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151109 November 9, 2015



Lee's First Veterans

Veteran's Day Tribute

      This is the tribute to Lee's first Veterans which I created in 2013.  I do not have any record of any corrections needed, but still it is a fairly accurate account of our Veterans.  I know we have added some new readers since last Veteran's Day, so if you or someone you know from the Classes of '64-'65-'66 are omitted then please send me update info and I will add to the presentation when I once again have access to the computer on which I have my data filed.

          Happy Veteran's Day to all who have served and all their family members as well.

        Memphis, TN - I am only doing one classmate's virtual jukebox songs each week, so if you have sent me your list, please be patient, I am playing them in order, just like the old jukeboxes did.

        Thanks to all of you who are playing along with us on this fun trip into our past. Remember, I would really like you to limit your songs to those we heard before we graduated if possible.


The Virtual Jukebox
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

 I can hardly wait to hear other “virtual quarters”. When I think of a jukebox, I think of the one in the basement of Jim’s (my husband) Lambda Chi house at Alabama. We would always play several songs, including Brown Eyed Girl and Kentucky Woman. I am sure I would use part of my quarter for them.

Thanks for all you do, and welcome back to Alabama to Judy Sherrill.

Polly Gurley Redd

Class of 66


Brown Eyed Girl

        "Brown Eyed Girl" is a song by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. Written by Morrison and recorded in March 1967.  it was released as a single in June 1967 on the Bang label, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song's nostalgic lyrics about a former love were considered too suggestive at the time to be played on many radio stations.Originally titled "Brown-Skinned Girl", Morrison changed it to "Brown Eyed Girl" when he recorded it.  It has also been stated that the song was about an inter-racial relationship and Morrison changed the title to "make it more palatable to radio stations.  A radio-edit of the song was released which removed the lyrics "making love in the green grass", replacing them with "laughin' and a-runnin', hey hey" from a previous verse. 

        (Editor's Note:  When I first got out of the Air Force and moved to Memphis, I was happy to find an Oldie-Goldies radio station which played the songs I loved from my high school and college eras. I was shocked when I first heard them play Brown Eyed Girl and found the lyrics I remembered from my past were not the lyrics of the version they played. I had a special attachment to the verse "making love in the green grass, behind the stadium" and it was not in the version they played. They played the less suggestive verse of "laughin' and a-runnin', hey hey" and stole my happy memories from me. I had forgotten that back when it was released it was a more gentile time and the censor's sometimes ruled. It was kind of like the Kingston Trio's Greenback Dollar hit which had the word "Damn" emitted from the verse on the version played on the radio, because "damn" was such a bad word still. Finally, in the last couple of years the Oldie stations have started playing the "making love" version and a smile comes to my face whenever I hear it. Below is the "cleaned up" version. You can check out both versions at 2:19 into the song to hear the different versions.)

Brown Eyed Girl - Alternate


Kentucky Woman

"Kentucky Woman" is a 1967 song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond.   Released in October 1967, it reached number 22 on the U.S. pop singles chart, number 58 on the Australian charts, and number 6 on the Canadian charts.

Saturday Morning Continued Series

Radar Men From the Moon - Chapter 1

Tommy Towery

LHS '64

        I remember going to the Lyric and Grand Theatres every Saturday when we were growing up and we were always entertained by a feature, a color cartoon, the News of the World, and one of many cliff-hanger continued series, which always left us wondering how the hero would get out of the jam he was in. Even though this is not Saturday morning, I want to take you back to the fun of those times. With this issue we will begin the nostalgic trip back to the fun of those days, and continue it each week for those who hang around. The first installment of this plan involves one of my favorite Saturday Morning heros - Command Cody. 

        Radar Men from the Moon is a 1952 Republic Pictures' 12-chapter movie serial, the first Commando Cody serial starring newcomer George Wallace as Cody, Aline Towne as his sidekick Joan Gilbert, and serial veteran Roy Barcroft as the evil Retik, the Ruler of the Moon. This serial recycles the flying sequences from Republic's earlier 1949 serial King of the Rocket Men. 

