Thacker Mountain Radio makes Alabama debut

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Oxford’s hometown radio program, Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, found its second home in Mobile, Ala. this weekend, marking the program’s first live show outside of Mississippi. 

The event followed an earlier announcement from this season, in which Thacker Mountain Radio began airing on Alabama Public Radio in addition to Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The live show, held at the packed Cedar Street Social Club in Midtown Mobile, had an all-Yellowhammer State lineup, featuring Birmingham R&B songstress Love Moor, Mobile’s own Will Kimbrough and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg. 

According to Bragg, being a part of Thacker Mountain’s Alabama debut “tickles him to death” – simply because of the unique environment created by the show. 

“Thacker does something that you’d think would be hard to do, which is to combine something as old-fashioned as a book-signing, with something even more old-fashioned as a good beer joint,” Bragg said. “It’s been fun, and when you’re done, you always feel like you’ve been to some kind of celebration as opposed to some literary event. I’m so glad to see them crossing the state lines.” 

Bragg read from his latest work, “The Best Cook in the World,” which highlights the colorful history of his family through the food they made. The book specifically highlights Bragg’s mother, a woman who cooked for people she’d “just as soon have poisoned,” as well as his great-grandfather, a fugitive brought from hiding with the sole purpose of teaching Bragg’s grandmother how to cook.  

The talents weren’t the only Alabamians in the house, however; Thacker Mountain director and producer Kate Teague was born and raised in Mobile. Getting to bring her work to her hometown was like a dream, Teague said, because she had the opportunity to share a piece of what makes Oxford great. 

“Ever since Thacker was syndicated on Alabama Public Radio, it’s been a big focus of mine and the boards to bring the show to Mobile, because I know the crowd here and knew they would respond well,” Teague said. “Everyone here has been so receptive and it’s so exciting.”

While Thacker Mountain Radio won’t be back home at Off-Square Books until next fall, Teague, host Jim Dees and house band the Yalobushwhackers will hit the road this summer for select Mississippi shows. 

To learn more about Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, visit http://thackermountain.com.