Ramblin' Tommy Scott:|
New Book Available
Posted June 30, 2007 - email@example.com
Overlooked amidst the headlines of such cultural import as Paris Hilton's jail sentence and
the debut of the iPhone this week was the publishing event of the season - though one
destined to occur far outside the purview of the New York Times' Bestseller List or Oprah's
I refer to the mind-boggling "Snake Oil, Super Stars, and Me," a 698-page, self-published
autobiography of (Ramblin') Doc Tommy Scott, medicine show survivor, touring machine
(he says he's played 29,000 different towns), and country boogie artist supreme ("Rockin'
and Rollin" on Federal [from 1951!], "Tennessee" on Macy's, "Alley Cat Blues" on Bullet,
etc). Tommy will turn 90 years old this year, and he's amazingly still going strong - to
which he credits a lifetime consumption of good old Herb-O-Lac snake oil.
Tommy never became famous, but he sure seems to have had a more fulfilling life than
most people who have. There are no "Nashville Babylon" moments in these pages, no tales
of drug addiction, alcoholic excess, or sexual depravity, which undoubtedly ensures low
sales. For the most part, it seems to have been a life of fun, comaraderie, theater, and
music on the open road, occuring mostly in a simple, small-town America that the
"entertainment industry" has completely wiped off the map and out of memory.
"If you don't recognize the name Tommy Scott, don't worry about it overmuch," he writes
philosophically. "Most of the ones who do recognize it think I am dead anyway. But do
remember the Old Time Medicine Man, for I represent, in a good way, all the Medicine Men
(and a few women) that have come before me. They ushered in the entertainment known
as 'Country Music' today." He concludes by looking forward to meeting God so he can
"take off my red hat, give it a twirl and a pop, and offer Him a bottle of Snake Oil to ease
the aches and pains of what he sees His children enduring on this earth ... I hope to walk
around Heaven and visit all those old time Medicine Men ... "
The book is illustrated with hundreds of photos, and while I wish the reproduction would
have been better, there's really no sense in criticizing a book like this. As Ronny Weiser
wrote when reviewing the first reissue of Jerry Lee Lewis's unissued Sun recordings in the
early '70s, "How do you review a miracle?"
Finally, if you're a bit concerned about the "Super Stars" in the title - wary of endless
meaningless anecdotes about stupid Nashville hat acts - don't be. Tommy's definition of
the word extends only to people like Stringbean, Uncle Dave Macon, Charlie Monroe, Syd
Nathan, Curley Williams, Clyde Moody, Tim McCoy, Fuzzy St. John, Junior Samples, Zeb
Turner, Doc Brinkley, and Big Sandy and the Fly-Right Boys. Which is precisely my
definition of "Super Stars" also.
"Snake Oil, Super Stars, and Me" is available for $35.00 postpaid from Tommy Scott, PO
Box 100, Toccoa, Ga., 30577.
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