Saturday, April 28, 2012

Big Mama Thorton

Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was born in Montgomery Alabama. Her introduction to music started in a Baptist Church, where her father was a minister and her mother a church singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at very early ages. Thornton left....

Click Here> Big Mama Thorton | talkingbouttheblues

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alabama Music News

Alabama Music is proud to announce Alabama Music News is now online. As we told you from our beginning, "Alabama Music Office is telling the world about Alabama music everyday and keeping the Alabama music industry constantly informed of changes in the world of music."

Click here:  Alabama Music News

Please let us know your thoughts and Thank You for being a part of Alabama Music

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Making of “Stormin’ In Hoover.” By Jerry W. Henry

The Making of “Stormin’ In Hoover.” By Jerry W. Henry
“Stormin’ in Hoover” is a jazz song that showcases today’s Alabama jazz. Our intent was not to have intent. This song was 100% improvised. All involved gave their talent, time and efforts without compensation to help support the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. All proceeds from downloads of “Stormin’ In Hoover” will go to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Downloads will be available on the Alabama Music website.
As producer, part of my job was to get everyone together at the same place at the same time. We met in the parking lot where Ellis Piano is located in Birmingham, Alabama. We were to record at the home studio of audio engineer, Mack White.
I wanted a cross section of Birmingham/Tuscaloosa talent, young and old alike. The players that gathered that night were Ray Reach, Tom Wolfe and Ben Hill. Ray was to bring the rhythm section. He forgot. We decided to record the keyboards, guitar and trumpet. The rhythm section, drums and bass, were to be recorded later. This approach is in reverse order from normal recording sessions.
I hummed the melody to Ray and told him the basic structure. He began playing and directed the other players as we recorded the first take. This was a lot-of-firsts night for just-out-of-college, Ben Hill on trumpet, nervous in the beginning but held his own all the way through. After some microphone readjustments, the second take saw the song beginning to really fall into place. During the third and final take the heaviest downpour of that stormy night occurred. Thus the title.
Schedules postponed the rhythm section’s recording. On the chosen night, which happened as a storm was approaching, we met again in the same parking lot. Our rhythm section was Steve Samples on drums and Jeff Drew on bass. Recording the way we did proved to be very trying for all. After several takes and several approaches we finally finished before the storm began. I can’t say enough about how professional these players were in this situation.
Producer-Jerry W. Henry
Composer/Arranger-Ray Reach
Engineer-Mack White
Keyboards-Ray Reach (find out more about Ray:
Guitar-Tom Wolfe (find out more about Tom:
Trumpet-Ben Hill (find out more about Ben:
Bass-Jeff Drew (find out more about Jeff:
Drums-Steve Samples (find out more about Steve:
All proceeds from downloads of “Stormin’ In Hoover” will go to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.


Artist Name:
Alabama Music Office Jazz Allstars
Home Page:
Band Members:
Keyboards-Ray Reach, Guitar-Tom Wolfe, Trumpet-Ben Hill, Bass-Jeff Drew, Drums-Steve Samples
Band Member Count:


Northport, AL

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Alabama Music Gary Asher Interview

Alabama Music interviewed Gary Asher at his home in Birmingham, Alabama in April 2012. This video includes a tour of his huge memorabilia and drum collection. Gary is known as the drummer's drummer and travels the world in pursuit of all things percussion. This is the complete unedited version that accompanies May issue of Tannehill Trader.

Gary Asher-World Class Drummer's Drummer     by Jerry W. Henry

Gary Asher is more than a drummer. He is an international ambassador to the world of drumming. Gary is a serious collector, teacher and author/producer of drum lesson books & CD drumming lesson courses. Gary was born about a month before I finished high school. But when talking with him, I feel that he is the older, wiser one when it comes to many aspects within the world of music. His love for drums and music in general is apparent when you talk with him.

Gary Asher is a very busy man. We had been trying to get together for over a year for this interview.  As you will learn from the video, he travels the world with one project after another.

He became a drummer by way of heredity, as his father was a drummer in the Army Air Corps. His first job was at Nuncie's Music, which lasted for 25 years. He met his wife there when she came in to purchase a cowbell for her drum set.

His home in Vestavia Hills, Alabama is an unassuming ranch style and folks would never know of his huge collection of drums, autographed photos, books, catalogs, memorabilia too extensive to list here, when they pass by. But then we are talking about a man that Mr. Ludwig came to see a half-dozen times and invited Gary as a guest in the Ludwig household as well. He also knows several other major, as well as custom drum manufacturing owners and their employees.  He set a goal to purchase one drum set per month and that was over 35 years ago. He has those and many others as a result of his avid buying and selling; he has over 700 snares. His drums were in the movie Drumline and That Thing You Do. He has Ringo Starr's autograph on a bass drum skin before he stopped autographing. Drums played by Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Dierks Bentley, Fleetwood Mac, Ben Sesar (Brad Paisley,) Keith Zebronski (Miranda Lambert,) Chris Fryar (Zac Brown Band,) and Zoro, Brian Teasley (Man or Astro Man,), Chris from Umphree's McGee, Jamie Sharp (Rush of Fools,) and many, many more. But the most treasured is a set of Ludwigs his father played.

