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Collection Number: 20073

Collection Title: Tommy Scott Posters, 1948-2006

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 7 items
Abstract Tommy Scott began his career in entertainment playing guitar and singing for local square dances. He performed on a radio broadcast for the first time in 1933, and, in 1936, joined Doc Chamberlain's Medicine Show, which had toured the South since 1890. In 1938, Scott took over the show, which was later known as Ramblin' Tommy Scott's Hollywood Hillbilly Jamboree. Scott performed on radio station WWVA in Wheeling, W.Va., where he developed characters and routines that were later featured in his live, radio, and television appearances, including a blackface character named "Lightning" and a ventriloquist act featuring the puppet "Luke McLuke." Scott wrote a number of hit country and western songs and appeared in several feature films. The Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show, which began airing in 1948, was the first country music show on television. During the 1950s, Scott had another show on television called Tommy Scott's Smokey Mountain Jamboree . The collection contains posters advertising various incarnations of Tommy Scott's traveling medicine show and a poster for Tommy Scott's Smokey Mountain Jamboree television show.
Creator Scott, Tommy, 1917-
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Tommy Scott Posters #20073, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received 1999-2006.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

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These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

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Ramblin' Tommy Scott was born on 24 June 1917 near Toccoa, Ga. He began his career in entertainment playing guitar and singing for local square dances. He performed on a radio broadcast for the first time in 1933, on WTFL in Athens, Ga. In 1936, he joined Doc Chamberlain's Medicine Show, which had toured the South since 1890. In 1938, Scott took over the show.

In 1937, Scott joined the cast of the Uncle Pete and Minervy Show on WPTF in Raleigh, N.C. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Wheeling, W. Va., where he joined the Kentucky Partners, a band fronted by Charlie Monroe, the brother of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. The Kentucky Partners performed on WWVA, where Scott developed characters and routines that were featured in his live, radio, and television appearances in subsequent years, including a blackface character named "Lightning" and a ventriloquist act featuring the puppet "Luke McLuke." He also appeared on the Garrett and Dental Snuff Program at WMC in Memphis, Tenn., and on the Grand Ole Opry with Roy Acuff and Uncle Dave Mason.

Scott wrote a number of hit country and western songs, including "Rosebuds and You" and "You Are the Rainbow of My Dreams." He continued to tour with Doc Chamberlain's Medicine Show, now known as Ramblin' Tommy Scott's Hollywood Hillbilly Jamboree. His wife, Frankie Scott, whom he married in 1939, and his daughter, Sandre Scott, both performed in the show. Tommy Scott appeared in the feature films Trail of the Hawk, Mountain Capers , Hillbilly Harmony, and Southern Hayride. The Ramblin' Tommy Scott Show, which began airing in 1948, was the first country music show on television. During the 1950s, Scott had another show on television, Tommy Scott's Smokey Mountain Jamboree . In subsequent decades, Scott continued to tour in the medicine show (Scott claimed that the show performed more than 29,000 times) and appeared on The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and Oprah Winfrey. He was the subject of a PBS documentary Still Ramblin'. In 2007, he published his memoir, Snake Oil, Superstars, and Me.

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The collection contains posters advertising various incarnations of Tommy Scott's traveling medicine show and a poster for Tommy Scott's Smokey Mountain Jamboree television show.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Tommy Scott Posters, 1948-2006.

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Processing Information

Processed by: James McGlothlin, May 2008

Encoded by: James McGlothlin, May 2008

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