On the evening of Thursday, October 24th, we celebrate the publication of a new book that gathers the tales and legends of Cas Walker, one of 20th century Knoxville’s most famous citizens. Cas Walker was a grocer, politician, media celebrity, music promoter and coon hunter whose colorful life inspired some of the city’s favorite urban legends.
Many of these tales are now gathered in Cas Walker: Stories on his Life and Legend, published this fall by UT Press. Historian Joshua Hodge recorded oral histories with many who knew Cas Walker, as friends, employees, and political rivals or allies. The book combines these tales with others gleaned from Walker’s own writings, and stories about Walker written by some of Knoxville’s best journalists.
The evening program includes a performance by members of the Cas Walker band, led by Walker’s long-time friend and master banjo player, David West. We will also enjoy a collection of video clips from Cas Walker’s morning television program, as well as some rare and recently uncovered footage of young Dolly Parton, whose career began on Walker’s show. And we will swap a few more stories with some of Cas Walker’s friends and family.
The program starts at 7 PM at the East Tennessee History Center on 601 South Gay Street. The evening is co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee History Department, the East Tennessee Historical Society, and the Appalachian Media Archives. Copies of the new book will be available for purchase that evening.
For more information, contact Ernest Freeberg at 974 7090.