Friday, June 30, 2006

Love me Tender

A President, a Prim Minster and a King

As I am writing this BLOG update, President Bush and Prim Minster Koizumi of Japan is visiting Elvis's Graceland and are going to eat a Memphis Bar-B-Q lunch at the world famous Rendezvous restaurant downtown. This is the first time that a sitting US President have visited Graceland (former President Carter visited as a private citizen), also a first for a Prim Minster and a First Lady. The Japanese Prim Minster is a hugh fan of Elvis and President Bush wanted to treat him to Graceland. Koizumi favorite Elvis song? "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", Thank you very much!

I can truly say that a US President and a Japanese Prim Minster have walked in the same spot where I have. It brings me back to Aug 17, 1977 when I personally witnessed history in the making when Elvis died. I will always remember that day and what I was doing. It was noon and I was painting my Mother's house when my sister Sandy called and said, "Have you heard the news?", " Elvis just died." I immediately got dressed, grabbed my super 8 movie camera, and my Mom and sister went with me to Graceland. I'd say we were among the first visitors to arrive. It turned out to be an all day deal with crowds swelling to around 100,000 people on one city block. I have never witnessed nothing like this before. The national and International news media was everywhere.

Also the next day, by again being among the first, we got to see Elvis lying in his coffin just inside the foyer at his Graceland house. I will never forget what he looked like. He was fat and his hair was cut short. Some folks swore that I was the one who took his unauthorized photo lying in the casket, but I didn't do it. However, I did get some valuable snap shots of that day's historical event. I also attended Elvis's Funeral with the same emotional stance as the previous two historical days. FACT: Outside of the Whitehouse, Graceland is the most visited home in North America.

Although, I have never personally met Elvis, I did play for one of his party's at The Thunder Bird Lounge in Memphis where I was with the house band, "Tommy Jaye and the Escorts" back in 1967. There is a short paragraph about that event at my Rockabilly Hall of Fame ® Page.

Related Links:
Click here: Official News
Click here: Memphis TV Stations News Covarage
Click here: Bobby Sowell - Rockabilly Hall of Fame
(Check out Bobby's Elvis Story at his RHOF Page)

Thank you very much!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Defend Them All

My prayers and thoughts are with the brave seven marines and one Navy Corpsman defendants who was charged with murder solely on the accounts of an Iraqi witness. It is sad state of affairs when you have the front page of the New York Times constantly covering these bogus allegations when the mutilating and beheading of the two troops story is tucked away. Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the senior commander at Camp Pendleton, will decide whether and how to proceed with preliminary hearings known in the military justice system as Article 32 proceedings. That in turn could lead to courts-martial for some or all of the men.

I am very proud of their service and I know that the majority of the American people are with them.

To show your support visit:

A claim posted on an Islamic website Tuesday said the soldiers were "slaughtered" in accordance with God's will. "We announce the good news to our Islamic nation that we executed God's will and slaughtered the two crusader animals we had in captivity," says the claim, reportedly from the Mujahedeen Shura Council, a group linked to al Qaeda. "And God has given our Emir, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer (Zarqawi's replacement), the good fortune of carrying out the legitimate court's command in person."

As a Vietnam vet who has personally experienced the horrors of war, I feel you must know the enemy to defeat them. We must fight them on their same terms. I further call for the immediate release of the seven marines and one salor held on bogus murder chargers and that they be given medals for their sacrifice.

Leave our troops alone and let them do their job. How do you determine who is the enemy anyhow? As in all wars, I consider the death of this Iraqi to be a collateral casualty as the worse. For God's sake, this is war with a brutal enemy that wears no uniform and given the chance would cut all of our heads off regardless of your politics, conservative or liberal. Look at Canada? And how about the so called moderate Muslims? American Muslims? Where is their outcry on the mutilation of the two young American solders? I haven seen any!! The following links will assisist any doubters as to what kind of scum we are up against.

Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs

See what I mean? Muslim Life and Beliefs

Prostitution & Slavery: In the name of Allah

View more pictures of Camp Pendleton rally

Show your support visit:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The longest day

The best Father's Day gift I ever got was from God. He gave me my first born son, Robert Lee Sowell II (better known as Rob or Robby). He was born on Father's Day, Jun 21st, 1981 in Memphis, TN. In addition of being born on Father's Day, he also was born on the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. To set the record straight, regardless what he may have heard from other sources, Robby was named after his Father (me). His Father (me) was named after DR Robert G. Lee who was a famous Southern Baptist Preacher. When Robert Sowell (Bobby) senior (me) grew up and entered military service, he dropped the Initial "G", hence, Robert Lee Sowell was the official name. When Rob was born, he was given his Father's name also without the Initial "G". *Included in the below links is a letter written to Robert G. Lee Sowell (me)from DR Robert G. Lee in 1947, (It even mentions music.) How did he know that music would become a big part of my life?

