Rock Group 1962 Sheffield, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

psychedelic states alabama vol 2 weejunsThe identity of the Alabama Wee Juns has always been a mystery but at last I think I can throw rather more than a glimmer of light on the matter.

Wee Juns: The Alabama Music Hall of Fame indicates the group was founded in Sheffield in around 1962, while elsewhere on the ‘web’ I found their personnel listed as follows: Bob Killen (keyboards and vocals), Jimmy ‘Be Bop’ Evans (drums), Blair Stewart (guitar), Jerry Hodges and Jerry Rogers (both vocals) and Jimmy Rogers (no other details). Now, whilst it seems likely that these guys played in the band at one time or another, it is probably a case of ‘but not all at the same time’. Indeed the group’s membership could have been quite fluid like so many of the early local bands in the Shoals area. This is borne out by a web-contributor who attended ‘sock hops’ which the Wee Juns played near the very beginning of their ‘career’ and he recalls that, back then, Jimmy Johnson and David Hood would often ‘sit in’ with them. This was around the time Johnson was playing also with Hollis Dixon’s Keynotes. The contributor adds, however, that there were always about three or four regular Wee Juns in the group, so it is clear that they were indeed a band rather than, say, a vocal duo or vocal group who always relied on others for musical accompaniment.

On 28 May 2011, an existing incarnation of the Wee Juns were down to appear at a Montgomery Avenue, Sheffield 6pm-10pm street party called “Back To The Sixties On Saturday Night”, organized for charitable causes by David Johnson and the then Mayor of Sheffield, Ian Sanford. However, someone who visited the event has since told me they did not ‘show’.

Another traditional uncertainty that needs clearing up relates to the original thought that perhaps there was only one such-named group (in view of the apparent strangeness of their name) and that they went on to cut another record for the Skoop label. This is not the case at all.

Weejuns were a kind of slip-on loafer shoe, first manufactured in the States by the Bass Company, and much worn by ‘teens and twenties’ in the early sixties. It was then considered pretty ‘cool’ to wear weejuns and so it’s not surprising that the name was in fact adopted by several musical groups (usually ‘garage’ bands) of that era.

I have identified at least three other Wee Juns groups.


More info:

Video: Weejuns - I Spy


Amazon: Psychedelic States: Alabama in the 60s Volume 2

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