Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jimmie Driftwood

This is obviously a publicity shot, but it's what the Courier ran at the time. Besides, I've heard that he was was already in his "black period" when he first came to Winfield.

James Corbitt Morris was the son of a folk singer, Neil Morris. He was a high school teacher whose famous ballads "Battle Of New Orleans" and "Tennessee Stud" were written to make history fun for his students.

Mr. Driftwood is also a giant. Later, after a successful Nashville career including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall, he returned to Mountain View, Arkansas and devoted the rest of his life to preserving both the Ozark Mountain culture and the local environment. He's also the first person I ever saw play the mouth bow.

Jimmie Driftwood returned to play the Walnut Valley Festival for four years in the middle 70's. He passed away in July of 1998, just a few days after his 90th birthday.

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