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Nashville (Untitled) 60s Soul Project - October 2016 Update

So, it's been a bit of a busy year for me in 2016, dealing with the day job, and then setting up the bookstore, working on a fiction book and selling a few records in between. The Nashville 60s soul project timeline has stretched a little, but ever progressing forward.

I now have a title for the book - but all will be revealed in due course. Biography-wise, the histories will include those of Alpha Zoe, King Kasuals / Johnny Jones and King Casuals, Spidells and Exotics band, Peggy Gaines, Jimmy Church, Herbert Hunter, Freddie North, The Avons, The Neptunes, Earl Gaines, Dan Folger, Charlie Romans and the Pastels, Paramount Four, The Poodles, Berkshire Seven, Athens Rogues, Frank Howard and the Commanders, The Hytones and Sandra King, and a big bunch of Sound Stage 7 artists. At the same time I intend to present these artists in context of what was happening in Nashville socially and culturally at the time so have explored this also.

Timescales? I am looking at final first draft by this Christmas; a 3-4 month edit and finalising copyright permissions then publication towards the end of April 2017. Folk to thank: forgive a semi-cut-and-paste job which follows, given the enormity of the list of folks whose input I am happily obliged to acknowledge; though I have also added a few more here since the last update:

As usual, top of the list are my wife and daughter for putting up with me on the PC endless hours and having the patience of saints, and my brother in law for the proof reading.

From the UK and European rare soul scene, and stateside collectors and experts for invaluable contributions – for keeping me straight on scene related historical accuracy, discographies, and corrections etc:

Professor Greg Johnson, Blues Curator and Associate Professor, University of Mississippi (Archives), Michael Gray (Museum Editor at the Country Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville), Ady Croasdell (info on allsorts – Avons, Peggy Gaines, Bob Holmes etc), Guy Hennigan (Hickory bits and the unreleased Roscoe Shelton yarn), Butch (Shelton again), Craig Butler (allsorts again, The Beat / Night Train DVDs, scans etc), Chalky (Spidells, scene related Earl Gaines stuff this side), Bruno Jerez (Jimmy Church label scans), Alan Kitchener (Southern Artists label scans), Flynny (Neptunes info and all things Japanese of course), Dave Halsall (referee related info), Paul Urbahns (Hit Records), Andy Dennison (Herb Hunter unreleased LP), Colin Law and Lesley (Chambers) Law (John Richbourg letter), Alan Walls and Dave Thorley (aide memoire for PW Cannon related memories), Kim McBride (Athens Rogues business), Gene Meredith (newspaper clippings), Garry Cape (his connection with John Richbourg and SS7 etc), Dave Box (Ann Sexton story), John R. Smith (Roger Hatcher article permisions), Foyle and Larry Calvert (scans), Derek Pearson (Hytones info), Neil Salter, photographic stills from Stafford, Dazz Holt (Avons scan), Rick Cooper (UK Cream story re Johnny Jones and King Casuals), Steven Clarke (Hytones scans). No doubt I’ve missed someone out but if I have, do let me know. So many people have helped in different ways. You all go in the pot!

Thanks also to the artists, and their relatives who have willingly shared their memories so far, and those who are about to: Jimmy Church, Freddie North, Sandra King, Alpha Zoe Hall, B.J. Thomas via Darrel Moore, Peggy Gaines, D. Presnell (Berkshire Seven), G. Flemming (Athens Rogues), members of the Paramount Four and relatives of Southern City owners, Freddie Pryor and Cassandra Warner (for Charlie Romans and the Pastels), Glenn Crowell (Exotics Band), James Moon (The Valentines), Frank Howard, Dan Folger’s sister Brenda, the Babb family for Morgan Babb. Carissia Dixon-Malone (for Robert Dixon, member of the Neptunes).

Contributions from other individuals from the music industry are also gratefully acknowledged: Bergen White, arranger on a number of Sound Stage 7, Hit and Elf releases; Nashville producers and songwriters Mac Gayden and Buzz Cason; New York songwriter Mark Barkan; John Bucky Wilkin (songwriter and founder member of Ronny and the Daytonas); Hickory and Rogana promoter Gene Kennedy; and Fred James, musician and owner of Bluesland Productions, holding rights to much of the Nashville R&B label catalogues, Ken Adkins (The Tropics), Curtis Johnson and Sam Jones (The Astors).

Other folks’ invaluable help: Allen Haynes (Sumner County Museum, Gallatin), Roger Stephenson (Roger Stephenson Photography), Pat Adams, Phil and Ernie Gammage, John Bull (The John Bull Band) and Gene Lacy.

I do hope you like the final product. Next update early next year.

Mark Windle.

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