John Rainey Adkins

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John Rainey Adkins
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BornDecember 31, 1941
Dothan, Alabama
DiedJune 18, 1989
Dothan, Alabama
  • southern rock
  • blues
  • pop rock
  • Guitarist
  • Songwriter
LabelsRCA Victor
Associated actsThe Candymen, Roy Orbison, B.J. Thomas, Beaverteeth, The Webs, Buddy Buie, Dean Daughtry, Rodney Justo, Bobby Goldsboro

John Rainey Adkins (December 31, 1941 – June 18, 1989) was a self-taught guitarist and songwriter from Dothan, Alabama.[1] Adkins experienced commercial success in America during his music career in the 1960s and 1970s with the bands The Candymen and Beaverteeth. Adkins' bands played live on the The Ed Sullivan Show|Ed Sullivan Show,[2] American Bandstand, and NBC's The Midnight Special (TV series)|Midnight Special.

Early Life

John Rainey Adkins was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. He attended Dothan High School where he met many of his bandmates and made other important music connections. He played the sousaphone in the marching band and started local blues and rock bands.[citation needed] Adkins was known for designing the Dothan High School marching band costumes;[3] His artwork was chosen for the school year book in 1960.[4] Adkins attended Auburn University for one year before pursuing his musical career full time.


Early career

Adkins started the band The Webs in the late 1950s, The Webs would later evolve into The Candymen. Adkins attended Auburn University for one year before pursuing his musical career full time. A big break came when a former high school friend, Buddy Buie, hired his band Adkins's band The Webs to play back up to Roy Orbison at the National Peanut Festival in the early 1960s. Orbison was impressed with The Webs and hired them on the spot to become his regular touring band. Orbison also renamed the band as The Candymen, a nod to Orbison's 1961 radio hit "Crying (Roy Orbison song)." Adkins and his band The Candymen would tour with Orbison much of the 1960s.[5] They would open for the The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and the Hollies.[6] They also worked with Orbison in the recording studio.

Adkins played with Orbison on the Ed Sullivan Show on July 4, 1965. He continued to play and write music after his time with Orbison. He co-wrote the hit song "Georgia Pines" with Buddy Buie.[7] Georgia Pines rose to number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1967. Adkins performed the song on American Bandstand on December 2, 1967.[1] Eventually, the Candymen would break from Orbison and tour and record on their own.[8] They gained notoriety in the music scenes in Los Angeles and New York, becoming a popular live act at clubs frequented by other musicians.[9]

Late career

In 1972, John Rainey Adkins formed the band Beaverteeth with his brother David Adkins.[10] They were accompanied by bassist Dean Daughtry and saxophonist Jay Scott. The band toured throughout the Florida Panhandle, as well as in southern Alabama. Later in 1973, Adkins was called by former Candymen bandmate Rodney Justo to play with B. J. Thomas on the road.[11] Beaverteeth was featured on late-night musical variety show Midnight Special, hosted by the DJ Wolfman Jack. They performed with B.J. Thomas on his No. 1 Billboard hit "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song|Another Someboday Done Somebody Wrong" song. The show was viewed by millions and the video of the performance continues to attract viewers on social media. Adkins also released two albums on RCA Victor in 1977 and 1978 entitled Beaverteeth and Dam It.[citation needed]

The last musical project Adkins worked on was in 1989 at the age of 47. He was signed to Tree International Publishing and co-wrote a song for the band Shenandoah (band). Adkins died suddenly on June 18, 1989. His image can be found memorialized on the Music Mural in downtown Dothan, Alabama.[12]


  1. "John Rainey Adkins". Wiregrass Blues Society. 2020-06-02. Retrieved 2021-06-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Roy Orbison". Ed Sullivan Show. Retrieved 2021-06-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Band Uniforms Of Dothan High Unique In Style". The Dothan Eagle. Dothan, Alabama. April 7, 1960. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  4. "New Yearbook Arrives Dothan High". The Dothan Eagle. Dothan, Alabama. May 13, 1960. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  5. Carrollton, Betty (November 4, 1967). "Atlanta 'Candymen" Greatest Sound Since the Beatles". The Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  6. Kurt, Lassen (January 5, 1968). "The Candymen Are Working Together As A Team". The Oil City Derrick. Oil City, Pennsylvania. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  7. King, Bill (March 31, 1979). "No Perfect Scorecards in Rock". Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. p. 81. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  8. O'Connor, Rory (October 26, 1967). "TeenTopics: The Candymen". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  9. Lassen, Kurt (January 13, 1968). "The Candymen Really Rocking Around". Nashua Telegraph. Nashua, New Hampshire. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  10. Huffman, Jim (December 1, 1973). "Beaverteeth's new one". The Selma Times Journal. Selma, Alabama.
  11. "Beaverteeth Appears with Starbuck". The Times and Democrat. Orangeburg, South Carolina. May 1, 1977. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  12. Ussery, Peggy. "New mural celebrates local musical influences". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved 2021-06-08.

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