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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kate Campbell profile in Gads Times/ MLKing Tribute

Jan 16:
My friend Kate Campbell was profiled page A-3 of the Sunday Jan 14 Gads Times a year after she did a house concert for my sister on her 50th bday in South Carolina.
Momma woulda been proud of the coincidence for both of them.
Sad thing is when I was whitewashed and run out of the Collinsville Library I was strongly pursuing a Library Renovation project benefit with Kate headlining, and who knows where it woulda gone from there, even Bob Dylan, though I conceded that was a reach; but given Spooner and Bub are tight and there were other avenues as well, who knew; but I guess now we will never know.
Even so Kate rises and plays Feb 7 in New Caanan Ct. I am hoping Matthew Morgan and Ellen Rosenberg can make that gig.
I wanted to see Kate at Vestavia Hills, Sunday the 7th and then in Decatur last week, was toying with inviting Lucas Black's Mother from nearby, but ball bearing troubles tanked those aspirations.
This story originally from the Decatur Daily is one of the best profiles of Kate to date, up there with the lengthy profile in Washington Post fall of 05.
Go Kate....

Courtesy photo“To me, the South is a combination of blues and gospel and country music. I think that’s what the South has given the world, and it’s that combination that you hear in a lot of my music,” says Kate Campbell, Decatur’s opening performer for the Year of Alabama Arts. Her concert is Thursday at Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts.
Keeping it realCampbell’s music weaves tapestry of her life experiences
By Patrice· 340-2446
Kate Campbell’s life experiences are woven into every song she writes and every tune she sings.
She spent her childhood in the Mississippi Delta town of Sledge as the daughter of a Baptist preacher.
Her high-school years were more urban: Nashville and Orlando. Then she came to Alabama for college, earning a bachelor’s in history from Samford University in Birmingham, then a master’s degree in Southern history from Auburn University with Wayne Flynt as her major professor.
It’s not surprising that singer Campbell’s sound is as varied as her background.
You can hear that rich mixture Thursday at 7 at the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts when Campbell is Decatur’s opening performer for the Year of Alabama Arts. Also, on Tuesday afternoon, she will lead a free professional development workshop for teachers, joined by Flynt, and a songwriting session for Decatur City Schools’ International Baccalaureate program and choral students.
Not every student gets her professor to join her on the road. But Flynt, a well-known Alabama historian, author, minister and activist, and Campbell are collaborating on a January series at Samford University. He will talk about race, religion and a sense of place, and she will sing songs she has written on those themes.
“He has kind of been my mentor,” Campbell said of Flynt, a retired Auburn professor who loves music as well as history. “When I started putting together my love of Southern history with my songwriting and music, people started paying attention, and everything made sense to me. I found my own voice, and he was a part of that.”
Campbell, 45, said in a telephone interview that she was considered a “late bloomer” in the music world.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was a little girl, but I got married, worked on a Ph.D. for a while, did some college teaching, and then things started coming together for recordings.” Campbell, who is married to a chaplain and lives in Nashville between singing engagements, said audiences responded well, so for the past 10 years she has focused on recording and performing, as well as writing.
When she was younger, Campbell said she was inspired by Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. They don’t do the same type of music, “but they are terrific models for women.”
Southern writers — especially Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor — also provided a lot of her inspiration, and Flynt will read some passages between her music during their sessions.
But Campbell’s Mississippi Delta childhood also plays a big part in her music.
“To me, the South is a combination of blues and gospel and country music. It all comes from the South — I think that’s what the South has given the world — and it’s that combination that you hear in a lot of my music,” she said.
There’s some Southern rock, rhythm and blues and soul mixed in, along with a bit of Elvis, another of her loves, but when you look for her CDs in a music store, better check the “folk music” category.
As a child in the 1960s in the Delta, she had to reconcile “a lot of images I didn’t understand. I think history has given me a way to talk about that,” she said, and her music includes civil rights history and songs about the South.
“I think it’s a continuing dialog, and now everything is global,” Campbell said. “As things change, the South is in a unique position to dialogue about this, and I think we should be.”
