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White at WTLS

Comedy show to invade T-Town

By Michael Butler

Rocky White is a name that might ring a bell. He was a coach and teacher at Tallassee High School in the mid-1980s. He married Denise Parker from Tallassee. On Saturday, White is returning to Tallassee for a homecoming of sorts.

White has added something new to his repertoire since his days in Tallassee. He now does stand-up comedy. White and friends from his new home in Sylacauga will perform at the Mount Vernon Theatre on Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.

White's tie to Tallassee came through his father Tommy's connection with Ronnie Baynes. Both were football officials. Baynes was a coach at THS at the time which led to Rocky taking a position in Tallassee.

1987 "Tiger Tracks" Yearbook picture of White at THS

"It was 1986. I was a student-coach at Gordo in '85," White remembered.

White's dad also played football at Alabama under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, which helped lead to his college choice.

"I was going to go to Auburn to be an engineer. I got a phone call in Spanish class. 'Is this Rocky White?' a gruff voice uttered as White answered. 'Paul Bryant, University of Alabama.' Coach Bryant offered me a managerial full-ride endowed scholarship with free tuition. I went from Auburn fan to Alabama fan in about ten seconds.

"I worked for Coach Bryant his final two years. I got a 315 game ball and 323 game ball. We were always out about 5:30 or 6 putting out the pads. Coach Bryant would sing, "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder" every morning. He would ask us how our day was and sing all four stanzas."

At Tallassee, White worked with head coach Billy Beck during the '86 season.

"We had a young staff. We called it the "Dog Track Pack" because we went to the dog track a lot. Everybody I'm reconnecting with is through this comedy thing."

The comedy thing is a natural for White.

"I called Stardome in Hoover. I go up there on April 8, 2017. The comics ask me how long I've been in comedy. I say, 'I haven't been. I haven't been out there yet.' I won on the first night. It's snowballed ever since. People ask me what is my mantra. I'm kind of a cross between Jerry Clower and Ray Stevens, trying to be old school."

Comedy is not a full-time thing though. White is still teaching and making the 90-mile trek from Sylacauga to Temple, Ga. on school days.

White (far right) in student managers' photo from the 1983 Alabama football gameday program

"People say you get up so early at 3:50," he said. "I got a $30,000 raise. I'm almost making $100,000 a year. Now, that totally changes everybody's outlook on driving to Georgia."

The sky is the limit for White with his aspirations in stand-up.

"Hopefully, I'll be in New York or Chicago. My wife Denise asked me what's my goal. I'd like to make a little money out of it, but I want to get on (Jimmy) Fallon. I'd love to be on the "Tonight Show" - just five minutes on a Friday night."

Tickets for the Tallassee show are $15 each. The price goes up to $20 a piece at the door on the day of the show. For more information, visit:

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