She Would Be King – a knockout debut by Wayétu Moore

Magic realism, island breezes and twang-rock with The Nude Party!

December 19, 2020 at 9 pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio; 3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Thursdays 6 pm (CT) University of Mississippi; Fridays 9 am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio

Join us on The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour for a fanciful hour of literary magic, twangy dreams and steel drum grooves from the Caribbean!

Guests: Author Wayétu Moore (She Would Be King); musical guests country-rockers, The Nude Party plus a special set by Thacker’s world-class percussionist, Ricky Burkhead and his band, Pan Caribbean Delegation.

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers  (From October 11, 2018).

Air times:

Saturday, Dec. 19

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

3pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Thursdays 6pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Fridays 9am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio





Wayétu Moore

Wayétu Moore’s debut novel is She Would Be King (Graywolf Press) a dazzling retelling of the story of the formation of the country of Liberia.

A spectacular mix of history and magic realism, Moore gives us three unforgettable characters. Gbessa, exiled and snake bit, June Dey, possessed of unusual strength, and Norman Aragon, a biracial Jamaican who can fade from sight at will. Moore brilliantly intertwines their imaginative stories through the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Wayétu Moore teaches at the City University of New York’s John Jay College. She lives in Brooklyn.

Her most recent book is The Dragons, the Giant, the Women – A Memoir. The book tells the harrowing story of Moore’s family being smuggled out of war-torn Liberia and her journey to the United States.


The Nude Party

The members of The Nude Party first came together in the freshman dormitories of Boone, North Carolina’s Appalachian State University in 2012. The band later took residence at a lake house that often spawned naked jam sessions, hence their name. The group recently released their self-titled album on New West Records.

Rolling Stone said, “…their wiry, twangy garage-rock comes free of inhibition, as well it should from a band who once played naked at campus parties back in North Carolina.”


Ricky Burkhead

Pan Caribbean Delegation is a group of multi-talented musicians that perform Caribbean, Afro-Cuban and island music.

The group is led by associate professor Ricky Burkhead, who has been on the Ole Miss faculty since 1994, teaching applied percussion, percussion ensembles, steel drum and salsa band. He formed the popular University of Mississippi Steel Drum Band in 1995. Burkhead has performed extensively in a wide variety of venues from blues clubs to jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras. He has presented steel drum clinics across the US South as well as in Jamaica, Argentina and Uruguay.

Burkhead became the drummer for the Thacker house band, the Yalobushwhackers, in 2016. His latest release is Perfect Peace – A Lifetime of Songs, which features his original compositions.


Check out the show!