Huckleberry Mudflap

At the Woodland Armory, February 21, 1970

Several people have requested I post the songs of Huckleberry Mudflap, a band from the North Carolina coastal town of Beaufort.

Jerry Lewis had this information about the group:

I was in high school with the band members (East Carteret High School, Beaufort, NC). They were together from 1969-1972. Most popular song was “Blue Surf.”

Jimmy Amspacher, drums
Clinton Nelson, lead guitar
Morris Willis, rhythm guitar
Donnie Vrooks, bass

The band split up when their main songwriter and lead singer found Jesus and went off to sing in choirs instead of doing rock n roll. In fact, the church where Clinton Nelson has been pastor for over a decade was recently struck by lightening and burned to the ground [article here].

Clinton Nelson wrote Blue Surf (credited to H.C. Nelson). Michael D. Collins wrote Goodnight Mrs. Kollendoffer and co-produced the record with B. Martin.

Special thanks to Jay Jenkins of for sending the poster at the top and to Jeff Lemlich for the scans and transfers of the 45.

125 thoughts on “Huckleberry Mudflap”

  1. I would just like to say what a great time I had being the original rhythm guitar in the mudflap. we had a great ride playing with alot of big names in the business, the box tops,allman brothers,bj thomas,al wilson, the guess who just to name a few and we played major college fraternities had lots of friends that were in other groups all over north and south carolina and va. The fans and the band aids (as we called them)gave us the will to keep playing,also a big thanks to bowie martin of bowmar productions out of wilson for all the jobs that he booked for us and then to the recording studios jimmy cap productions,audiophonics in raleigh and Teen Sceen program on WRAL TV at that time things started moving very fast for us. Then we were off to the big apple new york to record at sceptor records. sceptor used a 32 track recording board we always recorded on a 8 track boy what a sound. we signed a recording contract with sceptor and recorded Blue Surf and Goodnight Mrs. Kollendoffer. To promote these recordings we traveled Florida,Georgia,Alabama,North and South Carolins,Virginia,Canada and New Orleans. Like many bands we went thru a member change replacing Donnie Brooks (Bass) and Jimmy Amspacher (drummer) with Mike Edwards now on drums and Gene Nelson on bass. Unfortunately on a sunday night in May 1970 tragedy struck us, we were on I 20 near Augusta Ga. with me driving hit a water covered section of the interstate,causing the van to spin and hit a guardrail then flip over the rail and down the 50 foot drop,throwing me (morris willis) and Mike Edwards out of the van leaving Clinton Nelson and Gene Nelson inside .
    GOD must have been riding with us on that day as we all were hurt but still alive. After a long recovery time we started putting the sound back together and then on the road again,but not for long.Mike and Gene decided not to continue with the Mudflap and the original group brokeup. This is just a small story of the Mudflap. I could go on for days about the band but will stop for now. I’m still performing as a one man band and still LOVE IT.

      1. I saw the mudflap the summer of 1970 at the pavilion at Minnesott Beach. This was the summer before I left for UNC and I was very impressionable. They played Abbey Road, I believe start to finish, and I was impressed! Not many bands could do the Beatles and sound that good. The downeast “high tider” accent was very effective.

    1. Ha…I see this post was written in 2008. It is now 2017. I hope my reply reaches you. I went to Western Carolina University from 1969 to 1973. I heard Huckleberry Mud flap play at the student center. They were instantly my favorite band. Never forgot about them over the years. For some reason I Google the name tonight and found this post. So good to know you are still around…at least you were 9 years ago. I never got a record, never saw HM again, but want to say I have been a fan for 45 years or more. Thank you for a magic evening back in the day!

  2. As a kid growing up in Havelock I saw Huckleberry Mudflap in Atlantic Beach at the Big Surf club. They were awesome! I heard Blue Surf on the radio many times. NC had some great band. I played in a local band called Sutters Goldstreet Band. Thanks for the memories.

  3. My dad is Bobby Chipman the drummer that replaced Jimmy Amspacher in Huckleberry. Its great to see all the support for the band. If anybody has anymore clips or songs I’d love to get in contact with you because my dad doesn’t really have a lot of old mementos from the band and I was too young to remember.

  4. Wow, I’ve wanted to hear Blue Surf for years. My dad was stationed at Cherry Point MCAS and I saw Huckleberry Mudflap at Big Surf club in Morehead City when I was 15. I heard Blue Surf on the radio. Great band, they blew me away. I played in a local Havelock band called Sutters Goldstreet Band if anyone remembers. What a great time in music and NC had some great acts. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Bill,
      Your talent on the guitar was awesome. I remember walking through a neighborhood and heard you playing in the garage, I lived on base at memq but not sure where I saw you playing. I also remembered you had a Tall White Kustom Amp? I maybe off with some on these details but hearing you play inspired the hell out of me. Thank you! Hoping this is the same guy I remembered?

  5. I would love to have a way to listen to “Blue Surf.” I am Jimmy’s wife and the only copy of the record that we have has never been played and is in a frame hanging with the family photos. Our children have never heard it … Note – our son has his own band in New York City! (Somethings never go away … And Jimmy still plays – at the house – but he plays most every night. Last appearance of PART of the Mudflap was at his daughter’s wedding where he and his son, along with Morris Willis and other friends, played the night away!

    1. That’s awesome you still have an unplayed copy. Somewhere in my stack of goodies I have the 45. One of these days I’m gonna digitize it for my iPod. And I wish I had Daddy’s drums from his days in The Reverbs. It sold them about 20 years ago.

    2. I have a mint copy of the songs Blue Surf / Goodnight Mrs. Kollendoffer on Line 5 records (which I believe is the original first label). I could record the record for you for educational purposes and post it here, or send it to you by email.
      my email is:


  6. Amspacher, Jimmy Drums
    Nelson, Clinton Lead Guitar
    Willis, Morris Rhythm Guitar
    Vrooks, Donnie Bass

    They were together from 1969-1972.

