) Marvin Taylor (K-Otics)
Bobby Dupree ( Rockin'
Jimmy Dean (James Gang) Wilbur Walton (James Gang) Rodney Justo (
plus Buddy Buie, Bill J. Moody, Tiger Jack Garrett, and Dave
Roddy and others. We have been given great material for use as well by
the Tyn Tymes, The Bleus, The Inn, and others. The input from Alabama
for "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music" has been tremendous. We always
considered when it came to Beach Music, there were two coasts: The East
Coast and the Gulf Coast. One of the book's largest chapters is titled
"The Party at P.C." The section of the book that deals with the bands
is generally found in the chapter with other bands from the same state
but we include the Swingin' Medallions with the bands from Alabama
because of their close identification with the state in their break out
years. A noted Beach Music historian,Chris Beachley, from Charlotte, quoted in the book: "The Medallions did not come around here that
often in the mid 60's."
We responded in the book: "The Swingin' Medallions
were under house arrest in the state of Alabama in the mid 60's and
were not allowed to leave the state under the party was over."
Regarding the great showman,Charlie Webber, he was the consummate cutup
with a flair for entertaining. He and guitarist, Jimbo Doares, worked
in tandem to create hilarity. His work on "Along Came Jones" was worth
the price of admission. Charlie by virtue of being on the Double Shot is
considered an Original Swingin' Medallion but did not actually join the
group until 1965. The band was founded by John McElrath and Joe Morris
and the first SIX members were John, Joe, Carroll Bledsoe, Steve
Caldwell, Brent Fortson, and Cubby Culbertson
. Cubby was the first to leave
the Original Six and was replaced by Perrin Gleaton at guitar. The
Medallions then expanded to EIGHT with the addition of two more horn players
bringing the number of horns in the Eight man group to FIVE. Those
added horn players were Fred Pugh (Sax) and Rick Godwin(Trumpet)In 1965,
Gleaton, Pugh, and Godwin
left and were replaced by Charlie Webber, Jimbo
Doares, and Jimmy Perkins.
It was these EIGHT ( McElarth, Morris,
Bledsoe, Fortson, Caldwell, Perkins, Doares,& Webber
)who recorded Double Shot and are considered the original band. In 1967, Fortson and Caldwell
left and joined with a group from Raleigh, N.C. called The Tassles.
These talented performers consisting on Carlie Barbour (Guitar), Jim
Baumgartner (Bass) Mark Wrenn (Sax)Irvin Hicks (Drums) Wally Woods
(Keyboards) and Ken Helser (Trumpet and lead Vocalist)along with Fortson and
Caldwell were the Original Pieces of Eight.
It was very simple math:Two Medallions plus Six Tassles equal the
Pieces of Eight.
Meanwhile; the remaining Six Original Swingin' Medallions
got two more great saxophonists, Hack Bartley and Johnny Cox, and kept
right on SYWITUP
(Screaming, Yelling, and Whooping it Up). The rest of the story is in
the book.

So, Roberto, that's the skinny...and I am sticking to my story unless
someone comes up with a better one.


Greg Haynes
author of "The Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music"

> From: robert register <>
> Date: 2004/07/20 Tue AM 09:45:48 EDT
> To:
> Subject: You Right. I Wrong.
> Greg:
> I ran into Charlie's obit while I was looking for Steve Caldwell.
That's how I mixed up on the founding member of Pieces of Eight but
doesn't the obit say that Charlie was a founding member of Pieces of
> With your help, I'll straighten evahthang out dis evening.
> 'preciate it.
> robert

Monday, July 19, 2004

JANUARY 17, 2003
Swingin' Medallions' founding member turned SLED agent Charlie Webber dies of cancer at age 58

GREENWOOD, SC (AP) - Charlie Webber, who played saxophone for the Swingin' Medallions at the time of the band's 1966 hit "Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)," has died. He was 58.

Webber died of cancer at his Greenwood home Friday, Jan. 17, 2003.

An original member of the Swingin' Medallions, Webber left the group in 1969 for a career in law enforcement. He worked for a sheriff's office before he joined the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in 1978.

Webber was a senior agent with SLED's Fugitive Task Force when he received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, in November, 2002.

John McElrath, who has been with the Swingin' Medallions since
the early '60s, said the band was thinking about Webber when
they played at Gov. Mark Sanford's inauguration barbecue
Wednesday night.

"I had talked with his wife, Vicki, that morning and knew he
wasn't doing too well," McElrath said.


Charlie Webber, trumpet player (the AP erroneously said he played sax) and original member of The Swingin' Medallions passed away Jan 17th, 2003, from cancer at his home in Greenwood, SC. He was 58. Charlie was an integral part of the band's reputation as a "party band" and was their resident "cut-up".

