First up in RPM (that’s Rah-rahs Per Minute), our new series focusing on the vinyl sounds of Auburn Spirit too long relegated to the rotting Shasta box bulk-bins of our thrift stores and garage sales, is this dandy slab of transparent blue vinyl onto which Glenn Tolbert carved a squirrel-catchingly fast bluegrass version of the Auburn Fight Song*. No date, but I’ve got to think this was done – in Muscle Shoals, by the way – in the late, late 70s or very early 80s.
A regular on Birmingham’s gift to television, The Country Boy Eddie Show, Tolbert still has some country-ish cachet — in 2005, one website called him “the fastest picker in Alabama.” That same site shows him autographing a guitar at a performance at the Bama Theater in Tuscaloosa; combined with a an accompanying ad for “Yea Alabama” (“WAR EAGLE” and “YEA, ALABAMA” are the two greatest fight songs in the country—- GIVE THEM A PLAY!”) available from the same “Muscle Music,” that would certainly seem to suggest that Tolbert is either one of those exception-to-the-rule wilderness primitives that swear allegiance only to their state (and, in his case, music), an Athens wholesaler who has never heard of ‘this here football,’ or that he is a business-is-businessman who likely pulls for the Tide.
(The picture on this classic Angelfire “under construction” page shows him in a Braves shirt.)
Cross-Googling his name with “Roll Tide” or “Yea, Alabama” results in nary a link, while a cross-Googling with “War Eagle” turns up a French eBay offering of a personalized, autographed copy of the “War Eagle” record:
While that by no means rules out the possibility that he’s a Bama fan out for hard-earned Auburn cash, something about that “Forever” rings of true belief.
His pickin’ is accompanied by Will McFarlane, a former guitar player for Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Brown, and The Pointer Sisters, eventual CCM liner note mainstay, and current Chapel Hill-area pastor. No indication as to how he leans.
The B-side is a same-styled rendition of Mr. Touchdown U.S.A., a generic if-you-need-one fight song that doesn’t appear to be used by any major university, but I could be wrong.
It’s the only one I’ve ever seen. And it can be yours.
* The rights to the fight song are curiously credited to the Auburn Alumni Association. I don’t think that’s right.
* Behind the scenes of the New York Heisman Tiger Walk
* Crimson White misspells ‘Tuscaloosa’ in front page headline
* Awesome old video shows Auburn (and Chewacla) of yesteryear
* Harvey Updyke in high school
* Could Bieber Fever save the Toomer’s Oaks?
* Toomer’s Corner after Punt, Bama, Punt
* Bo and Me
* Actor’s memoir sheds light on integration of Auburn football
* Bear Bryant’s lost year at Auburn
* The Secret History of Pat Dye Field
* Erin Andrews at Toomer’s Corner
* In the time of “Got 13″ she was a Tiger
* The Auburn player who played for Bama… and Busey
Is this the Three On A String guy?
Pretty sure it’s not — I went to school with the son of one of those guys, nice guy, big Bama fan.
hit ’em high
hit ’em low
“Hit ’em high, hit ’em low” is the “clean” version, so you can teach the song to children. My mother had an Aubie that sang the song, and you could set which version was appropriate. She preferred the nice one.
Mr. Touchdown was the song the cheerleaders sang in “Revenge of the Nerds” during the talent show.
The part where they dressed up as the team.
Michael Val Hietter says
I have that record somewhere in my storage shed. I bought it as a freshman or sophomore somewhere around 83-85. I don’t remember it being blue, though–maybe I got a later pressing.
(who wishes he could pick like this fellow!)
I had the same record, although it was not blue. I remember when I was a student at Auburn staying up late and listening to the Larry King Show on the radio. Larry and his guest-host Jim Bohanon would always play Mr. Touchdown on the show when talking about sports. I sent them this actual recording and one night I actually heard Jim Bohanon play it. He introduced it as the bluegrass version of Mr. Touchdown USA.