    Most popular song was “Blue Surf”

  7. Yes, Karen. It is Jerry Michael – but I’m typing this while in Carteret County for a few days of vacation (til Sunday, 8/3). I’m in Davis with family, including your bud and my sister, Sissy.

    This site could use some confirmation or corrections on my “facts” as it’s been a long time…..

    Anybody have the lyrics to Blue Surf? I always had trouble with a few of the verses, thinking I figured it out when Morris played for my folks’ 50th anniversary a couple years ago (but I’ve since forgot again).

    I’m surprised, in re-hearing the record, that there was so much orchestration supporting the song – I guess I remember it raw, as they played it in concert at the beach and at ECHS.


  8. H. C. Nelson is Horace Clinton Nelson, the one, the only.

    That is Donnie Brooks on bass.

    Jerry Michael, is that you out there in CA ????

    Yes, the church burned. Sad day on HI. Clinton is the pastor and continues to sing w/ his Gospel band, the Nelsons. He has a studio called Diamond Studios and records for all kinds of musicians.

    Jay Cobb at WTKF-Morehead City knows all about this crowd. He used to be “the man” on WMBL … the station that played them over and over ….

  9. Hey….Sutters GoldStreet Band…..brings back memeories.I have a cassette of you guys recorded at Harvey B’s in Clayton. Good to hear from you. I’ll tell Herman and Jerry Johnson that I had contact with you….Take care.

  10. As the sun goes down
    I take a little walk
    down by little old dock

    I watch the tide come in and out
    while sitting on a rock
    while sitting on a rock

    I want the peace that I find all alone
    just gazing at the sea
    never wanting to go back home
    never wanting to be me
    never wanting to be me

    As the tide comes in
    far up on shore
    I have to leave my rock
    I watch the water cover the stone
    while sitting on a dock

    As the tide goes out
    I see my rock
    the water breaks a wave
    And once again I am alone
    at the close of the day
    at the close of the day

    As the tide comes in
    far up on shore
    I have to leave my rock
    I watch the water cover the stone
    while sitting on a dock

    As the tide goes out
    I see my rock
    the water breaks a wave
    And once again I am alone
    at the close of the day
    at the close of the day

    At the closing of the day
    at the closing of the day
    at the closing of the day
    at the closing of the day

  11. Finally technology has afforded us the luxury to hear what was one of the greatest bands evert assembled. I grew up on Harkers Island where they were from (not Beaufort) and personally know every member trhat played with this group.

  12. Thank you, thank you. I’ve been wanting to hear this song again for years and years. As a surfer, growing up in Carteret County, listening to WMBL, (West Carteret class of ’74) I remember being profoundly impressed by the group and particularly, “Blue Surf”. I couldn’t make out all the lyrics, but then, they *were* from Harker’s Island. I got to see them only once, at The Big Surf.

  13. Hey Byron
    I’m doing well living in San clemente the past 15 years Love it!!
    Tommy Mercer still doing the sailing also? Dockhouse and clawsons been a awhile. I actually played clausons with Jeb 2 years ago for a few songs.
    I work in Carsbad and San clemente 2 or 3 times a month.
    Here’s my email

  14. Hey luther…I was just wandering where you are these days?? I am sailing on the West Coast a lot…San Diego to Japan run…Where are you..Band??Play Dates???
    Take care from an old beaufort friend!
    Cheers, Byron

  15. Hey Peter how ya been? I’m still living on the west coast playing music as much as possible. Hows Susan?
    Good to see you Name here!!
    Take care

  16. Glad i found this site. I been longing to hear blue surf again. I teethed on There playing.
    Sutters gold street band Larry Byrd was in that wasn’t he? whoa this is a flashback. HEHEHE
    Tell Clinton i said hi!!!
    Luther Rowe


  18. I ran sound and lights for Boot Hill Express and never got a chance to check out Sutter’s as much as I wanted. I am lucky enough to have some live recordings of Sutter’s. They had some great original songs and I still listen to them often. I think “Moon” is still playing music and wonder what happened to their very talented pedal steel guitar player Dale Pennington. What is George Byrd doing these days?

    1. tim, this is dale pennington, thanks for the comment. i never thought i was that great, i just really enjoyed playing music. thanks again

      1. Dale, may not remember me. I was the roadie for Toad Farm after Scrote and Jim Papp left for Sutters.
        I just happen to see you on the Huckleberry Mudflap site. Think Jerry Coston is trying to get up with you. You can find him on Facebook.
        If you get this and every thing works out you can consider it a LATE Christmas present!!

  19. Hi Morris – I used to ride to school (high school) with a girl who always said she was your cousin…can’t remember her name, maybe Kathy (Cathy)? She went to WCHS even tho she lived in Beaufort…we rode with some old battle axe (can’t remember her name either but she had a volkswagen…
    Anyway, really great to hear Blue Surf again…I saw HMF at the HI school (elementary or middle, can’t remember) but it was SO LOUD! Of course, I was still young and was in love with all the band members…
    Isn’t the internet great?!
    Good to see familiar things…
    From Texas

    1. Morris I would love to hear you guys play again( if you EVER) What great memories!!! Please call me 252 225 0133 or 342 3753 if you will Love to all linda gale!!!!!

  20. Hey Luther,
    Long time, huh? Hope you are doing well…won’t go into the past…not sure you even remember me…Scott Rice, Andrea Davis, Greg Garner -blah , blah, blah
    Lots of years

  21. Hey Morris. This Ricky Lewis from Otway. I’m in So Cal for the last 29+ years. I’m glad you responded with the story. I had forgotten about the accident. I think that may have had a little to do with Clinton following his dream of doing gospel music. He really is an amazing talent. His harmonies to this day are beyond incredible! My main forte in the studio is arranging vocals producing, and arranging horns along with playing a lot of guitar.