He is the second member of the group, who recorded "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love), to pass away recently. Steve Caldwell, saxophone player, passed away 11 days short of one year prior to Webber's death.

Webber was also a co-founder of the band "Pieces of Eight" who recorded "Lonely Drifter", another beach music classic hit.


Charles D. Webber, 58, of 715 W. Deadfall Road, husband of Victoria Capps Webber, died Friday, Jan. 17, 2003 at his home.
Born in Kingstree, he was a son of Louise Easler Webber and the late Carlisle L. Webber.

A resident of Greenwood since 1950, he graduated from Greenwood High School and Lander College and attended Clemson College. He was employed by The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and was an original member of the Swingin' Medallions.

In November 2002, he received the Order of the Palmetto. He was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Survivors include his wife of the home; his mother of Greenwood; a son, Charles Carlisle Webber and a daughter, Amanda Kathryn Webber, both of the home; two brothers, James C. Webber of Heathsville, Va., and Thomas Michael Webber of Anderson.
Services are 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003, at Main Street United Methodist Church. The body will be placed in the church at 2 p.m. A private family burial is in Oakbrook Memorial Park.

Pallbearers are James William Webber, Robert Edward Webber, William “Bubba” Easler, William David Webber, Marty Easler and Chuck Easler. Visitation is 5-8 Jan. 18, 2003, at Blyth Funeral Home. The family is at the home.

Memorials may be made to the Lander Foundation for the Criminal Justice Program. 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649. Blyth Funeral Home is in charge.

(back row left to right) *Charlie Webber-trumpet, vocals *Steve Caldwell-saxophone, vocals *Jimmy Perkins-saxophone, bass guitar, vocals *John McElrath-keyboards, vocals *Carroll Bledsoe-trumpet,vocals *Jim Doares-guitar, vocals (front row) *Brent Fortson-saxophone, flute, vocals *Joe Morris-drums, vocals

When Steve Caldwell and Brent Fortson formed the Pieces of Eight in 1967, they were replaced by Hack Bartley and Johnny Cox. Grainger (Brother) Hines was added to the band in late 1967, when Michael Huey became the Drummer

Lewis Grizzard wrote in a 1993 article that, "Even today, when I hear the Swingin' Medallions sing "Double Shot of My Baby's Love", , it makes me want to stand outside in the hot sun with a milkshake cup full of beer in one hand and a slightly-drenched nineteen-year-old coed in the other."

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The name of my history blog has been changed to DAUPHIN ISLAND: AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC GULF ISLAND. I have posted 24 new photographs of scenes from Washington, D.C. which are directly related Dauphin Island's incredibly colorful cultural heritage. Please check it out @

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The next time you take the Ft. Morgan ferry, please keep in mind that somewhere on the bottom of the bay between Dauphin Island and the Ft. Morgan Peninsula rests the prototype for the first successful combat submarine in all human history, AMERICAN DIVER. The life the man who designed and supervised the construction of that submarine along with the HUNLEY in a machine shop which still stands on Water Street, Mobilian James McClintock, is one of the most amazing stories of all the extraordinary tales associated with the mouth of the bay over the past three centuries.

James McClintock, engineer and designer of AMERICAN DIVER




Thursday, October 29, 2015

DAUPHIN ISLAND DURING WWII: The entrance to Mobile Bay acted as a safe haven for Allied convoys sailing through the German submarine infested waters of the Gulf of Mexico during WWII. The following quote comes from a speech made by Lieutenant Commander Harry L. Hargrove, U.S.C.G. Temporary Reserve and President of the Mobile Bay Bar Pilots Association. The occasion for the speech was the decommissioning ceremonies for the Mobile Bar Pilot vessels which had served the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII.

"Our pilots have magnificently performed their arduous duties and have shared substantially in achieving victory. They have done their full share in that enormous nationwide job, handling, during 1944, 120,000 assignments to bring our ships safely into dock and guide them out to sea again, under the most adverse conditions. During the height of the submarine menace in 1942 and 1943, the channel lights were dimmed and other wartime precautions—common to all ports-were observed in Mobile. This meant a double load of risk and responsibility for our pilots. Our harbor, with its narrow channel, is becoming more crowded with returning ships each day. Our great and steadily increasing problem is what to do with the ships. We are often at a loss to find docking space for the big vessels that continue to arrive at this port since the end of the war, at a rapid rate."

