Sunday, December 5, 2010

ARCA Christmas Party

The 2010 ARCA Christmas party is being held at one of our favorite locations! Connie and Fred are hosting our party at the Mountain Lakes retreat north of Birmingham on Saturday, December 11th. Please check your member newsletter for full details.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Meeting

Our next meeting is Sunday, November 21st. We’ll follow our normal schedule with social time at 2 PM followed by our business meeting at 3 PM. We’ll need to finalize Christmas Party plans and talk about the 2011 Record Show.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Meeting

Our October meeting (Sunday Oct. 17th) is at 2:00 PM for refreshments, socializing and trading. We’ll have a short business meeting at 3:00 PM. Afterward, Brother Fred (Dahlke) has promised a FUN music trivia contest!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spectacular meeting with Jon Adair

ARCA very much wants to thank our special guest, Jon Adair, original member of the Ramrods, who spoke to us at this month's meeting. Like ARCA itself, Jon wants to see the musical heritage, especially in the Birmingham area, perserved for future generations to enjoy. His program was very entertaining and informative. Below, is a complete history of the Ramrods, and also be sure to check out their music in our player in the left column.

History of the Ramrods
The year was 1959. Rock and Roll had been around, officially, for about five years. Teenagers of the era had gotten hooked on this new form of music with thriving drum beats, pounding bass rhythms and up-lifting, fun lyrics as well as the sound of a fairly new instrument, the electric guitar, which had actually been around for several years, but was being more and more perfected in the 50s and also becoming the dominant instrument of Rock ‘n Roll.

However, by the fall of 1959, just as these young people were getting used to this brave music, still in its infancy, two of its biggest stars were out of the picture. Elvis Presley had gone into the Army and Buddy Holly had died in a plane crash. Still, the music was there and teens like five guys from Woodlawn High School in Birmingham were no exception. Inspired by this music, Joe Lackey (lead guitar and vocals) had gotten together with Butch Fadely (piano), Jim McCulla (drums) and Larry Wooten (rhythm guitar) and decided to form a band of their own. Jon Adair, who was a friend of Joe’s, had already been in two bands, ‘The Teen Beats’ and the ‘The Ray Royster Combo.’ None of the other guys had ever played in bands. Of course, all of them were in their mid-teens, 13 to 15 years old.

Joe asked Jon to come and sit in with them at a practice, which he did, playing rhythm guitar. Later, Joe and the other guys went to Jon’s house and asked him to join the band. When Jon joined, the rhythm guitar player, Wooten, was sick and couldn’t make the first gig, so Jon played rhythm alone. When Wooten returned, both he and Jon played rhythm, which the band really didn’t need two of, but the band had no bass player, which it did need, so they asked Jon to play the bass. He knew nothing about the bass and told them he definitely could not afford to buy another guitar, but wanting to be in the band, Jon compromised. He removed the two high strings from his 6-string electric and tuned the remaining four strings down one octave. It worked well enough to get by. In fact, this is what was used later on their first record, “Fire Tower.” This is how they played until Wooten left the band and Jon moved permanently to rhythm. It was also about this time that Butch Fadely left the band to join the Army.

The band took the name, the Ramrods, from the Duane Eddy tune and even adopted that song as their opening number on every show.

There were not many local bands around at this time. The Roulettes, the Premiers, The Epics and now the Ramrods were just a very few. That, of course, would soon change, especially after the Beatles hit America in 1964. Bands began to pop up everywhere, but, for now, the Ramrods and these other few had a corner on the market.

Many member changes would soon take place in the Ramrods, including adding Paul Newman on vocals. The Ramrods also decided to add a saxophone player, so Ronnie Eades joined the band. Ronnie would later move to Muscle Shoals and become a prominent member of the Muscle Shoals Sound as a session musician.

In 1961, a friend of a friend of a friend, met the Ramrods and wanted to record them. He, Wayne Bright, owned a recording studio in Muscle Shoals, “Bright Records.” The band agreed and laid down two tracks, “Fire Tower,” written by Paul Newman and “Sittin’ Alone,” written by Jon Adair. When the record was pressed, it had mistakenly listed the band as ‘Paul Newman and the Ramrod Combo’ instead of ‘The Ramrods.’