I would like to wish my son Robby, who resides in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada along with his siblings, Amanda Marie and Christopher Michael, a very Happy 25 th Birthday! Now, you know a little more about my son, Robby Lee."HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROB"! Hope to see you soon.

Other people Rob shares birthdays with are Price Williams, June 21,1982 and Country singer Martina McBride gave birth to a baby girl today, Jun 21st, 2005. The star and her husband John welcomed the arrival of Ava Rose Kathleen in Nashville, Tennessee. Both Ava and 38-year-old McBride were doing well, according to the singer's website.

Happy 1st day of summer everyone. According to our weather forecaster, there will be 14 hours of sunlight today. Also, look in tomorrow nights sky and see the annual "strawberry moon".


Click here: The Niagara Falls X-men Meetup Group

Click here: Robby at Student Awards Forum

Click here: View 1947 Letter from DR Robert G. Lee

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Papa Day

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sick TV?

Well, what do we have on Channel 10 WKNO programing this week? Gay awareness and appreciation week? I was appalled to see such public display of "in your face" gross and indecent homosexual behavior for all to see, both young and old this past weekend.

First, I saw a movie (not for very long) where lude and explicit gay acts were being displayed, not so much visually but very descriptive. I could not believe what I was hearing on public TV? I was feeling outraged, insulted and betrayed. The name of it was "Eli Parker is Getting Married?" The review goes on to say, when Eli Parker wakes up naked in a cotton field, handcuffed to his best man, also naked he thinks his friends are getting revenge for all of the wedding day pranks he's pulled. But when his best man picks this time to come out (gay) to him. The review continues on with, The best scene in the movie is Chip's naked romp through the forest, buttocks on display. Only an expert eye would notice that each ripple of butt cheek was perfectly choreographed by Chip to capture the mood and heartwrenching suspense of the scene. Fabulous. Chip, we can't wait to see you on 'Celebrities Uncensored'. Disgusting!!

And then late Sunday night, I turn it on again to WKNO to a 2 hour documentary of gay men adopting children and telling about their 'coming out of the closet' experience was like. This time lumped into singing harmony. A documentary titled, "The power of harmony" More than 200 gay men perform in the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Also, I have seen ads promoting a gay and lesbian fundraiser for the Memphis alliance of Gay and Lesbians as if it was an ordinary public service announcement.

"Diversity" is a code word for homosexuality. By defining themselves as a minority such as African-Americans, homosexual activists seek to bolster their claims of needing special treatment and PBS has accommodated their homosexual concerns. If I were an Africian American or a Hispanic living in the US, I would be insulted being lumped in with the homsexuals as being "diverisfied" to promote their preverted policacal agenda. Afterall, It takes babies of any race to carry on it's furture generations, a task that can't be delivered by Gay's and Lesbians, (think about it).

I do not want my young children or grandchildren watching gay commericals or homosexual programming and thinking that it must be OK because PBS or WKNO says so. It is a direct and blatant violation of my Christian principles.

Again, WKNO pushing the liberal homosexual agenda. Is that what all the fund raising is about? Is is a fine example of quality and innovative programming? I bet most of the mid-southerners don't know or not even aware, but thanks to blogging, I can at least vent my disapproval of how public donations and tax dollars are being spent? I am not a anti gay bigot or a gay basher, I just merely object as a taxpayer, my money going to promote the gay and lesbian agenda, especially when Christian causes are rejected and ridiculed. I don't want my children or grandchildren seeing such programming when they are forbidden to pray at a public school - So by the same token, NO gay and lesbian promoted programming on Public TV!

I think liberals are shooting themselves in the foot again. The majority of American people are insulted and feel that their traditional family values are under attack. Remember the last election? Remember Red states? Remember In EVERY State that had the referendum concerning gay marriage amendment was soundly defeated?

What can you do? Contact WKNO and let them know your feelings.