    Charles Tyler is a Minister and still sees Clinton as far as I know. I’d love to hear some of you current music. Some of my new stuff is @

    Drop me an email sometime. I’d love to hear from you.

    Ricky Lewis
    714-746-7521 cell

  22. Looking through the Garage Hangover, and was so glad to see your name! Boy you sure did name alot of the bands that were around at that time. I am still performing as a one man band and loving it!!! I talked with Charles Tyler several months ago and he told me you were in CA and playing in your own band and doing well. He gave me a cd of your band and I can really tell you are a great guitar player! and the sound is really great!
    Stay in touch, Morris

  23. Hi George,
    I played guitar for a minute in Sutters with Larry Burge and Mitch Perkins in Havelock. I don’t remember the drummer or keyboard player’s names. Great times.

  24. I was so glad when I finally found a website that had the Mudflaps in it! I had been searching for years for copies of “Blue Surf” and if some of you remember “Eyes of Blue.” If you ever have “Eyes of Blue” on your website please let an old East grad know!
    I grew up hanging out at the circle listening to all of the old bands from The Big Surf, The Pavillion(God rest her soul), and The Jolly Knave. It was a great time all summer long!
    I read where Larry Burges’ name was mentioned and just to let you know, Larry is still going strong.He’s playing at the “Crystal Coast Jamboree” just go to their website and you’ll find him. Larry is also a very talented artist in his own right too, with many of his paintings all up and down the East Coast and as far away as California with a gallery in Winston-Salem as his main agent.

  25. Hi Jerry, remember me. This is a cool site I was not aware of until today. Donnie
    is “Donnie “Brooks”, not “Vrooks”, just for the record. I am going to send this link
    over to Nate Nelson, Clinton’s son and let them know of the site. Maybe he can send up some fun info about those days.

  26. Hello all. this is Ricky Lewis from Otway, NC. I now live in Southern California. I can probably tell you quite a bit about HM. I literally grew up with them. You see, my singer was Clinton’s brother-in-law. Eddie Moore (Jr. I think)and I played in several bands and won battle of the bands, etc. The Bantams, The Roadrunners, The Rickenbackers, Steel Fray (that’ right—not the Fray) and Rockin Moses. All with the same band members. Charler Tyler, bass/vocals; Initally Roderick Gillikin on drums [when I first met Clinton and Blue Surf was out on the radio]replaced by Douglas Johnson, and the late Roy Wesley Lewis Jr. on rhythm guitar all played for many years together trying to walk in the shoes of the Mudflap. We tried every way possible to emulate their vocals, style, guitar licks,(me, of course)and play ALL of their songs. They were (and still are to a degree) our heros!
    I bought Morris Willis’ Gretch Tennessean as my first electric guitar when I was 11 years old. This is after playing on a local TV show, [The Bill Pollard Show] using my cousins Barry Lewis’ Kay guitar and Fender amp.
    I didn’t get to see the Mudflap as much as I wanted but they never left my mind, my heart or my fingers! I also played the Big Surf in Atlantic Beach (when I was 14 years old). I’ve always known them on personal basis. I have always looked up to them and admired them. All of them, Clinton, Morris, Donnie Brooks, Jimmy (whose mom was my 2nd grade teacher), Mike Edwards, drums, and last but surely not least, Gene Nelson. These are all amazing musicians. I was totally infatuated with all of them but Clinton was my main inspiration.
    I just happen to have a LIVE recording of “What A Day”, couple of others including some blues stuff and the real dealmaker “Big Man” clinton wrote about Donnie Brooks. I plan to try my best to transfer it to digital, master it and with all clearances in line, possibly release it. I feel this band’s music should be available and live on forever….just all the greats do.

  27. Man this brings back some good memories, First saw the mudflap at the Morehead Elementary School, when I was a kid. They did a concert with a band called judge , Later went on to play in a band called Shiloh with Morris from the mudflap and Larry on bass from the judge. Was a sin they broke up, could of went to top. They where as good if not better then a lot of bands back then. Played music with a lot of the guys from that area. Hello to all of you. From the upside down, left handed guitar player.

  28. Are the Nancie Oakley from Mitchell Village/ Mansfield Park, Cindy’s sister ? OMG you two were so hot, i think one of the main reasons many of us were friends with Mike Flemming (who lived down the street) was to hopefully catch a look at the two of you. Now that I’m in my 50’s that would be stalking or at least creepy, looking back I guess it could be a youthful crush.

  29. Brings back old and good memories haring about the Mudflaps. There is no telling how far they could have gone but things have a way of working out.Congratulations on your own success. Adios amigo.

  30. That was not Morris in Shiloh, it was Benny Whaley. Benny was the last man standing in “The Huckleberry Mudflap” The band Shiloh was named by Mark Glass (drummer)from Havelock. I remember “Benny and Bobby” They were the best. Larry Burge is a crack-head.

  31. I was fortunate enough to have been involved in the management of the “Mudflap” from the beginning. When they auditioned for me (I ran an entertainment agency -Bowmar Productions), they went by “East Brogues” and played their first job for me in Wilson, NC at the “Purple Griffon” nightclub; soon afterwards, they changed to the Huckleberry Mudflap. They were not only one of the greatest groups around, they were some of the finest individuals I ever had the pleasure of working with. They really had their heads on straight. Blue Surf was recorded at Audiofonics in Raleigh, NC, but later rerecorded at Sceptor Records in NY. Believe it or not, the NY version could never get the original sound, so Sceptor actually used the Audiofonics version for release!! By the way, those are actual violins ~ we did not have the means to use technology the way we did today. The Mudflap were outstanding, muscially, vocally, and in showmanship and professionalism ~ and just great folks. Did not surprise me when Clinton went into the ministry.