They soon followed with their second record, “Sleezy,” b/w “Slouchy,” both written by Joe Lackey. These were recorded at Homer Milan’s studio at 1st Avenue and 20th Street in Birmingham in 1962. It was released on Queen Records, which was a subsidiary of King Records.

Member changes continued with the addition of Fred Guarino on drums, Johnny Mulkey on lead guitar, Frank Bethea on bass, Bubba Lathem on piano, Durwood Bright on sax and Dwight Anderson on sax. Bright would later play with the Townsmen and Anderson with the Tikis.

In 1963, the Ramrods went into Baldwin Recording Studio in Woodlawn, which they did quite often after shows to record various tunes. On this trip, they recorded two original songs, written by Johnny Mulkey, “Night Ride” and “Moonlight Surf,” both surf sounding instrumentals. They took the tracks to Rick Hall, who ran Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals. He liked them and agreed to press the songs. The band had thought that their songs would be on the Fame label, which, although still a local label, was fairly well known. However, Rick was starting a new label, R and H, and released the Ramrods on it. Theirs was the first record on this label, the label number being RH-1001. This was an obvious disappointment to the band not to have been on Fame, but Hall had done a good job of mixing and producing the record and the band was happy with the result.

“Night Ride” started as a ‘Pick Hit’ on WSGN in Birmingham in 1963, but soon made it to WSGN’s Top 40 where it remained for thirteen weeks, reaching as high as #5.

During the band’s tenure, they toured all over the southeast, playing the college circuit and other venues and either opened for or backed up major national artists. A short list includes Del Shannon, the Four Seasons, Arthur Alexander, Tommy Roe, Chris Montez, Roy Orbison and Charlie Rich, but there were many, many more.

Also during this time, they had played shows with another Alabama band, the Webs, from Dothan. One member of the Webs was a guy named Bobby Goldsboro. By 1963, the Webs were traveling with Roy Orbison as his backing band, which had been arranged by another Dothan guy, Buddy Buie. Of course, Buddy was becoming a well-known songwriter and record producer. He had also become Orbison’s tour manager as a bonus for getting the Webs with Roy.

Jon Adair remembers fondly one concert both groups played together at the Cloud Room (Cascade Plunge) in Birmingham. After the show was over and the band was putting their instruments in the car, Bobby took out his acoustic guitar, sat on the hood of a car and told the guys that he was working on a song which he hoped to record as a solo. He played “See the Funny Little Clown,” written by Bobby. A short time later, it became Bobby’s break-out solo hit and reached #9 on Billboard in early 1964. Bobby was now a solo artist with many hits to follow.

By the time 1964 rolled around, the Ramrods had been together for almost five years. Only Jon Adair and Joe Lackey remained as the nucleus of the original band from 1959. Jon had joined the Navy on a deferred enlistment program as a senor in high school and when he graduated in 1963 had to go straight to boot camp. However, when he completed it, he returned home where he rejoined the band. In April of 1964, the Navy called him to active duty. It was only a few months later that the Ramrods decided to disband.

What had actually happened was that the Webs, minus Bobby Goldsboro, were now touring with Roy Orbison as his backing band. Roy renamed them the Candymen, after his song title, “Candy Man.” The Candymen would later form the nucleus of the Classics IV and then the Atlanta Rhythm Section. In late 1964, Buddy Buie, who was Roy’s tour manager, was itching to form a new band, one to help showcase his songs. He took three members of the Ramrods (Guarino, Mulkey and Latham) and members of the Webs, including Wilbur Walton and Jimmy Dean and formed the James Gang. They made several records, mostly written by Buddy, but their biggest song was “Georgia Pines,” co-written by Buie. This song was also recorded by the Candymen. Their version peaked at #81 on Billboard, but the James Gang version received more regional airplay.

