Liberty in Amite County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
A Liberty native, Jerry Clower (1926-1998) brought his colorful, observant, comic stories of southern life — developed as a sales tool as he worked as a fertilizer salesman — to live shows, recordings, television, bestselling books, and, for over twenty-five years beginning in 1973, Grand Ole Opry broadcasts. He became one of the most successful and acclaimed country comedians of all time.
Jerry Clower Born Howard Gerald Clower here in Liberty on September 28, 1926, and raised on a farm nearby, Jerry Clower aspired not to a show business career, but to be an agricultural extension agent working with 4-H clubs, like those who inspired him as a boy. After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, he worked his way through Mississippi State University on a football scholarship, receiving a degree in agriculture. He became the 4-H agent he'd wanted to be, then sold fertilizer for Mississippi Chemical Corporation for eighteen years, beginning in 1954. Clower found that his gift for telling colorful, down home stories from his own life and Amite County friends' was a helpful sales tool and an attraction at industry conventions. In 1970, he was recounting some of these tales at a Texas Tech fertilizer industry panel—including the one about the treed raccoon and raccoon
There would be over two dozen hit Jerry Clower albums, his audience expanding as he became a cast member of Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in 1973. He'd be a prime comedy attraction there for the rest of his life, with a level of fame that also made him a natural, ever-present Southern spokesman in television commercials for trucks, fishing lures, and barbecue equipment. Clower's deep, lifelong commitment to Christianity was reflected not only in his story telling, but in his 20-year involvement with the Southern Baptist Convention-produced radio and television program Country Crossroads, his work as a lay minister, and his testament and memoir Ain't God Good.
He wrote four bestselling books in all, bringing to the printed page his resonant, rooted style both for fans and literary audiences. Mississippi author and editor Willie Morris noted that Clower's broadly appealing comic
"He kept hollering… 'Have mercy; this thing's killing me! Shoot this thing!' Mr' Baron said 'John, I can't shoot up in there. I might hit you.' John said, 'Well, just shoot up in here amongst us. One of us has to have some relief'" "Knock him out John" (A Coon Huntin' Story) - Jerry Clower
Storyteller, raconteur, and lay preacher, Jerry Clower, the "Mouth of Mississippi," knew the territory he talked about and lived its values.
An ad in the September 15, 1973 issue of Billboard magazine shows that Clower's humor proved potent across the whole country.
This card commenorated his 1949-'50 football career.
With country stars Roy Acuff at the opry, and Jeannie C. Riley in Yazoo City, the Clower's long-time home.
Erected 2011 by Mississippi Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 7.)
Marker series. This Mississippi Country Music Trail marker series.
Location. 31° 11.47′ N, 90° 39.459′ W. Marker is in Liberty, Mississippi, in Amite County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 24/48 and East Fork Road, on the right when traveling west on State Highway 24/48. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Liberty MS 39645, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Natchez District (approx. 0.9 miles away); Amite Female Seminary (approx. 9.1 miles away); Herbert Lee (approx. 9.2 miles away); Battle Of Liberty (approx. 9.2 miles away); Confederate Monument (approx. 9.2 miles away); Amite County Courthouse (approx. 9.3 miles away); Liberty (approx. 9.4 miles away); Liberty Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 9.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Liberty.
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 408 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on . • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.