It's a bit of a tradition these days for me to provide progress reports of writing projects at particular milestones, partly to inform of course but also for personal reflection on the process and to praise contributing individuals who help 'make it happen'. So then, here we have the Spring update now that The Tempests book is nearly complete.
On the whole, the majority of the book is there and the main text has now been proof read. Still-to-dos include some final image copyright permissions and heaps of boring stuff (indexing, pagination etc). The manuscript will be heading to the printers over the next week or two for preliminary quality checks and to suss out colour, B&W, paperback and hardcover options. Once again, Jason Thornton has kindly agreed to take on cover design duties. Most will know Jason’s excellent work on the Philly Sound with Dave Moore. Jason was also an obvious choice for my last book, House of Broken Hearts.
On the update last year I provided a list of thanks and appreciation. Those individuals continue to input and support the project, which I am extremely grateful for. It would only be right to pay homage to those who have assisted in so many different ways, along with some new personnel.
Top billing always goes to wife and daughter Annette and Caitlin for their usual patience and constructive criticism; and David Brennan for proof reading / further suggestions for improvements. To tell the story, contributions were sought from band members, producers, their friends and relatives, and other musicians from ‘back in the day’. DJs, promoters and record collectors and fans of soul music across the globe were also engaged.
In connection with The Tempests, thanks are due to Van Coble, the late Nelson Lemmond and respective wives Joy and Kaye; Danielle Nesbit Simon (for Nelson Lemmond), John Roger Branch, Ron Smith, David Butler, Gerry Dionne and Ellison Honeycutt, Vicki Bodnar and Teresa Ann Bodnar (for Ted Bodnar), Caleb Schrum (for Gerald Schrum), Rachelle Gunter Hauss (for Ken Baker), Hettie Martin, Hazel Martin Jr. and Crystal Martin-Nance (for Hazel Martin).
From left: Nelson Lemmond (drummer), the author, and Van Coble (bass guitar)
Other music industry figures connected with the south east R&B and beach music scene, The Tempests and later careers of individual band members: Nat Speir (co-founder of The Rivieras, and Bob Meyer and the Rivieras), Ken Knox (Chairmen of the Board), Rusty Page (1960s Charlotte radio DJ, event MC, and The Village Square TV show host), Ken Carpenter (The Plaids), Carlo Ditta (New Orleans producer), Ron Henderson Jr (Living Colour, and for Ron Henderson Sr. of Choice of Colour), Gary Nestle (Choice of Colour, Living Colour, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs), Joe Crayton Clinard Jr. (Cannonball), Danny Pierce (The Collegiates), Charles Harris (The Appreciations), Steve Calfee (Lost Soul), Jeff Ayres (Reflection Sound Studios, Charlotte), Lu Rojas (Oak Street Recording Studio, New Orleans) and Jackie Freeman Panos.
Fans, DJs and record collectors from the US beach music scenes: George Owens, Bob and Judy McNair. Rosemary Paten, Linda Gilliam, Randy Faulk. Peter D. Carpenter (President CAMMY Awards Inc., Carolina Beach Music Awards, Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, Pinehurst, North Carolina).
More DJs, record collectors and enthusiasts from the UK, European and US rare soul and 60s music scenes: Guy Hennigan, Alan Kitchener, Martin Meyler, Karl White, Steve Guarnori, Craig Butler, Kris Holmes, Ady Pountain, Alan Bonthrone, Lars C. Haaland, Yann Vatiste, Mike Lofthouse, John Smith, Kevin Draper, Denise Draper, Ged Parker, Jack Garrett, Wayne Sibthorpe, Jon Downs, Liz Schmitz, Red Kelly (at souldetective.com), Phil Shields, Kev Whitcombe, David Pinches and Brian Pinches. Contributors to the discussion on the Facebook Rare Soul Talk forum regarding the European and Canadian releases of the Would You Believe LP: Andy Dennison, Lluis Riera, Gene Meredith, Ian Clarke and Kenneth Aitchison. Also thanks to Toby Broom for permission to reprint excerpts of the Mike Williams biography, first published when Toby was invited as a guest writer for Rhythm Message.
Hazel Martin (courtesy of Van Coble).
Other musicians and individuals for their memories and contributions include Hayne Coleman, Billy Ray Lanier, Jim “Buddy” Johnson and Gail Boemker. I would also like to acknowledge the following Facebook groups for keeping the history of soul music in 1960s Carolinas alive: Rare Soul Talk, Charlotte N.C. The Past And The Present, Carolina Rock ‘n’ Roll Remembered, Beach Music Café, I Remember The Cellar (Charlotte, N.C.), and the website garagehangover.com.
It’s been quite a fresh writing approach for me personally (focusing on a single band history rather than a collections of shorter biographies) and have enjoyed the process of taking the time to explore not only the Tempests story, but that of life events surrounding individual members over a number of decades, before, during and after band. The intention was not only to set “that LP” in context, although coming from the rare soul scene that was the primary driver. Indeed, the story of how “Someday” reached iconic status within certain parts of the soul scene is there and told from the relevant horses’ mouths. I also wanted to present other elements, like the inter-connections between individuals and other artists and industry figures such as Mike Williams, Allen Toussaint, Marshal Sehorn, Ron Henderson of Choice of Colour, Bob Meyer and the Rivieras, The Delacardos, visiting Motown stars and others; plus a few surprises including a record collector’s holy grail and the existence of (as yet) unreleased master-tapes from the late 1960s.
The net result, a combination of direct oral history and heavy researched narrative, is I hope presented in a way that will sustain the reader’s interest whether their genre of choice is northern soul, beach music or just soul music generally. Thanks again then to all involved, and to those who supported the previous books. I hope you like this one.
The Tempests: A Carolina Soul Story is on schedule for publication mid – late June, and there will likely be a pre-order facility available via A Nickel And A Nail. Watch this space for more details nearer the time.
Mark Windle (April 2019).