On April 29 the world of music lost a legend when it lost Paul Goddard.
Goddard was a founding member of the iconic '70s band The Atlanta Rhythm Section and performed on such ARS hits as “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Do It or Die” and the remake of the Classics IV’s “Spooky.”
South Walton's Mike McCarty met Goddard around 1970 when Goddard was a studio musician at Studio One in
"He was an incredible musician," said McCarty.
McCarty designed 15-20 of the band's mega-release album covers as they rode their popularity wave as one of the hottest bands in the South and he knew Goddard well.
McCarty knew him so well that when McCarty honeymooned in
Goddard was originally the lead guitarist for ARS, but he was friends with Barry Bailey, so Goddard moved to bass when Bailey joined ARS.
"He did not conform to anyone's standard but his own," said McCarty, who chuckled as he recalled story after story of Goddard's uniqueness.
Recording studio heads and PR people wanted Goddard to dress like a rock 'n roller, said McCarty, but he refused.
"He said he would perform in the same clothes he wore every day: a dress shirt and slacks from Sears or JC Penney. He always dressed the way he wanted to," he said.
Even though Goddard refused to conform to the rock 'n roll standard look, he was an imposing figure, said McCarty.
He recalls when the band performed in
"It was a made-up story, but the name stuck," said McCarty.
Goddard married once, said McCarty, but she died of cancer in 2010.
He had no children, but he had a cat he named Ernestine. McCarty chuckles as he relates that Ernestine was renamed Ernie after Goddard discovered she was a he.
Goddard enjoyed telling a tale of coming home tired and hungry one night from being on the road and finding nothing to eat but a can of cat food. He was hungry and Ernie was hungry, so he split the can of cat food with the cat. Whether it was true or not, no one knows, but Goddard enjoyed telling it, said McCarty.
As years went on, Goddard became disillusioned, dropped out of the band, and started working in electronics. McCarty didn't see him for several years until the Atlanta Rhythm Section held a gala reunion weekend three years ago in
"That was his first time back and it was the beginning of a new chapter for ARS when he returned," said McCarty. "They referred to him as their secret weapon. It was rare to find a player like Paul. The night he returned was real special ... quite a gathering. I asked him how he had been and he told me about Phyllis dying. When I heard of his death, it hit me like a ton of bricks."
Goddard's sister, Nan Jacobs, also lives in South Walton.
"He was four years older and always into music," Jacobs said of her brother, "starting with a ukulele our uncle brought back from
In describing her brother, Jacobs uses words such as brilliant, humble, kind, and generous to a fault.
"He was a great brother," said Jacobs, who last saw him play at the
His final performance was a few weeks back in their hometown of
Jacobs says her brother would want to be remembered as a musician who always tried to be the best he could be.
His favorite pieces?
"Angel" and "Another Man's Woman," she said.
"He was a great man," said a tearful Jacobs. "Growing up with him, when you're that close to it, you forget how great he was. We were close, but different as night and day."
Critics agree to his greatness.
Rolling Stone magazine voted Goddard’s work on “Another Man’s Woman,” from the 1979 live album Are You Ready!, as one of the top five bass solos of all time.
Goddard's death at age 68 in