Cas Walker film in Knoxville

Due to popular demand, Knoxville’s East Tennessee Historical Society will show This is Cas Walker, a film about East Tennessee’s most famous–and most notorious–grocer and public figure. The film will be shown on June 22 as a part of Treasures From the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound: A Film Series.

As described in the publicity, “Scenes and outtakes from his popular television show, The Cas Walker Farm and Home Show, as well as vintage commercials and rare early performances by local performers such as Dolly Parton will be included, along with newly discovered footage that was not part of the original screening.”


Photo courtesy of WBIR

People in Knoxville who remember Cas Walker like to tell stories about the old coot, like the time a rival grocery store had so many watermelons for sale that they were stacked on the sidewalk. According to the tale, Cas hired a woman to feed her dog some salty meat and then let the animal drink copious amounts of water. She then walked Fido back and forth until he raised his leg over a melon. A photographer across the street–also hired by Cas–snapped a picture of the peeing pooch, which a gleeful Cas ran in the next day’s edition of his private newspaper. Sales of the rival’s melons, shall we say, dropped off to a trickle.

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

11 Responses to Cas Walker film in Knoxville

  1. kat russell says:

    oh cas walker sure got me off to school all my life. I have lived around the world but have never forgotten my roots. thanks for making my day while search the web for information on any thing but cas.. it is a small world after all .. thanks,,, sniff.. lol

  2. barbara says:

    i knew hargrove “sonny” watoson , he use to play w/cas walker in his band or on his show,,,you have any footage or info on sonny

  3. Alex says:

    Hi, do you have any footage of the cas walker show with the group called “The Reed Sisters” they were their alot. Please respond to this email would love to realy see any footage of the girls. Thank you so much.


  4. tennesseeguy says:

    I don’t have any footage, but the people at the East Tennessee Historical Society might. Good luck.

  5. Kristina says:

    I am a Nurse and I took care of one red-haired man (til he went home) of Red and Fred and the smoggy mountain boys. I wasnt around when Cas Walker had his show but I know I would have watched it if I had been.

  6. W.Timothy Smith says:


    Who was this Red and Fred? My Daddy was a musician and comedian with Esco Hankins and the Crazy Tennesseans and they played on the Midday Merry-go-round there in Knoxville, and the Tennesse Barndance there–on WROL and WNOX. Daddy also played with a couple of other groups on Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour. I remember him talking about Red and Fred. But I don’t remember anything about them. Daddy has passed away and I have no way of knowing how he knew them, if he played with them, or what, etc. Could you provide me more info if you could at If anybody knows anything about Esco Hankins or The Brewster Brothers or The Log Cabin Boys, please email me at the above email address. I am collection information, stories, pictures, books, records, etc. on them. Thank you very much.

  7. tennesseeguy says:

    “Red and Fred” were Red Rector, who played mandolin, and Fred Smith, on guitar. I don’t remember Fred, but Red Rector played on Cas Walker’s television show for years. He was very good. You can read more on him here:

    John Hartford once played a concert at the University of Tennessee, and he had Red join him on stage. I was there. Red was not very tall, and John joked that when he first heard Red introduced on the radio, he thought the announcer said “And here’s Little Red Rectum!”

    Red smiled wanly. According to Cas Walker’s book, “My Life History,” Red died while mowing his lawn.

  8. Jarrod Hunt says:

    Does anyone rember Danny Bailey off of the csw walker show? If you could tell me if that their is any videos of him playing guitar on the show.Any kind of videos that might have him on their. please e-mail me if you know of him I am trying to gether some info on him.Anything you might know about him would be great

  9. I remember Red Rector. His wife was a seamstress. They had a small home in North Knoxville and I was constantly going there for fittings. She sewed the most beautiful pageant dresses and majorette uniforms. I remember how she made patterns out of newspapers and had straight pens stuck through all her curtains LOL!

  10. Emma Lee Frye-Crowe says:

    I sang on the Cas Walker show from 1972-1981. My maiden name was Frye. My sister Nancy and I sang on the show but she was a regular and sang more often than I did. My mother also sang with us. The property I lived on in Knoxville , my back yard met Mr Walker’s back yard. I could hear his dogs bark all night. Emma Lee

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