Posts Tagged ‘Outlaws’
by Ted McCagg
Via the wonderful Libraryland.
As we contemplate the clues that surround us, we might recall that it was on this date in 1934 that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed on a rural road near Gibsland, Louisiana, by a posse of four Texas Rangers and two Louisiana Troopers armed with Browning Automatic Rifles sporting 20 round magazines with armor piercing bullets. The barrage that caught the bandits in their car reportedly left each with 50 bullet wounds– and left the ambushers deaf for 30 minutes after their attack.
The dispatch of Barrow and Parker was the beginning of the end of the “Public Enemy era” of the 1930s. New federal statutes that made bank robbery and kidnapping federal offenses, the growing coordination of local jurisdictions by the FBI, and the installation of two-way radios in police cars combined to make the free-roaming outlaw lifestyle much more difficult in the summer of 1934 than it had been just a few months before. Indeed, two months after Gibsland, John Dillinger was ambushed and killed in Chicago; three months after that, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd took 14 FBI bullets in the back in Ohio; and one month after that, Lester “Baby Face Nelson” Gillis shot it out, and lost, in Illinois. By 1935, Public Enemies had migrated pretty completely to the Silver Screen.
Bonnie and Clyde, 1933 (source)
This year, Chicago takes the not-so-coveted top spot from Cincinnati, while Atlanta has the highest number of neighborhoods making the list (four).
As we rethink relocation, we might recall that it was on this date in 1934 that serial bank robber and “Oklahoma Robin Hood” Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was shot and killed by FBI agents in a cornfield in East Liverpool, Ohio.
15 July 1972, Billerica, MA — Don Stover was a bluegrass banjo picker from White Oak, West Virginia. In 1952 he joined the Lilly Brothers from nearby Beckley, and headed for Boston, where they played together for over eighteen years at the (in)famous Hillbilly Ranch. Stover had great influence on a generation of important young banjo pickers, from Bill Keith (who introduced chromatic scales to bluegrass as a member of Bill Monroe’s band) to Bela Fleck (the bluegrass and jazz-fusion star)
Courtesy of the always fascinating Selvedge Yard, a selection of photos from the archive of photographer Henry Horenstein, “Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981“– a time before CMT and “New Country,” a time when country was… well, country.
15 July 1974, Berryville, Virginia — Bluegrass music fans at the Berryville Bluegrass Festival
15 July, 1975, Cambridge, MA. Waylon Jennings began as his career as a Cricket (Buddy Holly’s bass player) and ended it as an Outlaw (a member of the group that also included Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Billy Joe Shaver). Along the way, he conspired with Johnny Cash in the addled 60s , then charted a series of hits that included the classic “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
See the rest of Horenstein’s arresting photos at The Selvedge Yard.
As we pine for a PBR, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that, in another corner of the music world, Chuck Berry’s first hit record, “Maybellene” entered the R&B chart. Piano player Johnnie Johnson recalls that he and Berry rewrote the song at the suggestion of Leonard Chess: “It was an old fiddle tune called ‘Ida Red’[recorded in 1938 by Bob Wills]. I changed the music and re-arranged it, Chuck re-wrote the words, and the rest, as they say, was history. Leonard Chess asked me to come up to record it live. At that time, someone else already had a song out by the same name, so we had to change our version. We noticed a mascara box in the corner, so we changed the name to ‘Maybellene.’”