Archive for December 2008

Sierra Hull

December 8, 2008

        Recently a young lady visited my blog who was a musician and had taken up the mandolin.  I realized I had not profiled any female mandolin players, and decided that oversight should be corrected.

        There are several excellent female mandolin players out on the circuit.  One up and coming young player is Sierra Hull.  Miss Hull looks like someone who might be on my schedule at the office for a cheerleader physical, but once the kid picks up  a mandolin she is a beast- one of the best  out there.  She was on Merle Fest Mandomania last year, which is a good indication of her stature.

        Her CD, ‘Secrets,’ has been a big splash in the bluegrass world.  She not only plays and sings, but writes original material too.  She’s more than just a talented kid-  Sierra is already a seasoned pro.

        Check out her web site at  When folks like Adam Steffey and Sam Bush sing your praises, that tells you what you need to know.  Sierra might be young, but she is already a first rate mandolin player.  Old Doc better keep his day job, but I do enjoy seeing these young ones come along who bring our music to a new audience.

Dr. B


World Tour T-Shirt

December 7, 2008

        Years ago we had a World Tour T-Shirt.  It read, ‘Neuse River World Tour 1988.’

        The band’s picture was on the front.  We listed our highlights for the year on the back.  The gigs were things like “Live at the Convalescent Center,’ or ‘Harvey County Tractor Pull.’

        We had some big gigs that year too, like opening for the Doug Dillard Band. (The banjo player for the old Andy Griffith Darling Family)

         Moose Dooley, our banjo man, went to the beach one year and swore some hot chick was wearing one, but I think he was telling a tall tale.

        If y’all see one of those shirts, let me know.  I haven’t spotted one in years, but I’m on the look-out.

Dr. B

Puddin’ Head/Country Boy Driver’s Ed

December 5, 2008

        When I was in High School we had a Driver’s Ed instructor everyone called Puddin Head.  He was the first patient I diagnosed with narcolepsy.  (I was into the doctor thing early, but then it didn’t count.)

        Pudd would fall asleep and I’d drive all the way to South Carolina.  He usually woke up when I’d go through the Dairy Queen.  He liked the Dilly Bars or whatever they called ’em back then.

        Pudd always said I was gonna be a Doctor, ’cause I aced all his tests.  Of course they weren’t very difficult.  He’d ask  a question like:  “Following too closely may result in a rear end what?”

        All you had to do was write:  “collision.”

        Or maybe:  “Look both ways when crossing the inter what?”

        Answer:  “section.”  You get the idea.

        As remarkable as it might seem, a few had to repeat.  Leroy was one of them.  He got thrown out of chemistry for asking if you could freeze fire.  Oh well.

         We sure were naive back then.  We used slide rules, didn’t have computers, barely knew what splitting atoms might be, and the only terrorist we knew was King Kong.  We were scared of him.

        I don’t think the world will ever be the same.  I am certain it will never be as simple.

Dr. B

Rude Doctors

December 3, 2008

        Blog pal Ted Lehmann ( sent this link from the New York Times, and I thought folks would enjoy it.

        It is sad but true; some Docs can be downright disrespectful. 

        Believe it or not, the study of what to do about this has become a science.  There is a Doctor from a famous institution in Tennessee who has studied the phenomenon in quite a bit of depth.  He is the South’s (maybe the world’s) leading authority on disruptive Docs and the impact they have.

        His institution began to realize the bad actors were not only a frequent target of litigation, but they had a negative impact on patient care and the overall quality of the institution.  They set out to develop a program to try and rehabilitate these guys.

        I’ll never forget the first conference of this Doc’s I went to.  He told the story of having to confront a Doctor who was rude to everyone in his path.  The Doctor studied the data.  (Doctors like science)  

        When confronted with the mound of scientific evidence compiled in charts and graphs, the Doctor looked at it all and said, “I knew I was an ass^*!$, but I didn’t realize I was the worst ass^*!$ in the hospital.” 

        What a legacy!

        Y’all check out the Times article.  I ‘d enjoy your comments on the subject.

Dr. B

The Six Habits of Highly Respectful Physicians

Memories of Charlie Waller

December 2, 2008

        Charlie Waller (of ‘Fox on the Run’ fame for non-bluegrassers) and the Country Gentlemen used to do a song called ‘Remembrance of You.’  I have it on a recording somewhere, but couldn’t find it.  My vinyl collection is a pre-IPOD disorganized jumble.  It’ll turn up, though.

        He didn’t do a  bad version of it, but my favorite was his last band’s rendition.  My Marfar and I and I had been married for decades when we’d go hear that band play, but we snuggled up like high school kids when he’d sing that one.  It was of many of ‘our songs’ over the years.  

        I thought about Charlie on my lunch hour yesterday.  I was at Johnny’s Jewelry and Pawn, our local music store, and some lady came up to me and asked me if was Tommy Bibey.

        “Yes, Ma’am.  Pleased to meet you.”

        “Didn’t you play with Charlie Waller?”

        “Oh no ma’am, at least not professionally.  I did go out on the road with him some though.  I’d ride the bus with the band to Lucketts School in Virgina.  Charlie sat up front and we picked and sang all the way home.”  It was a fond memory for sure.

        “He had the voice didn’t he?”

        “No doubt.”

        “I knew Charlie when he was young.”  She was on towards elderly, but had an impish cute teenager’s smile.  “Did you know he lived on a boat for a while?”

        That got my attention.  She had to be legitimate.  Charlie used to live on a boat in Washington DC in the 50’s.  He and Eddie Adcock shared the rent there a few years.  Charlie’d look out over the traffic on the bridge and say (paraphrased)  “Eddie, don’t you feel sorry for all those people who have to go to work every day?”  It was the era right before Eddie’s stint as a California rock and roll musician under an assumed name.  This lady was real.

        “How’d you know Charlie?”

        She smiled.  “I worked at the Smithsonian, and had a DC apartment.  My gerbil died.  I hated to just throw it out in the trash, and there wasn’t anywhere to bury it.  Charlie invited me out to the boat.  He played the guitar and sang ‘Amazing Grace,’ and we buried the gerbil at sea.  

        “Dang ma’am.  That must have been the best gerbil funeral in the history of the world.”

        “Yes it was.  Charlie had the best voice right up to the day he died.”

        “He sure did.  I got in a session with him at a place called the Bomb Shelter not six months before his death.  Some folks from England were there that night and said it was the best jam session they’d ever been in.”

       I grabbed a guitar off the wall, and we broke into ‘Fox on the Run.’  Johnny joined in and we did it as a trio.  I wish we’d had another- the tune is always better with four foxes instead of three.

        But I really wish Charlie had been there.  What a singer.  He was one of the best.

Dr. B