In 1982 he founded Drum School, where he began instructing the over 3000 students ages 4 to 87 who have been through his three-month course. Gary still finds the time to accompany his wife at church weekly.  Professionally he performs in his three bands, Lamp Lighters, The Larry Russo Trio, and Gary Asher and Friends.  He also serves as the Partnership Development Director for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization. He has donated over 100 drum sets to numerous charities over the years and attributes all of his blessings to the joy of drumming. "I am so grateful and thankful for every one I have met, every place I have visited," says Gary. "My goal for the next 45 years is to own every drum and teach everyone to play."

Gary Asher's passion and enthusiasm seem endless. He is now listed in a tabletop photography book about the world of drumming featuring over 500 drummers including: Ginger Baker, Hal Blaine, Louie Bellson, Simon Phillips, Nigel Olsson and many, many more. Yes Alabama's Gary Asher travels the globe as an international ambassador to the world of drumming.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

International Blues challenge, Memphis TN 2009

Alabama Music traveled to Memphis, TN to attend the International Blues challenge in 2009.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Henderson Huggins album review.

Henderson Huggins : In God's HandsIt is very hard to believe but Henderson Huggins has never recorded before In God’s Hands (We Three Productions). In God’s Hands is a collection of 8 black gospel tracks written by Kenne Walker and Henderson. Most in Tuscaloosa, Alabama know Henderson as the piano tuning man. He was the blind piano player in the movie, Honeydripper. This soulful gospel offering was co-produced and engineered by John Hall. In God’s Hands has been a long time in coming but well worth the wait.

Tannehill Trader April, 2012

Album available @ Henderson Huggins | In God's Hands | CD Baby

Friday, April 6, 2012

Music Business Contacts. By Jerry W. Henry

I had a 20-something musician call me to ask for the phone number of a mutual musician friend that now lives in Saraland, Alabama. I gave him the number readily. He then said, “If I had your contacts I would be working the big stage and get there on my tour bus.” I responded by telling him that my contacts would do him very little good. To me, those contacts are relationships. I have been in the music business for 50 years now. I have accumulated a large number of relationships in that time.

Even if I had the perfect contact for my musician friend, he is not ready for the big stage much less getting there in a tour bus. Music business professionals seek music artists with a healthy following and a team in place. They look for acts that can tour, and have success with past album sales. They seek music artists that are serious about their music and career.

I have access to several databanks where I can contact virtually anyone in the music business. But until I can establish a relationship, they are simply contacts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Christmas Party at Cypress Moon Studios

Alabama Music traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to attend Muscle Shoals Music Associations Christmas Party. Funky Donnie Fritts and The Decoys play "Memphis Women & (Fried) Chicken."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Band website basics. by Jerry W. Henry

Your website is your band communicating to the world about who you are, what you do and why people should like you.

Why does your band need a website? The main reason is to get new fans from all over the world. Your website should also bring you much closer to your existing fan base. It is the most powerful way to promote your gigs and should get you new bookings. Websites sell your music & merchandise and you profit from it. The last band I know that got signed by a label was because of their website. The label told them that they had been monitoring their website for two years prior to contacting them. It was a couple of internet connections that launched the Alabama Shakes.

A visitor’s first impression will be created the instant they set eyes on your website. They will form an opinion about you from the overall look of the site. Flash based websites can often be slow to load and a percentage of visitors will give up and surf to a different website. Once new visitors have landed on your site and their initial impression did not cause them click out, they will continue shaping their initial impression of you from the information presented on the web pages.

The choice of what your webpage can contain is plentiful: band bio and a bio of each member, tour schedule, newsletter sign up, social media integration links, music player, EPK download, merchandise e-store, a way to interact with your fans, photo page, video, list of past gigs, media downloads, press, contact info, booking, forum, message board/guest book, blog, news. I am sure there are many more that I did not list.

My foremost question is who is going to maintain the site? A site that is not updated is an embarrassment. Fans return to music artist’s websites regularly. A killer site that is difficult to update is worthless. Make sure you can connect to your website at any place that has Wi-Fi.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the most important assets a music artist has in today’s world is their website and their mailing list.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Is your way right? by Jerry W. Henry

In the world of music artists there are many differences. These differences go much further than what kind of instrument you play. God gives talents to every music artist. How they perfect their talents is self-determined.  Some are professional while others will have their first paying gig this weekend. I know music artists that only perform live. I know others that only record. Today many have their own studios. Of those that have studios, some should record and others should not. Some I know will only play their original music while others play covers in college bars. Some tour, regionally, nationally and internationally. Others have never gigged past the neighboring city. Many have downloads or CD’s for sale. Others give free music. I know music artists that make their living from songs they wrote in the ‘60’s. I also know many more that have never written a song. Some write songs and they will be the only ones to experience their songs. Etc., etc.

I hope I can get this one point across to each music artist: Your way is one of many ways.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Rick & Jilda Watson at Mary's Cakes

Alabama Music goes to downtown Northport, Alabama to video Rick & Jilda Watson at Mary's Cakes sing their original song "I Think Of You" on a very hot summer day. (2011)