She finds it interesting that the largest market for her music is the Northeast, not the South. “I think it’s because I’m a white Southerner, and they haven’t heard many white folks from the South who are willing to talk about these things.” One of her performances was at the Southern Poverty Law Center and Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery.
She describes her work as “eclectic,” while storytelling is her style. Campbell’s CDs since 1995 include “Songs from the Levee,” “Moonpie Dreams,” “Visions of Plenty,” “Rosaryville,” “Wandering Strange,” “Monuments” and “Blues and Lamentations.”
Her most recent CD, “For the Living of These Days,” reflects her spiritual nature and was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals as Lent began. Spooner Oldham of Rogersville is the other musician on the CD, which features new songs written by Campbell, Oldham, Mark Narmore and Walt Aldridge, plus “Jesus Christ” written by Woody Guthrie and Kris Kristofferson’s “They Killed Him.” It includes “If I Ever Get to Heaven,” a few hymns, a new Civil Rights Memorial song, and a prayer that she set to music: “Prayer of Thomas Merton.”
When writing songs, she reflects on Jesus’ words about how people should treat one another. When choosing songs for her latest album, she returned to her favorite sources: the record collection of her parents, the Rev. Jim and Jeanette Henry, now retired and living in Orlando; the Baptist hymnal; classic folk, soul and country music; and Alabama songwriters.
Oldham, who is legendary for his work on many classic rhythm and blues songs, will join her for the Decatur concert, as will Narmore. Oldham wrote hits for stars as diverse as Percy Sledge and Barbra Streisand; he played organ on Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” and Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You” and has played on nearly all of Campbell’s albums.
Campbell usually plays guitar and piano onstage. “We’ll mix it up at this concert,” said Campbell, who last performed for a Junior League event in Decatur and has more recently played Huntsville.
“I love Southern rock and the music that came out of Muscle Shoals,” said Campbell. “And I love Elvis Presley — I have many tunes that mention him, and I may do a couple in Decatur.” She plans to sing some from her latest album, along with “Crazy in Alabama” and others in honor of her “second home.”
“I think it’s interesting that she’s as comfortable singing in a church or coffeehouse as in a theater or concert venue,” said Lindy Ashwander, executive director for the Princess. Some of Campbell’s winter concert settings include Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham and churches in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Connecticut, California and Virginia, as well as a performance for the Alabama Historical Association, a library concert series in Hyde Park, N.Y., and an acoustic series in New England.
“She plans to do some of her Alabama tunes here when she and her guest, Spooner Oldham, help kick off our year of emphasis on the arts, especially those with Alabama ties,” said Ashwander. “She appeals to a lot of different music lovers with her style forged in soul, rhythm and blues, Southern rock, country and folk music plus gospel with some Baptist standards, and she’s been described as a country folk singer influenced by Bob Dylan, with a twist of Al Green.”
Former Decatur resident Lee Sentell, state tourism director, planned the Year of Alabama Arts (following years emphasizing the outdoors, food, and gardens, and has been invited to Campbell’s performance, said Ashwander. More than 600 events, from craft fairs, festivals and art strolls to plays and concerts, already are planned around the state for this joint venture between the tourism department and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. To get copies of the Alabama Calendar of Events, Must-See Arts Destinations and 2007 Alabama Vacation Guide, call (800) Alabama or visit
Ashwander said Campbell’s artist-in-residence events in Decatur are sponsored by Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, with grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
If you go
What: “An Evening with Kate Campbell and Special Guest Spooner Oldham” to kick off the Year of Alabama Arts in Decatur
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Jan 12
Here is my friend Jim Evans from today's Anniston Star.
Come back to this post later when I add the comment of another friend, Bill Leonard, Dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest, about the Baptist incarnation of King as a moral conscience of his time, acting on his Baptist and Christian convictions, a full embodiment of the Baptist distinctive of the Priesthood of the Believer.
The last week has been a whirlwind for me. I regret not having approached the Collinsville School, my Mother's alma mater, to read Marshall Frady's closing thoughts on King.
As I have said elsewhere Cynthia Tucker has taken the measure of the King children and found them wanting. But they are not the only Baptist preacher's kids who have not risen to the Promise, the legacy, the high bar of their great cloud of witnesses.
Even So God Bless the Memory of Martin King.
See also the lyrics to My God They Killed Him at
I have been tempted this last week to fly in the face of everything Martin stood for.
Pray for the neighborhood, and the one where you live as well.

