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210726 July 26, 2021


Thomas Janning Hunt
LHS '66
September 16, 1947 - July 12, 2021

    Thomas Janning Hunt, 73, of Huntsville, Alabama passed away on July 12, 2021. Thomas is retired from the US Army where he received numerous medals and awards for his service to his county. He was also very active in Law Enforcement. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years Glecia Hunt. No services are planned at this time. Berryhill Funeral Home is assisting the family.  

Unchained Melody

    "Unchained Melody" is a song by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. North wrote the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained (January 1955), hence the song's title. Zaret refused the producer's request to include the word "unchained" in his lyrics. The song eventually became known as the "Unchained Melody" even though the song does not actually include the word "unchained". Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. It has since become a standard and one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, most notably by the Righteous Brothers in July 1965. According to the song's publishing administrator, over 1,500 recordings of "Unchained Melody" have been made by more than 670 artists, in multiple languages.

Our Final Slow Song Selection
"Unchained Melody" 
Comments by John Drummond
LHS '65

    Yes, the iconic song "Unchained Melody" was written in 1955 for the prison film "Unchained," hence the song's title.  It became a hit for The Righteous Brothers in 1965.  The two singers (not actual brothers) were performing under a different stage name when immediately after singing a duet, some fan yelled out:  "That was righteous, brother."

    Bill Medley was the taller and deeper-voiced of the two.  Bobby Hatfield was the shorter, blonder one with the higher-pitched voice and greater range, so he recorded "Unchained Melody" as a solo.  Hatfield died at age 63 of a heart attack brought on by cocaine use, just one hour before a concert in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2003.  Bill Medley was still performing at age 80, having survived (ironically) throat cancer.

    The song was featured in the film "Ghost" starring Demi Moore as Molly and the late Patrick Swayze as her dead-but-came-back-as-a-ghost husband Sam.  Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as the medium who helps Sam reunite (sort of) with Molly.

    Somewhat surprisingly, The Righteous Brother's biggest hit was not U.C.M., but "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."  The song was featured in the 1986 film "Top Gun" when Tom Cruise, playing the hotshot pilot Maverick picks up a microphone in a bar and sings it a capella, spontaneously joined by his fellow Naval officers, to serenade his astrophysics professor, played by Kelly McGillis.  Great scene, great song, and even greater movie.

Another Slow Song Selection
"Last Date"
Comments by Tommy Towery
LHS '64

Last Date

        I think it was a typo or an auto-correct issue by the classmate who picked "Last Dance" as the final slow song of the evening. "Last Dance" was a disco number by Donna Summers. I find there are two possible songs which they meant to select. One would be "Save the Last Dance for Me" and the other one might be "Last Date." Of the two, "Last Date" would be my pick because it has a much slower tempo. I can close my eyes and listen to it and immediately be back in a dimly lit room and swaying to the hypnotic rhythm as the evening comes to a close. Turn the sound up a little, relax, tilt your head back a little, close your eyes and see what memories flood your thoughts. It is a 1960 instrumental written and performed by Floyd Cramer. It exemplifies the "slip note" style of piano playing that Cramer made popular. It peaked at number 11 on the country chart and at number two on the Hot 100. Cramer's recording inspired a number of successful cover versions, including a vocal adaptation by Conway Twitty.

        Memphis, TN - Let me update you on a few facts about my life which many of you do not know. In college I took a course in Radio Broadcasting and was a Disc Jockey (Dee Jay or DJ) on the Memphis State University radio station WTGR - Tiger Radio. This was in 1966, so I became very familiar with the music of the time, including the popular songs and artists. While in the Air Force I became a fanatical collector of 45 RPM records and amassed over 2,500 of them - almost entirely Oldie Goldies. Since I had the music I was often asked to provide the entertainment at my squadron and wing parties. Using duel turntables and massive 300 watt speakers I acquired overseas I also began playing at private parties, sock hops, and even did Friday night gigs at the Officers' Club when I was in Omaha. I hauled my record collection and sound equipment with me when I moved to England in the early Eighties and continued my DJ gigs during my four-year tour there. Oldie Goldies were my specialty and I learned how to keep the audience happy by playing sets of songs which they wanted to dance to. I always had a set of three slow songs which I knew would fill the floor, hence my fascination with the idea of the final slow song dance. Many times my next to the last song was the closing theme from the Mickey Mouse Club show..."Now it's time to say goodbye to all our family. M-I-C (see you real soon) K-E-Y (why, because we like you) M-O-U-S-E. Sometimes I substituted Goodnight Sweetheart , Goodnight , it's time to go.... I think my most popular final song was the Elvis hit from Blue Hawaii, "Can't Help Falling in Love With You."

