Carroll Reece Museum reopens

October 30, 2006

Johnson City’s Carroll Reece Museum, on the campus of East Tennessee State University, has opened its doors to new exhibit space and spiffed-up exhibits.

The Museum focuses on art and Appalachian culture.  It has the best collection of musical instruments on this end of the state.  The Reece Museum, along with the Mountain Home Museum, the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance museum, and the upcoming Gray Fossil Museum, will force museum-goers to spend several days on this end of the state to see them all. 

:: Johnson City Press – Entertainment ::


"Long Black Veil” writer dies

October 30, 2006

Marijohn Wilkin, who wrote the classic “Long Black Veil,” died at the age of 86. She also wrote “One Day at a Time” and co-wrote “Waterloo.”

“Long Black Veil” tells an interesting story from a very unusual point of view. The story is about two lovers who were having a tryst while someone was killed “neath the town hall light.” The man is tried for the murder and asked if he has an alibi. He does, but doing so would reveal that his paramour is his best friend’s wife, so the accused goes to his death on the scaffold without giving up their secret. His lover wears a long black veil and visits his grave “while the night winds wail.” See the complete lyrics at the link below.

It’s a chilling story, all the more so because the song is sung from the point of view of the deceased. “Long Black Veil” has leaped the bounds of country music and has been recorded by artists as diverse as Joan Baez, Barry White, Johnny Cash, and the Kingston Trio. My favorite version is by Mick Jagger backed by the Chieftans.

Long Black Veil

Memphis Commercial Appeal – Memphis’ Source for News and Information: A La Carte


Cocke County Confidential

October 30, 2006

Cocke County, the rooster fightin’, corn squeezin’ capital of Tennessee, was featured, if one can call it that, in the Los Angeles Times. The article is reprinted today in the News-Sentinel.

I had one of my weirder Tennessee restaurant experiences in Cocke County years ago at a culinary center called The Grease Rack. The parking lot was full of cars, but when I tried to open the restaurant door, it was locked. I rang the bell, and someone peered out a peephole, then opened the door. My younger son was with me, and we stepped into a bar where, it seemed, all conversation stopped as everyone looked us over.

Apparently passing the test, we were invited back into the capacious restaurant, where we enjoyed a good, down home meal. Why the peephole? As the waitress explained, “Well, sometimes there’s people out there that we don’t want in here.”

Every good eatery has its standards, I suppose.

KnoxNews: Local