A “Pulitzer Prize-winning evening” in Ocean Springs!

Author Jack E. Davis with "The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” plus songwriter Molly Thomas and special guest New Orleans funkmaster Jon Cleary

August 29, 2020 at 7 pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting; 9 pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

Join us Saturday, August 29 as The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour recalls our 2018 “Pulitzer prize-winning evening” at The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A beautiful summer evening as we share an interview and reading by Jack E. Davis, author of  The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History. Our musical guests are New Orleans funksters, Jon Cleary and His Absolute Monster Gentlemen and Gulf Coast songwriter Molly Thomas and the Rare Birds.

The show is hosted by Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Saturday, August 29 at 7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio




Jack E. Davis

Jack E. Davis is the author of The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, (Liveright/W.W. Norton). His book, an environmental and cultural/political history of the Gulf of Mexico from the Pleistocene to the present, was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History.

Hailed as a “nonfiction epic” it is “by turns informative, lyrical, inspiring and chilling for anyone who cares about the future of ‘America’s Sea'” (Wall Street Journal).

Filled with vivid, untold stories from the sportfish that launched Gulf Coast vacationing to Hollywood’s role in the country’s first offshore oil wells, this “vast and well told story shows how we made the Gulf . . . [into] a ‘national sacrifice zone'” (Bill McKibben).

Ocean Springs residents will particularly enjoy chapters on the founding of Ocean Springs and the vivid descriptions of the remarkable outdoor life of painter Walter Anderson.

Davis is also the author of An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century (Univ. of Georgia Press) a dual biography of the America’s premier wetlands and the woman who led a movement to save it. The book received the gold medal in the nonfiction category at the Florida Book Awards.

Davis is a professor of environmental history at the University of Florida. He grew up on the Gulf coast, and now lives in Florida and New Hampshire.

Jon Cleary and His Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Grammy-winner Jon Cleary is a keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist from New Orleans. After thirty-five years in the Crescent City, his sound has evolved into a gumbo of ‘70s soul, gospel, funk, Afro-Caribbean and other influences.

In 1980 as an 18-year-old, Cleary left his native England for New Orleans equipped only with the telephone number of the Maple Leaf music venue. From there he eventually found work with such acts as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, and Johnny Adams. Following a decade as keyboardist for Bonnie Raitt’s band, Cleary now fronts his own band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

Cleary’s albums include his latest, released in July, Dyna-Mite (Thirty Tigers) plus previous discs, Live at Chickie Wah Wah and GoGo Juice which won the Grammy for Best Regional Roots Album in 2016.
“Music isn’t a choice for me,” Cleary says. “It’s a bodily function.”

Molly Thomas & the Rare Birds

Molly Thomas is an Ocean Springs-native songwriter-violinist-guitarist now based in Fairhope, Ala. She has toured extensively with artists such as Todd Snider, Will Hoge and Matthew Ryan. She now tours with her own band, the Rare Birds. Thomas’ CDs include Make Everything Bright (co-produced with Robert Plant drummer Marco Giovino) and Shoot the Sky. She is currently finishing up a new release forthcoming this year.

Check out the show!