        All that said, it warms my heart to hear all of the selections you classmates picked out as your own favorite slow songs to end an evening. Over the following weeks I will get to all of them. Based upon the number of songs submitted it is going to take a while, but I will get to them eventually. I am shutting down the link for suggestions at this time, but if you have one that is special you can still email me.

        A special thanks goes out to John Drummond for offering to assist me in reviewing and commenting on the slow song titles which were submitted. His inputs will offer informtive information on those special songs.

        Thanks again for answering my plea for participation. I do this for you.

The List of Slow Songs Submitted
By Your Classmates

All I Have To Do Is Dream - the Everly Brothers
Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton
Can't Help Falling In Love with You – Elvis Presley
Chantilly Lace – The Big Bopper
Cherish – The Association
Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying - Gerry and the Pacemakers
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - Mel Carter
I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Johnny Mathis
I Love How You Love Me - the Paris Sisters
I Love You More and More Each Day - Al Martino
I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos
In the Still of the Night – The Five Satins (2)
It's All In the Game - Tommy Edwards
Last dance (Date?) – Floyd Cramer
Misty - Johnny Mathis 
Moon River - Andy Williams (3)
My Girl - The Temptations (3)
My Special Angel - Bobby Vinton
Only You - The Platters
Roses Are Red – Bobby Vinton
Save the Last Dance For Me – The Drifters
Since I Don't Have You - The Skyliners (2)
Sixteen Candles - The Crests
Sleep Walk - Santo & Johnny (3)
Slow Dancin’ (Swayin To the Music) – Johnny Rivers
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Talk to Me – Sunny & the Sunglows
Teen Angel - Mark Dinning
There I've Said It Again – Bobby Vinton
Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
Try Me - James Brown
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers  (3)
When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (2)
You Belong to Me - The Duprees

Driver's Test Survey
Craig Bannecke
LHS '65

Thought I have a good suggestion for your surveys.  What car did you take your drivers test in ? Year, Make and Model ? 
As you probably recall most of us took our test downtown Huntsville and drove around the square and the city blocks. Also had 
to parallel park there as well. Kids driver test are so simple today. Doubt half of them could pass the test we had to take...... judging by
some of the driving I have seen ! We had to actually use our turn signals ! 

Driver's Test Car?


From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    1960 Generals Football Team (July 19, 2021 Photo)

Jim McBride

LHS '65

    I know several of the un-named players. I’m guessing at a couple.

#2 is Glen Wallace

#4 is Phillip Bell

#70 is Troy Newby I believe,  

#82 is Jimmy Ivey

#42 is Ronnie Oldfield I believe and I think

# 40 may be Jim Armstrong.

Subject:    1960 Generals Football Team
Danny Kinkle

    I recognized 2 of the Lee football photos that did not have a name attached to them in this week's Lee Traveller

1st Row order  2 number 22 was Glen Wallace went on to play at Butler High School
1st Row order 4 number 31 was Phil Bell also later played for Butler High School.

    Always enjoy reading the Lee Traveller, it is one of a kind with a ton of History

Subject:    C.E. Wynn Photo & Piece
David Mullins
LHS '64

    C.E. I really appreciate the photo & remembrances from  our team. I well remember the day that photo was taken and the days those memories were made. So many many dear lifelong friends pictured here. Those were certainly glorious days in our respective lives. Again thank you for the memories and thank you Tommy for including them. GOD BLESS.

Subject:    Randy Roman's Saxophone
Faye France
LHS '65

    Tommy I am not able to comment on the web site.  Just wanted to say I loved his music, it touched me.  I read your website every week and want to thank you for keeping it going all these years.

Subject:    COVID 19
Jim Bannister
LHS '66

    I came down with COVID19 Alpha Variant in April and almost died. Spent nine days in the hospital and a month on home health care. The doctors and staff of St. Vincents East Covid Unit were outstanding and saved my life. Other than the long-term effects, I am now doing well. I have been a little bitter because I locked down in my home for over a year, having groceries delivered, handwashing, disinfecting everything and still got the virus. I couldn't get the vaccine due to local vaccine politics, now they are begging people to take it. I feel very blessed to still be here.



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