Visit their Website Click here: WKNO-TV MEMPHIS

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another one gone

Johnny Grande

'Rock Around the Clock'
pianist Grande, 76, dies

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- Johnny Grande, an original member of Bill Haley and the Comet who played piano on their hit, "Rock Around the Clock", has died at the age of 76. Grande died Saturday at his home in Clarksville and his funeral was Wednesday night.

Born in Philadelphia, Grande had recorded more than 40 records, including four that went gold. He played on hits like "Rock Around The Clock", See You Later,Alligator", "Rockin' Through The Rye" and "Rockin Around The World". "Rock Around The Clock" was recorded in 1954 and was No. 1 for eight weeks before going on the sell 22 Million copies worldwide. It gained new popularity when it was chosen for soundtracks of the movies, "The Blackboard Jungle" and "American Graffiti" in 1974.

Grande was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997. He is survived by his wife and four children.

As a fellow musician and Rockabilly Hall of fame Inductee, I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Johnny Grande. He was a pioneer of Rockabilly and Rock n Roll piano playing. He was the member on the first Rock n Roll band ever, Bill Haley and the comets. His name "Grande" is very fitting for him as he was "Big" in Rock n Roll and Rockabilly music history. Johnny 's pounding piano strengthened the bass line and inspired unborn generations of piano players (including me) with his awesome signature left hand bass rhythm. I owe my sincere gratitude to him for paving the way for us younger musicians. He rocked the piano. Thank you Johnny! You were truly one of my heroes. He will be missed.

Click here: Johnny Grande RHOF Inductee #0015

Click here: Rockabilly Hall of Fame - The Comets

Click here: Rock Around the Clock Tribute

Click here: Rockabilly Hall of Fame Index

Click here: RAB Hall of Fame: Bobby Sowell

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

East Tennessee

I have about 300 cousins in those hills of East Tennessee wearing overalls, drinking moon shine (well, they use to). My mother worked in Oak Ridge in WW2 making ammunition. That's were they have all the "Clark" family reunions.

The last one we had, there was over 300 relatives there from all over the US. They all were decentants of my grandpa John Clark and grandma Perl Clark, Born 1879/1881 in Ten Mile, (Stomp Creek) Roane County TN., who had 11 children. I had 10 aunts and 1 uncle. All 11 family's off springs were well represented at the reunion. There history goes back to the original European settlers. The church they attend was founded in 1797, Salem Baptist Church. Back then every valley was settled by one's religion, hence ALL the people in that valley were Baptist. The Methodist were over the mountain in the next valley, Presbyterian in another valley over another mountain and so on.

During the last reunion, we went to a Salem Baptist Church service and the preacher who use to play with me as a kid (I think I stole his bird house at vacation bible school) came up to me and said, "Bobby, let me show you something of great value". He took me in his office and pulled out an old church log book that was dated from 1797 to 1976. It had the earliest recording of events from all off my Clark ancestors and forefathers. Dates when they were born, baptized, married and died. I found my mother, aunts, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, cousins, all the way back past the Civil War, War of 1812 and when east Tennessee was a territory of North Carolina. At the beginning of the book, all entries were done by feather ink, then in pen when it was invented. A true histrocial document that's most likely worth something to history buffs. I was amazed!

As a kid I loved staying the summers there. There was no electricity or running water. They drank the water from the creek. I use to carried the bucket to the house. The only water pump was located at Salem Baptist Church. They mostly were all farmers. Their main crop was tobacco. Out house only, baths in the creek or tub outside for the kids on sat night. The house my grandparents lived in was built by my grandpa's father in the early 1800's. There are NO blacks allowed in those hills. It was the simple life!! Memories that I will cherish. A far cry from Memphis in West Tenn.

Salem Baptist Church has a sweet spirit. Remember, they have been meeting every Sunday since 1797 (That's 209 years!). They have been at one time or another every kind of Baptist. Independent, Foot Washing, Free Will, Southern and now Missionary Baptist. Going to church on Sunday's for them is not a chore or just church services, it's an event. They stay all day. They eat (pot luck) and socialize between the morning and evening worship services. They sing!! and boy do they sing!!

I remember when we visited them, the song director asked for the choir to come on up, the entire congregation, including the children went into the choir loft. (big one) the only ones left was us visitors (3 couples). It was the most wonderful sound one could hear. Perfect harmonies!! They all sung their parts perfect including the kids. They had a pianist, organist and a bass player who sounded like they were on steroids. They got down. I think the slowest song they sung was "when the roll is called up yonder" Most of the songs were the old time gospel ones. My mother learned to sing at Salem, she had a wonderful voice. Her and her sisters recorded and sung on the radio in Chattanooga in the 30's.