As for the remaining members of the Ramrods, after finishing his stint in the Navy, Jon went into the business world, as did Joe Lackey and Frank Bethea. Other members, as already mentioned, played in various local bands for a while.

Sadly, we have lost a few of these guys over the years, Joe Lackey, Harry Looney and Fred Guarino. Who knows, maybe one day there will be a reunion of the remaining members.

The Ramrods can really be considered one of the pioneer bands in the Birmingham area, one who inspired many other young musicians who also began to form bands and become prominent artists in their own right.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Special Guest at the September Meeting is Jon Adair of The Ramrods

We have a very special and interesting guest lined up to speak to us at our September meeting. He is Jon Adair, a member of the Birmingham band, the Ramrods. The Ramrods' story begins way back in 1959 when, along with the Premiers and The Epics, the Ramrods were among the first Rock 'n Roll bands from the city of Birmingham. Jon was originally the bass player, but soon moved to rhythm guitar. The Ramrods started as a five member band and later expanded to six, with several member changes along the way and adding horns. Jon remained with the band throughout its entire run. The Ramrods played the college circuit throughout the southeast and appeared with numerous national artists such as Arthur Alexander, the Four Seasons, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon and Tommy Roe.

The Ramrods released several local records, but the most popular one, by far, was "Night Ride" b/w "Moonlight Surf," both great instrumentals. "Night Ride" remained on the WSGN charts in Birmingham for several weeks. "Night Ride" and "Fire Tower" (another record by the Ramrod members) are included on this blog's player.

After a wild, five-year run, the Ramrods called it quits in 1964. Three members joined with members of the Webs, a Dothan band, to form the James Gang (not the Joe Walsh band), which had several regional hits over the next few years. Other members got out of the music business altogether. Jon Adair joined the Navy.

Jon is looking forward to coming and sharing with us his experiences in the music business. He even still has one of his original stage suits that the band wore as well as his original guitar. I believe that he is going to bring them with him.

Visitors are always welcome and this is one you don't want to miss.

Friday, September 3, 2010


A link (see Link section) has been added on this blog to a dealer page which lists some dealers that ARCA recommends you consider for your vinyl, CD and other memorabilia needs.

Our ARCA CD & Record Show page has preliminary information for the 2011 show.

Special thanks to Mike & Pam for hosting our August Picinc!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ARCA Picnic

Instead of a normal meeting in August, we will have our annual picnic. There will be plenty of food, music & fellowship. Don’t forget your swimsuits! Please consult your member newsletter for details.

Our next regular monthly meeting will be on September 19, 2010.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Joey Roberts has been Cancelled

We are sorry to announce that our special guest for the July meeting, WSGN 'Good Guy' Joey Roberts has been cancelled. At this time, no rescheduling is on tap, but we will let you know if he is to appear in the future.

The meeting, as always, will proceed and we will have a good program to present. Please try to attend. Also, keep watching this blog for some special announcements coming soon.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Genuine “Good Guy” To Speak at July Meeting

Joey Roberts, a WSGN Good Guy from the late sixties to early seventies, will be the speaker at our July 18 meeting. Joey will speak immediately after a short business meeting which starts at 3 P.M. The business meeting will be preceded by a social hour at 2 PM. Last month several visitors attended our meeting and we hope they and others will come hear Joey this month.

Friday, June 4, 2010

June Meeting

Jim Battan, Coyote J. (Calhoun), will be unable to speak at this month’s meeting. He will be rescheduled next year. We will instead have a normal meeting.
We will gather at 2 pm for refreshments and music conversation. There will be a short meeting at 3 p.m.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vinyl Rarity #2 Beatles Penny Lane promo

Now that the 2010 ARCA show is history, it's time for another Record Rarity, this time from the Beatles. The promo for Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever is on a greenish-yellow Capitol label marked P 5810. Penny Lane is clocked at 3:00 because of an extra trumpet flourish at the end. You'll know it even though it's only a couple of seconds. All the commercial releases have the 3:00 time on the label but the trumpet has been trimmed. This little oddity will set you back about $150 if you can find it. Look for an asterisk in the dead wax to be sure or just give it a listen. Watch for more Record Rarities on a semi-regular basis on the ARCA blog.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank You!