Segueway here from Fox; Sadly enough Gardendale, Alabama, home of STeve Gaines, Debbie Medaris and Kate's in law's the Campbells, is one of the few municipalities in the state of Alabama that does not honor MLKing day.
Two things that stand out this year on Martin, make that three
1) the greedy way the King children are benefitting from his papers. Cynthia Tucker of the AJC who probably should have had my friend Lowell Barron's seat on the Auburn trustee board these last ten year has covered that extensively.
Three/Fifths of the money ought to go to scholarships and other programs at Morehouse, other historically Black Colleges and to promising African American Scholars at the University of their choice, even Furman.
2) Marshall Frady and Will Campbell's friend David Halberstam caught my attention again with his remark in the PBS documentary on King, that in from 1967 on when King was bucking LBJ in Vietnam, Johnson went back to his old ways of calling King: "That nigger preacher."
3) My friend Bill Leonard in the January interview of Baptists Today, ranks King one of the great Baptists of all time. King's testimony from 1957 when at two AM in the morning with all kind of violent threats against his family and well being, he was in a sweat striving with the Holy Spirit, like Moses, saying not Me Lord, call somebody else to do this.
And the Spirit kept saying, No Martin, you must make a Stand, take up the Cause.
And he Did.

Evans on Martin

James L. Evans: In memory of Martin Luther King

In his elegant little book, “Finally Comes the Poet,” Walter Brueggemann writes that the task of the preacher is to be “a voice that shatters settled reality and evokes new possibilities.” If he is right about that, then no preacher in the last century has been more effective than Martin Luther King Jr. His words helped shatter the settled reality of segregation. He also gave voice to the possibility of what he called the “beloved community.”
King assaulted segregation with words bearing the full force of Biblical understanding and prophetic courage. For example, when we heard him say, “Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.”
Or this devastating insight about prejudice: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
For a generation his powerful words defined how faith is able to confront the powers and bring about real change.
Of course, the settled reality of segregation did not yield quietly to the pleas of the preacher. It fought back with a fierceness that left many bloody and beaten.
But King was not drawn into the violence. Instead, he echoed the teaching of Jesus: “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”
Of the many disappointments that accompanied King’s efforts, the deepest and most painful came from fellow Christian ministers who failed to support the Civil Rights movement. Of them King wrote, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
He was no starry-eyed idealist. He was not duped by some pie-in-the-sky theology. “All progress is precarious,” he said, “and the solution of one problem brings us face-to-face with another problem.”
And King knew that his vision of a beloved community was dangerous and difficult. But he believed in it and spoke about it with passionate eloquence, his words evoking new possibilities then and now.
“Non-violence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: The need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
And, of course, these most memorable of his words: “Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
The great American poet Walt Whitman once wrote, “After the seas are all crossed, after the great captains and engineers have accomplished their work, after the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist, ethnologist, finally shall come the poet worthy of that name, the true son of God shall come singing his songs.”
We have been visited by such a poet. And his words helped shatter a settled reality of cruelty and hate. But his words did so much more. The poet also helped us see a glimpse of what could be. In his vision of the beloved community we see the hope of a new possibility.
About James Evans:
James L. Evans, a syndicated columnist, also serves as pastor of Auburn First Baptist Church in Auburn, Ala. He can be contacted through his Web site at


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