The preaching was great too!! The preacher acknowledged our presence and told a story of our grandpa Clark's faithfulness to the church. How he would bring his family to church in a horse drawn wagon. He NEVER missed a Sunday service.

They tape each service. I'm glad I got two (morning and night service). I listen to them every once in a while. I love the singing and get a blessing each time.

You know by their sheer existence for 209 years, that the Holy Spirit is in that place. That church NEVER split like so many Baptist churches do today. They resolved their difference, lead by the Holy Spirit through voting on issues. No one left the church because they didn't like the way a vote went. They accepted it and moved on. Splitting is the work of the Devil, they didn't want any part of that!!

I think every church issue (Including new deacons and a new pastor) ought to be voted on by a closed ballot and the results is the answer from God and not by a select group of church members. That's how Salem did it and have lasted for over two centurys. Think about It.

Salem Baptist Church - Founded 1797
(rebuilt over and over down thru the years)

The Sowell Klan at the Clark Reunion (Name Tags?)

Click here: View more East Tennessee Pics

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tale of Two Uncles

Uncle Bud

My favorite Uncle on my Mother's side, Uncle Bud (well, the only one) died Friday Jun 2, 2006 of a heart attack as did my Mom (his sister) in Jan of 1998. He died at the VA Hospital in Mufreesboro, TN. Uncle Bud was 81 years old. As a highly decorated marine, he fought in World War II in the Pacific, including the battle of Iwo Jima for which he received a Purple Heart.

He was the youngest of nine children (all sisters) yet he out lived seven of them who preceded him in death: Maude Nucholls, Ann Short, Reba Hall, Edith Brock, Agatha Sowell, Cecil Kelsay and Billy Vickers. Military Honors with a 21 gun salute by the Roane County Military Memorial Honor Guard performed at the grave site service. Kyker Funeral Home in Kingston had charge.

I have a lot fond memories of him growing up. I remember my Mom talking about him during WW II and what all he went through. It was uncle Bud who gave me my first haircut while my mother went to town and when she got back she got a surprise. I went from a long hair baby to looking like a little boy. I remember the summers I spent as a kid on my Grandpa's farm in Ten Mile, TN (10 miles from Kingston in East Tennessee) and playing with my cousins, especially Uncle Bud's son Ricky. Coming from the big city of Memphis to the wide open spaces of the country was a big deal to me and my siblings. It was far better than camp could ever be. I remember the dog named Jerry and uncle Bud playing the guitar while the dog sung.

I never got to personally thank uncle Bud for fighting in WW II for our freedom but I do honor his service and appreciate his bravery. I also thank him for being on the right side of history. May he rest in peace now that he has fought his last battle. He is now reunited with his parents, his son and his sisters who went before him. I will see him again in Heaven. My prayers are with his surviving family, may the Holy Spirit comfort them during this time.

There is but one left out of 9 children on the Clark side of my family (aunt Opal of Chattanooga) and one left on the Sowell side (Aunt Dorothy of Memphis). That generation is dwindling down. Historians called them the "Greatest Generation" and I agree. We certainly owe them our utmost gratitude.

Clark family reunion June 1995

Clark family reunion June 1995

Bobby and family summer visit 1996

Uncle Bud's visit to Memphis 1997, Mom's 75th Birthday

Read The Roane County Newspaper Obituaries:
Click here: Arnold C. Clark

View more Clark related photos
Click here: Webshots - Images of East Tennessee

Read what Uncle Bud went through in WW II:
Click here: World War II Battle of Iwo Jima

Uncle Richard

My last surviving uncle on the Sowell side also died recently. Uncle Richard, 80 passed away Easter Sunday, April 16th. He was my favorite uncle on my Dad's side. He was the youngest of his family. His brothers Roy, Walter, Speck, Mule, James and sister Elma preceded him in death. The only one left of that Sowell generation is Aunt Dorothy. I also have fond memories of Uncle Richard. He married my Mom's baby setter (she watched me) and she became my aunt Maxine. They had two children, Mark and Tabitha. Unlike all the other Sowell uncles and aunts, we saw uncle Richard on a regular basis. We visited each other over the years. My earliest memories of him was when he was visiting us from Oklahoma and stayed with us for a while. I remember him having a record collection. It was the first time I heard songs like "On Top of ole Smokeys", "How much is that doggie in the window", "So long, it's been good to know you" I remember playing them over and over. I must have been around 7 years old.

