Raised in Dothan, Houston County, Perry Carlton “Buddy” Buie (1941-2015) is best known for his part in forming, managing, and writing songs for the Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS), a southern rock band popular in the 1970s. Prior to that, he was a road manager for crooner Roy Orbison and later was a recording studio and record label executive. Buie was inducted in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010 for his extensive contributions to the music industry. His image is featured on one of the Dothan murals that highlight local musical talent.
Buddy Buie Buie (BOO-ee) was born to Carlton (also known as “Buddy”) and Grace Murphy Buie in Marianna, Florida, on January 23, 1941; he had a brother and sister. When he was very young, the family moved to Dothan, where his parents would own a popular café and his sister was a public-school teacher in the area for many years. While a high school student, Buie began to pursue his love of songwriting with his first writing partner, John Rainey Adkins. He also began promoting local and regional music shows. One of his first big breaks occurred when he was hired as the road manager for Roy Orbison. Buie booked a Dothan band he managed, the Candymen, to play back up for Orbison at the National Peanut Festival in the 1960s and at other events, and they would record a single of “Oh, Pretty Woman” with Orbison as the Candy Men. This band had morphed out of a band called the Webs, which featured Adkins as well as future recording star Bobby Goldsboro, a boyhood friend of Buie’s. After high school, Buie attended Auburn University in Auburn, Lee County, but did not graduate, instead turning his attention to a career in the music industry. He lived in New York City for a time and then relocated to the Atlanta area.
Buie’s first song to get airtime on the radio was “Georgia Pines,” recorded by the Candymen in 1967 and a Billboard Top 100 song. His rise is the songwriting industry began in the mid- to late-1960s when he and Birmingham, Jefferson County, native James Barney “J.R.” Cobb co-wrote the hits “Stormy,” “Traces,” and “Every Day with You Girl” for Dennis Yost and the Classics IV. They also wrote the lyrics for “Spooky,” which was recorded by the Classics IV in 1967 and became hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It was recorded by the ARS in 1979 and by numerous other artists, including Eufaula native Martha Reeves. He also cowrote with Steve Tyrell “Most of All” for pop star B.J. Thomas on Most of All in 1970. The single reached number two on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and was soon recorded by the Osmonds and by Canadian chanteuse Anne Murray. Sometime around 1972, Buie married Gloria Seay of Eufaula, Barbour County, after his first marriage ended in divorce. He had two children.
By 1970 or so, Buie and Cobb had established Studio One in Doraville, northeast of Atlanta, and recruited several members of the Candymen and the Classics IV as session musicians. In 1970, Buie formed them into the ARS, and he would play key roles managing, writing and producing songs, and even performing vocals. Buie and Cobb had one Platinum and two Gold albums (selling 1 million and 500,000 units, respectively) and several hit singles. His first top-40 hit was “Doraville,” on the album Third Annual Pipe Dream, released in 1974. After several unexceptional albums, ARS released A Rock and Roll Alternative in 1977, featuring “So Into You;” the single reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is considered their most popular song. The band hit its stride in 1978 with Champagne Jam, which featured the hits “Imaginary Lover,” “Champagne Jam,” and “I’m Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight.” The album went Platinum for selling more than one million copies. ARS would play numerous outdoor concerts and traveled overseas in the mid- to late-1970s and recorded 13 studio albums overall, including one titled Eufaula in 1999. But musical tastes had gravitated away from the southern rock genre, and the album was not popular. Buie reportedly contributed songs on every ARS album. The Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) catalog lists some 340 songs written or co-written by him. Most of Buie’s songs were written with Cobb at his family’s house trailer on Thomas Mill Creek off Lake Eufaula.
In 1978, Buie partnered with marketing executive Arnie Geller to create the BGO (Buie/Geller Organization) record label, which had such hits as “I Love the Nightlife” and “Pac-Man Fever.” The label also wrote Wynonna Judd’s country hit “Rock Bottom,” which reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart in 1994, and “Mr. Midnight,” performed by Garth Brooks on his 2001 album Scarecrow; it peaked at number 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
Buie was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010. In his later years, he continued to write music and spend time traveling around the world and enjoying Lake Eufaula. He died on July 18, 2015, in Dothan after suffering a heart attack and was cremated.