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May 29, 2016
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Mac Holderfield plays music the old-fashioned way for Kiwanis
Mac Holderfield plays music the old-fashioned way for Kiwanis

In observance of May being National Historic Preservation Month, the Kiwanis Club of Valley has had a series of programs this month relating to some aspect of history. The final program of the series took place during the noon hour on Wednesday, and members of the club had a fun time sitting back and listening to music of the early 20th century played in the early 20th century way. Dr. Mac Holderfield brought a 1919 Victor Talking Machine, or Victrola, and played some 78 rpm discs that were recorded many, many years ago. One of them was played for the very first time! Holderfield explained how the recordings were made and could be played for listening audiences. The platters he brought ranged from German dance music from the pre-World War I era to the first million-selling record of all time, a double-sided single recorded by early hillbilly star Vernon Dalhart in 1924. On one side was "The Wreck of the Old 97" and on the other "The Prisoner's Song." From left, are Dr. Holderfield; Jason Williams, program chairman, and Jeff Goodwin, the club's president elect. (Photo by Wayne Clark)


VALLEY — At Wednesday's noon hour meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley, members were treated to a demonstration of how people listened to music 100 years ago.

As the final installment of a series of programs on the topic of history, Dr. Mac Holderfield brought a 1919 Victor Talking Machine, or Victrola, to the meeting, explained how it worked and played some 78-rpm records to a highly curious group of people. One of the records he played was over 100 years old and had never been played before.

Now that's what you call taking in an historic moment.

The great American inventor Thomas Edison is credited with being the first to record sound. Building on that discovery, a direct current-powered device known as the Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph was developed. This evolved into a gramophone that could play flat disc records that were invented by a man known as Emile Berliner.

In 1901, Berliner and a gramophone maker named Eldridge Johnson joined forces to form the Consolidated Talking Machine Company, which was headquartered in Camden, N.J. The company became famous for its trademark of a small dog, a fox terrier named Nipper, listening to a gramophone. The image was carried on by RCA when the company acquired Berliner and Johnson's company in the 1920s.

The logo of Nipper effectively conveyed how even a dog could clearly recognize a familiar voice when played on a gramophone. The image was created by Francis Barraud in an oil painting in 1898. It was in memory of his late brother, a London photographer who had left him his estate. The painting shows the late brother's beloved dog, Nipper, recognizing his master's voice as it was being played on an Edison-Bell.

Dr. Holderfield explained how the fledgling recording industry went through two early periods, the acoustic period and the electric period. Prior to 1925, he said, recording was done in the same purely mechanical, acoustical method that had been used since the invention of the phonograph approximately 50 years earlier. No microphone was involved, and there was no means of amplification.

The recording machine was essentially an exposed-horn acoustical record player functioning in reverse. One or more funnel-like metal horns were used to concentrate the energy of the airborne sound waves onto a recording diaphragm, which was a thin-glass disc about two inches in diameter and held in place by rubber gaskets at the perimeter.

The company pioneered by Berliner and Johnson became commonly known as Victor and rose to prominence by recording famous performers such as Enrico Caruso. Celebrity recordings bore red labels and were marketed as "Red Seal" records. They were much in demand by the listening public.

The kind of Victrola demonstrated by Dr. Holderfield sold for $50 in 1919. It was widely considered an upper middle class type of product, but somehow gained wide circulation. "Sears sold them," he said. "All classes of people acquired them in one way or another. Tenants in cotton fields had them. People would sometimes get flat tires on their cars when a tire was punctured by a gramophone needle that had gotten lost in the yard,"

Dr. Holderfield believes that the playing of recorded music had a dramatic impact on culture. In listening to music, he said, people would think about things that were going on outside their small, isolated world. Those with deeply-rooted religious convictions, for example, could enjoy listening to a jazz band in the privacy of their home rather than risking the social stigma of going to a nightclub where — gasp! — drinking and dancing might be taking place.

"Since the Enlightenment Period of the 18th century we have believed in self improvement," Dr. Holderfield said. "We can do this by listening to recordings. We can hear the kind of music our parents and our grandparents heard."

There's a risk here, though. "Memories can be dangerous things," he added. "Memories and emotions are separate and you never have the same exact ones twice. You need to be careful with them. Memories are stored in pieces in different parts of the brain. They re-flavor themselves every time you think of them."

The recordings Dr. Holderfield played on the hand-wound Victrola were scratchy but maintained an appeal and an elegance that has traveled down through the years. There was a version of the Christmas classic "Silent Night" (or Stille Nacht) played by a German orchestra. There was some pre-World War I Oktoberfest type music recorded over 100 years ago in Germany.

