Stringbean – Cripple Creek (Grand Ole Opry)
Published on Apr 7, 2015
Posting Country Music Videos downloaded from alt.binaries.mpeg.videos.country
John A. Brown, String Bean’s murderer, has been up for parole 4 times over the last 12 years & denied each time. Brown has spent 37 of his 60 years in prison & will not get another chance for parole until 2017. When Brown is tearfully pleading for freedom, I wonder if he remembers String’s wife Estelle begging him to spare her life & how he answered her pleas by putting a bullet in her head. Since he should have been executed anyway, he should never be granted his parole.
David Akeman (June 17, 1916 – November 10, 1973), better known as Stringbean (or String Bean), was an American country music banjo player and comedy musician best known for his role on the hit television show, Hee Haw, and as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Akeman and his wife were murdered by burglars at their rural Tennessee home in 1973. Born in Annville, Jackson County, Kentucky, Akeman came from a musical family. He was taught to play the banjo by his father, James Roy Akemon. He got his first real banjo when he was 12 years old in exchange for a pair of prize bantam chickens. Akeman began playing at local dances and gained a reputation as a musician, but the income was not enough to live on. He joined the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, building roads and planting trees.
Eventually, he entered a talent contest judged by singer-guitarist-musical saw player Asa Martin. He won and was invited to join Martin’s band. During an early appearance, Martin forgot Akeman’s name and introduced him as “String Bean” because of his tall, thin build. Akeman used the nickname the rest of his life.
Akeman originally was only a musician, but when another performer failed to show up one night, he was used as a singer and comic. From then on, Akeman did both comedy and music. He appeared on WLAP-AM in Lexington, Kentucky, and played with a several groups in the late 1930s.
Akeman also played semi-professional baseball. It was as a ballplayer that he met bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, who fielded with another semi-pro team. From 1943 to 1945, Akeman played banjo for Monroe’s band, performing on recordings such as “Goodbye Old Pal”. He also teamed with Willie Egbert Westbrook as String Beans and Cousin Wilbur, a comedy duo who appeared on the same bill as Monroe’s band. When he left Monroe, he was replaced by Earl Scruggs, a banjoist with a very different style.
In 1945, Akeman married Estelle Stanfill. The same year, he formed a comedy duet with Willie Egbert Westbrook, and they were invited to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. The following year, Akeman began working with Grandpa Jones, a fellow old-time banjo player and comedian. Jones and Akeman worked together at the Opry and years later on the Hee Haw television series. They also became neighbors near Ridgetop, Tennessee. Akeman became a protégé of Uncle Dave Macon, one of the biggest Opry stars. Near the end of his life, Macon gave Akeman one of his prized banjos.
They oughta wall up that sumnummabeechin’ murderer like the royals used to do. John Brown, huh… another John Brown started a whole raft of sh!t back in the day down Maryland way. Beware John Browns. This one destroyed an American treasure. Bastard.
Anyway… I was so happy to find this and I was even happier that it was by Stringbean. This is a favorite from my formative years and I sing it to this day. I sing it with the lyrics he uses here, because that is the way it was sung on HeeHaw, which in my youth was a staple. All the other ones I’ve ever found have the lyrics as they were written, which to my ear, is “wrong,” even though it might be “right.” This is the way it should be. Actually there is a tube of it from HeeHaw where they do sing the almost the original lyrics, but that was whatcha call an anomaly.
Sorry for the sparse postings, things are a bit nuts around here.
Oh Stringbean there will never be another like you, Sir.