David Adkins

2023 Honoree

Dothan native David Adkins was a musical prodigy/multi-talented instrumentalist from an early age. David took his first piano lessons from his Aunt Lera Mae Rogers at age eight. He remembers “cheating” at these lessons (i.e., playing by ear instead of reading from the sheet music). Yet, his “quick study” ability was fostered by his brother, John Rainey Adkins, who was 12 years older. David remembers hanging around John Rainey’s rehearsals at their house on W. Main St., first with The Webs and later with The Candymen – who became Roy Orbison’s touring band. These musicians showed “Little David” parts on the guitar, piano, bass, and drums. They marveled at how fast he could pick things up at such an early age.

At 12, when David nailed the Jimi Hendrix guitar intro for Don Covay and the Good Timers’ song “Mercy, Mercy,” John Rainey decided to get more serious about teaching him guitar. Although John Rainey was a taskmaster, his own perfectionism honed David’s skills. At 15, David believed he could make it as a touring musician and convinced his parents to let him leave Dothan High School.

In 1972, John Rainey formed the first version of the band Beaverteeth, a local nightclub/touring band, featuring David on lead guitar and Charlie Silva on drums and lead vocals, who later died of lung cancer at age 29. A later version of Beaverteeth featured lead singer, Rodney Justo, who booked the band to tour with B.J. Thomas, including national TV appearances. Their live 1975 performance of B.J. Thomas’ No. 1 Billboard hit “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” – on Midnight Special with DJ Wolfman Jack – was watched by millions. It showcased the then-22-year-old David’s flawless guitar solo. The next version of Beaverteeth then released two noteworthy albums on RCA Victor in 1977 and 1978, entitled Beaverteeth and Dam It, respectively, which included Jay Scott on sax and Laura Scott Adkins (David’s wife) on backing vocals. From the late 70s through the early 80s, David lived in Atlanta, recording at Atlanta Rhythm Section’s Studio One.

David returned to Dothan from Atlanta as a studio musician at the late Mike Boyd’s Wildwood Studios and recorded many jingles and worked with local bands. David recorded all guitar, piano, bass, and drum parts. Later in the early 2000s, David turned to entertaining at piano gigs at Stray Cats Club and was flown cross-country to perform at dueling piano nightclubs.

Given his musical contributions to the Wiregrass, David, along with John Rainey, were honored on downtown Dothan’s Music Mural. David and his son, bassist Kevin Scott, played on the 2021 Wiregrass Blues Society’s Project Preservation album (recorded at Sunland Recording Studios) and headlined the 2023 Wiregrass Blues Fest, accompanying one of Kevin’s bands, King Baby. David, for several years now, has been the keyboard player for the First United Methodist Church’s group, Promise, and continues to perform and record locally.