Editor’s Note: Johnny Sumrall writes about Mississippi’s Rock-n-Roll history.
I first learned about Fuzzy Buffer when interviewing Gerald “Wolf” Stephenson for my book, Classic Magnolia Rock. Wolf was one of the owners of the then MALACO recording studio located on Northside Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. Wolf and his partner Tommy Couch began recording artists for other recording labels.
It so happened that Will Hegman and Jimmy Wright from Greenville came to Wolf’s nightspot The Zodiac Club located in Mart 51 on Terry Road in Jackson to perform. Will had a dream of being a record producer and songwriter. Jimmy Wright could sing and write songs. They formed a partnership and thus “Fuzzy Buffer” was born.
Their first record which was recorded at MALACO included the following songs: “Hard Times” and “Lovin’ Eyes”. They released it on a 45rpm record on the Reject label in 1975; an album followed that same year.
The album was entitled “Copesetic,” which means completely satisfactory. It was recorded in two sleepless days and nights. One of the songs on the album “Midnight in the Delta” was about the town of Midnight which is located in the Mississippi Delta. This album featured James K. Wright on guitar and vocals, Vernie Robbins on bass, James Stroud on drums, Carson Whitsett on keyboard, Mickey Davis on fiddle, and Billy Dear on steel. There were minimal sales of the album. Will’s dream of being a successful songwriter and producer and Jimmy’s dream of being a successful songwriter ended with this album. In my humble opinion, it is a great album and it should have been a big hit for them.
MALACO recorded all genres of music and this particular record and album were considered “Country” at the time of their release.