        Please comment should you feel the urge.

Radar Men from the Moon



From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    Sheb Wooley

Eddie Burton


Tommy, while I was a staff songwriter at ATV Music in Nashville I got to meet Sheb Wooley. He was friends with our boss Gerry Tiefer and he would come in and spend time drinking coffee and sharing stories of his early recording sessions and of his time on Rawhide. He was a very gracious and generous gentleman.

Subject:    Reflections and Sheb Wooley 
Jim McBride
LHS '65

I have a few comments on last weeks edition of the Traveller. Jeanne and I are saddened by the passing of Gale Thompson. We remember her fondly. Jeanne's beloved Dad, Robert Ivey passed away two days before Gale; he was 91.   

I remember this crazy kid who was always at Goldsmith-Schiffman Field kicking a football while we played baseball on the Beirne Avenue Playground. Didn't he know it was not football season.  Turns out, he wasn't crazy after all. He was our very own Niles Prestige. I was so proud to say I knew him when he was playing for Alabama. Niles later became an astute businessman and a master of ceremony extraordinaire and I'm still proud to know him. I too, treasure hunted beneath the G-S bleachers on Saturday morning after a Friday night game.

In my years on Music Row I was privileged to become friends with Sheb Wooley, aka Ben Colder, Ben Nolan (Rawhide) and Ben Miller (High Noon). He was in many films and TV series including Hoosiers, The Outlaw Jose Wales and Giant. By the time we met, Sheb had become hard of hearing. He would turn his hearing aid up to 10 and still couldn't hear it thunder. It was fun to have lunch with him and see the looks of recognition on the faces of people who just couldn't quite figure where the knew him from. Our conversations were very loud owing to his previously mentioned auditory problem. I attended his funeral service which included Hawaiian shirts, ukeleles and a pine box coffin draped with an American flag. I'll never forget it, or him.  

Subject:    Sheb Wooley

Max Kull

LHS '67

Kind of cool to see Sheb Wooley mentioned in the jukebox favorites.  You highlighted the Rawhide connection but I also get a chuckle when watching the opening of High Noon seeing him gathering up with the rest of Frank Miller's gang while Tex Ritter sings that great theme song.  Couple that with his alter ego, Ben Colder, and his releases under that name and you get quite a diverse range of entertainment credits.

Subject:    Lee High School Donation
Glenn James
LHS '65

On Nov. 5, 2015, the Lee High School classes of 1964, 1965 and 1966 donated $1000.00 to Lee High School. Seen here are J. R. Brooks, Class of 1964, and Glenn James, Class of 1965 presenting the check to Anne Jobe, Principal of Lee High School.

Subject:    Lee's Traveller Reminders
Teresa Charlton Esslinger
LHS '65

 I find the reminder for the Traveller is a great help.  I  don’t think I realized how much it helped until I was not receiving the reminder.  I look forward to getting the Traveller each week and I thank you so much for making this possible.  I know once you mentioned Facebook and other media as being a substitute for the Traveller but that is not true!  I am on Facebook but I find I am not on as much as I was at first but I always try to read the Traveller.  

I hate that I missed the reunion this year but I wasn’t sure I could attend as this was the first reunion since Tommy died.  We were both very loyal to Lee as we both graduated from Lee, Tommy came back to Lee as soon as he graduated from college and taught there for almost 25 years and our daughter, Tollie, graduated from Lee.  

I have really enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading the stories about the reunion.  I was very saddened to read about the death of Gale Thompson in this issue as I am always sorry to learn of the passing of any of our classmates.  There are many I would not know about if it were not for the Traveller.

Thank you again for your dedication and all the time you spend providing such a wonderful service for our classes.  I don’t know if you will ever realize how much this means to each of us.