“I don’t want to hear none of your tales, boy… Too many tales come from these mountains and everwhere…”*
The Ozark Mountains breed many legends. In the foggy hollers there, tales abound of witches, of the impending revolt of the Nini indians, and of a chicken-legged man-monster known as the Yarp. Yet another to have once roamed those hills was rockabilly legend Frank “Andy” Starr, the Rockin’ Rollin’ Jumpin’ Crazy Stone.
Born into abject poverty, named after a U.S. president, Franklin Delano Gulledge (b. 1932) grew up in a dirt shack near Mill Creek, “about six mile from Combs, Arkansas.” His mother struggled to feed the brood bestowed upon her by her rounder husband. The elder Gulledge, Grover Cleveland by name (yes, such naming was a family tradition), came and went according to the movements of an itinerant hustler. He was rarely present in the home. To help out around the dirt farm, sister Drew sold the Cloverleaf Salve that arrived by mail order. She sold so much, in fact, that she won a prize: a cheap guitar. The siblings all shared that guitar, beating and bashing it in the hillbilly fashion, but young Frank took a true shine to it. Blowing thru Mill Creek again around that time, G.C., a fiddle player himself, heard his middle son strumming on that mail order guitar. Father encouraged son to “tag along in the Key of D.” He liked what he heard and began to take his son with him to play the local dances held in cabins around the hills.
(Continued, with song files, after the jump.)