When a member of the club made a joke that it was music to invade other countries by, Dr. Holderfield cheerfully chided that it was dance music. "It wasn't about war," he said. "It was about good times, fun and laughter."

As a medium, he said, music can persuade people to go to an altar, drop down on their knees and plead for salvation. It can also move people to say "Sieg heil!" and to invade other countries or to be zonked out at a rock concert and to be passed from one end of the crowd to the other by the outstretched arms of other light-headed attendees.

Music tends to connect people in ways they'd previously been isolated. Most white Americans knew little of African-American music until recorded music became widely popular. "I'd never heard 'I Ain't Misbehavin'' until I was in my thirties," Dr. Holderfield said of a classic song.

A Victor record from 1924 had an enormous impact on what's today called country music. A Texas artist by the name of Vernon Dalhart recorded a two-sided hit that would eventually sell over seven million copies. One side had "The Wreck of the Old 97" and the opposite side had "Prisoner Song," the words to which were found written on a wall in a south Georgia prison.

"The Prisoner Song" was number one on the charts for 12 consecutive weeks. Its success persuaded Victor representatives to take a trip to the Appalachian Mountains in the summer of 1927 for the Bristol Sessions, something that's widely considered the most important recording event in the history of country music. It led to the discovery of Jimmie Rogers and the Carter family.

The coming popularity of these performers gave rise to many more country stars with mountain roots coming to the forefront.

Dr. Holderfield played "The Prisoner Song" on the Victrola, giving members of the club a song that's historically important but probably one they'd never heard before. It was entertaining, and one could feel the depths of despair and regret someone locked up in prison must feel.

Memorial Day service at Valley Veterans Park Monday
Memorial Day service at Valley Veterans Park Monday


VALLEY — American Legion Post No. 67 will be hosting a Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. EDT Monday, May 30 in Veterans Memorial Park in the Langdale community. Everyone is invited to come out and show their respect for those who truly deserve to be called heroes.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that's observed every year on the last Monday in May. It's a day of remembering those who died while serving in the country's armed forces. It originated a few years after the Civil War and was known as Decoration Day, a time to remember the soldiers of the Union and Confederate armies that had given their lives in that 1861-65 conflict.

These days of remembrance took place on different days on the calendar but by the 20th century had merged into one holiday to honor all Americans who had died in all the country's wars. It typically marks the start of the summer season with Labor Day marking its end.

Valley Veterans Park has a special way of remembering local men who died in our nation's wars. Separate marble markers contain the names, dates and places where men from The Valley made the supreme sacrifice in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

In addition to honoring those who died in these wars, Memorial Day is also an appropriate time to remember the sacrifices made by the enlisted men and women who were wounded in combat. In many if not most cases the soldiers returned home to loved ones but had to deal with a debilitating injury for the rest of their lives. It's a sacred duty of the American people to see that they are properly cared for as they and their loved ones deal with this on a daily basis.

Saturday events celebrate Lanett High boys 2A state championship
Saturday events celebrate Lanett High boys 2A state championship


LANETT — Lanett High School will host Championship Day Saturday, May 28 to honor the state champion boys basketball team.

Events will begin with a with a parade that starts at 2 p.m.

The parade will begin at city hall, turn right on First Street, left on South Eighth Street and end at Lanett High.

Festivities will include inflatables, food vendors, face painting, etc., and will begin at the conclusion of the parade at the high school

Anyone who would like to participate in the parade can contact Krisse Story at (334) 644-5125 by today at 5 p.m.

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Point baseball team at the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho
Point baseball team at the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LEWISTON, IDAHO — After a thrilling 2-1 win over Campbellsville University to win the NAIA Savannah bracket last weekend, the Point Skyhawks baseball team (34-29) hope the same late-season magic continues starting Friday at the 60th annual AVISTA-NAIA College World Series, May 27-June 3 at Lewis-Clark State University’s Harris Field.

The 10-team AVISTA-NAIA World Series field includes No. 1 seed Faulkner Univ. (Ala.) 49-13, a team Point upset 9-7 March 30 when they banged out three home runs of then No. 3-ranked Faulkner.

The rest of the field includes No. 2 seed Tennessee Wesleyan (48-13), No. 3 seed Bellevue University (Neb.) 51-10, No. 4 seed and tourney host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 48-7, No. 5 seed Science & Arts (Okla.) 48-11, No. 6 seed Auburn-Montgomery, 45-15; No. 7 seed Sterling, Kan., Point’s opening round foe Friday.

Other seeds are No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ken.), 42-23, No. 9 seed The Master’s (Calif.) 41-17 and No. 10 seed Point (34-29).

The tourney is double elimination.