We’d like to express our gratitude to some individuals who have recently shared Alabama radio station music surveys with us. Fay Asher, Jon “Rock n’ Roll” Anthony, Howard Baer and Todd Jones have all submitted material in the last two weeks – THANKS! Our updated list of #1 songs is HERE. The full surveys are being entered in the ARSA data base. Please remember, if you have a music survey from any Alabama radio station for any time period please share a copy with us. You can either mail or email them to us, or even better deliver them by hand at our next meeting. We love visitors!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Meeting

Our next meeting is this Sunday, May 16th. We’ll follow our normal schedule with social time at 2 PM followed by our business meeting at 3 PM. If you acquired any item of special interest at the show bring it to the meeting (our version of “show and tell”). BTW pictures from the show are now on our CD & Record Show Page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Great Show!!!

The 29th Annual ARCA CD & Record Show is now in the books and, by all accounts, was a rousing success. Luckily, the threat of rain never materialized and attendance was up significantly from last year. Most dealers seemed very pleased with the way the show went and we would like to thank each and every dealer for coming and participating in the show. ARCA always prides itself in providing high quality dealers and this year was no exception in the least. Every dealer was very professional and provided only the best in product for the public to choose from.

We would also very much like to thank those of you who came to the show. We didn’t see very many people leave without bags and bags of records and CDs. We sincerely hope that you will tell your friends about us. Anyone can be added to our mailing list to be notified of the next show. At this time, the final dates for the 2011 show have not been set, but as soon as they are, they will be posted on this website.

Lastly, our honored guests were simply terrific. Dave Roddy, Revolver and Dollar Bill Lawson all appeared on Saturday and received their Honorary Member plaques. They then posed for photos and signed autographs and simply enjoyed talking with everyone. Tim Hollis came on Friday and signed several of his books. Thanks so very much to all of our special guests for appearing and being a vital part of ARCA.

Fortunately, all of the hard work is done for this year, but it’s now time for us to start planning next year’s show. Keep checking this website for updates.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Show Time!!

ARCA hopes that your visit to our 2010 CD & Record Show will be both enjoyable and successful.

I know that the ole weatherman is talking about a chance of rain this weekend, but that’s alright, you can stay nice and dry in our big showroom browsing through thousands and thousands of 45s, LPs and CDs. Be sure to bring those wish lists. With the large number of dealers coming and a complete sell out of dealer space, you should be able to find anything and everything you’re looking for. If you don’t have a wish list and just want to take pot luck and see what looks good to buy, go for it!!

There are very few music stores left in most cities and buying stuff off of the internet is difficult. It takes time to search for what you want, time to ship the item to you and then the item may not arrive in the condition promised by the seller. Here, you pick out the items you want, pay for them and take them home with you, and, by the way, no shipping charges! To help you in your shopping, if you have difficulty in finding something, we can announce it and hopefully a dealer will let us know if he’s got it.

There are many new dealers coming this year as well as all of the regular ones, so the selection should be phenomenal. Please don’t think that this is all high-dollar stuff; quite the contrary. Most items can be had for very little money, such as albums and 45s for a dollar or less and CDs starting around $3.

Don’t forget our special guests, Tim Hollis on Friday night, then on Saturday morning come and meet Rockin’ Dave Roddy, Revolver and Dollar Bill Lawson

The show begins at 4 P.M. Friday and ends Saturday at 5 P.M. General Admission is $3. Kids 12 and under are free. There is a special early bird admission period from 2 – 4 P.M on Friday ($10) for a first look. Parking is always free. Remember to keep your ticket so that you can depart and re-enter on the same day. This allows you to shop for a while, leave to eat lunch, etc. and come back in to shop some more.

Have a great time and good hunting!!