  32. George I was a Very Big Fan Of Sutters, Saw Y’all Several times at The Redneck Saloon In Grifton, The Attic in Greenville Wild Wood Jams And Loved The Song Rain In The House . If you could please get in touch with me I would appreciate it very much.

  33. Yea, you are right it was sod buster not Shiloh, that me, Morris and burge where in. Majors bar Atlantic beach NC. sorry must be the can’t remember sh$%$t syndrome creeping up on me.

  34. Morris, this is Bowie Martin. Where are you playing these days. I have seen Clinton from time to time, but did not know what you are doing. If you get a chance, give me a call. I am listed in the directory in Wilson.

    You guys were wonderful – great musicians, great people, and a pleasure to work with!

    1. Hello Bowie Martin,
      It has been years! I played Hammond with The Sensational Soulmasters from Danville VA. We had a 5 piece horn section with 2 lead singers out front (John Irby and Jerry Wilson). You booked us a lot in the late 60’s. The group had a 45 with I’ll be Waiting Here/You Took Away The Sunshine. I appreciate all you did for us. I do remember driving through Wilson, NC and John and Jerry hiding on the floor of our bus. It was heavy KKK country back then. Thank again for your help.

    2. Hi Bowie, it’s Deb Wood, I’m Billy Boone’s daughter, surfing for Mar-Kels connections! I see this was way back in 2009, hope this reaches you and you are well. I’m living in Homosassa FL with mama and daddy. My favorite stories are the ones daddy tells of his time with the band. He can’t believe anyone remembers them! If you see this, email me at or daddy at

  35. Hi,

    I was searching for some Sutter’s stuff tonight and ran across the Huckleberry Mudflap page.. I still have the Blue Surf 45 locked away in safe storage.. great to hear it again.

    George Byrd is in New Bern and runs a painting company.. He’s doing really well and has been recording some stuff with Jim from Sutters.

    I had an old tape of their stuff and put it up (with George’s permission) at

    This was a copy from a copy from a copy from a tape… but it’s great to hear. If anyone has anymore of their stuff, let me know.


  36. Me too. I remember both of them well! long time ago but hardly missed the shows at all. Hey Donnie! how you doing?


  38. In the Spring of 1969 I was a freshman at St. Andrew’s College in Laurinburg, NC. One Saturday night we ended up in Charlotte (I think) and went to a dance. All I remember is the name of the band – Huckleberry Mudflap – and that the light show was really groovy. It’s hard to believe that 6 months after that I was drafted. Interesting times they were.

  39. Hey, Bowie Martin,

    You would not believe how many years I have been trying to get any information on Huckleberry Mudflap!!!! Most people thought I was crazy and making up the name!! Fortunately my wife research and found this site!!! Now, the very important question, are there any records available by them? I seem to remember a song they did that sounded alot like Otis Reddings , Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, but can’t swear to it!.. If you could lead me in the right direction for getting their records I would forever be in your debt.!!! Thanks alot for your information, i luv this site!!! I attended HS at West Carteret from 1966 thru 1969 when i graduated. Loved this group and all the Carolina bands!!!

    Carter Magee

    Carter Magee

  40. Living room? NOT…Garage…Janice Lupton (Clontz) and I used to sneak over to Scott’s house to listen to practice…The ONLY song we ever heard Luther sing was “Who’ll stop the rain”? lol

  41. It is fabulous to finally see some info on the web of Harkers Island’s Huckleberry Mudflap. I played in a Beaufort band called the Kustoms and we were a few years younger than the Mudflap. They were THE inspiration of all of us. If I am not mistaken, the first time I saw them was at the Eure Bldg with the name “The Reverbs” (can anyone verify that name??). I saw them whenever I could. They were equiped very much like the Beatles and had that sound down perfectly but their range of songs was much greater. I actually borrowed Clinton’s Royal Guardsman amp once or twice when we needed to get loud. They were great people that, although they were icons to us, let us see them practice once in a while and get to know them. Benny and Bubba Willis was in my band also and I know Jimmy let Benny borrow his drums at least once as well. It is great to hear from Morris and that he is still playing — I have got to see him play again. One of my favorite things the Mudflap played was ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ which Morris sang (again if memory serves). I did not know Donny that well but remember his solid bass lines. Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers) reminded me of him in terms of his stage persona. Jimmy was always rock-solid on the drums and his Ludwigs were gorgeous to look at and listen to. Being a rhythm guitar player at heart, I always kept my eye on Morris. No doubt that Clinton was the leader and, like the others, an incredible musician. His vocals had to be heard live and, no offence, but the record does not do the vocals and harmonies of this band justice. They were second to none. I cannot sign off without mentioning Ricky Lewis. As the Mudflap were older than the Kustoms, Ricky’s band was younger than us. The ‘Flap’ were playing the Big Surf and were a ‘name’ band and we were getting the local dances, etc. that could not book the Mudflap. Then when the Steel Fray arrived with Ricky Lewis, we knew that this young kid and his talented band was going to impact our wallets! He was and is nothing short of a prodigy and everyone reading this needs to check out his work and recordings. Wish he was local but SoCal is certainly enjoying his band. Glad to see his name on this site. Great site and keep up the good work.

  42. Hey! We need Eyes of Blue on here too! I have searched and searched for Eyes of Blue and Blue Surf over the years. Alas, I moved to PA many years ago and thinking of the song “Blue Surf” added to my homesickness. Luckily I found Ricky Sabiston who sent me an AB show tape but the beginnings of many songs had been cut off. Through Ricky, I found Morris and got to hear him sing Blue Surf at one of the Seafood Festivals. I am glad that I tried once again to type “Huckleberry Mudflap” into google and landed on your site. Can someone please add Eyes of Blue to the music!
    Thanks…and Morris, looking forward to hearing you play again on a trip down.

