While riding my bike to my drum teaching studio several years ago, all of a sudden a melodic line of poetry came to me: “Down in Alabama there’s a football team with the finest players you’ve ever seen, raised by a man they call the Bear and now they’re in Gene Stallings care.” I thought to myself, “Hey that’s not bad but where did it come from?” I had written a few songs over the years but this came through me not from me.
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Well, I did some reflecting of my days admiring Joe Namath and Bobby Humphries and a Cotton Bowl game I watched late one night when Namath made an almost comeback against Texas. I called relatives, who are Tide fans, and we talked about various Alabama facts and this helped me complete “THE TIDE IS ON THE ROLL.” This song, which I am happy to say, was on the radio and TV at many important stations, from Mobile to Huntsville, and throughout the state. One of the most fulfilling, artistic moments I ever had was driving through Birmingham with my children in the car and hearing “TIDE ON THE ROLL” on the radio, as I looked over at VULCAN on the mountain top.
I returned to Nashville to play drums on The Grand Ole Opry, after visiting Photo day at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans as a guest of THE CRIMSON TIDE with my boys. We were in the hallway near the bus and player entrance with the TIDE when giant University of Miami players arrived, looking like a pro team, in a very impressive manner and demeanor. Coach Stallings told his players that day that you are only an underdog if you think you are one! The great Antonio Langham, whom I met and had my photo made with, Roosevelt Patterson, and Jay Barker rose to the challenge and fought hard to win the National title that night!
The next day, the tide is on the roll was played at 6:00 Saturday night on “THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON” on NBC TV. The cassette single of Tide can often be heard at tailgate parties on game day. Now I have added two new songs for the great BAMA fans, as well as several standards about Alabama on my new CD. I hope the music lifts the spirits of the BAMA fans because many of them are such nice people and have become my friends. ROLL TIDE! Harry Wilkinson