“Doraville,” sang the classic southern band Atlanta Rhythm Section, “a touch of country in the city,” and it became famous in the 1970s. The band was formed from two groups, Candymen and Classics IV (known for the 1968 hit “Spooky,” often covered), and began as session musicians based at famed Studio One in Doraville. Started in 1970 by audio engineer Rodney Mills and supported by renowned Atlanta music publisher Bill Lowery, Studio One, which closed in 1989, recorded such well-known bands as Journey, Lynard Skynard, Outlaws and .38 Special.
In 1972, the Studio One session players decided to form a regular group, Atlanta Rhythm Section. Band members changed sometimes, but ARS manager and producer Buddy Buie always led them. Known for his imagery, themes and wit, he usually headed the list of their songwriting credits. Hits in-cluded “Imaginary Lovers,” “Champagne Jam,” “So into You” and of course, “Doraville.”
While ARS never gained the fame of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Allman Brothers Band, they loved their musical home so much they did an album called “The Boys of Doraville.” They did travel far and wide making beau-tiful southern rock music, often going to the Big Apple. “New York’s fine,” sang ARS with typical under-statement, “but it’s not Doraville.”
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College and Oglethorpe University and a long-time resident of the Brookhaven area, writes stories for the Buzz.