Pistol Packin' Mama
Aunt Molly Jackson and the Politics of Folksong
Meet Aunt Molly Jackson (1880-1960), one of American folklore's most fascinating characters.
A coal miner's daughter, she grew up in eastern Kentucky, married a miner, and became a midwife, labor activist, and songwriter. Fusing hard experience with rich Appalachian musical tradition, her songs became weapons of struggle.
In 1931, at age fifty, she was "discovered" and brought north, sponsored and befriended by an illustrious circle of left-wing intellectuals and musicians, including Theodore Dreiser, Alan Lomax, and Charles Seeger and his son Pete. Along with Sarah Ogan Gunning, Jim Garland (two of Aunt Molly's half-siblings), Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and other folk musicians, she served as a cultural broker, linking the rural working poor to big-city left-wing activism.
Shelly Romalis draws upon interviews and archival materials to construct this portrait of an Appalachian woman who remained radical, raucous, proud, poetic, offensive, self-involved, and in spirit the "real" pistol packin' mama of the song.
"Mr. Coal operator call me anything you please, blue, green, or red, I aim to see to it that these Kentucky coalminers will not dig your coal while their little children are crying and dying for milk and bread."
-- Aunt Molly Jackson
"An excellent and highly readable book about an extraordinary character." -- Alessandro Portelli, The Journal of American History
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
My Life with Jimmy Martin, the King of Bluegrass
Barbara Martin Stephens
Edited by Tom Ewing
A Documentary in Pictures and Words, 1966-86
Carl Fleischhauer and Neil V. Rosenberg
WSM and the Making of Music City
A History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia
Wayne W. Daniel
A Musical Odyssey
The Life of Marty Robbins
America's Bluegrass Ambassador to the World
Bill C. Malone
The Life and Music of Curly Seckler
Singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist Churches
Beverly Bush Patterson
Country Music and the Southern Working Class
Bill C. Malone
Notes from the Heart of Europe
A Life of Music, Love, and Politics
Jean R. Freedman
Neil V. Rosenberg
Appalachia in Time and Place
Edited by Richard A. Straw and H. Tyler Blethen