  43. How are you ? I sure have missed ya. Glad to hear someone else is a Grand pa!!!
    I’m still in Ca. Bummer to hear about Larry. Its happening all over. Are you still in Fla?
    Give me a scream 949 498 8227.
    Good to see your name

  44. All of the years we worked together…you, Clinton, Jimmy and I and even growing up there I was always in awe but didn’t know the details. Drop me a note sometime.


  45. Hey Ricky! I have ask about you many times over the years. I know you don’t remember me…was a year younger and we had some classes together at Smyrna. My dad was Cecil and he was good friends with your brother Willie and you other brother. Drop me a note sometime.

  46. Hey, Robert Sharp, whoever you are, I’m Dixie Burge–Larry Burge’s sister. I resent your snide comment about Larry being a crack-head. If this is so, then he truly leads a secret, double life that I and the rest of my family were never privy to. True, he tried various drugs, and used a few recreationally, but not too many musicians haven’t. Frankly, I think you need to prove such a comment, else Larry and I, and the rest of my family deserve an apology from you. You really need to be careful what you write on a site like this, or anywhere else, for that matter unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is true. You could find yourself being sued for defamation. And I ain’t just whistling….well, you know.

  47. Lots of fascinating comments here – such as Scepter atttempting a rerecording then going back to the original ‘local’ master; that must have hurt. And I drove through Harker’s Island for the first time last summer (great little grocery there), so that helps me picture the scene, though the ‘circle’ at Atlantic Beach is gone, gone, gone.

    Now my point – why has nobody discussed the merits of Goodnight Mrs. Kollendoffer (wherever you are)? Blue Surf this and Blue Surf that. Well, it’s a great hard strumming folksy vibe until the exceptional freakout break and then the ‘mindblowing’ psychedelic ending. Personally, this tune is their legacy in my mind, and it was the A side on the Line release, so the band and/or management saw it that way as well. [Blue Surf was the A side of the Scepter re-release.] Certainly Blue Surf was more commercial and successful, but Mrs. Kollendoffer is the garage track! So, if you didn’t listen to that clip, give it a ‘spin’.

    P.S. Great Woodland Armory poster.

  48. I was at ECU with Clinton’s cousin Gene. I just sort of “hung around” with the band and they were all a bunch of really nice guys. I am so glad I Goggled the Mudflap. brings back allot of memories(some good and some not so good!) Anyway thanks for the Homepage.

  49. I was an announcer and p.d. on WSFL a 100,000 watt stereo giant in Eastern N.C…. George Byrd and Sutters were friends of mine,,, I have seen them play a hundred times, even MC’d them some… This was mostly in the 70’s and early 80’s They bring back some great memories of the good old days… The ones I remember… Like to say hey to the boys and hope you’re doing well… thanx Erk the Jerk…

  50. Hey, Hey, Hey Boogie Oogie Oogie I’m a recent of the Eric O’Day School of Disk Jockey and or Broadchasing
    We got fired from SFL (The Great SE Giant)on the same day after the Pepsi fiasco at Havelock High also worked together at WHIT. Will be in ENC next week, to bad they closed the Rockin Redneck Saloon I’d buy you a cool one.
    Just remembered your “Bob Cat” commercial for Joe Alcoke, funny stuff.
    Charles “Gator” Russell aka Tom Shannon
    Bruce please email me at

  51. Small world. I went to school with Byron Boyer, work for Janice Lupton’s (Clontz) brother Charles, worked with Jimmy Amspacher at the Cherry Point, NC Military Base, loved the song “Blue Surf” since I was a kid, married a girl from Wilson, NC which I was told was where the record was made…. too cool this internet thing…

  52. I’ve got a copy of “Eyes of Blue” packed away in my collection which has a song “What a Day” on the reverse side I think. I had “Blue Surf” but can’t find it. I fumbled through it on the guitar one night and my wife loved the song though she had never heard it up to that point. If I want her attention, all I have to do is pull my guitar out and play that song and she’s all mine. That my friend is a good song.


  53. Dale is still alive, not playing w/ a band but still plays when he can. He has been living in Washington and North Dakota lately. If you want to get ahold of Peton, I can arrange it, just let me know!

  54. Dale played his steel guitar/fiddle for many years. He is currently living in Washington St. with his wife ,Mary. Dale has played with several bands since Sutter’s,but I don’t believe one that he enjoyed as much as Sutter’s.
    Dale is my#2 brother and can play anything with a string. If we ever live close to each other I want him to teach me to play a dulcimer.

    1. Hi Diane, I used to play in a band with Dale several years ago. Last I heard he was living in Wyoming, but that was like in 02 I think.

  55. Hey dude. Your name came up today as I was reminicing with Wayne Carlyle about the old days. Hope you’re doing well. Last I heard, you were near DC. I’m still at WERO (WRNS, etc). Drop me a line sometime. AC (From Farmville).

  56. I’m from Morehead City NC and I remember seeing Huckleberry Mudflap at the Big Surf in Atlantic Beach.I still wish I had my old 45 RPM copy of Bkue Surf. I loved that song.

  57. I’d first like to say to that its so hard to beleive that the band was together 40 years,Wow how time flies.I am one of the co-founders of The Hope Mission Charity Golf Classic which is played in September of each year at Brandywine Bay Country Club in Morehead City.This year for our banquet dinner we had none other than Morris Willis perform for us.HE WAS AWESOME.He brought back some wonderful memories of yesteryear.We are already planning on having him back in 2011.

  58. Thanks for the memories!!!!
    Use to follow you all faithfully back in the day…….
    ahhhhh did my soul good to hear these two songs again!
    MAN….has it been THAT long??? haha
    See a lot of people I know and remember on this thread…..*WINK*

  59. Hey Bill ! Sure do remember you and the band! I loved all thaose days and miss the music! Would love to hear recordings from all those times!