One of these Mobile bay pilot boats which served as a U.S. Coast Guard ship during WWII, the 90 foot 2-masted schooner ALABAMA, still sails out of the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This is a letter that the man who first raised the American flag over present-day Alabama in 1799 wrote to the Secretary of War appealing for some sort of pension after he was involuntarily retired from the U.S. Army after the end of THE WAR OF 1812. As far as I know, I am the first person who ever either transcribed this letter or put it on the Internet.During the War of 1812, the American fort at Mobile Point on the eastern side of the mouth of Mobile Bay was called Fort Bowyer. It was named after the U.S. Army officer who built it, Lieutenant Colonel John Bowyer. For some unknown reason, when Fort Bowyer was rebuilt after that war, the renovated structure was renamed Fort Morgan after Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan. James Parton, the author of LIFE OF ANDREW JACKSON (1861) wrote "the fortification will be known to posterity as Fort Bowyer, though the name has since been most unpatriotically and immorally changed to Fort Morgan."

In support of this sentiment, I offer you the following transcription of a letter Lieutenant Colonel Bowyer sent the Secretary of War after he was discharged from the military service in 1815. This letter summarizes Bowyer's military career in which he participated in all the major events that occurred in the Gulf South between his arrival in 1797 until his departure in 1814. Of the many reasons to remember Colonel Bowyer, all citizens of Alabama should know that as head of surveyor Andrew Ellicott's military escort, Bowyer was among the men who raised the first American flag on present-day Alabama soil in the spring of 1799. 

[ed. note: This endorsement by the Secretary of War is found on the outside of Colonel Bowyer's letter.]
"Washington City, 19 June, 1814, Col. John Bowyer, giving a brief narrative of his military services during the term of 23 years and requesting the attention of the Secretary to his peculiar situation."
                                                                                      Washington June 19th, 1815
    I am sorry to be obliged to intrude my personal concerns, on your attention, but I hope the occasion may excuse me.
         Having given the prime of my life, to the military service of our country, and abandoned every other pursuit of fortune; By the late reduction of the Army, find myself deprived of my hard earned substinance and thrown upon the world to struggle for the means of life at a time when the vigour of youth has relapsed and age with its infirmities begins to stare me in the face.

          Thus circumstanced I have no prospects of relief but from that community which has profited by the days, and nights, and years of toils, perils and watchings which I have devoted to them, without any other consideration than a bare maintenance and as the organ of their will and disposer of their bounties- I hope I do not take an improper direction in submitting to your consideration the following brief summary of my services, on which my claims for some official provision are founded.