The Alabama Record Collectors Association

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 18th Meeting and Other News

MEETING - Don’t forget, our meeting is this Sunday, April 18th. We’ll follow our normal schedule with social time at 2 PM followed by our business meeting at 3 PM. The primary topic for our meeting will be details/plans for our upcoming CD & Record show on April 30 – May 1. I know we sold out of dealer space weeks ago, but we’ll get all the details at the meeting. Don’t miss it!

NEWS - Many of you know David Johnson, the executive director of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. David who has been the director for the past 21 years, said he received an e-mail Tuesday from the chairman of the hall of fame board of directors that stated he was no longer the director of the hall of fame. Details HERE.

Monday, March 22, 2010

CD & Record Show on track to be a Great one!!!

Forty days and counting!! The ARCA CD & Record Show is almost here and promises to be the best one in many years. It’s almost a sellout with the dealers, with only a couple of spots left; we should be full in a week or two. We have most of our regular, popular dealers returning with many new or former dealers returning after a short absence. Our dealers come from all over the United States. There should be a great wall-to-wall mixture of 45s, LPs, CDs, music videos, as well as other music memorabilia to choose from. All genres of music will be well represented. Also, if you have a music collection to sell or simply a few records or CDs you’re trying to get rid of, you may be able to do so at the show. While there are no guarantees, the chances are very good that you can sell your music to one or more of our fantastic dealers.

As already stated, we have a great lineup of special guests and Honorary Members coming, beginning with author Tim Hollis on Friday and continuing with a rockin’ Birmingham band, “Revolver,” a former Birmingham radio ‘Good Guy’ DJ, ‘Rockin’ Dave Roddy from WSGN, and ARCA’s great friend and current DJ with 102.5, The Bull, Dollar Bill Lawson on Saturday. All will be meeting show goers, signing autographs, posing for pictures and telling stories about their musical lives. They are all very much looking forward to coming and being a part of this great event.

Don’t forget, admission is only $3 and is good all day; in other words, you may leave the show and return later the same day. There is also plenty of free at-the-door parking and children under 12 get in free. If you’re coming in from out of town, there are many restaurants and hotels in the immediate area (literally within eyesight of the complex) and we are just off of Interstate 59 in Bessemer, AL .

Please spread the word and remember those dates, Friday, April 30th from 4-9 (early birds 2-4 - $10 admission) and Saturday, May 1st from 9-5. Location is the Bessemer Civic Center just off exit #108 on I59. See you there!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Book signing at CD & Record Show by local author, Tim Hollis

Birmingham author, Tim Hollis, will have a book signing at the ARCA CD & Record Show on Friday evening, April 30th from 6-8pm. What’s a book signing got to do with a record show? Two of Tim’s over 20 books are music related. The first, “Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records," deals with all the details of the forgotten music of the Disney films and shows and the artists who performed them.

The second book is “Birmingham Broadcasting” which covers the radio and television market in Birmingham. About 1/3 of it talks about the various radio stations and personalities, including ARCA Honorary Members Bill Bolen, Dave Roddy and Dan Brennan, as well as DJs like Joe Rumore and Neal Miller. There are many great photos and a lot of great information packed into this book.

Tim started writing as a young boy and never stopped. His first book, completed in 1990 was a biography about one of the most beloved people ever to live in Birmingham, 'Cousin Cliff' Holman, who passed away last year. Since then, Tim has written over 20 books, all dealing with real subject matter of interest to people in Birmingham and Alabama.

Tim also helps maintain the website, which has a lot of great information about the city with a lot of archival photos, ads and stories.

As well as writing, Tim collects all types of things, mostly classic toys.

Come meet Tim on Friday evening and pick up a copy of one or both of the books. He will be glad to sign them and also tell you how you may get copies of his other great books.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dollar Bill Lawson added to CD & Record Show guest list

One of the funniest men in Birmingham radio is coming to the ARCA CD & Record Show this year. Bill Lawson, affectionately known as Dollar Bill is a native Birminghamian and has been a staple on the radio since 1971.

Over the next few years, Bill worked at stations in various parts of Alabama before landing at WERC in Birmingham in 1979. During the 70s, WERC and WSGN were the two most listened to Rock & Roll stations in Birmingham and Bill was in the middle of it as WERC's evening DJ.