  60. TO set the record straight: There were two Sutters bands. First, was Sutters Gold Street Band: members were Bill Chapin, Tom Stroud, Mike Broome, Mitch Perkins, and Larry Burge.
    Second band was: Sutters Gold Streak…members: George Byrd, Jim Papp, Greer?, Lynwood Parker and Dale Pennington.

    1. hi tom, dale pennington here. how have you been doing these days? nice to see your name again. just wanted to say hello.

  61. Hey Tom Stroud.
    Just to flesh out your info, Larry Burge played bass for the second Sutters as well. Larry suggested the name some time after the first Sutters broke apart. The first Sutters was basically a group of high school friends (Havelock High School), did not play for a living, played pop and rock covers and kicked ass. The second Sutters group was essentially a professional country rock band, were quite impressive and could have certainly gone on to bigger and better things. Larry Burge was tired of the road however, and I’m not sure what happened to the band after he left. Larry Burge was also a member of Huckleberry Mudflap for a time – a great bassist, superb vocalist, and a great great guy.

  62. HOW ARE YOU?

  63. I remember watching th Mudflaps practice across the road from my house.Claude Donnie was the only one I recognized at that time,maybe 1966-67? Met your husband here at my shop on West Beaufort road awhile back.Remembering the old days.Eugene

  64. My parents had a cottage on the beach in Atlantic Beach three houses south of the Triple S Pier in the late 60’s. I used to stay there alot every summer and hang out at the Big Surf,Pavilion,Burts surf shop ( where I got a Con Butterfly board), etc. -and saw the Mudflap several times. I always thought they were great and seem to remember them doing a great cover of the Beatles Octopuses Garden, although it may have been another band. It ( the circle, triangle) was a great scene until drugs got worse and also it got a little rough between hippies and military personel. You just had to watch yourself as some clubs/bars were a bit risky for fights.Eventually , for various reasons, it sadly came to an end– but if you were lucky enough to be there during those few magic years, it was really special and kids today can never understand. The song “Be young ,be foolish, but be happy” was played alot and lived out every night. – Rick

  65. God i miss you all, the best band ever, could sound exactly like the origonal usualey better and could play any thing, harmoney better than the Beatles.

    Wondering how every one is?
    Donnie, Clinton, Morris,Jimmy.
    this is “lil Shuford”, Stuart lee Guthrie.

    i hope any of you can get back to me
    1804 guess rd in durham n.c. 27705 and
    thanks for keeping it alive.

  66. Bobby was with them when i was equiptment manager i was cosin to the other 3 and was with them when your dad was with the band.

    Stuart Lee Guthrie aka “lil Shuford”

    Stu_1144@ also

  67. Hey, Mitch!
    Is that really you? This is Steve Davis. I played guitar with “Warm”, with Donnie Brooks on Bass, after he left the Mudflap. Played the Big Surf alot from 1970 to 1972. We had a single “My Mary” written by Donnie.We were also managed by Bowie Martin and knew the guys in Mudflap very well. Great band! Larry Burge was also in the Mudflap, and I joined Larry and you, Mitch, along with Bunny on the drums to form “Beneath the Wheel”, changing our name to “Lodestar”. We were the house band at the old Holiday Inn on Atlantic Beach, and packed them in on the weekends in the mid 70’s. I was just up in Newport this past weekend to see my Daughter and new Grandson, and you would not believe it, they live next door to Larry. I went over and knocked on his door, not having seen him in over 30 years. Larry had a stroke a couple of years ago, uses a wheelchair, and due to the disability of his right side, is trying to continue to paint with his left hand. We visited for a while and shared alot of great memories.
    Also, hello to Luther Rowe who I played with in “Jericho Springs” with Ron Kickasola. Luther, when I was up in AB this past weekend I drove by the old, now defunct, Showboat motel, where we played. Took a picture and remembered how much fun we had. I have a tape Joanne Martin sent me.
    I also played with Warehouse, out of Goldsboro. Danny Garner is now with the “Mighty Saints of Soul” and sounds phenomenal.
    Case you all are wondering, just had my 62nd birthday and still have a Strat and Bass and I can still tear it up, boys.

  68. Grier Crawford. I worked for Joe that owned the Castaway, just to hear Sutters Gold Streak play. I had alot of good times there and a Chateau in Hampton.

  69. Hi there. Hope this message finds it’s eat to you. I’m ion Goldsboro. Unemployed and loving it. Would like to know how and where you are. Your friend and ally. Bryan Rouse

  70. Harvey B’s in Clayton….. That was a rocking and rolling place back in the day. They do not have clubs like that anymore. The Circle and the Pavillion at AB, the Pancake house at the Stoplight, Mom and Pops on the water. Anchor green restaurant and the Coffee House across the street from that, The Big Surf and Our Place. They were some great times in my youth. Always loved the Beach. The Raleigh Experience, Sounds of Time, etc. Dave Collins, Walt Bowden… so many good bands during that time.

  71. kevin i am an ex roadie for sutters gold steak band ,and now im trying to put on a reunion we are trying to get in touch with dale could you help us in this matter thank you tell him to call me #770-472-7388

  72. hi diann im an ex roadie from sutters and were doing a reunion we need to get in touch with p ton mt #is 770-472-7388

  73. WOW! What an absolutely COOL site!! Though originally a yankee (OH), my first trip to Harkers Island was when I was just a kid. Never forgot the place. I’ve been back several times since. I’ve been the Senior Pastor at Heath Church in Lexington, NC, since 1984 and have had Clint Nelson and his group, The Nelsons, at my church for a concert. They were FABULOUS, and Clint was better-n-ever!! As much as I enjoy listening to this old R & R, I sure am glad the guy “found Jesus and went off to sing in choirs!” 🙂 Thanks again for this great site!

