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Flat Tire & the Great Dane
Bovine Midwifery
Troubadour Emeritus
Judgment & Experience
Preachin', Pickin' & Politicin'
Doctrines of Citizenship
Bean Creek Alphabet
War Bunny

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Gamble Rogers Festival

• May 2-4, 2014

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Preachin', Pickin' & Politicin'

It's colorful down home. All the preachers talk like politicians and the politicians talk like preachers - the people who pick and sing, why, they sound like preachers and politicians. Do you remember Governor Jimmy Davis of Louisiana who wrote the song "You Are My Sunshine?" Made a Top 40 hit of it back when Ray Charles was in knee pants. And then there was Pappy Lee O’Daniel of Texas who had a Country music group called Pappy Lee O’Daniel & the Light Crust Doughboys. He became the Governor of Texas and wrote a song called "Beautiful Texas" which is an anthem of the Lone Star State. My dear friend and mentor Agamemnon Jones--that's Agamemnon Abromovitz Jones--remembers seeing Huey Long stumping the state in Louisiana campaigning from the bed of a two- and-a-half-ton truck. He had a hillbilly aggregation dancing attendance behind, and old Kingfish was out in front in the band with a Prince Albert can full of quail shots strapped to his right forearm - picking out the Great Speckled Bird on a Martin Guitar. Now that's colorful.

But there ain't nobody so colorful in the annals of southern political history as Kissin' Christian Gentleman Big Jim Folsom of the sovereign state of Alabama. Now when Jim Folsom declared his intention to capture the Democratic nomination for governor, all of his political detractors went out trying to dig up some sort of scurrilous misinformation, with which they could besmirch his pristine public image. They had only to go so far as the sylvan burg of Coleman, Alabama, where they found irrefutable evidence of some non-domestic peccadilloes that had been orchestrated by the good gentleman, during one of his carnal rampages in the vicinity. They wrote their findings up in the form of a polemical ballad and chose for the tune a traditional air from an English sea shanty—a melody that was so catchy that their little track became an instant hit, raged over the face of Alabama and was sung at every street corner and college campus. Jim Folsom, being nobody's fool, appropriated this song as his official campaign song and swept to victory with his supporters chanting the very words of this song.


Author: James Gamble Rogers IV

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