However, by the end of the decade, FM had all but taken over the airwaves. One of the biggest stations was WERC’s sister station WKXX, Kicks 106. AM’s weak, mono signal couldn’t compete with the stereo power of FM. In 1980, WERC changed its format to Adult Contemporary. Bill talked the Program Director into allowing him to host an oldies show beginning at 10pm every night. He used his own records and those of friends. WERC switched to Talk in 1982 and Bill hosted a call-in talk show. He stayed with it until a great opportunity opened up for him in 1985. Country station, WZZK had the top morning team in Birmingham, Patti & the Doc. However, the team was shaken when Doc passed away suddenly. Bill took over the vacant slot and the show became Patti & Dollar Bill. Ratings went even higher and the pair ruled the market for close to twenty years. However, in 2002, WZZK forced Patti to “retire.” She, at first, had said she would stay out of radio, but when Bill was also forced to leave, they teamed up again, but had to wait out a 6 month ‘no-compete’ clause. They moved to WDXB, the Bull 102.5. The Bull had been a smaller regional station, but moved its tower to Birmingham to increase its signal strength and thus the market. With the powerhouse team of Patti and Dollar Bill, the station gave WZZK a run for its money. Unfortunately, in 2008, Patti was forced to leave the Bull, a replacement was hired and the team of Dollar Bill & Madison was born. The station is as strong as ever thanks to the staying power and humor of Bill Lawson.

By the way, some of Bill’s funniest stories involve his days of flying in WERC’s traffic helicopter. When you see him at the show, ask him to tell some.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legendary Birmingham DJ, Dave Roddy, also to be at the CD & Record Show

If you grew up in Birmingham in the 60s, most likely you listened to one of the best radio stations in the south, WSGN, the big 610. They called their DJs, the Good Guys. One of the most popular Good Guys was Dave Roddy, sometimes called, “Rockin’ Roddy.”

Dave grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He began radio in Knoxville and came to Birmingham in 1960, first on WYDE, which was a rock station at that time. After one year, Dave moved to WSGN and became one of the Swinging Southern Gentlemen DJs. In 1963, WSGN hired Jim Taber as the Program Director and he immediately went to work revamping the station. WSGN moved their studios from the 7th Avenue South location to the penthouse above the City Federal Building. Taber made other changes such as using PAMS jingles, adding a distinct echo (reverb) to the signal (which gave it a more polished sound) and using the cute smiley face logo on surveys, tee-shirts, etc. He also renamed the DJs, the Good Guys. Principle among them was Dave Roddy. Others of note included Glen Powers, Walt Williams and Steve Norris. Dave was named Music Director and is responsible for being the first to play a lot of records which became hits. National radio stations monitored WSGN's playlists. These changes and the Good Guys helped to make WSGN one of the best radio stations in the country. In fact, WSGN was so popular, that WYDE changed their format to country in 1965, leaving WSGN the sole 24 hour rock and roll station in Birmingham for many years. Their next strongest competitor, WVOK, signed off at sunset.

Dave was extremely popular with the teenage rock and roll crowd and also hosted rock and roll shows at the Airport and Oporto armories. He was instrumental in bringing national and local artists to Birmingham. WSGN would also set up live at the Alabama State Fair each year and, since Dave was the evening DJ, he would broadcast his show from the fair.

In 1968, Dave was the first DJ to play “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro and, to capitalize on “Honey’s” success, Dave went into the studio and recorded a similar record, “The Last Goodbye.” It was released on Warner Brothers and got heavy airplay in Birmingham where it topped the charts in April and May 1968. That record is still a highly sought after collectible (“The Last Goodbye” is available for playing from this blog, see left column).

Dave left WSGN and Birmingham in 1972. He now lives in Columbia, South Carolina and owns a successful advertising business.

For a special feature on Dave Roddy and a scoped air check of one of Dave’s shows visit Birmingham Rewound.

