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Alabama Rules: From Blue-Eyed Soul to Soulful Blues

Posted: Aug 17, 2008

My friend Deryle Perryman, native of Florence and resident of Albuquerque, recently returned from the Porretta Soul Festival in Porretta, Italy, where he was a guest, along with his co-producer Moises Gonzales, at the European screening of their documentary "Dangerous Highway" about  the life of Eddie Hinton. This week Deryle sent me the brochure from the soul festival and there on page 12, next to a picture of Eddie Hinton and right above a photo of Otis Redding III, was the opening paragraph of my Swampland blog about the soul festival: "Eddie Hinton Does Porretta—Again." Also the article was in English, despite the fact that the entire brochure was in Italian. There we were—two Alabamians on the same page—Deryle and myself. Three, if we can count the transplant Eddie Hinton (born in Jacksonville, Florida). Grazie to Graziano Uliani and the Porretta Soul Festival.

And the good news just keeps coming. Debby Delmore, youngest daughter of Alton Delmore of the illustrious country music duo The Delmore Brothers, just emailed me to say that the Delmore Brothers will be inducted, posthumously, into American's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame (in Iowa) on August 30. The Delmore Brothers have previously been inducted into the Nashville Sonswriters Hall of Fame 1971, Alabama Country Music Hall of fame 1987; Alabama Music Hall of Fame 1989; the Germany Country Music Association's International Division Hall of Fame, 2000; the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, 2001; and the Grammy Hall of Fame for "Blues Stay Away from Me," 2007.

Debby also sent me a copy of the brand new CD which she has produced,  This wonderful collector's item features fourteen of the Delmore Brothers greatest recordings as well as a history of the Delmore Brothers deftly woven among the songs. Watch for the upcoming review of Songs and Stories of the Delmore Brothers on Swampland. The CD can be purchased by contacting Debby at debdelmore@earthlink.net.

At the First Annual Delmore Days this past July, Athens State University announced that an endowed scholarship had been established at ASU in honor of the Delmore Brothers. 

This past week I was watching an episode of Discovering Alabama entitled Nature and the Arts, and one of the artists featured was Alabama's own Charles Ghigna (aka  Father Goose), albeit also a Florida transplant who was born in NY but who has spent most of his life in Alabama. During the program Ghigna said, "People say to me all the time 'You're a writer; you can live anywhere, ' and I say, 'I know. That's why I live in Alabama.' " 

I emailed Charles at his home in Homewood, Alabama, and he shared the news that his latest book Snow Wonder will be released by Random House in October and that he has just signed a contract with Random House for the publication of another children's book, co-authored by himself and his wife Debra. The estimated publication date for that book is 2010. Currently, the Homewood Public Library is featuring an exhibit of Ghigna's work. See Swampland for two of his poems---Hunting the Cotaco Creek and Baseball Dreams.

---Penne J. Laubenthal

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riverelk says...

You did it again Sis!! Love reading your articles! Your Sister, Peggy

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