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Chuck Leavell on Ray Charles, Gregg Allman and yes, Squidbillies!

Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell began his music career as a tagalong kid brother on his older sister’s date to a Ray Charles gig in Tuscaloosa in 1965. “I was 13 and my parents had something else going on that night,” Leavell recalled to Atlanta magazine this week from his 2500-acre tree farm in Macon. “So they said, ‘Why don’t you take Chuck with you?’ She graciously said yes. I was already playing music, learning piano and guitar. I was very interested in music. But I had never seen anything that powerful. I mean, Ray Charles is Ray Charles but then he had [David] Fathead Newman on sax, the Raelettes were singing. The band was just so tight. I walked away that night knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life. If I could be in a band that was anything near that good and that powerful and that moving, that’s what I wanted to do. It was life changing.”

“Squidbillies” creators pine for swine, Andy Roddick’s SRO dinner and the Q’s, Right As Rain hit a Red Light

When America's favorite (only?) animated redneck North Georgia Mountain squid Early Cuyler seemingly succumbs to a fatal exposure to asbestos in the Season Six premiere of the Adult Swim series "Squidbillies" this week, his Atlanta creators/caretakers had the perfect send off for him. The cartoon's creators Dave Willis and Jim Fortier asked Woodfire Grill chef Kevin Gillespie to lend his voice to the episode where a 'toon version of himself would prepare Early a last meal arranged by the Make a Miracle Network.

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