Dave will be appearing in addition to Revolver on Saturday, May 1 at the CD & Record Show beginning around 10:30 am. Who knows, you may even find some copies of Dave’s record at one of our dealer tables.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Birmingham band 'Revolver' to appear at annual ARCA CD & Record Show

One of Alabama's own power bands, Revolver, will make an appearance at this year's annual ARCA CD & Record Show. Four very gifted musicians and songwriters first formed in Huntsville in the early 60s. The band consisted of two sets of brothers, Mike and Kenny Webber and Vannie and Dannie Warren. Like a lot of bands back then, they were heavily influenced by the British Invasion sound of The Beatles. They began to perfect their sound by performing Beatle's songs and eventually changed their name from ‘The So…But So What’ to 'Revolver' based on the 1966 Beatles' album of the same name. They could pretty well do any Beatles' song and sounded enough like the Beatles to fool the most avid listener. While they became known for their Beatles' shows, they also perfomed rock standards and a lot of original material written by the various band members. Their first single was issued while the group was using ‘The So…But So What’ name. Their other singles were issued under their ‘Revolver’ name. All four members continue to perform with various bands and occasionally reunite to do Beatle shows at various locations around Birmingham and Huntsville. 'Revolver' will be appearing on Saturday, May 1 at 10:30 am, so be sure to make plans to see them. (Four of their songs are available for playing from this blog, see left column.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 CD and Record Show

Our annual CD and Record Show is April 30 & May 1, 2010 at the Bessemer Civic Center. Hours for the show are:
Friday, April 30, 2010, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (early birds 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m)
Saturday, May 1, 2010, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Complete Show Details.


Hey Music Lovers,

ARCA has traveled 30 years along with US as a musical companion. ARCA has been with us through Record/CD Shows, monthly meetings, Christmas parties, “Original Gold Wax,” mail-outs, summer record/picnic parties, etc. What a journey it has been since that day in February 1980 when a handful of music lovers decided to join me and be a part of a record collecting club called ARCA and begin musical friendships that have endured through the years. I want to thank you, the members and honorary members, who have shared your love of music with us all. We have seen a lot of changes in music in the past thirty years. We have had some of our ARCA members pass away, but they left us with some great memories to share. We won’t forget them. ARCA has changed since its infancy. Websites, emails, Alabama Music Hall of Fame, etc., were words that wasn’t yet in our vocabulary and ARCA grew up alongside them.. What a Journey! What a ride! Thanks ARCA and Happy 30th to you!!.

ARCA Founder,
Fred Dahlke

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Vinyl Renaissance

I’ve been looking for vinyl sales data for 2009 and found some interesting information. From an October 23, 2009, Goldmine article , “The numbers are in: music sales are down. All across the board the music industry is taking a hit - everywhere except vinyl records… vinyl sales are up 124 percent. Vinyl shipments more than doubled year-over-year to $57 million, the highest level since 1990, said RIAA vice president of research and strategic analysis Joshua Friedlander.” From the RIAA’s own site , “Looking to re-energize your music collection? Give it a vintage touch. More and more artists, from your favorites of yesterday to today’s hitmakers, have released or re-released various albums in vinyl format. Now, we love all the different kinds of legal formats in which fans can enjoy their favorite tunes, but we can’t ignore the LP frenzy that has connected music fans of all ages. In fact, our own annual music shipment report shows vinyl shipments more than doubling last year to $57 million, the highest level since 1990! In November alone artists from Norah Jones to The Flaming Lips to Tom Petty will offer their new album releases in the format. So dust off your record player, check out the liner notes, take in the sweet smell of a fresh album and give it a whirl.”

The Vinyl rebirth is spreading and gaining traction. Brick-and-mortar music stores that specialize in selling new vinyl albums are appearing. The L.A. Times has a good article, “ In A Digital Age, Vinyl's Making A Comeback ” concerning new stores in its market. Also, existing stores like Best Buy and J&R Music now sell vinyl records. Best Buy started a pilot program selling vinyl albums at 100 stores earlier this year. In Alabama, the Best Buy store in Huntsville is the first to start selling vinyl albums. Although I encourage you to read all the linked articles, I particularly wanted to include the following from the Goldmine article:
Beyond the baby-boomer generation, a new demographic of record-buyers is unfolding. "I've seen a true increase in university kids and beyond," said Evan Chern, owner of Yesterday and Today Records in Florida. "It's exciting to see a young generation that is into records."