  74. Hey Morris! I was you sister, Denises friend in school, As a matter of fact you took us to see “Hard Days Night” at the movies! That wasnt yesterday1 Please tell her I said hello and give her my Email address!! Miss your music!!!

  75. Hi Ricky!

    I’m not sure you even remember me, but I sure do you! My brothers are James and Robbie Dixon, and sisters Bonnie and Cheryl(twin). I think you may remember my cousin Vickie Piner more? (wink)It’s great to hear from you! I was just a little girl but I remember the craze of the Huckleberry Mudflap…it’s wonderful to see everyone connecting with the members. I agree, the Nelsons sure are a great gospel group and I would recommend to anyone to hear them their next opportunity! c ya the next time you’re in good ole Otway! 🙂

  76. Really enjoying this site! I grew up with George Byrd and Grier Crawford in New Bern.. well actually they were already grown and I had some catching up to do.. but I loved those guys! I was more enamored with their previous band, EZRA STORM, because it was a bit more rock and roll and less country. I can still hear George’s version of Reelin’ In The Years. Saw them many times at the Beach and at Diamond Jim’s in New Bern. I even remember the rehearsal house outside Griffin… They had a few band names.. and musicians starting out. Anyone remember which of their bands had Blake Scott from Little Washington in it?

  77. Hey Steve~Kitty from Warm here…Just happened to bump into this page while I was looking something else up from the “old days”…how fun to cyber-see you here !! Not long ago someone approached me at one of my solo shows speciffically to tell me that he had been at The Attic in Greenville that crazy Homecoming weekend night when the guys from The Iron Butterfly & Gary Puckett’s keyboard player blew in and jumped on stage with us…remember? What a time that was, haha!! Great memories….So glad to know you’re still tearin it up on that strat!! Do you still play any flute?
    I didn’t know you & Luther played together too…he’s another player I’ve always thought a lot of…talented, fun and a lot of soul!
    Didn’t know about Larry Burge’s heart attack till reading your post just now….so sorry to hear about that. He’s been an inspiration to me for many years~ as a musician, artist and all round human being.
    Heavy (Warehouse) send me a video a few months ago of Wally Morrow working with U2 ~not playing but drives the bus for a lot of the top world bands and I think he directs some of the set up/tear down stage crews in the larger venues. You may already know all that~just mentioned it in case you didn’t.
    A few years back I got a message from a young man asking if I had played in a band with his grandfather….his grandfather being Donnie Brooks. Yes, I answered, I was in a band with your grandfather. It hadn’t really crossed my mind till I got that email, how much time has gone by~ 2 generations worth since Warm days.
    I hear from Robert Hudson every now & then~ in his last note he asked if he coould come visit me~ I only just now realized I hadn’t gotten back to him on that~ I’m gonna send him a note tonight ~ what fun to think that it was your post on a Mudflap page that made me remember I needed to send a reply to Robert~ 🙂

    Heard from Bowie a few months ago…he & Melba live in Morehead now. Nestor from Glass Moon is writing and playing again…his music is good….fresh, fun, funky and soulful.

    Wanted to add a few things on the Mudflap subject~ Mike Edwards was on drums with them for awhile and Gene Nelson was in the band too (bass I think). He later became a highly respected, sucessful songwriter, picked up a few Grammy’s ~ one of them for his song “18 Wheels And A Dozen Roses” that Kathy Matea recorded. I heard from Gene about a month ago…he bought a fine sailboat and has been sailing all over the world for awhile now with his wife & kids. Gene was the first person I ever played with ~ we played a lot at The Rat in G’ville (even before I met you there) and got $15 a not each…for both of us, haha!!

    And finally, one more band related tidbit~ I have a weird, very rare type of cancer and have been in an alternative treatment program at Duke for the last few years. Kathy White loaned me an Emwave to use and I took it to Duke to show my doctor. The doc was interested in it, so I had him talk to Gee about using it in in alternative treatment research . Ended up that Gee & HeartMath execs donated a number of EmWave machines to the Duke med section I’m treated at~ I thought that was pretty cool~ the way the old band bonds have continued to be a part of my life for over 40 years.

    So fun to have found this page and all the memories so many of us shared all those years ago.


  78. I was the keyboard player with the Mar Kels back in the mid sixies with Tommy Mercer, Billy Boone, and Jackie Holland. We were the first band that Bowie Martin started booking. I remember playing at the Purple Griffen on the weekends. Later the band changed members and Scotty Todd was our lead singer with Jerry Davis on guitar and Tommy Strickland on drums.

    A couple of years ago I received and phone call from Ripete Records and wanted to record my song, “Don’t You Realize.” My song is on Vol 8 of Heeey Baby Days. A book was also written call the “Heeey Baby Days of Beach Music.” The Mar Kels are mentioned in the book. The book took top honors and won the Bronze Metal.

    I left the Mar Kels when I was drafted into the US Army in 1967. The band broke up, but I have fond memories of those days and still run into a lot of beach music friends from times gone by. I owe a big THANKS to Bowie who went all out for our band.

    Harris Atkinson

    1. Hi Harris! I’m Deb Wood, I was just a little kid running around while y’all were practicing at the Purple Griffin! My daddy is Billy Boone. And he still calls you “The Kid”! My favorite stories are of daddy’s time with the band! I used to dream of growing up and singing with y’all. I live in Homosassa, FL with mama and Daddy now. I know he would love to hear from you! billyboone01@gmailcom. I’m amazed at finding all this info!

