Rejoice Dear Hearts
May 23, 2012 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Dave Gardner scored his first Top 20 hit in 1957 with White Silver Sands, and while a fine singer (and drummer), it was the stories he told between songs that transformed him into "Brother" Dave Gardner.
posted by timsteil (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"I stir up snakes!"
posted by chronkite at 11:08 AM on May 23, 2012

"I may be slow, but I'm ahead of you!"
posted by Francis7 at 11:38 AM on May 23, 2012

Would be interesting to confirm or deny the longstanding suggestion that his act went openly racist in the 70s, once he was out of the mainstream.
posted by anazgnos at 12:07 PM on May 23, 2012

Thanks for posting this, timsteil. My older brother and I used to enjoy listening to Dave Gardner's comedy ablums back in the '60s. I particularly liked his "Will you be here when John gets here?" routine.
posted by Jestocost at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2012

Nice, I've been a considering a Brother Dave Gardner FPP for ever. The person who gave him his break was Chet Atkins. According to wiki:

Phelps produced Brother Dave's last live concert on December 19, 1979, at Panther Hall in Fort Worth, Texas. In the early 1980s Texas oilman H.L. Hunt moved Brother Dave and wife Millie to Dallas because of Gardner's proclivity to be a staunch conservative, and to not be afraid to "tell it like it was". Hunt soon became disenchanted with Gardner's alcohol and drug abuse and cut Brother Dave off.
posted by msalt at 1:07 PM on May 23, 2012

That was for anazgnos. The story I heard was that he nearly died in a plane crash in the 1960s and was noticeably nastier and more racist afterwards. I can't find clips online, but this album should settle the question. Please post a link if you find it.

-- 1969 "Brother Dave Gardner in Person" recorded in Houston. The liner notes say "He covers politics, race, religion and law enforcement and finds a way to make you laugh at them all." This is apparently the same album as "Out Front."

Incidentally, it sucks how useless Google has become, with dozens of link results pointing to worthless perfunctory database entries for albums like these, and no way to find actual intelligent discussions of them, if any exist.
posted by msalt at 1:48 PM on May 23, 2012

I have Hip-Ocrasy from 1968 and don't recall it being any different than his early material. Haven't played it in a long time, though. I'll have to give it a fresh listen.
posted by Longtime Listener at 2:42 PM on May 23, 2012

There's an 8-minute segment of that 1968 album on YouTube where he includes the line "A liberal is someone whose education has outpaced their ability," and a summary describes some anti-hippie material on the ablum. Which is odd because on the excerpt, he mostly just seems very stoned and giggly.
posted by msalt at 7:25 PM on May 23, 2012

Harper's wrote about his turn to crankdom in 1970. The article is in a for-pay archive, but happily someone transcribed it into forum posts: Whatever Happened to Brother Dave?

Man, he just flat-out went bugnuts after leaving the national stage.
posted by nikzhowz at 8:53 PM on May 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

That is an amazing article, thanks. It's wild how far Brother Dave travelled from Taoist beatnik to saying "Wasn't that a nice clean shot they got on Brother Junior" (ie Martin Luther King) -- all in less than 10 years.
posted by msalt at 5:41 PM on May 24, 2012

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