With music just a click away thanks to more affordable MP3 devices and digital downloads, why is Generation Y choosing to purchase vinyl?

"People older than me purchase records for nostalgia, but today's crowds are purchasing the music to listen to it," said Tim Schweiger, a 28-year-oid musician and record collector. Schweiger likes The Beatles on vinyl, although his generation "grew up with Abbey Road on CD."

25-year-old collector Ben Hendrickson said, "If there's an album I really like, I buy the vinyl - it's worth the investment." Unlike collectors who grew up during vinyl's heyday, Hendrickson didn't grow up with a record player in his home. "My mother thought they were ugly, so we never had one," he said. Hendrickson began collecting when he moved to college.

Music fans witnessed music changing to compressed digital formatting and have heard the sound quality disappear, said Mark Hillstrom of The Exclusive Company in Appleton, Wis. "[Vinyl] gives a fuller frequency response; you're able to hear a direct representation of what was recorded. A MP3's sound is compressed so much it's not a direct recording."

Wolak says collectors, like Hendrickson and Schweiger, are part of the digital-music resistance. "I think they want to own something, rather than having 1,400 sounds on their iPod that they can replace in a week."

Collectors across the country predict that vinyl records will overtake CDs. Wolak calls the new phenomenon the "vinyl renaissance" and says that he has switched his shop from selling mainly CDs to having 95 percent of stock in vinyl records.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

February Meeting (Work Day)

We don’t have an official meeting this month. Instead you’re invited to Fred’s house on the 20th at noon for a social. Don’t be late or you’ll miss lunch! Please think of those ten songs you want played.

BTW we may do a little work preparing for our CD & Record Show.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Is Recorded Music Whale Blubber?

Most of you are familiar with Brian Eno. Here’s an interesting quote from Brian’s interview with The Guardian (U.K.) "I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn't last, and now it's running out. I don't particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it." The full article.

Should we change our name to The Alabama Whale Blubber Collectors?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vinyl Rarity - Bobby Keys

What do Dion's Runaround Sue and the Stones' Brown Sugar have in common? Saxman Bobby Keys, who, in addition to having a standing gig with the Rolling Stones for the past 40 years, has shared stages and studios with everyone from Barbra Streisand to Lynyrd Skynyrd. It started at age 14, touring with fellow Texan Buddy Holly. That's Bobby you hear on the baritone sax on Elvis Presley's Return to Sender. He joined the Stones about the same time as Mick Taylor with the Let It Bleed album. In the Stones' 1972 concert movie, politely known as CS Blues, you can see Bobby and Keith throwing a television set from a hotel window.

But for all his sessions and tours for other artists, Bobby Keys has only two solo LPs, one of which is the subject of this, the first Vinyl Rarity offering in the ARCA blog. The all instrumental LP was released in 1972 on Warner Brothers in the UK only. Titled as simply Bobby Keys, it featured, uncredited, Jack Bruce, Jim Gordon, George Harrison, Nicky Hopkins, Dave Mason, Felix Pappalardi, Jim Price, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Eric Clapton and Leslie West. If you happen across this one, snatch it up quickly. There is no US pressing, no CD release, and you'll pay $100-$200 IF you can find one online. Watch for more Vinyl Rarities served up semi-regularly on the ARCA blog.

Friday, January 8, 2010

January Meeting

Our next meeting is January 17th. Jay Michaels, currently a DJ with WZZK in Birmingham will be speaking to us. Jay has been in the radio business for many years. Some of us also remember him as the drummer with the Townsmen. Visitors are always welcome at our meetings! We meet at the Homewood Library, located at 1721 Oxmoor Road, near Homewood Park. Our meetings are in Room 110 in the lower level (social starts at 2 P.M. and official meeting at 3 P.M.).