           I was appointed a Lieutenant in the army of the U States by General Washington on the 5th March 1792, and joined the Army, under Major General Wayne at Cincinnati on the 20th May following, marched in October with the Army and went into cantonement at Greenville, where I wintered, being imployed in Scouting and conveying provisions from the Ohio, through a wilderness of sixty six miles- In the campaign 1794 I served in Capt. Howell Lewis' company of light Infantry and was in the advance of the army on the 20th August, when a General action was faught and a decisive victory gained over the Indians; and the company to which I belonged received the thanks of the commander in Chief- The campaign being finished, serveral out posts were established, and I wintered with the main body of the troops at Greenville- A peace was made with the Indians the ensuing Summer, and in the fall General Wayne returned to Philadelphia, leaving the command of the Army with Major General Wilkinson- I remained at the position until the Spring 1796 exposed during the whole time, winter, and summer, so the most arduous duties, conveying and boating provisions and military stores up the Big Miami, across the Portage to the St. Mary's and down that river, to the Miami of the lakes, the the neighborhood of the British port on the Miami. General Wilkinson having settled the time for the delivery of the post with the British commandant at Detroit I marched with the advance and relieved the British Garrison at that place in July 1796.
In the Spring 1797 I was ordered with a detachment to take post at Natchez, where I continued encamped near the Spanish Fort, until the 7th of October- When General Wilkinson who arrived the 5th descended with the Troops, and took post at Loftises heights, since Fort Adams, near the line of demarcation-From this encampment I was ordered by General Wilkinson  to take command of the detachment which accompanied the Commissioners of limits, marched on the 22nd of October and joined Mr. Elicote on the 24th at the Head of Thompson's creek- On this service I continued until the first of May 1800 during which period I marched for the Mississippi to the mouth of the St. Marys;-the national boundary being established; I remained at Point Peter without orders until the 22nd of October, when I was remanded by Colonel Gaither to the Mississippi; I again crossed the Wilderness, and arrived at Fort Adams in Company with Colonel Gaither on the 3rd February 1801- I remained here until the 6th July 1802 when I was, again ordered with my Company as an escort to the Commissioner, General Wilkinson, for Exploring and running a partition line between the Choctaw Indians, and the settlements on the Tombigby- This laborious work was compleated in the Beginning of October the same year- Then I was ordered into Cantonement at Fort St. Stephens, I remained their until December the same year-When I was ordered by General Wilkinson with my Company to repair to New Orleans, which had been ceded by the French Republick to the U States, And I arrived at that place in January 1804- Where I went into quarters,- On the 6th of Sept 1804 I was ordered to take post in the Appalucias as Civil and Milatary Commandant of that District and the Attacaupus- I continued on this station until the 16th July 1806 when I received an order from Colonel Cushing to March with my Company to oppose the Spaniards near Natchitoches, And reached that post the 28th July  
Here I was ordered to a position in advance- Genl. Wilkinson arrived and took command of the Troops about the 22nd Sept and Imediately ordered me to advance with my Company to the Arroyo Hundo and take position on the East bank- A Few days after I was ordered with a Detachment of Regulars and Mounted Volunteers to advance to the Adus(ed. note:?) 21 Miles and make a depot for Provisions and stores; on the 24th of October   General Wilkinson arrived at Adus with the Troops, halted one day, and on the 26th advanced toward the Sabine the left bank of which we reached about the 1st of November and found the Spaniards Encamped on the oposite side- the difficulties between the two Generals being settled the Troops marched back to Nathcitoches, ad the 5th of Nov  And about the 22nd Embarked for New Orleans, and arrived there about the 12th of December, where I went into quarters and past the winter, on the 20th of May 1807 I Imbarked with the 2nd Regt. to which I belonged, Commanded by Colonel Cushing, ascended the River to Fort Adams, and Erected a cantonement for the troops, about five miles in rear of it. At this place I continued on duty until June 1810, when the Regt moved up the River to the vicinity of Washington, Mississippi Territory, under the orders of Brig. Genl. Hampton- where we again formed a cantonement under my particular orders, as Maj. commanding the Corps- About the 4th of December, I received orders from Col. Covington,  then commanding the District to march to Baton Rouge, which was at that time in possession of the Insurgents of West Florida, where I arrived about the 6th and took possession of this place where I remained until the 5th of March 1811. When I was ordered to Fort Stoddert by Genl. Hampton to take command of the 2nd Regt. Colonel Cushens and Lieut. Colonel Sparks, Both being in arrest, which I did not reach until the 22nd of May, being detained as a member of a General Court Martial- on the 17th Nov,- I left Fort Stoddert by order to attend as a witness, at Colonel Cushens court martial at Baton Rouge- And returned the following month to my Command- In the month of March 1812, I was again ordered to attend that Courts and after the trial was finished in May, returned again to Fort Stoddert- On the 6th of August I was ordered by Genl. Wilkinson to repair to New Orleans, where I arrived about the 12th, and having received particular Instructions, for my Conduct in relation to the Spaniards, as well as the Enemy, I embarked at the bayou St. Johns the 6th of Sept with a light train of Artillery and Munitions of War, of which we had been destitute at Fort Stoddert- But owing to adverce windis, and the vessels of the Enemy, I did not get back to  my station, until 26th of October- On the 6th of April 1813, I was directed to take a position on the East of Mobile Bay with my Reg., and a body of Volunteers, Mounted and on foot, under Instructions from Genl. Wilkinson to Cut off all communications between Mobile and Pensacola-after the reduction of Fort  Charlotte, he marched the 2nd of May. About which time I received my promotion with orders from the War Department To repair to Platsburgh, In consequence of which I settled my affairs in the south, and took up my march on the 24th of August last- After arriving at this place an adjustment made with Col. William Russel, I was remanded to the South to take command of the 7th Reg. Infantry but was prevented by the peace and consequent reduction of the Army I have thus far given you a Simple narrative of my military life for more that twenty three years- during which period I never had a furlough for one day, nor has my conduct or Character been tarnished by any act of Impropriety, for the truth of which I can refer all with whome I have served- Whether Superior or Inferior in rank, I can safely assert that the2nd Regt. which I had the Honor to Command, for four years, wer in point of Dicipline, Poleice, Arms, Manouevre and all the requisites of Veteran Soldiers Second to no Corps in the Service of the U States. The subsiquent conduct of those troops at Mobile Point tend to Justify my Assertion- My case is before you and for the rest I appeal to your breast and the Justice of my Country
                                                                 I am Sir very Respectfully your
most Obd. and Hbl. Servt.
                                                                   Jn Bowyer Lt Col 5th Infty.

Growing up in Dothan, about the only Spanish-like things in my young life were realtor Raymond Garcia, my Daddy's cousin in Geneva's tamales and the architecture of Young Jr. High School. It was many years later that I discovered that the Alabama-Florida line only thirteen miles south of my home had once been an international border between the United States and the Spanish colony of West Florida and it was a little over twenty years ago that I found out that President George Washington believed that establishing this FIRST SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES was the greatest accomplishment of his entire eight-year presidency. For myself, today's 220th anniversary of the signing of TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP, LIMITS AND NAVIGATION BETWEEN SPAIN AND THE UNITED STATES in San Lorenzo de El Escorial has a special meaning. I now possess an intimate knowledge of just how important this treaty was in my life because a little over 216 years ago, that treaty brought THE AMERICAN FLAG to my native land and there it still flies.'s_Treaty