The Skyhawks will open play in Game 1 of the World Series at 9 a.m. PDT against Sterling (Kan.).

With a win, Point would advance to a winner’s bracket contest against second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan, which earned a first-round bye. The Point-Tennessee Wesleyan Game 7 contest would be played at 3 p.m.

The tournament will continue through June 3.

The host school is Lewis-Clark State and they’ve captured 17 NAIA World Series titles.

No other school is even close to LCS as only Bellevue, Faulkner and Tennessee Wesleyan all have won just one NAIA World Series championship.

Lewis-Clark State has been to the World Series 35 times and compiled an overall record of 133-44 mark.

One of the key players for the Skyhawks is former Troup High standout Brandon Butts, who enjoyed a stellar career for coach Craig Garner and the Tigers GHSA 4A-Region 5 powerhouse program.

While this is Point’s first-ever NAIA World Series berth, it’s the fifth for Faulkner and fourth for AUM.

What the Skyhawks have done is quite amazing and proof they’re peaking at the right time in it’s late-season run to possible national glory at the NAIA World Series.

Point ranks No. 6 in the NAIA rankings in total batters struck out.

Coach Christian has been thrilled with the character and development of his team and its quality, all-around play, especially under a ton of pressure in the 2-1 bracket-clinching win over Campbellsville which sent the team to the World Series Friday.

“The early stages of our season were definitely challenging,” Christian noted. “We knew early on in the fall that we had a special group of players. Between the returners from last year and my first recruiting class last summer, we knew there was a lot of potential on the field. But I've been around long enough to know how difficult it is to make it to the AAC championship game and beyond. It usually takes our guys some time to grasp our system and if you look back over the years, you can see that our teams really take off in year two,” added Christian.

“This year was no exception, and the guys really bought in to what we were doing,” Christian said. “We preached competition, and really made sure they were focused on the process, and not the result. We played an unbelievably tough schedule. I believe 26 games against Top-30 opponents, so I knew we'd lose some games. However, I knew that would prepare us for the competition we would see in the postseason and our guys are not intimidated,” noted Christian.

“We've played major Division I and Top-10 Division II schools and have wins over two NAIA Top-5 programs, so our guys believe they belong with anyone,” Christian said. “At this point in the season, confidence is a major factor in our success and we believe,” noted Christian.

A trip to the World Series is a thrill and a lifetime of memories that endure through the years.

“It's an awesome feeling to earn a trip to the World Series,” said Christian. “This is what every player and coach dreams about and why you play the game. You want to have the opportunity to play for a national championship and we are blessed to be one of those 10 teams that have that chance. I'm extremely proud of our guys and it’s a tremendous opportunity for our team, our program and our institution,” Christian said.

The Skyhawks, Christian added, were the first No. 5 seed to win a regional bracket in NAIA history.

“Winning the Savannah bracket was a first for our school but also a first for the NAIA as well,” added Christian. “No No. 5 seed had ever accomplished that feat. We beat three really talented teams and the final game was awesome to be a part of. I've been around the game for quite a while and that was just a tremendous baseball game. Great competition, good game play and all-around nice environment. Championship games are hard to come by, so you want to enjoy the moment, however you want to take advantage of that moment as well. The pressure in that game was unreal and as a coach you just want to make sure you are able to manage the moment, keep everyone under control and allow your guys to do what they are prepared to do. Our guys did a fantastic job and it was a moment that I'll never forget. The goal is to finish in a dog pile, and our guys got to experience that for the first time,” noted Christian.

Winning and losing are habits and the teams that win always find another gear, improvise and are able to elevate its play and find ways to come out on top.

“I'm so proud of our guys and am thankful for the opportunity we have to compete against the best of the best,” said Christian. “We are the first No. 5 seed in the NAIA and the first time in school history our baseball team has advanced to the World Series. I'm excited to take this team to the next level and hope we can continue this run in Lewiston. A trip to the World Series showcases our baseball program and school on a national level and that was my goal when I took this job two years ago,” noted Christian. “This will have a positive impact on our enrollment as well as our national recruiting plan. This is just a tremendous moment for our program and I'm blessed to be a part of this baseball family,” said Christian.

Region champion Troup has four sign baseball scholarships
Region champion Troup has four sign baseball scholarships

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaGRANGE — An outstanding group of four student-athletes from the GHSA 4A-Region 5 champion Troup High baseball team (21-7, 14-1) signed national letters-of-intent (grant-in-aid baseball scholarships) at two schools here Wednesday at the Troup High lunch room.

The four players include Winston Turner, Bo Halcomb and Payton Upchurch, who all will play next year at Marion Military Academy (Selma, Ala.). A fourth senior, Miles Cameron, will play his college baseball for the powerhouse Columbus State program.

