“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Liberty in Amite County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)

Jerry Clower

Jerry Clower Marker (side A) image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
1. Jerry Clower Marker (side A)
Inscription. (Side A)
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.

(Side B)
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
Jerry Clower Marker (side B) image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
2. Jerry Clower Marker (side B)
hunter that would make him famous—as Big Ed Wilkes, a local radio director, was taping the whole conference. The following year, Wilkes put Clower's monologue out on the local "Lemon" label and eventually forwarded that regional recording to MCA records, which signed him. The resulting album, Jerry Clower from Yazoo City, Mississippi Talkin', was on the country charts for thirty weeks. Clower was 45 years old and had now become a professional country comedian.

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
Jerry Clower Marker image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
3. Jerry Clower Marker
art, "reveals… the richness of the spoken language of the American South in all of its inwardness and nuance and sweep. He knows what he is talking about. His humor is rooted in a region, but is not regional." Jerry Clower was married to Homerline Wells Clower for fifty-one years; They had one son, Ray, and three daughters, Amy, Sue and Katy. He died following heart bypass surgery in 1998.

"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
Jerry Clower Marker image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
4. Jerry Clower Marker
marker is included in the 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 Mississippi Route 24/48 and East Fork Road, on the right when traveling west on State Route 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, MusicEntertainment
Jerry Clower Marker image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
5. Jerry Clower Marker
Jerry Clower Marker image. Click for full size.
February 12, 2016
6. Jerry Clower Marker
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 340 times since then. 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.
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