By Carmen Rodgers
Each week Tallassee Tribune readers are offered a glimpse into the mind of Willie Moseley in his column. Readers across America will soon have the opportunity to read Moseley now that his new book, “The Atlanta Rhythm Section: The Authorized History” has been published.
This book is the authorized chronicle of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, the legendary Southern rock band that created such memorable hits as “Champagne Jam,” “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “Spooky,” and “Doraville.”
Moseley became involved with the southern rock group through another well-known publication that he also pens for.
“One of the Atlanta Rhythm Section’s former roadies wrote for the guitar magazine for which I’ve been writing for over 29 years,” Moseley said. “He was urging the magazine to interview the A.R.S.’s founding lead guitarist, Barry Bailey, who’s now retired. The story was assigned to me, and it sort of snowballed.”
Through his correspondence with members of the band, Moseley says he came to appreciate the band’s distinct melodies.
“I quickly came to realize that the A.R.S. had been a unique Southern aggregation purveying unique music during their heyday, and I noted that their story had never been told. So, I committed myself to researching their history and then writing it.”
Moseley has been working on the book for two years. And in that time, has had the opportunity to conduct extensive research about the band.
“In 2016, I was first put in touch with Bailey,” Moseley said. “Once the book was a ‘go,’ I contacted and interviewed numerous members of the band, past and present, as well as support personnel and fans.”
According to Moseley, this experience shed light on the down-to-earth attitude each band member carried.
“I appreciated the opportunity of working with active and retired musicians and other persons who had a professional attitude about their careers, instead of acting like rock stars.
The book is published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., which has published other books that Moseley has authored, including a quasi-coffee table book on electric basses that was published a few months ago.
“The A.R.S. history is, like the band itself, somewhat unusual, in that the members all honed their chops in earlier bands like the Candymen and the Classics IV, but they also backed up numerous famous singers such as Roy Orbison and Lou Christie,” Moseley said. “They were also veteran studio musicians in Atlanta when the band formed. The idea of a bunch of studio players writing their own songs, recording them on their own terms, and touring to support their releases was unheard of, and that concept was the idea of Buddy Buie. The book is an honest history up to present day; it’s not just a look at the A.R.S. when they were in selling gold and platinum albums in the ‘70s.”
Moseley says that writing this book was a unique experience.
“I’ve never encountered a band that had the ‘approach’ that the A.R.S. had, and still has, concerning their music,” he said. “Their focus on creating the best sonic presentation possible has been fascinating to research. Their musical integrity is very laudable, and other musicians from other bands that I interviewed for the book feel the same way.”
This book is only the beginning for Moseley as he has big plans on the horizon.
“I’ve got some other projects in the development stage, one of which will take me to Bakersfield, Ca. for an extended time,” he said. “I feel like I’m just warming up. Retirement has allowed me to go at my own pace, but I’m as busy as ever.”