I don’t understand why folks email me rather than comment on my Alabama Music Office blog. I guess old habits are hard to break. Regardless, I appreciate your feedback.
Many of you reminded me of the times we would slip off to the state line clubs in Columbus, Mississippi. Here in Tuscaloosa we could go to several bootleggers who would charge us three times the regular price for beer. The state line clubs only doubled the price for us underagers.
The two most popular bootleggers were the cinder block store down highway 82 where you turned to go to Flatwoods. The building is still there. The other was Sally Sexton’s store that is now part of North River Country Club on Old Watermelon Road.
The state line clubs I remember best was the Southernaire, Playmore, Lakeside and Dew Drop Inn. There was a club across the highway from Lakeview but I can’t remember what it was called that we frequented. I got to hear some of the best in R & B at the Southernaire. I said hear rather than see because they sold us beer out the back door, but us high schoolers were not allowed inside. The University students got to go inside. If memory serves me, Southernaire was the place where Big Ben and the Nomads played regularly. We would park as close as we could and listen to the music while we drank our beer. There was also a killer drive in restaurant that had great hamburgers over there amongst those clubs.
We didn’t spend all our time driving back and forth to the state line. Back then drive-in movie theaters were part of our lives. There were times when the Dale Drive-in Theater, which was on Greensboro Ave., would let you in for soft drink bottle caps. Other times we would sneak in inside the trunk of the car. I can still hear the gravel crunching underneath the tires as we wondered around trying to find our friends or that perfect parking place. Drive-in movies were so much of the culture of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. The drive-in was a perfect date location with the parking for steamy windshields
I remember one night in Tuscaloosa when we decided to buy some moonshine to take with us to the drive-in movie in Cottondale. I was the one that went into Mr. Walker’s house to make the buy. I will never forget The Louvin Brothers song “Satin Is Real” was playing on his radio. I got the message but still bought the moonshine. We mixed the moonshine with the beverages that were sold at the drive-in. I think I mixed mine with Coke; others used Dr. Pepper or Royal Crown Cola. Needless to say there was a car full of sick teenagers before the night was over. I still remember what it looked like after throwing up that spiked Coke mixed with popcorn. Just like “The Toad” in the movie American Graffiti.