  79. Hey, Girl
    Just checked back on this page and found your message and Luther’s.
    Thanks so much for the updates. Yes, I get calls from Wally every time he is near Tampa. He was driving for James Taylor and Carol King and invited us to go back stage, but we could’nt make it. I also hear from Heavy from time to time and do hope both of you beat the big C. I wrote Danny, but did not hear back. His single is fabulous, and soooo beachy. His Sister was the therapist for my first Wife’s son, and attended our Daughter’s wedding a few years ago. I check on the Heartmath site from time to time and know they are doing some wonderful things. So glad to hear one of their inventions could help you, that is a strange turn, but are’nt we all pretty strange who emerged from that era. So much talent to come from one small area of N.C. Robert writes pretty regularly and sends me things. Brenda is also doing some remarkable music. I do keep a few chops up, and keep my hope alive that I will jump back in when I retire in 3 years. I will be the coolest and funkiest Grandpa around (ha ha). My fantasy is to be sitting on a stool playing bass behind some phenomenal singers and players (maybe you!!!). Don’t mean to live in the past, but those memories of all of us keep me alive and vibrant. Our 6 -part harmony at the Big Surf blew the walls off that place, and echoed all the way to England!!!!!!!!!

  80. Hi Morris,
    I was temporary drummer for the Mudflap in the fall of 1968. Mike Edwards joined my old band, the Epics and eventually joined the Mudflap when I had to leave for the Navy. What a great group and great time we had on the road. I still have a great 45 of Blue Surf.

    1. Hello Johnny I think about the good times we had at your house when mudflat would eat with you. Your mom and dad were very nice to a bunch of long haired boys from Harkers Island. We had a lot of fun on the road. You were an awesome drummer. Last summer I was at the dockhouse in Beaufort and was talking to the Acoustic Highway Band and they said they were from Garner and I told them that I use to know a drummer from there his name was Johnny Jay and they knew exactly who you were. They spoke very highly of you, would like to see you and talk about yesteryear. Call me at 252-241-7912 any time. Still playing a single act with tracks and love it, my wife is my sound tech and I only have to answer to her, Yea right.

  81. Just wanted to let everybody know about the Warehouse Reunion Show coming to the Paramount Theater in Goldsboro. The show is planned for January 13th. 2013. Show time and ticket info still in the planning stages. Lot’s of stuff is still in the planning stages but it is going to happen. Stay tuned for more info and get ready for WAREHOUSE THEN AND NOW. It’s gonna be BIG! Thanks.

    Robyn Morrow (Wally Morrow’s wife) (cuz he is too damn busy to write this himself!)
    Thanks again

    1. Donnie,
      So glad to see you write back. This may be the last entry for this site and I hate to see it end. It has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and memories. Say hi to Morris and glad to hear you guys playing together again.
      My daughter Heather, lives in Newport. She told me Larry Burge moved out of his home, not sure where but maybe his condition got worse. Brenda and Robert have talked about a “Warm” reunion. We might have to get Clara Plaid or the Day out of moth balls LOL. I think we could jam on Mr. Soul right now!!
      Keep in touch

      1. hi steve, I sure would like to play with you again.robert sent me copy of the gig we played I Greenville,at wright aud. I could not believe you sounded like that,you were so good. I still do mr. soul and look forward to playing it again with you on band one after 909 no longer playin,lookin for a lead guitar player and singer,you got the job if you want it,ha ha.wish yuou lived in Newport near your daughter,then we could play together once more.give me a call if you get this message,my number is 252-240-9181.oh I gave a copy of warm to the drummer that plays with me and he really liked it,he talked me into playin again and got morris to join.after a couple years we decided to stop.get in touch bye

  82. would like to get in touch with peton , played in a couple of bands with him . the most talanted person i have ever known ,=.
    if tried for a couple of years to get up with him would love to have some contact info .i currently play guitar with billy crash craddocks
    band the dreamlovers . if anyone knows how to contact dale please give him my contact info thanks

  83. I remember the Mudflap very well, playing at the Minnesott Beach
    Pavillion. If my memory serves me correctly, they did an awesome
    cover of the Beatles I Want You(She’s So Heavy) and also the medley
    on side 2 of Abbey Road. I also remember hearing Blue Surf on the radio and whenever it came on, that song brought back some fond memories. Thanks for posting this site.

    1. I remember the Pavilion at Minnesott Beach back in 1969 and 1970. We would go down on family vacations from Wilson. I was 16 and that was my favorite place of all time. I dated a guy who worked at the Pavilion at the time (my first love). Came across this site by accident, brought back a lot of pleasant memories. Also, listening to the song Blue Surf. That is a representation of the way it was back in the late 60’2 early 70’s. Thanks.

  84. hi everybody. i am alive and living well with my wife mary in new york. i am not around a computer very often. i was reading everything you all had to say and it got me missing all of those days. i have not played in a while, but i have not forgotten how. thanks for remembering me. later

  85. Heh Gang,
    Let’s not let this site die. There are so many of us who remember or were members of those bands and we need a site to stay in touch and share the memories. It has already reunited me with Donnie Brooks, Kitty West, Luther Rowe and others. I am retired now, let’s keep this moving!!!!

  86. I remember the Mudflap from a club called “The Experience” in Raleigh in the late 60s. Always wondered what happened with the band and just today Googled them and found this site. Lotta water under that bridge!

  87. I was in a top forty soul band from Minnesott Beach called The Symbols. We had mixed race band with great lead vocals from Bob Collins(not of fabulous five fame). Uncle Sam intervened and I was gone but was introduced to the Abbey Road album. Came home from boot camp for a Christmas break and went to hear The Mudflap at the Big Surf. They played and sang the dickens out of a lot of that great album. I was stunned at the vocals and Clint Nelson’s lead playing. I almost went home and burned my guitar(HaHa), but fortunately I had the guts to keep playing and still do today. Blue Surf was in pur practice room and we played it until it was smooth. Greatest band from these parts that ever walked on stage. Morris if you get the chance how about posting the story about the guitar used for the chimes on Blue Surf. Thanks.

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