We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the right side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here:
We open today’s show with the saga of a former Confederate surgeon named Dr. Charles T. Pepper. In 1872 Dr. Pepper started a soon-to-be-thriving business dispensing patent medicines in a brick pharmacy in Rural Retreat, VA. He also spent time mixing mountain herbs, roots and seltzer into a fizzy brew whose commercially bottled descendants you may have encountered.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
It wasn’t the only American city simmering with race riots in that ‘Red Summer’ of 1919. But Knoxville, TN up till that time had always prided itself as a model southern city when it came to race relations. That civic image changed dramatically starting on August 30.
She wrote about 1500 hymns in all, over a 37 year period. In her lifetime Leila Morris’ songs were translated and sung in Africa, India, China, and Korea. Her best known songs, ‘Nearer, Still Nearer,’ and ‘Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart’ (both penned 1898), and another, ‘Sweet Will of God,’ (1900) can still be found in hymnals today.
Prohibition was a bitter issue in early 20th century Alabama politics. “Prohibition in the South is a failure, not only because it does not prohibit, but because it is breeding a defiance of law and has set up in the place of licensed saloons illegal dispensers of liquor,” fumed the United States Brewers’ Association in their 1911 yearbook.
We’ll wrap things up with a 1905 interview with novelist Will Harben. Harben (1858-1919) was one of the most popular novelists in America during the first two decades of the twentieth century. “While I am not one of the people about whom I write,” explains the native North Georgian, “my childhood and most of my life was spent amid such scenes as I have attempted to portray.”
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Robin Warren, Don Pedi and Tad Wright in a 1979 recording of “Wind that Shakes the Barley.”
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.