Killings: Folk Justice in the Upper South

University Press of Kentucky
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" ÒA woman was sitting on the witness stand, and the lawyer asked her, ÔDid you, or did you not, on the night of June 23rd have sex with a hippie on the back of a motorcycle in a peach orchard?Õ She thought for a few minutes, then said, ÔWhat was that date again?ÕÓÑfrom the book Lawyers have long been known as master storytellers, and those from Kentucky are certainly no exception. Veteran oral historian and folklorist Lynwood Montell has collected tales from dozens of lawyers and judges from throughout the Bluegrass State, ranging from the story about the tough Jackson County judge who fined himself for being late to court to unwelcome dogs in the courtroom. Recorded just as they have been told for generations, these stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad or frightening, sometimes raw and harrowing, but always remarkable. Far more than collection of lawyer jokes, Tales from Kentucky Lawyers recounts the most insightful, entertaining, and occasionally heartbreaking stories ever told by and about Kentucky lawyers and their clients, covering the spectrum from arson to homicide, domestic disagreements to sexual abuse, and everything in between. Tales from Kentucky Lawyers is a valuable resource for folklorists as well as an entertaining and vivid account of the often-surprising legal world.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University Press of Kentucky
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Pages
220
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ISBN
9780813127972
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Law / Legal History
Social Science / Folklore & Mythology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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In Singing the Glory Down, William Lynwood Montell contributes to a fuller understanding of twentieth-century American culture by examining the complex relationships between gospel music and the culture of the nineteen-county study area in which this music has flourished for a hundred years. He has recorded the memories and feelings of those who were young while the movement gathered steam and who remember it at its high point, and stories about those who have passed over that river about which they loved to sing.

In the early 1900s, a singing school or gospel convention was a major social event that enticed people to walk for miles to learn to sing or to hear someone who already had. The shape-note teachers of those days conducted days or even weeks of nightly practice, which culminated in a performance that confirmed the teacher's skill. Quartet music originated in these settings.

Today, some area quartets still sound much like those early groups; others teach themselves to sing by imitating their favorite professional gospel ensembles.They travel every weekend in buses emblazoned with the names of their groups, with tapes and albums to sell. Through all the changes, the four-part southern harmony of Kentucky gospel music has remained the same.

In the words of these performers, through letters, diaries, and interviews, Montell details the attitudes and joys of those involved most deeply in the gospel music scene. He also brings the reader into their personal relationships, their professional jealousies, and their struggles to keep alive the music they love.

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From the Hardcover edition.
Perhaps no one has keener insight into human nature than the small-town trial lawyer. All but lost in an era of corporate law firms and specialized practice, this charismatic figure was once at the political center of a community and was the holder of its many secrets. A small town attorney's only specialization was the town itself. Serving as both defender and accuser, these lawyers witnessed communities and individuals at their best and worst. Men and women of the legal profession often exert influence in seemingly small realms, but they play an important role in the lives of many people and help shape the American legal system. Veteran oral historian and folklorist William Lynwood Montell has brought together a fascinating collection of tales gathered from lawyers and judges throughout the Volunteer State. Montell searched small towns and cities across Tennessee for the law's older and middle age practitioners, and he shares the wealth of their experience in Tales from Tennessee Lawyers. These stories are recorded exactly as told by the lawyers themselves, and they reveal candid and unusual snapshots of the legal system -- both past and present. With a tape recorder and an ear for detail, Montell uncovers events and lives ranging from the commonplace to the extraordinary. A man resorts to prostitution to alleviate the debt brought about by divorce proceedings. Identical twins are tried for a string of murders. A convict flees his trial by stealing the judge's car. A prosecutor tries the nation's first school-shooting case. Judge George Balitsaris, a former University of Tennessee football player, escorts a special prosecutor out of a notorious rape trial as a precaution after the defendant's family issues threats. These and similar stories illustrate the strange, complex cases argued daily from Tennessee's largest cities to its smallest towns. Far more than just a collection of lawyer jokes, these recollections shed light on the tense and often dangerous lives of those who work to see that all receive fair representation and treatment in court.
From frontier times to the present day, Kentucky nurses have served with intelligence and energy, always ensuring that their patients received the best available care. Noted folklorist and oral historian William Lynwood Montell collects nearly two hundred stories from these hard-working men and women in Tales from Kentucky Nurses. From humorous anecdotes to spine-chilling coincidences, tragic circumstances, and heartwarming encounters, the tales in this lively volume are recorded exactly as they were told to Montell.

Covering medical practice in the state from the early twentieth century through contemporary times, the episodes related in Tales from Kentucky Nurses reveal the significance of the nursing profession to the Bluegrass state's local life and culture. They include funny tales -- such as the story of an injured stripper who swore her pole had been sabotaged and an anecdote about a surgeon racing between hospitals who paid his speeding ticket twice, knowing he would have to hurry the other way in a few hours. Montell also presents moving stories like the recollections of a nurse who helped a frail cancer patient achieve his last wish of being baptized.

This valuable collection also features anecdotes from the famous Frontier Nursing Service, which provided essential care to families in remote areas of the state and whose leader, Mary Breckinridge, is remembered fondly for her wit and kindness. In addition, Montell's interviewees share ghost stories and describe folk remedies like the practice of placing an axe under a woman's pillow during labor to cut the pain. These firsthand accounts not only pay homage to an underappreciated profession but also preserve important aspects of Kentucky's history not likely to be recorded elsewhere.

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