Uncle Richard did not serve in World War II because of his eyes being bad. I remember him having what I call "Dancing Eyes".

As early as I can remember, he has always strive to have the best looking yard in the neighborhood, always working in the yard in his spare time. Uncle Richard suffered from the complications of diabetes. He had lost both legs one at a time. He had a very good spirit and didn't let his handicap get in his way. As a diabetic myself, I admired his courage in the most adverse conditions. He will be missed and will live in my heart and memory until I am called home. My prayers are with his surviving family, my aunt Maxine, my cousin's Mark and Tabitha and his grandchildren. May the Holy Spirit comfort them during this time of sorrow.

Uncle Richard, Memphis 1958

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Storm Damage

What happened?
I was working on my website yesterday around 1:30 PM in the afternoon and as usual had my radio on and was aware of possible thunder storms, which is a common occurrence during this part of the year in the Mid-South. As the thunder roared and the lightning flashed, I was about to shut down my computer when all of a sudden my cat CK came and got me. I knew immediately that something was up because my cat don't get up from her nap for nothing. So, I barely had enough time to turn off my PC and unplug it along with my Yamaha Clavanova and TV and the cat and I jumped into the closet located in the hallway at the center of the house when it hit. What was it? It sounded like the Wizard of Oz. I heard the quarter inch size hail hitting the roof and extremely strong winds pounding all over the house. I heard an awful noise coming from the chimney. We were in the closet for about 30 minutes. The cat and I were completely in the dark but thanks to my boy scout training I had put a flash light in that closet. The cat looked puzzled and confused as she tried to get under me for safety.

When I finally went outside, I saw the damage the storm brought to me and my neighbors. My wooden backyard fence on one side came down. The wind snapped the 4X4 post into pieces at the base line like they were match sticks. The whole west side of my fencing fell into the neighobor's yard. The turbines on the roof top of my house were damaged. One of them blew off. Storm damage was wide spread all over the city of Bartlett. Trees were down all over the place. Luckily, there were no deaths reported on the News but I did see the damage it done all of the Memphis area particular in Bartlett. My neighbors next door and across the street lost their 'Bartlett pear trees'. I took storm damage pictures with my camera and will get them 1-hour processed at Walmart and hope to have them posted here today.

I will have to pay more attention to the weather forecast especially while on line. I was fortunate in that, other than my fence and turbines, there were not any more damages and that me and my cat came through it OK and without a scratch(LOL).

CK was skittish and afraid to go outside last night. It must have been a drama experience for her as she is sleeping like a baby today.

CK resting good after yesterday's storm

Walmart Neighborhood Market

Walmart film processing center update:
Well, I went to Walmart to pick up my pictures that I had dropped off earlier this morning, it seems that my 1-hour processed film went to Nashville and won't be back until Sunday or Monday. The order was somehow screwed up by the Walmart associate and mixed up with the ones they send out. Anybody that knows me, knows that I hate to wait. I have always had them instantly processed and never would send them out for processing. And why Nashville? Memphis don't have a film processing center? Weird!


Storm Damage to backyard fence

Storm Damage to backyard fence

Storm Damage to backyard fence

Click here to enlarge above photos

Storm related news
Click here: Golfer killed by lightning strike

Public TV?

It's Taxpayer's Money
I was watching PBS local channel 10 WKNO TV tonight when an add promoting a gay and lesbian fundraiser came on. I could not believe it. It's like they tried to sneak in a 15 SEC sound bite for the Memphis alliance of Gay and Lesbians as if it was an ordinary public service announcement. The fact that tonight's programing was packed with Aids and HIV documentaries may have had something to do with it, perhaps attracting more of a gay and lesbian audience besides the regular viewers like myself.

PBS and WKNO Channel 10 is supported by public donations and by us taxpayers. I object as a taxpayer, my money going to promote the gay and lesbian agenda, especially when Christian causes are rejected and ridiculed. I don't want my children or grandchildren seeing such an ad when they are forbidden to pray at a public school - So by the same token, NO gay and lesibon Ads on Public TV!

What can you do? Contact WKNO and let them know your feelings.

Visit their Website Click here: WKNO-TV MEMPHIS