Honky tonk fans often use “Huntsville Lights” by Bobby Brooks as a trivia question. Where can you buy the song, the album, or a CD? Those who remember the history of Huntsville Alabama recall the nightclubs mentioned in “Huntsville Lights.”
The Cotton Club, Esquire, Carousel Club, Peppermint Lounge, and others, according to the song, attracted the woman Bobby Brooks immortalized in the song, in part by “those flashing Huntsville lights.” Some of the clubs were on Governors Drive close to the Arsenal. One of the clubs was on the access road off of the Parkway by Bob Wallace Avenue. It is a part of Huntsville Alabama overlooked, usually intentionally, by those from the historic society.
Honky tonk back in the late 60’s and early 70’s was often heard at the River Club and the Chicken Shack, but it wasn’t always safe to go there. Those two clubs stayed open later than the others did because they were out in the county, and had a redneck flavor. Those places, to be perfectly honest, were rough as a cob.
Huntsville lights is about a fellow from somewhere outside of Huntsville Alabama, armed with a bottle and a gun, who made the trip to Huntsville to end the cheating ways of his wife or girlfriend. The song refers to the banks of Monte Sano Mountain. “I’ll see her resting peacefully underneath those Huntsville lights” Brooks sang.
By the way, the Carousel Club was up on the hill off of South Parkway, and it later became the Plush Horse.
From Monte Sano you can look down to Huntsville from Lee Highway, Highway 72, Governors Drive, from Chase to Dug Hill, Haden, and down to Cherrytree or thereabouts, just before you top the hill going to Owens Crossroads and New Hope. There was horseback riding at riding stables on top of Monte Sano Mountain back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. (see it now)
Where can you hear “Huntsville Lights” by Bobby Brooks today? Listen online to WQAH 105.7 FM in Hartselle Alabama. You can request the song by calling their request line, or send an email online. If you prefer, you can just listen long enough and you will hear Bobby Brooks “Huntsville Lights.” WQAH is the only radio station in the country that plays the song to the best of my knowledge. I confirmed it and heard “Huntsville Lights” today, January 20, 2009. Carol Lynn was kind enough to play the song for me while I took more notes.