Former Troup all-state player Jackson Oliver just finished his career at Columbus State and was named a first-team All-American, Troup coach Craig Garner told The Times-News Wednesday.

“I’ve coached a lot of years and this may be the best senior class and best team I’ve ever had,” Garner said. “They won 82 games, won our first region championship in 21 years (1995), went 43-15 in region play, 10-7 in the state playoffs and did everything I asked of them. They are all great young men, I love them and will always do anything I can to help them. It will be nice in the coming years to see if they’re still playing baseball, earned their degree, meet their wives and children. Just because their baseball careers will come to an end someday, the relationships we have will last for a lifetime,” Garner added.

Turner, Halcomb and Upchurch combined for nearly 50 wins in their careers. The pitching trio was 19-2 this season.

In addition, The power-hitting threesome of Cameron, Halcomb and Turner chalked up nearly 350 hits in their illustrious careers.

CA Rebels to host four-school football jamboree Aug. 18
CA Rebels to host four-school football jamboree Aug. 18

By Scott Sickler

Times-News Sports Editor

LaFAYETTE — Chambers Academy will serve as the host school for a four-school AISA preseason football jamboree Thurs., Aug. 18, Jason Allen, CA head football coach and athletic director, told The Times-News Monday.

The four-school jamboree will consist of the CA Rebels, the defending 1A state runnerups, the 3A Springwood Wildcats, 3A powerhouse Lee-Scott Academy Warriors and 2A Evangel Christian Academy of Montgomery, Allen noted.

“We expect a huge turnout with CA, Springwood and Lee-Scott fans and will be a great way to kickoff the season for the players and fans alike,” said Allen.

Allen’s CA Rebels will field one of its best-ever outfits this fall in its quest to win the school’s first-ever football state championship.

The Rebels return 19 of 22 starters, including both the offensive and defensive fronts, in what should be an exciting season for CA fans.

All-star candidate Malik Lyons is back for his third year as the Rebels starting quarterback.

He’s been one of the elite players in all of AISA football and will provide great leadership as CA looks to win the 1A state title.

Lyons has been CA’s turbo-charger on offense and led CA to nearly 4,800 rushing yards last fall.

Coach Thomas Hill will also have a much improved team at Springwood as the Wildcats make the jump from 2A to 3A play.

Like rival CA, Springwood returns a plethora of talented players, including the whole offensive line led by standout junior Zack Guy.

The Wildcats will be led on offense by speedster tailback Shykee Thomas, one of the quickest players in the AISA and a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

•The 2016 high school football season will kickoff Aug. 19 when Valley goes to rival Lanett in the 85th all-time meeting. Valley leads the series 53-29-2.


Obituaries for Friday, May 27, 2016
Obituaries for Friday, May 27, 2016


LANETT, Ala. — Mr. Walter Bailey of Lanett died Friday, May 27, 2016, at his residence.

Morgan and Sons Funeral Home in Lanett is in charge of arrangements.


SALEM, Ala. — Mr. Nelson Floyd of Salem died Thursday, May 26, 2016, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.

Funeral services and survivors will be announced by Davis Memorial Mortuary of Valley.


CAMP HILL, Ala. — Ms. Vickie Joyce Heard, 63, of Camp Hill passed away Monday, May 23, 2016, at her residence.

Funeral services will be held Friday, May 27 at 2 p.m. CDT at God's House of Prayer Holiness Church in Camp Hill with Bishop Frank McLeod, pastor, officiating.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


LaGRANGE — Mr. Roger Henry, 70, of LaGrange, Ga., passed away at his residence Wednesday, May 25, 2016.Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.

Funeral services will be held Friday, May 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel in Valley with the Rev. Russell Henry and Randy Black officiating.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.


VALLEY — Mr. Johnny Lee "Hank" Little, 65, of Valley passed away Monday, May 23, 2016, in Valley.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 28 at 3 p.m. at Zion Rest Baptist Church in Valley with the Rev. Fredrick Stanley, pastor, Rev. Charles Magby, Minister Dorothy Dunn and the Rev. Sam Marshall Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Zion Rest Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery.

Foreman Funeral Home in Valley is in charge of arrangements.


AUBURN, Ala. — Ms. Zora Mae Matthews, 67, of Auburn, Ala., passed away Saturday, May 21, 2016, at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 28 at noon CDT at Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home Chapel in LaFayette with the Rev. Douglas Jones Sr. officiating. Burial will follow at Handy Memorial Cemetery in LaFayette.

Silmon-Seroyer Funeral Home in LaFayette is in charge of arrangements.


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