Join us for The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission.
Guests: Southern rock guitarist George McConnell and author-editor Neil White (“125 Years of Ole Miss Football”)
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)
George McConnell is a southern rock guitarist formerly of Beanland, Kudzu Kings and Widespread Panic. A Vicksburg, MS native, McConnell uses the varied music of his youth including country music, jazz and blues to season his gumbo of sounds.
His solo releases include the album George McConnell and the Nonchalants, Cheers Sports Fans. In the early 1990s. George and his bandmates, Beanland, were produced by Thacker’s own Jim Dickinson, Beanland (HiCool).
In addition to his performing career, McConnell operated a guitar shop on the Oxford square for several years, Django’s. As a musician and friend over three decades, McConnell has been an indispensable part of the North Mississippi music community, including stints filling in on The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour.
Photo: Newt Rayburn
To commemorate 125 years of Ole Miss football history, the Nautilus Publishing Company has published Stories from 125 Years of Ole Miss Football, a collection of stories and photographs that don’t fit the typical “sports book” model. The book is a “Staff Pick” at Square Books.
Editor and Publisher, Neil White, said, “We didn’t want to re-package the same stories that have been repeated through the years. Every interview began with a simple question: Tell us a story most people don’t know about.”
White and his team of contributors — including Rick Cleveland, Billy Watkins, Robert Khayat, Jeff Roberson — interviewed more than 100 former players and coaches, as well as children, grandchildren, and widows of former Rebels. Some of the stories uncovered by the contributors include: The 1907 coach who got players drunk at halftime; the season Archie Manning intercepted four passes; and the former Ole Miss player who was banned from the NFL . . . for life!
White is the author of the acclaimed memoir, In The Sanctuary of Outcasts. The book, recounting his serving time for a white collar crime behind bars at the world’s last leper colony, won him the 2010 Southern Library Association Author of the Year award. The book also made a surprise late appearance on the New York Times bestseller list.
In 2016, the Times’ changed their list to combine print and e-book nonfiction bestsellers and In the Sanctuary of Outcasts came in at No. 15. The book also ranked number six on the Wall Street Journal e-book bestseller list.
In 2015, White sold the movie right to Outcasts to veteran producer Stratton Leopold.